San Juan County, Utah

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San Juan County, Utah
San Juan County Courthouse, Monticello, Utah.jpeg
San Juan County Courthouse, Monticello
Map of Utah highlighting San Juan County
Location in the state of Utah
Map of the United States highlighting Utah
Utah's location in the U.S.
Founded 1880
Named for San Juan River
Seat Monticello
Largest city Blanding
Area
 • Total 7,933 sq mi (20,546 km2)
 • Land 7,820 sq mi (20,254 km2)
 • Water 113 sq mi (293 km2), 1.4%
Population
 • (2010) 14,746
 • Density 1.9/sq mi (1/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Website www.sanjuancounty.org
San Juan County includes the Utah section of the Four Corners Monument.
House on Fire ruin, one of many Ancestral Pueblo ruins in the county

San Juan County is a county located in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Utah. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,746.[1] Its county seat is Monticello,[2] while its most populous city is Blanding. The county was named by the Utah State Legislature for the San Juan River, itself named by Spanish explorers (in honor of Saint John).

San Juan County borders Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico at the Four Corners.

History[edit]

San Juan County was organized in 1880.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 7,933 square miles (20,550 km2), of which 7,820 square miles (20,300 km2) is land and 113 square miles (290 km2) (1.4%) is water.[3] It is the largest county by area in Utah.

The county's western and southern boundaries lie deep within gorges carved by the Colorado and San Juan Rivers. Tributary canyons, cutting through rock layers of the surrounding deserts, have carved the land up with chasms, cliffs and plateaus. In the center of the county are Cedar Mesa, Comb Wash, Natural Bridges and Hovenweep National Monuments. Canyonlands National Park is primarily within the county borders. The Eastern side of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area / Lake Powell in also in San Juan County. Rising above all, the Blue (Abajo) Mountains reach to nearly 12,000 feet (3,700 m) and the La Sal Mountains rise to 13,000 feet (4,000 m). Both ranges are covered with lush forests vividly contrasting with the scenery below. The elevation change within the county is from near 13,000 feet (4,000 m) in the La Sal Mountains to 3,000 feet (910 m) at Lake Powell, an elevation change of 10,000 feet (3,000 m). The county is cut by deep and spectacular canyons, red rock and mountain meadows, desert, and evergreen forest. The towns run primarily on a north/south axis along U.S. Route 191 and U.S. Route 163 from La Sal in the north to Monument Valley in the south.

Natural Resources[edit]

The only operating Uranium Processing plant in the United States operates in the town of Blanding, population 3,375.

San Juan County is home to numerous oil and gas fields that produce primarily from the Desert Creek and Ismay Formations.

Adjacent counties[edit]

San Juan County is bordered by more counties than any other county in the United States, at 14.

San Juan County in Utah and New Mexico are two of twenty-two counties or parishes in the United States with the same name to border each other across state lines. The others are Union Parish, Louisiana and Union County, Arkansas, Big Horn County, Montana and Big Horn County, Wyoming, Sabine County, Texas and Sabine Parish, Louisiana, Bristol County, Massachusetts and Bristol County, Rhode Island, Kent County, Delaware and Kent County, Maryland, Escambia County, Alabama and Escambia County, Florida., Pike County, Illinois and Pike County, Missouri, Teton County, Idaho and Teton County, Wyoming, Park County, Montana and Park County, Wyoming, and Vermilion County, Illinois and Vermillion County, Indiana. respectively. (Note, despite the different spellings, the source of the name is the same for Vermilion County, Illinois and Vermillion County, Indiana--the Vermillion River which flows through both counties.)

National protected areas[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 204
1890 365 78.9%
1900 1,023 180.3%
1910 2,377 132.4%
1920 3,379 42.2%
1930 3,496 3.5%
1940 4,712 34.8%
1950 5,315 12.8%
1960 9,040 70.1%
1970 9,606 6.3%
1980 12,253 27.6%
1990 12,621 3.0%
2000 14,413 14.2%
2010 14,746 2.3%
Est. 2012 14,965 1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1790-1960[5] 1900-1990[6]
1990-2000[7] 2010-2012[1]

As of the current census[8] of 2010, there were 14,746 people and 4,505 households. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 50.4% Native American, 45.8% white, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% African American and 2.3% reporting two or more races. 4.4% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.[9]

The 2000 census there were 14,413 people, 4,089 households and 3,234 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 5,449 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 40.77% White, 0.12% Black or African American, 55.69% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.70% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. 3.75% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In the 2000 census, there were 4,089 households out of which 47.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.40% were married couples living together, 14.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.90% were non-families. 18.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.46 and the average family size was 4.02.

In the county, the population was spread out with 39.30% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 25.20% from 25 to 44, 17.10% from 45 to 64, and 8.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 99.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,137, and the median income for a family was $31,673. Males had a median income of $31,497 versus $19,617 for females. The per capita income for the county was $10,229. About 26.90% of families and 31.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.70% of those under age 18 and 35.10% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit]

San Juan County has not supported a Democrat for president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936. However the county is slightly more competitive at the state level due to its high Native American population as well its economic distress. Notably, San Juan voted for the Democratic candidates in the 1988 and 2000 gubernatorial elections, both of which Republicans won. The area also votes less Republican than the rest of Utah in national elections. In 2004, for example, George W. Bush won 60.02% in San Juan County versus 71.54% in the state as a whole.

Communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  9. ^ Census QuickFacts page for San Juan County accessed June 7, 2012

Coordinates: 37°38′N 109°49′W / 37.63°N 109.81°W / 37.63; -109.81