Seattle ( (listen) see-AT-əl) is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. With a 2019 population of 753,675, it is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The Seattle metropolitan area's population is 3.98 million, making it the 15th-largest in the United States. Between 2013 and 2016, Seattle was rated the fastest-growing major city and remained in the top five in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In July 2016, Seattle ranked as the fastest-growing major U.S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate, and continuously among the fastest growing cities in the United States.
Seattle is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington. It is the northernmost major city in the United States, located about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canadian border. A major gateway for trade with northern Asia, Seattle is the fourth-largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2015.
The Seattle area was 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, in honor of Chief Si'ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.