Whitman County, Washington

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Whitman County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Whitman County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location in the U.S.
Founded November 29, 1871
Named for Marcus Whitman
Seat Colfax
Largest city Pullman
 • Total 2,178 sq mi (5,641 km2)
 • Land 2,159 sq mi (5,592 km2)
 • Water 19 sq mi (49 km2), 0.8%
Population (Est.)
 • (2013) 46,570
 • Density 21/sq mi (8/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Website www.whitmancounty.org

Whitman County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 44,776.[1] The county seat is Colfax,[2] and its largest city is Pullman. The county was formed out of Stevens County on November 29, 1871.[3] It is named after Marcus Whitman, a Presbyterian missionary who, with his wife Narcissa, was killed in 1847 by members of the Cayuse tribe.

Whitman County comprises the Pullman, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,178 square miles (5,640 km2), of which 2,159 square miles (5,590 km2) is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) (0.8%) is water.[4] Whitman County is part of the Palouse, a wide and rolling prairie-like region of the middle Columbia basin.


Lakes and reservoirs[edit]

Summits and peaks[edit]

Notable parks[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 7,014
1890 19,109 172.4%
1900 25,360 32.7%
1910 33,280 31.2%
1920 31,323 −5.9%
1930 28,014 −10.6%
1940 27,221 −2.8%
1950 32,469 19.3%
1960 31,263 −3.7%
1970 37,900 21.2%
1980 40,103 5.8%
1990 38,775 −3.3%
2000 40,740 5.1%
2010 44,776 9.9%
Est. 2013 46,570 4.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 40,740 people, 15,257 households, and 8,055 families residing in the county. The population density was 19 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 16,676 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.07% White, 1.53% Black or African American, 0.73% Native American, 5.55% Asian, 0.27% Pacific Islander, 1.22% from other races, and 2.63% from two or more races. 2.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 21.9% were of German, 9.8% English, 8.6% Irish, 8.3% United States or American and 6.6% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 15,257 households out of which 24.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.20% were married couples living together, 6.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.20% were non-families. 29.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county, the population was spread out with 18.10% under the age of 18, 32.60% from 18 to 24, 24.00% from 25 to 44, 16.00% from 45 to 64, and 9.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 102.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,584, and the median income for a family was $44,830. Males had a median income of $33,381 versus $27,046 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,298. About 11.00% of families and 25.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.50% of those under age 18 and 5.50% of those age 65 or over.


Whitman County has highly productive agriculture. According to Heart of Washington, Whitman County produces more barley, wheat, dry peas, and lentils than any other county in the United States.[10]

The county is also home to Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman.


Pullman is home to Washington State University, the state's land-grant university.


The county is traditionally Republican, and as part of Washington's 5th congressional district it is represented by Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Whitman was one of only three counties in the state to be won by Barry Goldwater in 1964. Since that election, the county has been won by the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections, 1976 and 2012. Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush all won the county twice.

In 2008, Barack Obama received 51.57% of the Whitman County vote,[11] but in 2012, Barack Obama received 46.9% of the vote, with Romney winning with a 49.7% plurality.[12] The county shows polarized voting patterns. Pullman, a university city, voted 62% for President Obama, and the agrarian remainder of the County voted 68% for Romney (source: www.wa.gov). Surprisingly, Whitman was the only county in eastern Washington to approve same-sex marriage via Referendum 74, and it was the only county to vote in favor of Referendum 74 while voting against Barack Obama. Whitman County voters also approved marijuana legalization via Initiative 502.




Census-designated place[edit]

Other communities[edit]

Ghost town[edit]




See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  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 January 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  9. ^ Heart of Washington.com
  10. ^ David Leip's Presidential Atlas (Maps for Washington by election)
  11. ^ http://seattletimes.com/flatpages/politics/2012-washington-election-results.html

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°53′N 117°31′W / 46.89°N 117.52°W / 46.89; -117.52