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About the King County Council

Learn more about the Metropolitan King County Council and what it does for you and the community.

As your Metropolitan King County Council, we oversee the second largest government and the most populous county in Washington State. With over 2.3 million residents, King County is the 12th largest county in the United States in terms of population. There are more people living in King County than in 15 states! At 2,130 square miles, the county covers more territory than the states of Rhode Island or Delaware.

Our dedicated employees provide quality regional services every day to county residents. We are also the local government for approximately 249,000 people who live in unincorporated urban and rural areas, and we provide services by contract to many of the county’s 39 cities.

As the legislative branch of county government, the council sets policies, enacts laws, and adopts budgets that guide an array of services, including:

  • The criminal legal system of prosecutors and public defenders, District and Superior Courts, juvenile detention, and adult jails;
  • The King County Sheriff’s Office, which directly serves residents of unincorporated areas and contracts with many cities to provide police protection;
  • Public health and human services;
  • Metro Transit bus service, Water Taxi, King County International Airport (Boeing Field), and county roads;
  • Wastewater treatment and solid waste management;
  • Regional parks, open space, and trails; and
  • Elections, records, and licensing.

Each of the nine members of the King County Council represents a geographical district averaging about 261,000 residents. Councilmembers are elected on a non-partisan basis and serve four-year terms.

The council has several standing committees that oversee specific functions of county government and a Committee of the Whole that includes all councilmembers. They also work closely with elected officials from local jurisdictions on three regional committees that address common interests in matters of policy, transit, and water quality. 

The council’s review of ordinances, motions, and budgets help ensure that county government operates in an efficient, transparent, and cost-effective manner, with equal access for all county residents.