Seattle is an economic, cultural and political center of the Puget Sound. With an estimated 2017 population of 1,035,317, it is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest and the tenth most populous in United States. The Seattle metropolitan area’s population stands at 7.7 million people, and in July 2005, it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States and its seat of King County is the most affluent county in the Pacific Northwest and one of the most affluent counties in the United States.
Seattle is a global city, notable as a center of innovation, for its affluence, and high cost of living. Seattle is a center for aircraft manufacturing, and developed into a technology center from the 1980s onward with companies like Microsoft and Amazon. The stream of new software, biotechnology, and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by almost 250,000 between 1990 and 2000.
Seattle is one of the wealthiest major cities in the United States and the world, and has the fourth highest GDP per capita in the world (after San Jose, California), according to the Brookings Institution. Unlike rival tech center San Jose, the Seattle Metropolitan Area saw aggressive rezoning policies in the mid to late 1990s that created new districts of high density urban residential housing, that have made the city much more affordable to live in, and has contributed to its renewed status as the country's fastest growing city.
Since 2002 the city has become the center for the new nanosatellite and aviation startup communities, though it has not seen the same level of investment as Los Angeles in the broader New Space economy, due to its limited access to suitable nearby launch sites.