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20 Awesome And Amazing Facts About Yelm, Washington, United States

Yelm is a city in Thurston County, Washington, United States. Its population was 6,848 at the 2010 census. Take a look below for 20 awesome and amazing facts about Yelm, Washington, United States.

1. At the beginning of the 21st century, Yelm was the 10th fastest growing city in the state in regard to population.

2. The word “Yelm” is said to come from the Coast Salish word shelm or chelm, meaning “heat waves from the sun”, referring to heat mirages.

3. The Yelm Prairie was originally inhabited by the Nisqually and provided good pasture for their horses.

4. The first permanent non-indigenous settlers came in 1853 to join the Hudson’s Bay Company sheep farmers who already conducted business in the area.

5. With the coming of the Northern Pacific Railway in 1873, Yelm began to prosper, having found an outlet for its agricultural and forestry products. Its economic base was further enhanced when an irrigation company was formed in 1916, making Yelm a center for commercial production of beans, cucumbers and berries.

6. Yelm was officially incorporated on December 8, 1924.

7. During the Great Depression, high maintenance costs and an unstructured water distribution plan bankrupted the Yelm Irrigation Company.

8. Yelm is located in southeastern Thurston County, adjacent to its border with Pierce County, along the Nisqually River.

9. The city is near the Nisqually Indian Reservation, locate to the northwest on State Route 510, and Joint Base Lewis–McChord on the northeast side of the river. Another major highway, State Route 507, connects Yelm to Centralia and Spanaway near Tacoma.

10. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.69 square miles (14.74 km2), of which, 5.68 square miles (14.71 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.

11. As of the census of 2010, there were 6,848 people, 2,299 households, and 1,712 families residing in the city.

12. The population density was 1,205.6 inhabitants per square mile (465.5/km2). There were 2,523 housing units at an average density of 444.2 per square mile (171.5/km2).

13. The racial makeup of the city was 81.6% White, 3.3% African American, 1.8% Native American, 2.3% Asian, 0.9% Pacific Islander, 2.8% from other races, and 7.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.4% of the population.

14. There were 2,299 households, of which 53.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 17.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 25.5% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.

15. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.40.

16. The median age in the city was 29 years. 36% of residents were under the age of 18; 8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 32.3% were from 25 to 44; 16.1% were from 45 to 64; and 7.6% were 65 years of age or older. 

17. The gender makeup of the city was 46.9% male and 53.1% female.

18. To a large extent, Yelm acts as a bedroom community for residents working in the surrounding cities of Tacoma, Olympia and Centralia. It also hosts a large number of military families currently or formerly stationed at nearby Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

19. Yelm experienced significant expansion in the decades surrounding the turn of the 21st century. On February 14, 2017, in consultation with city residents, the city council adopted the Yelm Comprehensive Plan update, which clarifies plans and policies for the city’s physical, economic and community development over the next 20 years, including utilities, public transportation and parks.

20. The current mayor of Yelm is JW Foster, who was appointed in 2016 after the resignation of the previous mayor; he had previously served on the city council. He was retained as mayor in the 2017 election.

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