Vashon covers 37 square miles, a larger area than Manhattan. It is situated in Puget Soundbetween Seattle and Tacoma, Western Washington’s largest cities, but often seems like a world apart. The only public access is by ferry, with routes linking the island to the two big cities and the Kitsap Peninsula.
The island’s 2020 population was 11,055. Vashon has experienced little population growth over the past 30 years, in part because of limited access to the mainland, in part because of land-use policies, in part because of limited water supplies.
Residents and visitors are drawn to Vashon by its rural character, scenic beauty and vibrant arts scene. Many residents commute to work off-island; an increasing number work from home. There is a small, but growing, Latinx community. Vashon also attracts many retirees; the percentage of the population over 65 is the highest in King County.