Grays Harbor County, Washington

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Grays Harbor County
Grays Harbor County Courthouse
Grays Harbor County Courthouse
Map of Washington highlighting Grays Harbor County
Location within the U.S. state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 47°09′N 123°50′W / 47.15°N 123.83°W / 47.15; -123.83
Country United States
State Washington
FoundedApril 14, 1854
Named forGrays Harbor
SeatMontesano
Largest cityAberdeen
Area
 • Total2,224 sq mi (5,760 km2)
 • Land1,902 sq mi (4,930 km2)
 • Water322 sq mi (830 km2)  14%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total75,636
 • Estimate 
(2021)
76,841 Increase
 • Density38.3/sq mi (14.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district6th
Websitewww.co.grays-harbor.wa.us

Grays Harbor County is a county in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2020 census, the population was 75,636.[1] Its county seat is Montesano, and its largest city is Aberdeen.[2] Grays Harbor County is included in the Aberdeen Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

The county is presently named after a large estuarine bay near its southwestern corner. On May 7, 1792, Boston fur trader Robert Gray crossed the bar into a bay which he called Bullfinch Harbor, but which later cartographers would label Chehalis Bay, and then Grays Harbor.[3]

The area that now comprises Grays Harbor County was part of Oregon Territory in the first part of the nineteenth century. On December 19, 1845, the Provisional Government of Oregon created two counties (Vancouver and Clark) in its northern portion (which is now the state of Washington). In 1849, the name of Vancouver County was changed to Lewis County, and on April 14, 1854, a portion of Lewis County was partitioned off to become Chehalis County.[4] This county's boundaries have not changed since its creation, but on June 9, 1915,[5] its name was changed to Grays Harbor County to eliminate confusion with the town of Chehalis in Lewis County.[6]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,224 square miles (5,760 km2), of which 1,902 square miles (4,930 km2) is land and 322 square miles (830 km2) (14%) is water.[7]

Geographic features[edit]

State parks[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860285
187040140.7%
1880921129.7%
18909,249904.2%
190015,12463.5%
191035,590135.3%
192044,74525.7%
193059,98234.1%
194053,166−11.4%
195053,6440.9%
196054,4651.5%
197059,5539.3%
198066,31411.4%
199064,175−3.2%
200067,1944.7%
201072,7978.3%
202075,6363.9%
2021 (est.)76,841[8]1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790–1960[10] 1900–1990[11]
1990–2000[12] 2010–2020[1]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 67,194 people, 26,808 households, and 17,907 families living in the county. The population density was 35 people per square mile (14/km2). There were 32,489 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.30% White, 0.34% Black or African American, 4.66% Native American, 1.22% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 2.27% from other races, and 3.10% from two or more races. 4.85% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.3% were of German, 11.9% United States or American, 9.9% English, 9.2% Irish, and 6.1% Norwegian ancestry. 94.1% spoke English and 3.9% Spanish as their first language.

There were 26,808 households, out of which 30.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.70% were married couples living together, 11.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.20% were non-families. 26.70% 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 2.48 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.70% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 26.00% from 25 to 44, 25.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 98.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,160, and the median income for a family was $39,709. Males had a median income of $35,947 versus $24,262 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,799. 16.10% of the population and 11.90% of families were below the poverty line, including 21.60% of those under the age of 18 and 40% of those 65 and older.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 Census, there were 72,797 people, 28,579 households, and 18,493 families living in the county.[14] The population density was 38.3 inhabitants per square mile (14.8/km2). There were 35,166 housing units at an average density of 18.5 per square mile (7.1/km2).[15] The racial makeup of the county was 84.9% white, 4.6% American Indian, 1.4% Asian, 1.1% black or African American, 0.3% Pacific islander, 3.9% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 8.6% of the population.[14] In terms of ancestry, 21.0% were German, 13.5% were Irish, 11.7% were English, 6.8% were Norwegian, and 4.2% were American.[16]

Of the 28,579 households, 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.3% were non-families, and 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.94. The median age was 41.9 years.[14]

The median income for a household in the county was $41,899 and the median income for a family was $49,745. Males had a median income of $42,998 versus $34,183 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,656. About 11.7% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.1% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.[17]

Politics[edit]

Grays Harbor used to be one of the most consistently Democratic counties in the nation. Until 2016, the last Republican presidential candidate to carry the county was Herbert Hoover in 1928;[18] the last Republican gubernatorial candidate to win the county until 2016 was Daniel J. Evans in 1964.[19] However, Donald Trump carried the county in the 2016 presidential election and went on to win a majority of its votes four years later.

