(; ) is a rapidly growing city in King County, Washington, United States, across Lake Washington from Seattle. Long known as a suburb or satellite city of Seattle, it is now categorized as an edge city or a boomburb. The population was 109,569 at the 2000 census, but by 2007 had grown to an estimated 121,347. Bellevue residents are known as Bellevueites.
Downtown Bellevue is undergoing rapid change. It is currently the second largest city center in Washington state with over 35,000 employees and 5,000 residents. Based on per capita income, Bellevue is the 15th wealthiest of 522 communities in the state of Washington. Bellevue was recently named number 1 in CNNMoney's list of the best places to live and launch businesses.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 33.9 square miles (87.8 km
The city's name is derived from a French term for "beautiful view". Under favorable weather conditions, scenic vistas of the Olympic Mountains and Cascade Mountains can be viewed from hilltops (and strategically-positioned high-rise buildings) within the incorporated city.
The city lies between Lake Washington to the west and the smaller Lake Sammamish to the east. Much of Bellevue is drained by the Kelsey Creek watershed, whose source is located in the Larsen and Phantom Lake green belt and whose outlet is near where Interstate 90 meets Lake Washington's eastern shore. The city is bisected by Interstate 405 running north-south, and the southern portion is crossed from west to east by Interstate 90. The State Route 520 freeway roughly delineates the upper reaches of Bellevue.
South of I-90 the city surrounds an unincorporated part of King County called Eastgate. South of Eastgate, the city continues up Cougar Mountain. On top of Cougar Mountain, there is another unincorporated of King County island called Hilltop. To the west of Cougar Mountain, Bellevue includes the Coal Creek and Factoria neighborhoods.
Bellevue is bordered by the cities of Kirkland to the north and Redmond to the northeast along the Overlake and Crossroads neighborhoods. Across the short East Channel Bridge, I-90 connects Bellevue to Mercer Island to the southwest. Issaquah is to the east, down I-90 at the south end of Lake Sammamish. The city is also bordered to the west by the suburbs of Medina, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point and Yarrow Point. The south end of Bellevue is bordered by the city of Renton, and to the southeast, the relatively recently incorporated city of Newcastle.