Jefferson County, Washington

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jefferson County, Washington
Jefferson County Courthouse in Port Townsend, WA.jpg
Jefferson County Courthouse in Port Townsend
Map of Washington highlighting Jefferson County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location in the U.S.
Founded December 22, 1852
Named for Thomas Jefferson
Seat Port Townsend
Largest city Port Townsend
Area
 • Total 2,183 sq mi (5,654 km2)
 • Land 1,804 sq mi (4,672 km2)
 • Water 379 sq mi (982 km2), 17.4%
Population (Est.)
 • (2013) 30,076
 • Density 16/sq mi (6.3/km²)
Congressional district 6th
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Website www.co.jefferson.wa.us

Jefferson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 29,872.[1] The county seat and only incorporated city is Port Townsend.[2] The county is named for Thomas Jefferson.[3]

Jefferson County was formed out of Thurston County on December 22, 1852, by the legislature of Oregon Territory,[4] and included the northern 4,854 square miles (12,571.8 km2) portion of the Olympic Peninsula. On April 26, 1854, the legislature of Washington Territory created Clallam County from the northwestern 2,670 square miles (6,915.3 km2) portion of this original area.

The Hood Canal Bridge connects Jefferson County to Kitsap County, Washington. The Keystone-Port Townsend route of the Washington State Ferries connects the county to Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington.

Geography[edit]

Ruby Beach, Kalaloch Area

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,183 square miles (5,650 km2), of which 1,804 square miles (4,670 km2) is land and 379 square miles (980 km2) (17.4%) is water.[5]

The county is split in three parts by its landforms:

Because of the mountainous barrier, there is no road lying entirely within Jefferson County that connects the eastern and western parts. The most direct land route between the two ends of the county involves a drive of approximately 100 miles (160 km) along U.S. Route 101 through neighbouring Clallam County. The mountains also block the damp Chinook winds, which make the climate much wetter in the West than the so-called Eastern "banana belt" in the rain shadow.

Geographic features[edit]

Port Townsend Bay as seen from a ferry

Major highways[edit]

US Route 101 in Jefferson County

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Hoh River in the Olympic National Park

Economy[edit]

The largest private employer in Jefferson County is the Port Townsend Paper Mill.[6] The largest employer overall (private and public) is Jefferson Healthcare which operates Jefferson Healthcare Hospital.[7]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 531
1870 1,268 138.8%
1880 1,712 35.0%
1890 8,368 388.8%
1900 5,712 −31.7%
1910 8,337 46.0%
1920 6,557 −21.4%
1930 8,346 27.3%
1940 8,918 6.9%
1950 11,618 30.3%
1960 9,639 −17.0%
1970 10,661 10.6%
1980 15,965 49.8%
1990 20,146 26.2%
2000 25,953 28.8%
2010 29,872 15.1%
Est. 2013 30,076 0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 25,953 people, 11,645 households, and 7,580 families residing in the county. The population density was 14 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 14,144 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.17% White, 0.42% Black or African American, 2.31% Native American, 1.19% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 0.76% from other races, and 3.02% from two or more races. 2.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.4% were of German, 14.8% English, 9.9% Irish and 7.5% Norwegian ancestry. 97.1% spoke English and 1.0% Spanish as their first language.

There were 11,645 households out of which 23.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.60% were married couples living together, 8.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.90% were non-families. 28.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.67.

In the county, the population was spread out with 19.80% under the age of 18, 5.00% from 18 to 24, 21.60% from 25 to 44, 32.50% from 45 to 64, and 21.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 95.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,869, and the median income for a family was $45,415. Males had a median income of $37,210 versus $25,831 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,211. About 7.20% of families and 11.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.60% of those under age 18 and 6.00% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit]

Jefferson County is a staunchly Democratic area, with even rural areas giving significant margins to John Kerry against George W. Bush in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

The communities in the Eastern and Western halves of Jefferson County tend to not mingle much, because of the barrier dividing the county. The communities also differ in amount and sources of family income, and population size and density, with the West being more dependent on logging, somewhat less prosperous, and having fewer people for roughly the same area. Port Townsend, located in the relatively populous East is gradually developing into a retirement community and relies heavily on tourism. Areas of East Jefferson County located south of Port Townsend remain largely rural and can be divided into two parts, those communities located on the Hood Canal and those on the Admiralty Inlet. Because of persistent differences in local self-interest, the two sides of the county regularly experience political friction. Perennial discussions and attempts to separate the West half from the East gained little support during the twentieth century because of the perception that less prosperous West is subsidised by the East from which it would secede, leaving it worse rather than better-off, and giving adjoining counties little reason to wish to annex the West.

County seat Port Townsend casts a significant number of votes and gave Obama 82% of its votes in the 2012 General Election (source: www.wa.gov). Areas outside of Port Townsend (such as Cape George) gave Obama 2-to-1 victory margins. Democrats also do well in many of the small towns of northern Jefferson County, with strong Democratic leans in Coyle, Discovery Bay, Gardiner, and Nordland, as well as in the towns just southeast of Port Townsend (Chimacum, Irondale, Kala Point, and Port Hadlock). Democrats also perform strongly in the sparsely-populated western part of the county, where much of the population is Native American.

Republicans tend to win victories in several parts of the county, particularly the rural areas in the southeast par of the county including Center, Crocker Lake, Brinnon, and Quilcene. Although it has trended Democratic in recent years, Port Ludlow — an affluent area that casts a notable number of votes — still has a Republican lean.

Communities[edit]

Name Type Population
2012 estimate[13]
Port Townsend City 9,117
Port Hadlock-Irondale Census-designated place 3,580
Port Ludlow Census-designated place 2,603
Marrowstone Census-designated place 844
Brinnon Census-designated place 797
Quilcene Census-designated place 596
Queets Census-designated place 174

Other communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 168. 
  4. ^ Reinartz, Kay. "History of King County Government 1853–2002". p. 2. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ McClary, Daryl C. "Jefferson County -- Thumbnail History". History Ink. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Bermant, Charlie (September 14, 2010). "Hospital's new CEO highest paid public official in Jefferson County". The Peninsula Daily News. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  13. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions: Washington". Population Census. United States Census Bureau. 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°50′N 123°35′W / 47.84°N 123.58°W / 47.84; -123.58