Multnomah County, Oregon
|Multnomah County, Oregon|
Location in the state of Oregon
Oregon's location in the U.S.
|Founded||December 22, 1854|
466 sq mi (1,207 km²)
435 sq mi (1,127 km²)
30 sq mi (78 km²), 6.53%
1,690/sq mi (652.4/km²)
|Time zone||Pacific: UTC-8/-7|
Multnomah County (pron.: //) is one of 36 counties in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is part of the Portland metropolitan area and though smallest in area, it is the most populous county. Its county seat, Portland, is the state's largest city. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 735,334.
|This section requires expansion with: history of the area before it became a county. (December 2011)|
Multnomah County (the thirteenth in Oregon Territory) was created on December 22, 1854, formed out of the eastern part of Washington and the northern part of Clackamas counties. Its creation was a result of a petition earlier that year by businessmen in Portland complaining of the inconvenient location of the Washington County seat in Hillsboro and of the share of Portland tax revenues leaving the city to support Washington County farmers. County commissioners met for the first time on January 17, 1855. The county was likely named after Native American people first recorded in the journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Mulknomans, who lived in a village on the east side of present-day Sauvie Island; an alternative theory holds that Multnomah is a corruption of nematlnomaq, meaning down river.
In 1924, the county's three commissioners were indicted and recalled by voters "in response to 'gross irregularities' in the award of contracts for construction of the Burnside and Ross Island bridges"; since all three had been supported by the Ku Klux Klan, their recall also helped reduce that organization's influence in the city.
In 1968, the Oregon Legislative Assembly referred a bill, Ballot Measure 5, to voters that would amend the state constitution to allow for consolidated city-county governments when the population is over 300,000. The 1968 voters' pamphlet noted that Multnomah County would be the only county in Oregon affected by the measure and voters approved the referendum in the 1968 general election. Since the approval of Measure 5 in 1968, an initiative to merge the county with Portland has been considered and placed on the county ballot several times. The merger would have formed a consolidated city-county government like that of San Francisco, California. None of these proposals has been approved.
Since 2000 
In the 2000 presidential election, Multnomah played a decisive role in determining the winner of the state's electoral votes. Al Gore carried the county by more than 104,000 votes, enough to offset the nearly 100,000-vote advantage that George W. Bush had earned among Oregon's 35 other counties. The Democratic tilt was repeated in 2004, when John Kerry won by 181,000 votes, and in 2008 when Barack Obama won by 204,000 votes.
In February 2001, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners unanimously accepted the recommendation of the Library Advisory Board and authorized the library to enter into a lawsuit to stop the Children's Internet Protection Act. The US Supreme Court ultimately decided in 2003 that the law was constitutional in US v. ALA. However, the library chose to turn down $104,000 per year of federal funding under CIPA to be able to continue to offer unfiltered Internet access.
Faced with decreasing government revenues due to a recession in the local economy, voters approved a three-year local income tax (Measure 26-48) on May 20, 2003 to prevent further cuts in schools, police protection, and social services. Multnomah County was one of the few local governments in Oregon to approve such a tax increase.
On March 2, 2004, Multnomah County Chair Linn announced the county would begin granting licenses for same-sex marriages, pursuant to a legal opinion issued by its attorney deeming such marriages lawful under Oregon law. Her announcement was supported by three other commissioners (Serena Cruz, Lisa Naito & Maria Rojo de Steffey), but criticized by Lonnie Roberts, who represents the eastern part of Multnomah county and was left out of the decision. Within a few days, several groups joined to file a lawsuit to halt the county's action; see Same-sex unions in Oregon.
Law and government 
|2012||20.9% 73,306||75.8% 265,938|
|2008||20.6% 75,171||76.7% 279,696|
|2004||27.1% 98,439||71.6% 259,585|
|2000||28.2% 83,677||63.5% 188,441|
|1996||26.3% 71,094||59.2% 159,878|
|1992||24.2% 95,561||55.3% 165,081|
|1988||36.5% 95,561||61.6% 161,361|
|1984||45.2% 119,932||54.3% 144,179|
|1980||39.2% 101,606||46.5% 120,487|
|1976||44.4% 112,400||51.0% 120,487|
|1972||46.7% 118,219||49.6% 125,470|
|1968||43.9% 106,831||51.2% 124,651|
|1964||33.5% 81,683||66.1% 161.040|
|1960||50.5% 127,271||49.3% 124,273|
- Elected officials
- County Commission (one chair, four commissioners; nonpartisan)
- District Attorney: Rod Underhill
- Sheriff: Dan Staton
- Auditor: Steve March
- Circuit Court
- Appointed officials
- Elections: Tim Scott
- Finance: Mindy Harris
- Surveyor: James Clayton
- Map of Multnomah County legislative districts
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 466 square miles (1,210 km2), of which 435 square miles (1,130 km2) is land and 30 square miles (78 km2) (6.53%) is water.
