Elko County, Nevada

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Elko County, Nevada
Elko County Courthouse (Elko, Nevada).jpg
Elko County Courthouse in Elko
Map of Nevada highlighting Elko County
Location in the state of Nevada
Map of the United States highlighting Nevada
Nevada's location in the U.S.
Founded 1869
Seat Elko
Largest city Elko
 • Total 17,203 sq mi (44,556 km2)
 • Land 17,170 sq mi (44,470 km2)
 • Water 33 sq mi (85 km2), 0.2%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 52,766
 • Density 3/sq mi (1.09/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Website www.elkocountynv.net

Coordinates: 41°08′N 115°21′W / 41.13°N 115.35°W / 41.13; -115.35

Elko County is a county located in the U.S. state of Nevada. As of the 2010 census, the population was 48,818.[1] Its county seat is Elko.[2] The county was established on March 5, 1869, from Lander County.

Elko County is the fourth-largest county in the contiguous United States, ranking lower when the boroughs of Alaska are included. It is also one of only 10 counties in the U.S. with more than 10,000 square miles (25,900 km2) of area.

Elko County is part of the Elko, NV Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Elko County was established in 1869 from Lander County; the name was taken from the name of the county seat, Elko.

On 14 March 2014, the Bureau of Land Management sold 29 fracking leases for $1.27mn to a collection of six companies that included Noble Energy.[3] The transaction was the first such in Nevada.[3]

Sagebrush steppe in Elko County, Nevada along US 93. Much of the county looks essentially like this.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 17,203 square miles (44,560 km2), of which 17,170 square miles (44,500 km2) is land and 33 square miles (85 km2) (0.2%) is water.[4] Not counting Alaska's boroughs (four of which are also larger), it is the fourth largest county in area in the United States (behind San Bernardino County, California, Coconino County, Arizona, and Nye County, Nevada).[5] The elevation ranges from about 4,300 feet (1,300 m) at the edge of the salt flats of the Great Salt Lake Desert, to 11,387 feet (3,471 m) on the summit of Ruby Dome in the Ruby Mountains.[6] The most topographically prominent mountain in Elko County is Pilot Peak.

The county has 3 physiographic sections (70% Great Basin section, 20% Payette, 10% Snake River Plain) and 4 watersheds (45% Humboldt River, 30% Upper Snake River, 20% central Nevada desert, 5% Pilot-Thousand Springs).

National protected areas[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Time zones[edit]

Further information: Time in Nevada

Except for West Wendover which is in the Mountain Time Zone, the county is in the Pacific Time Zone, though other communities such as Owyhee, Mountain City, Jarbidge and Jackpot unofficially observe Mountain Time as well due to their proximity to, and economic connections with, neighboring areas of Idaho.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 3,447
1880 5,716 65.8%
1890 4,794 −16.1%
1900 5,688 18.6%
1910 8,133 43.0%
1920 8,083 −0.6%
1930 9,960 23.2%
1940 10,912 9.6%
1950 11,654 6.8%
1960 12,011 3.1%
1970 13,958 16.2%
1980 17,269 23.7%
1990 33,530 94.2%
2000 45,291 35.1%
2010 48,818 7.8%
Est. 2014 52,766 [7] 8.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 45,291 people, 15,638 households, and 11,493 families residing in the county. The population density was 3/sq mi (1/km²). There were 18,456 housing units at an average density of 1/sq mi (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 82.04% White, 0.59% Black or African American, 5.30% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 8.50% from other races, and 2.78% from two or more races. 19.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 15,638 households out of which 43.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.30% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.50% were non-families. 20.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.33.

In the county the population was spread out with 32.50% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 31.50% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 5.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 108.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $48,383, and the median income for a family was $52,206. Males had a median income of $41,322 versus $24,653 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,482. About 7.00% of families and 8.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.50% of those under age 18 and 7.60% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics[edit]

Elko is a highly conservative area. In 2011, all eleven of the partisan county officials were Republican.[13] In the 2004 Presidential Election, George W. Bush won 78% of the vote, while only 20% voted for John F. Kerry.[14] In 2008 voters in Elko County chose John McCain by 69.04% and 28.58% voted for Barack Obama.[15]

Lightning-sparked wildfires are common occurrences in Elko County.

Both former President Jimmy Carter and then-President George W. Bush made visits to the city of Elko during the 2006 mid-term election.[16] These were not the first presidents to come to Elko County: William McKinley visited in 1901; Herbert Hoover made his final campaign broadcast as president from a railroad car in Elko in 1932; President Roosevelt spoke in Carlin in 1938 during his whistle stop tour; and Barack Obama visited while campaigning in 2008. In addition there have been many other high profile political figures to come to Elko, including former Vice President Dick Cheney.


A number of highways maintained by the Nevada Department of Transportation, some national in prominence, cross Elko County (see Major highways above). Elko County also maintains a network of county routes; however, many of them are unpaved and receive limited, if any, winter maintenance.

Transportation by means other than road vehicle is limited within Elko County. Commercial air service is available only at the Elko Regional Airport in Elko; the only destination currently served is Salt Lake City International Airport. Other public airports in Elko County include Jackpot Airport, Owyhee Airport and Wells Municipal Airport. Amtrak service is available from the unstaffed Elko station; service is via the California Zephyr and is either eastbound or westbound, once a day.

Major highways[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ a b shalereporter.com: "BLM sells 29 oil, gas leases in northeast Nevada" 14 Mar 2014
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Elko County Public Lands Policy Plan 2008" (PDF). Elko County (Nevada). Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Ruby Dome, Nevada". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2011-05-19. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ "Elko County elected officials" (PDF). Elko County (Nev.). Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Presidential Election Results 2004". CNN. 
  15. ^ "2008 Presidential Elections Results in Elko County, Nevada". city-data.com. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "City-Data.com (2007). Elko County, NV.". Retrieved 2007-09-28. 

External links[edit]