Thurston County Geography | Weather | Contact Us about Relocation


Through the Multiple Listing Service of Thurston County, there were 57,460 residential properties sold for the year of 2010. The average market time of properties sold was 112 days, and they received 98% of listed price. The average list price of available residential properties was $222,862 with the average sold price being $218,405 in all areas. As of this April 03, 2011, there were 1,025 residential listings available, with an average price of $297,919. The average two bedroom apartment rent in Thurston County is $757.



As of the year 2008, the population of Thurston County was 245,3000. County total population in year 200, was 207,335.



The annual unemployment rate in Thurston County was 4.4% in 2003. Thurston County, historically, has a jobless rate lower than the state level, which was 4.5%. The United States unemployment rate was 4.6%. The largest number (48%) of employees work for the Government, 23% are employed in Services, and next is 17% are employed in Retail Trade. The median household income for Thurston County in 2007 was $60,209; in 200 it was $50,562.



The average levy rate in Thurston County for 2010 assessments for taxes payable in 2011 is approximately $11.60 per thousand dollars of assessed value*. Distribution - 38% of tax dollars go towards local schools, 20% goes toward state schools, 10% goes toward county, and 10% goes toward cities and towns. The rest goes towards roads, cemetery and fire districts, Timberland Library, and Medic One. The assessed valuation may vary from different school districts.
*Source: Thuston County Assessor's Office



Composite index for Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater 104.1
Grocery 104.1, Housing 101.9, Utilities 82.3, Transportation, 114.9, Health care 120.39, Miscellaneous goods and services 106.0. This index is for the first quarter of 2011.

For more complete and detailed information, contact the Thurston Regional Planning Council or visit their website:



Thurston County is located in the southern part of western Washington at the terminus of Puget Sound. It is the 32nd largest county in the state, with a total land mass of 737 square miles. As of 1995, nearly 93 percent of the land area was unincorporated.

The area topography ranges from coastal lowlands to prairie flatlands to the foothills of the Cascades. Glacial activity in the County’s geologic past left the land dotted with lakes and ponds. A number of rivers and small tributaries end in Thurston County and drain into Puget Sound. The northern-most boundary of the County is determined by the shoreline of Puget Sound. Inlets exclusive to the County are the Budd, Henderson, and Eld Inlets. Budd and Henderson Inlets are separated by Dana Passage. Other inlets form the boundaries between Thurston and adjacent counties. Totten Inlet divides Thurston and Mason counties, and the Nisqually River separates Thurston from Pierce County.

While much of Thurston County’s remaining topography is wooded prairie, the northwest and southwest corners are marked by peaks ranging from 1700 to 3000 feet in elevation. Once thought to be the highest in the County, Larch Mountain and Capitol Peak, both over 2650 feet, reign over the 40,000 acre Capitol State Forest west of Olympia. USGS surveyors recently discovered the highest point in the County is actually in the extreme southeast corner near Alder Lake. Standing at 2922 feet, Quiemuth Peak was named in 1993 by the Thurston County Historic Commission to honor the Nisqually Indian chief who, with his brother, Chief Leschi, contributed much to the County’s early history.

Approximately 16% of the land in the county is considered farmland. Glacial till and glacial outwash deposits cover the Puget Sound Valley. Many soils have nearly black, brittle, organic-rich surface horizons and are usually wet in winter but dry in summer. Much of the land is forested, and lumbering is an important industry. The area supports crops or improved pasture, prairie vegetation in some places, and savanna vegetation in others. Douglas Fir is the dominant tree species. Big Leaf Maple, Western Red Cedar, Grand Fir and Western Hemlock also are common.



Average January April July October
Maximum Temp. 44.4 59 77.1 60.6
Minimum Temp. 31.5 36.5 49.5 39.6
Precipitation in inches 7.9 3.3 .72 4.74
  • Average Annual Maximum Temperature 60.4
  • Average Annual Minimum Temperature 39.5
  • Average Annual Precipitation 50.85
    SOURCE: Western Regional Climate Center

    The county lies within the states Puget Sound-Lowlands climatological region with a marine type climate. Winters are cool and summers are mild and pleasant. The average annual temperature is 50 degrees. Average annual precipitation is 50.6 inches, with an average relative humidity of 88.5%. Average annual snowfall is 16.7 inches. The growing season averages 166 days, with the last freeze occurring in late April and the first occurring in mid October. During the year, the sun shines an average of 49% of the daylight hours. Prevailing winds are from the south, southwest during winter and from the southwest during summer.

The National Weather Service states that we average 228 cloudy days a year and get more than a trace of rain on 163 of those days. Winter time can be cloudy and gray and it’s a good time for indoor projects, unless you are a snow skier, with opportunities a little more than an hour away. March is windy, April is showery, and in May, spring starts to arrive. In late spring, a semi-permanent, high pressure system moves in off the coast and bumps the wet weather out of here. Summertime is beautiful around Thurston County - you won’t want to be any place else; it doesn’t get too hot for very long and it’s sunny for days on end.