The prominent cosmologist Howard Percy Robertson was born in Hoquiam in 1903. Albert Johnson, the xenophobic chair of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Immigration in the 1920s, lived in and was buried in Hoquiam. Helen Golay, one of two elderly women convicted of murdering two homeless men in an insurance scam, was an Honor Student at Hoquiam High School according to recent accounts in the Los Angeles Times. Hoquiam is also the birthplace of Nirvana band member Kurt Cobain and attorney /real-estate developer John P. Rutledge.
Hoquiam is the home of the internationally acclaimed Loggers' Playday, celebrated with a parade and logging competition every September.
Although lumber and related industries have been slow for years, plans for a bio-diesel plant are in the works. Additionally, a huge pontoon project for the I-80 bridge remodel was unveiled for Hoquiam.
Bowerman Airfield (KHQM) is the local airport, coastal Washington's only jet-capable airport, with a 5,000-foot (1,524 m) runway and parallel taxiway located a stone's throw from the inlet that gives Grays Harbor its name. Hoquiam is also home to dozens of species of migrating birds which live along the water during the milder months.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.6 square miles (40.4 km²), of which, 9.2 square miles (23.8 km²) of it is land and 6.4 square miles (16.6 km²) of it (41.14%) is water.
There are 3,640 households, out of which 31.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.8% are married couples living together, 14.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% are non-families. 31.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 15.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.47 persons; the average family size is 3.09.
Tthe population is spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $29,658, and the median income for a family is $34,859. Males have a median income of $33,417, versus $23,558 for females. The per capita income for the city is $15,089. 19.0% of the population and 16.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 26.5% of those under the age of 18 and 8.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
In 2006, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) changed the enrollment limit for the 2A classification allowing Aberdeen to drop to 2A along with other schools in the area creating a new league. The old league football rivalry which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006 was renewed with the 101st meeting of the two schools on October 14th. Hoquiam won 20-6.
The two also compete against each other in an annual Fall food drive to help local low-income families. It's an event where everyone wins regardless of who collects the most food donations.
Since 1981, Hoquiam High School also hosts the largest distance running event on the Washington coast, the Hoquiam Grizzly Alumni Cross Country Invitational, featuring 35+ schools and 1,000+ high school runners, takes place every October. Other Hoquiam sponsored tournaments are the Grizzly Alumni Wrestling tournament in January and Volleyball tournament in September.