Major highways 
- Interstate 5
- Interstate 84
- Interstate 205
- Interstate 405
- U.S. Route 26
- U.S. Route 30
- U.S. Route 99 (decommissioned)
Adjacent counties 
- Clark County, Washington, across the Columbia River - north
- Skamania County, Washington, across the Columbia River - northeast
- Hood River County, Oregon - east
- Clackamas County, Oregon - south
- Washington County, Oregon - west
- Columbia County, Oregon - northwest
||Columbia County||Clark County, Washington||Skamania County, Washington|
|Washington County||Hood River County|
National protected area 
- Mount Hood National Forest (part)
The principal industries of Multnomah County are manufacturing, transportation, wholesale and retail trade, and tourism. Since Oregon does not have a sales tax, it attracts shoppers from southwest Washington.
The Port of Portland, established in 1891 and combined with the City of Portland's Commission of Public Docks in 1971, ranks third in total waterborne commerce on the West Coast, and 31st in the nation for total tonnage according to the 2009 American Association of Port Authorities' Port Industries Statistics. Portland is one of the five largest auto import ports in the nation and is the West Coast's leading exporter of grain and lumber. The Port of Portland is also responsible for Portland International Airport (PDX) in the northeast section of Portland, the Troutdale Airport a few miles east of PDX in Multnomah County, the Hillsboro Airport to the west in Washington County, and Mulino Airport to the south in Clackamas County.
The Multnomah County Library has a small impact on the county budget: the county library, which supplies Internet service to area libraries, turns down $104,000 per year in federal funding starting in 2004, to obviate the need to comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act so as to maintain unfiltered Internet access.
The county is home to a number of Portland-area attractions and venues, including Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland Art Museum, Memorial Coliseum, Oregon Convention Center, Rose Garden, Washington Park, Oregon Zoo, International Rose Test Garden, Portland Classical Chinese Garden, Portland Japanese Garden, and Pittock Mansion.
Cultural influence 
The county was the birthplace of the Multnomah Community Ability Scale, used in mental health programs throughout the U.S.
As of the 2000 census, there are 660,486 people in the county, organized into 272,098 households and 152,102 families. The population density is 1,518 people per square mile (586/km²). There are 288,561 housing units at an average density of 663 per square mile (256/km²). The racial makeup of the county is 79.16% White, 5.70% Asian, 5.67% Black or African American, 1.03% Native American, 0.35% Pacific Islander, 4.03% from other races, and 4.07% from two or more races. 7.51% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.0% were of German, 9.0% English, 8.8% Irish and 5.1% American ancestry according to the 2000 census. 83.5% spoke English, 6.3% Spanish, 1.7% Vietnamese and 1.3% Russian as their first language.
There are 272,098 households out of which 26.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% are married couples living together, 10.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 44.1% are non-families. 32.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.37 and the average family size is 3.03.
In the county, the population is spread out with 22.30% under the age of 18, 10.30% from 18 to 24, 33.80% from 25 to 44, 22.50% from 45 to 64, and 11.10% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 96.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $41,278, and the median income for a family is $51,118. Males have a median income of $36,036 versus $29,337 for females. The per capita income for the county is $22,606. 12.70% of the population and 8.20% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 15.40% of those under the age of 18 and 9.80% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Unincorporated communities 
Former communities 
- "Oregon Almanac: Abbreviation to Counties". Oregon Blue Book. State of Oregon. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- United States Census Bureau. "2010 Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- "Oregon Historical County Records Guide:Multnomah County History". Oregon State Archives. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- Genovese, Fran (2009-02-19). "Politicians and scandal: a Portland-area tradition". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2011-12-10. Text "February 19, 2009" ignored (help)
- Oregon Blue Book (2009). "Initiative, Referendum and Recall: 1958-1970". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- Oregon Secretary of State (1968). "State of Oregon Voters' Pamphlet General Election 1968". Oregon State Library. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- Briem, Chris. "Some Major City-County Consolidation Referenda in the 20th Century". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
- Senator Lim (1997). "Relating to city-county consolidation; creating new provisions". Oregon Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
- Bogstad, Deborah (1999). "Multnomah County March 30 & April 1, 1999 Board Meetings". Multnomah County, Oregon. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
- "Children's Internet Protection Act; Questions and Answers". Multnomah County Library. Retrieved 2007-06-29.
- Mitchell, Renee S. (May 5, 2004). "Once again, policy did not involve public". The Oregonian.
- "Children's Internet Protection Act; Questions and Answers". Multnomah County Library. December 23, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
- "?". San Francisco Chronicle.[dead link]
- "Oregon News homepage". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2010-11-22.[not in citation given]
- "Deborah Kafoury". multco.us. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
- "Loretta Smith". multco.us. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
- "Judy Shiprack". multco.us. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
- "Diane McKeel". multco.us. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
- "District Attorney's Office homepage". mcda.us. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
- "District Attorney's Office homepage". Retrieved 22 November 2010.
- "Auditor's Office". co.multnomah.or.us. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
- "Demographic and Economic Profile Fourth Judicial District OR Circuit Courts". fedstats.gov.
- "Port Industry Statistics". American Association of Port Authorities. AAPA. Retrieved 08/01/2011.
- "Portland's Economic Recovery and the Role of Trade". Friday Forums. City Club of Portland. December 2, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved April 10, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Multnomah County, Oregon|
- Multnomah County
- Multnomah County Library website
- Multnomah County History from the Oregon State Archives