is a city located in King County, Washington, United States. The fourth largest city in south King County and the ninth largest in the state, Kent has the third largest industrial area in the United States. Often considered an outlying suburb of Seattle, Kent is the corporate home for companies such as REI and Oberto Sausage. Nearby towns include Renton and Tukwila to the north, Covington to the east, Federal Way, Des Moines and SeaTac to the west, and Auburn to the south. The population was 79,524 at the 2000 census, with an estimated 2006 population of 83,501.
The Kent area was first permanently settled by westerners in the early 1860s, and originally called Titusville (There is still a 'Titusville Station' sign on Gowe St).
During the 1880s the town discovered hops production as the major source of income. Due to an aphid invasion which affected hops crops in Europe, hops from the Puget Sound area were commanding high prices. Hops were shipped from Titusville either by the river or via rail. Eventually the town was even re-named for Kent County in England. Hops production in the valley would come to an end due to an invasion of aphids.
Kent was officially incorporated on May 28, 1890 with a population of 793, the second city incorporated in King County after Seattle.
After the turn of the 20th century the area turned to dairy farming, and was home to a Carnation Condensed Milk plant. Flooding from both the Green and the White Rivers was a constant problem. In 1906, flooding changed the course of the White River, which reduced the flood hazard by half. The Green River continued to present problems until the creation of the Howard A. Hanson Dam at Eagle Gorge in 1962.
During and after the Great Depression, Kent was known as the "Lettuce Capital of the World." After WWII, Kent began to grow more rapidly. From 1953 to 1960 the city's size grew twelve-fold. In 1965 Boeing began building in Kent, followed a few years later by other aerospace and high-tech companies.
In 2009, Kent got its first major junior hockey team, with the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds moving into the city-owned ShoWare Center.