Island County, Washington

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Not to be confused with County island.
Island County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Island County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location in the U.S.
Founded 1852
Seat Coupeville
Largest city Oak Harbor
 • Total 517 sq mi (1,339 km2)
 • Land 208 sq mi (539 km2)
 • Water 309 sq mi (800 km2), 60%
Population (Est.)
 • (2014) 79,275
 • Density 381/sq mi (147/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7

Island County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, its population was 78,506.[1] Its county seat is Coupeville,[2] while its largest city is Oak Harbor.

Its name reflects the fact that it is composed entirely of islands.[3] It contains two large islands, Whidbey and Camano, and seven smaller islands (Baby, Ben Ure, Deception, Kalamut, Minor, Smith, and Strawberry). Island County was created out of Thurston County on December 22, 1852, by the legislature of Oregon Territory,[4][5] and is the eighth-oldest county in Washington. It originally encompassed what are now Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, and San Juan Counties.

Island County comprises the Oak Harbor, WA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Seattle-Tacoma, WA Combined Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 517 square miles (1,340 km2), of which 208 square miles (540 km2) is land and 309 square miles (800 km2) (60%) is water.[6] It is the second-smallest county in Washington by area.

Geographic features[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 294
1870 626 112.9%
1880 1,087 73.6%
1890 1,787 64.4%
1900 1,870 4.6%
1910 4,704 151.6%
1920 5,489 16.7%
1930 5,369 −2.2%
1940 6,098 13.6%
1950 11,079 81.7%
1960 19,638 77.3%
1970 27,011 37.5%
1980 44,048 63.1%
1990 60,195 36.7%
2000 71,558 18.9%
2010 78,506 9.7%
Est. 2014 79,275 1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790–1960[8] 1900–1990[9]
1990–2000[10] 2010–2014[1]
Sunset South Whidbey State Park

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 71,558 people, 27,784 households, and 20,254 families residing in the county. The population density was 343 people per square mile (133/km²). There were 32,378 housing units at an average density of 155 per square mile (60/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.17% White, 2.36% Black or African American, 0.97% Native American, 4.19% Asian, 0.44% Pacific Islander, 1.43% from other races, and 3.44% from two or more races. 3.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.2% were of German, 11.2% English, 9.9% Irish, 7.2% United States or American and 6.0% Norwegian ancestry. 92.5% spoke English, 2.5% Spanish and 2.2% Tagalog as their first language.

There were 27,784 households out of which 33.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.20% were married couples living together, 7.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.10% were non-families. 21.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.50% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 28.00% from 25 to 44, 23.70% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 100.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,513, and the median income for a family was $51,363. Males had a median income of $35,331 versus $25,612 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,472. About 5.10% of families and 7.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.80% of those under age 18 and 4.40% of those age 65 or over.


The primary islands of Island County, Whidbey Island and Camano Island are served by a total of 3 Washington State Routes, those being SR 20 and SR 525, on Whidbey Island, and SR 532 on Camano Island. SR 20 enters Island County via the Port Townsend-Coupeville (Keystone) ferry route from the West, and departs via the Deception Pass Bridge in the North. SR 525 enters Island County from the East/South via the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry and terminates at an intersection with SR 20, South of Coupeville. SR 532 begins on Camano Island, just a few hundred yards inside Island County at an intersection with Sunrise Boulevard and departs Island County to the East via the Mark Clark Bridge. These islands are also served by a fare-free/pre-paid bus service called Island Transit.


Island County is divided in many ways between its north and south. While the north (Oak Harbor) is conservative - George W. Bush received almost 65 percent of the 2004 vote and carried all precincts - all southern and central precincts voted for John Kerry. This is probably accounted for by the presence of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, located north of Oak Harbor. The south-central area (Coupeville, Langley) voted over 60 percent for Kerry. Camano Island has a Republican lean and went for Bush with 52 percent of the vote in 2004, but is much less polarized than the rest of the county.




Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 166. 
  4. ^ Reinartz, Kay. "History of King County Government 1853–2002" (PDF). p. 2. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  5. ^ "Washington: Individual County Chronologies". Washington Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2007. Retrieved July 17, 2015. 
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°09′N 122°35′W / 48.15°N 122.58°W / 48.15; -122.58