Sanders County, Montana

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Coordinates: 47°40′N 115°08′W / 47.66°N 115.13°W / 47.66; -115.13

Sanders County, Montana
Map of Montana highlighting Sanders County
Location in the state of Montana
Map of the United States highlighting Montana
Montana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1906
Seat Thompson Falls
Largest city Thompson Falls
 • Total 2,790 sq mi (7,226 km2)
 • Land 2,762 sq mi (7,154 km2)
 • Water 28 sq mi (73 km2), 1.00%
 • (2010) 11,413
 • Density 4/sq mi (1.4/km²)
Congressional district At-large
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6

Sanders County is a county located in the U.S. state of Montana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,413.[1] Its county seat is Thompson Falls.[2] It has an annual county fair with rodeo at Plains.[3]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,790  square miles (7,226 km²), of which 2,762 square miles (7,150 km2) of it is land and 28 square miles (73 km2) of it (1.00%) is water.[4]

It is located on the west end of Montana, with a variety of mountains - it is part of the Coeur d'Alene Mountains in the Bitterroot Range. The Clark Fork River also runs through the middle of the county, with some open plains. It is partially arid, with the west-facing mountain slopes capturing the most rain. During the last ice age, this was the area that dammed the glacial Lake Missoula. When the ice dam broke, the resulting floods created the Scablands in eastern Washington.[5]

Adjacent Counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]


A variety of birds and other wildlife are found in Sanders County. The Tufted duck has been observed along the Bull River. An amphibian, the Rough-skinned Newt, has a disjunctive population at Thompson Falls which is un-contiguous with the remainder of the Western USA population of this species.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 3,713
1920 4,903 32.0%
1930 5,692 16.1%
1940 6,926 21.7%
1950 6,983 0.8%
1960 6,880 −1.5%
1970 7,093 3.1%
1980 8,675 22.3%
1990 8,669 −0.1%
2000 10,227 18.0%
2010 11,413 11.6%
Est. 2012 11,408 0.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 10,227 people, 4,273 households, and 2,897 families residing in the county. The population density was four people per square mile (1/km²). There were 5,271 housing units at an average density of two per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.91% White, 0.13% Black or African American, 4.74% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 2.64% from two or more races. 1.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.1% were of German, 12.1% English, 11.0% Irish, 7.9% American and 6.5% Norwegian ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.9% spoke English, 1.4% German and 1.2% Spanish as their first language.

There were 4,273 households out of which 26.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% were married couples living together, 7.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.20% were non-families. 28.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 5.50% from 18 to 24, 22.10% from 25 to 44, 31.80% from 45 to 64, and 16.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 102.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,852, and the median income for a family was $31,340. Males had a median income of $28,340 versus $17,630 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,593. About 13.30% of families and 17.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.30% of those under age 18 and 9.20% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated places[edit]


The Hot Springs Airport is a county-owned public-use airport located two nautical miles (4 km) east of the central business district of Hot Springs.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Sanders County Fair". Sanders County Fair Organization. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Glacial Lake Missoula". Glacial Lake Missoula. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  6. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2008) Rough-skinned Newt (Taricha granulosa), Globaltwitcher, ed. N. Stromberg [1]
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for S09 (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective 25 August 2011.