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Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located in the U.S. state of Washington between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, nearly 108 miles (174 km) south of the United States–Canadian border in King County, of which it is the county seat.
The Seattle area has been inhabited for several millennia by Native Americans. The founding of the city is generally credited to Arthur A. Denny and his fellow settlers from Illinois who would subsequently become known as the Denny party. Three scouts of the Denny party, including Arthur's younger brother David, landed on Alki Point September 28, 1851. Arthur and the rest of the Denny Party arrived on November 13, 1851. They first called their settlement New York, later renaming it Alki (which meant, roughly, "by and by"). Although now within city limits, Alki was not to be the center of the city they founded: after a difficult winter, they picked up and moved to a location across Elliott Bay, near the mouth of the Duwamish River. The new settlement, originally called Duwamps, was soon renamed Seattle after Chief Noah Sealth who was chief of the two tribes living in the area ("Seattle" is an anglicized rendition of his last name). As of 2006, the city had an estimated population of 580,000 and a metropolitan population of approximately 3.3 million, however the wider Combined Statistical Area is approximately 4 million. Seattle is the hub for the Greater Puget Sound region. Its official nickname is the Emerald City, the result of a contest by a civic-minded association in the early 1980s to designate a pleasant nickname for the city; the name alludes to the lush evergreen trees in the surrounding area. It is also referred to informally as the Gateway to Alaska, Queen City (its previous official nickname), and as Jet City due to the local influence of Boeing. Seattle residents are known as Seattleites.
Seattle is often regarded as the birthplace of grunge music, and has a reputation for heavy coffee consumption; coffee companies founded in Seattle include Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Tully's. There are also many successful independent artisanal espresso roasters and cafes. Seattle was the site of the 1999 meeting of the World Trade Organization, and the attendant demonstrations by anti-globalization activists. Researchers at Central Connecticut State University ranked Seattle the most literate city in America in 2005. Moreover, a United States Census Bureau survey showed that Seattle has the highest percentage of college graduates of any major U.S. city. Based on per capita income, Seattle ranks 36th of 522 studied areas in the state of Washington.