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Mercer Island in relation to the Greater Seattle Area
Mercer Island is a city in King Countymarker, Washingtonmarker, United Statesmarker and the name of the island in Lake Washingtonmarker on which the city sits. The city is within the Seattle Metropolitan Area and its population was 22,650 in 2008, according to the 2008 US Census Bureau population estimates.


Mercer Island was first settled in the 1870s. It was named after early visitors, the Mercer brothers, who often rowed from Seattle for berry picking, hunting and fishing (Gellaty, 1977). The first large settlement was on the northwest side of Mercer Island, called "East Seattle." C.C. Calkins built a resort, the Calkins Hotel, in 1889 in East Seattle. This resort led to the development of a ferry dock (Calkins landing), which in turn led to a growing population. While the Calkins hotel burned to the ground in 1908, the ferry service continued, and a small business district prospered. In the 1930s, George Lightfoot began campaigning for a bridge to Seattle. The Lake Washington Floating Bridge was built in 1940, and this spurred the move of the business district to its present location near the northern end of the island.


The City of Mercer Island incorporated on July 5, 1960. It included all the land area of the island with the exception of the 70 acre (280,000 m²) business district. Just over a month later, on August 9, the business district incorporated as the Town of Mercer Island, wholly surrounded by the City. The two municipalities finally merged on May 19, 1970.


Mercer Island is located at (47.569271, -122.232337).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 33.63 km² (12.986 mi²). 16.28 km² (6.286 mi²) of it is land and 17.4 km² (6.7 mi²) of it (51.33%) is water.

Mercer Island is the most populated island in a lake in the United States. [20590]


Mercer Island is connected to Seattlemarker in the west by Interstate 90, carried by the Homer M.marker Hadley Memorial Bridgemarker (the fifth longest floating bridge in the world) and the Lacey V.marker Murrow Memorial Bridgemarker (the second longest in the world). I-90 also connects Mercer Island to Bellevuemarker in the east, carried by the East Channel Bridgemarker.


The Mercer Island School District operates six schools on the island: three elementary schools (Lakeridge Elementary, Island Park Elementary and West Mercer Elementary) one middle school (Islander Middle School), one high school (Mercer Island High School), and one alternative high school (Crest Learning Center).

Mercer Island is also home to the St. Monica School(K-8), the French American School of Puget Sound (P-8), and the Northwest Yeshiva High School (9-12).

There are also several preschools on Mercer Island including Early World Montessori located on the north end of the island.


As of the census of 2000, there were 22,036 people, 8,437 households, and 6,277 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,333.6/km² (3,452.0/mi²). There were 8,806 housing units at an average density of 532.9/km² (1,379.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.09% white, 1.14% African American, 0.16% Native American, 11.87% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.86% of the population.

There were 8,437 households out of which 35.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.6% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.6% were non-families. 22.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 21.2% from 25 to 44, 29.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $91,904, and the median income for a family was $110,830 (these figures had risen to $115,864 and $146,693 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). The average household income in 2004 was $169,841. Males had a median income of $82,855 versus $46,734 for females. The per capita income for the city was $53,799. About 1.9% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 2.3% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2009, the 98040 zip code had a median home sale price of $1,084,627, placing it at #215 in a list of the most expensive zip codes in America. However, according to IRS tax return figures for adjusted gross income, Mercer Island ranked #35 richest zip code in America in 2009.

Long known for its affluence and famous residents, Mercer Island ranks wealthiest city in Washington State based on per capita income, and is home to Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft (along with Bill Gates), ranked by Forbes in September 2008 as the 12th richest man in America, and 41st richest man in the world.


Luther Burbank Park covers 77 acres of land and has 0.75 miles (1.2 km) of waterfront. The park has a public boat dock and fishing pier, a swimming beach, an amphitheater, tennis courts, barbecues and picnic facilities, and an off-leash dog area. The city assumed maintenance of the park on January 1, 2003 from King County, which had purchased the park land in 1969.

The Park on the Lid is atop the I-90 tunnel entrances. This park has softball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, picnic shelters, and the Freeway Sculpture Park.

Pioneer Park covers 113 acres and has equestrian, bicycle, and hiking trails. Deane's Children Park, also known as "Dragon Park", is a small park with playground equipment.

Sister cities

Mercer Island's sister city, as designated by Sister Cities International, is Thonon-les-Bains, Francemarker.

Annual events

  • Mercer Island is focal to annual performances by the Blue Angels during Seattle's summer Seafair celebration.
  • Summer Celebration is a celebration once a year on the weekend after the 4th of July. The celebration ends with fireworks.
  • Mercer Island's state renowned varsity lacrosse team hosts Island Wars, which pits them against arch-nemesis Bainbridge Islandmarker in a series of fast paced lacrosse games that spans all age groups.


  2. Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce. "Community Information" url=
  3. Forbes. "Most Expensive Zip Codes" August 27, 2009. url=
  4. 100 richest zip codes in the United States url=
  5. [1]

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