Lake County, Montana
|Lake County, Montana|
Location in the state of Montana
Montana's location in the U.S.
1,654 sq mi (4,284 km²)
1,494 sq mi (3,869 km²)
160 sq mi (414 km²), 9.67%
18/sq mi (7/km²)
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,654 square miles (4,283.8 km2), of which 1,494 square miles (3,869.4 km2) is land and 160 square miles (414.4 km2) (9.67%) is water. Over two-thirds (67.7%) of the county's land lies within the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Adjacent counties 
- Flathead County, Montana - north & east
- Missoula County, Montana - east & south
- Sanders County, Montana - west
|Sanders County||Flathead County and Missoula County|
National protected areas 
- Flathead National Forest (part)
- National Bison Range (part)
- Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge
- Pablo National Wildlife Refuge
- Swan River National Wildlife Refuge
As of the census of 2000, there were 26,507 people, 10,192 households, and 7,215 families residing in the county. The population density was 18 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 13,605 housing units at an average density of 9 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 71.38% White, 0.12% Black or African American, 23.79% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.67% from other races, and 3.70% from two or more races. 2.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.7% were of German, 8.8% Irish, 7.8% English, 5.4% Norwegian and 5.4% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 94.3% spoke English, 1.6% Salish and 1.2% Spanish as their first language.
There were 10,192 households out of which 33.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.80% were married couples living together, 11.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.20% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the county the population was spread out with 28.10% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 24.50% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 14.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $28,740, and the median income for a family was $34,033. Males had a median income of $27,009 versus $19,162 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,173. About 14.00% of families and 18.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.20% of those under age 18 and 8.30% of those age 65 or over.
Census-designated places 
Lake County has been the epicenter of controversial law enforcement activity focused predominantly in the sheriff's office in recent years. There have been various reports of some law enforcement officers participating in illegal activities ranging from poaching (known locally as the "Coyote Club"), intimidating witnesses, and tampering with evidence, lying about military experience, to participating at a party where a woman died, and the construction of an illegal fully automatic machine gun which was boldly carried on duty. The controversy boiled over in the 2010 sheriff's election with a long time member and friend of a former regime narrowly winning the election, thus apparently protecting the interests of the status quo. Currently there is a federal civil RICO case scheduled to proceed in federal courts in late July 2013. Three current officers,(sheriff, undersheriff and lieutenant) and one former officer (deputy sergeant who was stripped of all of his law enforcement certification by the state in April 2013) are defendants in the federal case which is being brought forward by five former and current officers. The situation is further complicated by apparent multiple relationships of possible mutual guilt knowledge, apparently ensnarling some members of tribal police, city police officers in Ronan and Polson, a county commissioner, a judiciary, among others in positions of authority. Extensive investigative documents have been compiled by a state investigating agency outlining a vast amount of disturbing behavior spanning much of the last two decades.
See also 
- List of cemeteries in Lake County, Montana
- List of lakes in Lake County, Montana
- List of mountains in Lake County, Montana
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Lake County, Montana