Clay County, Iowa

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Clay County
Clay County Courthouse
Map of Iowa highlighting Clay County
Location within the U.S. state of Iowa
Map of the United States highlighting Iowa
Iowa's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 43°04′51″N 95°08′58″W / 43.080833333333°N 95.149444444444°W / 43.080833333333; -95.149444444444
Country United States
State Iowa
Founded1851
Named forHenry Clay Jr.
SeatSpencer
Largest citySpencer
Area
 • Total573 sq mi (1,480 km2)
 • Land567 sq mi (1,470 km2)
 • Water5.4 sq mi (14 km2)  0.9%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total16,384
 • Density29/sq mi (11/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district4th
Websiteclaycounty.iowa.gov

Clay County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2020 census, the population was 16,384.[1] Its county seat is Spencer.[2] Its name is in honor of Henry Clay Jr.,[3] a colonel who died in action in the Mexican–American War, and son of Henry Clay, famous American statesman from Kentucky.

Clay County comprises the Spencer, IA Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Clay County holds the annual Clay County Fair. The first newspaper in Clay County was the Peterson Patriot which started publication in 1880.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 573 square miles (1,480 km2), of which 567 square miles (1,470 km2) is land and 5.4 square miles (14 km2) (0.9%) is water.[4] Clay County is home to the large Barringer Slough wetland.

Major highways[edit]

Airport[edit]

The Spencer Municipal Airport is located three miles (5 km) northwest of the business district of Spencer. It provides service to the county and surrounding communities.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
186052
18701,5232,828.8%
18804,248178.9%
18909,309119.1%
190013,40144.0%
191012,766−4.7%
192015,66022.7%
193016,1072.9%
194017,76210.3%
195018,1031.9%
196018,5042.2%
197018,464−0.2%
198019,5766.0%
199017,585−10.2%
200017,372−1.2%
201016,667−4.1%
202016,384−1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2018[9]
Population of Clay County from US census data

2020 census[edit]

The 2020 census recorded a population of 16,384 in the county, with a population density of 28.6719/sq mi (11.0703/km2). 96.20% of the population reported being of one race. 88.66% were non-Hispanic White, 0.61% were Black, 4.30% were Hispanic, 0.34% were Native American, 0.64% were Asian, 0.04% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 5.41% were some other race or more than one race. There were 8,109 housing units of which 7,222 were occupied.[1]

2010 census[edit]

The 2010 census recorded a population of 16,667 in the county, with a population density of 29.292/sq mi (11.310/km2). There were 8,062 housing units, of which 7,282 were occupied.[10]

2000 census[edit]

2000 Census Age Pyramid for Clay County

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 17,372 people, 7,259 households, and 4,776 families residing in the county. The population density was 30 people per square mile (12/km2). There were 7,828 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.08% White, 0.17% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. 1.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,259 households, out of which 30.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.60% were married couples living together, 6.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.20% were non-families. 29.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.70% 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 2.92.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.70% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 26.90% from 25 to 44, 22.50% from 45 to 64, and 18.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,799, and the median income for a family was $42,769. Males had a median income of $30,163 versus $21,068 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,451. About 6.30% of families and 8.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.10% of those under age 18 and 8.10% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

The county has been based on farming. The 1980s farm crisis caused some families to have to give up their farms, and farms have been merged to industrial scale.[citation needed] The population has declined since 1980.[citation needed]

At one point Great Lakes Airlines was headquartered in Summit Township, Clay County.[12][13]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Townships[edit]

Clay County is divided into these townships:

Population ranking[edit]

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2020 census of Clay County.[1] county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2020 Census)
1 Spencer City 11,325
2 Everly City 575
3 Royal City 379
4 Peterson City 322
5 Fostoria City 230
6 Dickens City 146
7 Webb City 138
8 Greenville City 71
9 Rossie City 49
10 Gillett Grove City 30

Politics[edit]

For most of its history, Clay County has primarily voted for Republican party candidates in presidential elections. Exceptions to this include Bull Moose candidate & former president Theodore Roosevelt winning a majority in 1912, the longest Democratic streak in its history when Franklin D. Roosevelt & Harry S. Truman were on the ballot from 1932 to 1948, Lyndon B. Johnson winning in a landslide statewide & nationally in 1964, Michael Dukakis getting a huge boost statewide thank to the Midwest farm crisis in 1988, & Bill Clinton benefiting from Ross Perot gaining significant minorities of the county's vote in 1992 & 1996. The level of Republican support has increased significantly in recent years, with Hillary Clinton posting the worst performance since 1952 when Adlai Stevenson won an identical percentage of the county's votes at 26.1%.

United States presidential election results for Clay County, Iowa[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 6,137 68.42% 2,662 29.68% 170 1.90%
2016 5,877 68.20% 2,249 26.10% 491 5.70%
2012 4,951 58.23% 3,385 39.81% 166 1.95%
2008 4,355 51.83% 3,925 46.72% 122 1.45%
2004 4,898 57.03% 3,547 41.30% 143 1.67%
2000 3,992 52.68% 3,294 43.47% 292 3.85%
1996 3,129 40.88% 3,659 47.80% 867 11.33%
1992 3,011 35.93% 3,346 39.93% 2,023 24.14%
1988 3,641 46.26% 4,173 53.02% 56 0.71%
1984 4,450 53.51% 3,774 45.38% 92 1.11%
1980 4,479 51.11% 3,179 36.27% 1,106 12.62%
1976 4,548 53.51% 3,776 44.42% 176 2.07%
1972 4,564 59.30% 2,887 37.51% 245 3.18%
1968 4,325 56.70% 2,840 37.23% 463 6.07%
1964 2,999 38.70% 4,631 59.76% 119 1.54%
1960 5,165 60.03% 3,437 39.95% 2 0.02%
1956 5,107 62.36% 2,970 36.26% 113 1.38%
1952 6,271 72.57% 2,258 26.13% 112 1.30%
1948 3,036 43.61% 3,649 52.42% 276 3.96%
1944 3,055 45.43% 3,639 54.12% 30 0.45%
1940 3,673 45.77% 4,328 53.93% 24 0.30%
1936 2,774 36.57% 4,691 61.84% 121 1.60%
1932 2,599 38.40% 3,944 58.27% 226 3.34%
1928 3,986 65.51% 2,064 33.92% 35 0.58%
1924 3,549 60.95% 378 6.49% 1,896 32.56%
1920 4,471 80.05% 1,001 17.92% 113 2.02%
1916 1,649 55.41% 1,234 41.47% 93 3.13%
1912 679 24.04% 707 25.04% 1,438 50.92%
1908 1,921 69.68% 778 28.22% 58 2.10%
1904 2,154 78.70% 487 17.79% 96 3.51%
1900 2,292 72.76% 781 24.79% 77 2.44%
1896 1,880 65.99% 933 32.75% 36 1.26%


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "2020 Census State Redistricting Data". census.gov. United states Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 83.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  7. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  9. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 21, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  10. ^ "Population and Housing Occupancy Status: 2010 - State -- County". United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. Retrieved March 12, 2011.[dead link]
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  12. ^ "Welcome to Great Lakes Aviation, Ltd." Great Lakes Airlines. December 5, 1998. Retrieved on May 25, 2009.
  13. ^ "Spencer city, Iowa." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 25, 2009.
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 17, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°04′51″N 95°08′58″W / 43.08083°N 95.14944°W / 43.08083; -95.14944