In the United States House of Representatives Grays Harbor is part of Washington's 6th congressional district, which has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+5 and is represented by Derek Kilmer. In the Washington State Legislature it lies in the 19th and 24th districts. In the Washington State Senate it is represented by Kevin Van De Wege (D) and Jeff Wilson (R). In the Washington House of Representatives it is represented by Mike Chapman (D), Joel McEntire (R), Steve Tharinger (D), and Jim Walsh (R).[20]

United States presidential election results for Grays Harbor County, Washington[21][22]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 19,877 51.71% 17,354 45.14% 1,210 3.15%
2016 14,067 48.01% 12,020 41.02% 3,214 10.97%
2012 11,914 41.16% 15,960 55.14% 1,073 3.71%
2008 12,104 41.47% 16,354 56.04% 726 2.49%
2004 12,871 46.05% 14,583 52.17% 499 1.79%
2000 11,225 43.22% 13,304 51.22% 1,443 5.56%
1996 7,635 29.09% 14,082 53.65% 4,533 17.27%
1992 6,904 25.35% 12,599 46.26% 7,735 28.40%
1988 8,860 37.88% 14,097 60.27% 434 1.86%
1984 11,286 43.96% 14,050 54.73% 335 1.30%
1980 10,226 40.19% 11,290 44.37% 3,928 15.44%
1976 9,464 39.61% 13,478 56.41% 951 3.98%
1972 10,839 45.65% 11,786 49.64% 1,120 4.72%
1968 7,720 34.03% 13,480 59.43% 1,484 6.54%
1964 5,744 24.94% 17,145 74.46% 138 0.60%
1960 10,067 41.94% 13,773 57.37% 166 0.69%
1956 11,599 47.32% 12,858 52.45% 57 0.23%
1952 12,168 49.30% 12,317 49.90% 198 0.80%
1948 8,357 36.00% 13,660 58.84% 1,198 5.16%
1944 7,834 35.99% 13,803 63.41% 130 0.60%
1940 8,369 35.63% 14,861 63.27% 257 1.09%
1936 5,053 23.37% 15,851 73.31% 718 3.32%
1932 5,141 27.89% 10,310 55.92% 2,985 16.19%
1928 10,798 66.30% 5,258 32.29% 230 1.41%
1924 8,273 60.16% 1,239 9.01% 4,239 30.83%
1920 5,920 50.94% 3,378 29.07% 2,324 20.00%
1916 5,024 44.32% 4,992 44.04% 1,320 11.64%
1912 3,055 34.66% 1,953 22.16% 3,806 43.18%
1908 3,128 60.35% 1,248 24.08% 807 15.57%
1904 2,589 68.13% 624 16.42% 587 15.45%
1900 1,850 58.77% 1,081 34.34% 217 6.89%
1896 1,267 47.97% 1,350 51.12% 24 0.91%
1892 990 42.02% 798 33.87% 568 24.11%


Economy[edit]

Principal economic activities in Grays Harbor County include wood and paper production, food processing (especially seafood), and manufacturing.[citation needed]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Grays Harbor Development Club (1912). Grays Harbor Country Washington. Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Co. p. 32. From the book "thirty years ago ... Destructive Development began ... greed for wealth ... denuded acres ... logged-off land ... found to be fertile ... capable of the highest state of cultivation ... fishing profit ... splendid landlocked body of water ... fir ... perfect lumber ... lumber and shingle mills ... Clams, crabs and shrimp ... abundant ... an agreeable climate ... dairy industry ... unbounded ... few soils are superior to those here ... unlimited opportunity ... berry orchards ... poultry leading place ...
  • Weinstein, Robert A. (1978). Grays Harbor, 1885-1913. Viking. p. 190.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Grays Harbor County – Thumbnail History". Historylink.org. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  4. ^ "Statutes of the Territory of Washington, 1854, p. 472 An Act to Create the County of Chehalis" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Statutes of Washington, 1915, Explanatory" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Statutes of Washington, 1915, chapter 77, SB 297" (PDF).
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  14. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  15. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 – County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  16. ^ "Selected Social Characteristics in the United States – 2006–2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  17. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics – 2006–2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  18. ^ "Presidential election of 1928 – Map by counties".
  19. ^ "David Leip's Election Atlas". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  20. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 24, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  22. ^ The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 1,847 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 1,683 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 228 votes, and Socialist Labor candidate Arthur Reimer received 48 votes.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°09′N 123°50′W / 47.15°N 123.83°W / 47.15; -123.83