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Seattle is a West Coast seaport city and the seat of King County. With an estimated 662,400 residents as of 2015, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. In July 2013 it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States, and remained in the top five in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. The Seattle metropolitan area of around 3.6 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States. The city is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington, about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canada–United States border. A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the third largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2015.

The Seattle area was previously inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers. Arthur A. Denny and his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived from Illinois via Portland, Oregon on the schooner Exact at Alki Point on November 13, 1851. The settlement was moved to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay and named "Seattle" in 1852, after Chief Si'ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.

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