County Transportation Metrics is a project of the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) and will provide a roadmap for setting transportation priorities.

Walla Walla County

Walla Walla is the largest city in and the county seat of Walla Walla County, Washington.  The southeastern Washington county was formed in 1854. Walla Walla was a Nez Perce name given to one of the indigenous groups who lived in the Walla Wall Valley. It is thought to mean "running waters."

Walla Walla's agricultural industry is the backbone of its economic vitality. Wheat, onions, potatoes and wine grapes are some of crops that are grown in the county. In past few years Walla Walla has become one of the main attractions for wine and arts tourism as the area gets national and world recognition for its quality wine.

Prior to the arrival of settlers, the Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla tribes were well established at the eastern end of the Columbia River Basin. Later, trading became one of the primary economic activities of the area, as fur and goods trading companies and pioneers came to the area. Soon agricultural and ranching activities prospered as demand for produce and meats grow with new influx of gold rush pioneers.

Walla Walla County went through many changes in late 1800's, however it has cultivated a flourishing community, which is home to first and oldest college, bank and newspaper in the state. Walla Walla County was added to the railroad grid with 30-mile line connection, in 1875, as the need for local agricultural products increased with creation of new settlements in the west. Also, in 1887, Walla Walla became home to one of the first territorial prisons in the state, where government became a major employing industry of the area.

Considering its size and isolation, the Walla Walla economy has a diverse industrial makeup. The largest sectors are: agriculture, health care, retail trade, manufacturing and government services. Walla Walla County has also become a retirement destination due to the mild climate, low cost of living and excellent quality of life.

Population (OFM Databook, 2011) 

Population (2011) 58,800
Population Change (2000 to 2010)      1.4%
Land Area (Sq. Mi.) 1,270.13
Density (Population/Sq. Mi.) 46.29


College Place                                                         8,780
Prescott 320
Waitsburg 1,215
Walla Walla 31,670

Major Highways

  • US Route 12

County Roads (CRAB and OFM, 2011)

Total Center Lane Miles
Maintenance Expenditures
$ 5,080,908
Preservation Expenditures
$ 5,494,489
Improvement Expenditures
$ 112,132

County Revenues  & Expenditures (OFM Databook, 2011)

Total Revenues
$ 48,521,042
Total Expenditures
$ 49,732,147
Transportation Expenditures
$ 8,507,996

Performance Measures

Links & Sources

Washington State Association of Counties
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