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Bellingham is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Whatcom County in the State of Washington. It is the thirteenth-largest city in the state, with 80,885 residents at the 2010 Census, or sixth-largest by metropolitan area after Seattle-Tacoma, the northern side of the Portland metropolitan area, Spokane metro area, the Tri-Cities, and Yakima . The boundaries of the city encompass the former towns of Fairhaven, Whatcom, Sehome, and Bellingham.
Bellingham is the northernmost city in the contiguous United States with more than 50,000 people and the only city in the lower 48 that experiences twilight all night during part of summer.
Bellingham is acclaimed for its easy access to outdoor opportunities in the San Juan Islands and North Cascades as well as proximity to the cosmopolitan cities of Vancouver and Seattle. It is also famous for the large quantities of Canadian tourists and shoppers that flood in daily to take advantage of relatively cheap gasoline, airfare and other products. Most consumer products and restaurant meals are significantly more pricey in Bellingham than elsewhere in the United States, but still often cheaper than in Canada.
As of 2000 the median income for a household in the city was $32,530, and the median income for a family was $47,196. Males had a median income of $35,288 versus $25,971 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,483. About 9.4% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.2% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those aged 65 or over.
As of the census of 2010, there were 80,885 people, 34,671 households, and 16,129 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,986.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,153.2/km2). There were 36,760 housing units at an average density of 1,357.5 per square mile (524.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.9% White, 1.3% African American, 1.3% Native American, 5.1% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 2.8% from other races, and 4.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.0% of the population.
There were 34,671 households of which 21.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.2% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 53.5% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.79.
The median age in the city was 31.3 years. 15.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 23.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.9% were from 25 to 44; 22% were from 45 to 64; and 12.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.