Journalists’ Reference Guide

The Most International Region
in the United States

No region in the United States is more tied to international trade than Greater Seattle. Whether it is exports or imports, international students or tourists from abroad, the Greater Seattle region’s international ties are many and varied. One in three jobs in Washington state are dependent on international trade. In 2000, Washington state exported more than twice the national average of goods overseas. Greater Seattle is perennially one of the top exporting metropolitan regions in the United States. Goods shipped from overseas pass through Greater Seattle area ports to destinations all over the country.

Despite a much smaller population, Washington is the fifth-largest exporting state in the United States after California, Texas, New York and Michigan. Per capita, Washington is the largest trading state in the nation, with nearly $6000 export trade activity per person. But the internationalization of Greater Seattle is more than just exports and imports. Many of our businesses have overseas ownership. Thousands of international students attend our universities and community colleges, bringing in more than $200 million to Washington’s economy every year. Tourists from Japan to Germany travel here every year. The region hosts major international conferences such as a recent one on infectious diseases in the Pacific Rim. The region’s international ties are vast and varied.