Kennewick is a city in Benton County in the southeastern part of the State of Washington, near the Hanford nuclear site. It is the most populous of the three cities collectively referred to as the Tri-Cities (the others being Pasco and Richland). Kennewick is located along the southwest bank of the Columbia River, opposite Pasco and just southeast of the confluence of the Columbia and Yakima rivers. The population was 73,917 at the 2010 census.
April 1, 2012 estimates from the Washington State Office of Financial Management put the city’s population at 75,160.
The nearest commercial airport is the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco, a regional commercial and private airport.
Forbes magazine named Kennewick the #2 area in the United States for job growth, while nearby Yakima was named #1. The article cites the number of scientists employed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and area farmland for this outlook.
Kennewick Man is the name for the remains of a prehistoric man found on a bank of the Columbia River in 1996. The remains are notable for their age (some 9,300 years), and also for having Caucasoid features, despite almost certainly being indigenous. Ownership of the bones has been a matter of great controversy.
The name “Kennewick” is believed to be a native word meaning “grassy place.” It has also been called “winter paradise,” mostly because of the mild winters in the area. In the past, Kennewick has also been known by other names. Arguably the strangest was “Tehe” which was allegedly attributed to the reaction from a native girl’s laughter when asked the name of the region.
As of the 2000 census, there were 54,693 people, 20,786 households, and 14,176 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,384.9 people per square mile (920.9/km²). There were 22,043 housing units at an average density of 961.2 per square mile (371.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.93% White, 1.14% Black or African American, 0.93% Native American, 2.12% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 9.4% from other races, and 3.37% from two or more races. 15.55% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.2% were of German, 9.6% English, 8.5% Irish and 8.5% American ancestry. 84.6% spoke English and 12.5% Spanish as their first language.
There were 20,786 households out of which 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were non-families. 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.6 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.6% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $41,213, and the median income for a family was $50,011. Males had a median income of $41,589 versus $26,022 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,152. About 9.7% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.8% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.
Public schools located in the city are part of the Kennewick School District. The Kennewick School District has fourteen elementary schools (Amistad, Canyon View, Cascade, Cottonwood, Eastgate, Edison, Hawthorne, Lincoln, Ridge View, Southgate, Sunset View, Vista, Washington, Westgate), four middle schools (Park, Highlands, Desert Hills, Horse Heaven Hills), three high schools: Kennewick High School (the Lions), Kamiakin High School (the Braves), and Southridge High School (the Suns), and a vocational school operated by Kennewick and other local school districts, the Tri-Tech Skills Center.
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