Tacoma, WA Education and City Information

Known as the City of Destiny, Tacoma is the third largest city in the state of Washington. Tacoma is home to the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington's Tacoma campus, among other postsecondary schools.

Information About Tacoma, WA

Tacoma is located in Pierce County, Washington, in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area. The city had around 205,000 residents in 2014, based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Tacoma is diverse, with just under 65 percent of the population identifying as white in 2010, approximately 11 percent as black, over 8 percent as Asian and more than 11 percent as Latino. Tacoma's median household income was $51,269 for 2010-2014, which was below the state average of $60,294.

Tacoma has the highest concentration of art and history museums in the state, including the Tacoma Art Museum, the Museum of Glass, the Washington State History Museum and the State Capital Museum. Other attractions for residents and visitors alike include the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, LeMay - America's Car Museum and the Ruston Way Waterfront, which offers scenic views of Commencement Bay. The waterfront also features opportunities for sunbathing, picnicking, playing beach volleyball and scuba diving.

Education in Tacoma

Postsecondary students will find quite a few nonprofit schools in Tacoma. Four-year schools in the city include Pacific Lutheran University, ranked the 14th best regional university in the West by U.S. News & World Report in 2016; University of Puget Sound, ranked 72nd among national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News; and the Tacoma campus of the University of Washington. Students seeking a certificate or associate's degree program can choose from those offered by Tacoma Community College or Bates Technical College.

Another school, Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom, is within ten miles from Tacoma. The school had nearly 6,000 students, as of Fall 2014. Certificates and associate degrees are available in various areas of study, including business, computer and information science, and education.

Green River Community College is located approximately 15 miles outside of Tacoma, and it hosted nearly 8,000 undergraduate students in the Fall 2014. Educational options include undergraduate certificates, associate and bachelor degrees.

Economy of Tacoma

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a training and mobilization center for the U.S. Army, was the Tacoma area's top employer in 2014, followed by the local public schools. Other major employers included the MultiCare and Franciscan health systems and state, county and city governments, as well as Washington state higher education. The Emerald Queen Casino and Boeing also had a strong employee presence in Tacoma.

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