Benton County, Washington
|Benton County, Washington|
Location in the state of Washington
Washington's location in the U.S.
|Founded||March 8, 1905|
|Named for||Thomas Hart Benton
Senator from Missouri
|• Total||1,760 sq mi (4,558 km2)|
|• Land||1,703 sq mi (4,411 km2)|
|• Water||57 sq mi (148 km2), 3.24%|
|• Density||103/sq mi (39.7/km²)|
|Time zone||Pacific: UTC-8/-7|
Benton County is a county located in the south-central portion of the State of Washington. The Columbia River makes up the north, south, and east boundaries of the county. As of the 2010 census, its population was 175,177. The county seat is Prosser, and its largest city is Kennewick. It was named after Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Wineries
- 3 Geographic features
- 4 Sites of interest
- 5 Major highways
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Cities
- 8 Other census-recognized communities
- 9 Other communities
- 10 Ghost towns
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,760 square miles (4,558.4 km2), of which 1,703 square miles (4,410.7 km2) is land and 57 square miles (147.6 km2) (3.24%) is water.
- Grant County, Washington - north
- Franklin County, Washington - northeast
- Walla Walla County, Washington - east
- Umatilla County, Oregon - south/southeast
- Morrow County, Oregon - south/southwest
- Klickitat County, Washington - west/southwest
- Yakima County, Washington - west
||Grant County||Franklin County|
|Yakima County||Walla Walla County|
|Klickitat County||Morrow County, Oregon||Umatilla County, Oregon|
National protected area
- Hanford Reach National Monument (part)
- Saddle Mountain National Wildlife Refuge (part)
- Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge (part)
The area of south-central Washington occupied by Benton County has been known primarily as an agricultural hub since its settlement by white Americans. The rise of viticulture has had a profound impact on the agricultural and tourism industries over the past two decades, and has in many ways reshaped the reputation of the region.
The Yakima Valley AVA, part of which is located in Benton County, was the first American Viticultural Area established within Washington State, gaining the recognition in 1983. As the Washington wine industry began to focus more on terroir, three sub-appellations have been created for areas within the Yakima Valley AVA that demonstrate unique microclimates and soil conditions which crafted different wines from their neighboring areas. The Red Mountain AVA, which lies in its entirety on Benton County, was created in 2001. The county also includes part of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA which is part of the larger Columbia Valley AVA.
Sites of interest
- Interstate 82
- Interstate 182
- U.S. Route 12
- U.S. Route 395
- Washington State Route 14
- Washington State Route 240
As of the census of 2000, there were 142,475 people, 52,866 households, and 38,063 families residing in the county. The population density was 84 people per square mile (32/km²). There were 55,963 housing units at an average density of 33 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 86.25% White, 0.93% Black or African American, 0.82% Native American, 2.20% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 7.01% from other races, and 2.69% from two or more races. 12.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.1% were of German, 11.0% English, 9.1% United States or American and 8.4% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 86.4% spoke English and 10.3% Spanish as their first language.
There were 52,866 households out of which 38.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.60% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.00% were non-families. 23.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the county, the population was spread out with 29.70% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 28.50% from 25 to 44, 22.90% from 45 to 64, and 10.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 98.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $47,044, and the median income for a family was $54,146. Males had a median income of $45,556 versus $27,232 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,301. About 7.80% of families and 10.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.30% of those under age 18 and 6.90% of those age 65 or over.
Other census-recognized communities
- East White Bluffs
- Geneva Junction
- Horse Heaven
- Island View
- May Junction
- North McNary
- North Prosser
- Richland Junction
- Richland Y
- "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Washington's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting" (.xls). U.S. Census Bureau. 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions: Washington". Population Census. United States Census Bureau. 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
- William Denison Lyman, History of the Yakima Valley, Washington: Comprising Yakima, Kittitas, and Benton Counties. In Two Volumes. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1919. Volume 1 | Volume 2