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Notable features of the town include its downtown, located on the lakefront and populated mostly by restaurants and art galleries; numerous public parks, including a number of beaches; and a large collection of public art, primarily bronze sculptures.
The city's origins lie in the 1880s, when steel tycoon Peter Kirk sought to begin producing steel on the eastern shore of Lake Washington; the new town was to be the "Pittsburgh of the West." He built a mill, but it closed thanks to the Panic of 1893 without ever producing any steel. Nevertheless, the town was incorporated in 1905 with a population of 400 (a 2005 centennial celebration is in the works). Subsequent years saw wool-milling and ship-building become the major industries.
Kirkland consolidated with the neighboring town of Houghton in 1968. It annexed the neighborhood of Totem Lake in 1974, and the neighborhoods of South Juanita, North Rose Hill, and South Rose Hill in 1988.
Today the city is socially and economically integrated into the greater Seattle area. Similar to most of its Eastside neighbors, it is relatively affluent but dependent in large part on nearby technology firms such as Redmond-based Microsoft.
GeographyLake Washington, to the east by Redmond, to the south by Bellevue, and to the north by Kenmore and Bothell.
Kirkland is in the Lake Washington School District. Secondary schools located in the city include:
- Lake Washington High School
- Juanita High School
- International Community School (7-12)
- BEST High School
- Kirkland Jr. High School
- Kamiakin Jr. High School
- Northstar Jr. High School
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 45,054 people, 20,736 households, and 11,031 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,628.8/km² (4,220.3/mi²). There are 21,831 housing units at an average density of 789.2/km² (2,045.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 85.28% White, 1.59% African American, 0.53% Native American, 7.80% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 1.69% from other races, and 2.92% from two or more races. 4.11% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 20,736 households out of which 23.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% are married couples living together, 8.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 46.8% are non-families. 35.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 6.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.13 and the average family size is 2.80.
In the city the population is spread out with 18.5% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 38.1% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $60,332, and the median income for a family is $73,395. Males have a median income of $50,691 versus $39,737 for females. The per capita income for the city is $38,903. 5.3% of the population and 3.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 6.3% of those under the age of 18 and 5.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
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