Spokane County Spotlight
Partially due to its location on the Washington-Idaho border, Spokane County—Eastern Washington’s largest county– is a main service hub for residents and businesses located in both Eastern Washington and Idaho. Home to Spokane, the state’s second most populous city, Spokane County hosts one of the state’s most diverse economies, offering thriving tourism, agricultural, military, and service industries as well as superior government, professional, and manufacturing services. While Spokane is extremely populous, the city structure is relatively sprawling, giving the county a rural feel consistent with the rest of the region. As the county attracts more residents, rural population growth continues to increase, hinting at the possibility of a fully-urbanized Spokane County in the future.
Established in 1860 out of Walla Walla County, Spokane County bloomed with the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad to the region in 1881. Originally acting as a residential and commercial center for the mining activities located in Idaho and Eastern Washington, Spokane County’s largest employer is now the Fairchild Air Force Base, with manufacturing jobs created by the Bonneville Dam and the Interstate highway trailing close behind. As Spokane County continues to grow, jobs created in the private sector absorbs much of the county’s population growth.