Lane County, Oregon

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Lane County, Oregon
1898 Lane County Courthouse (Lane County, Oregon scenic images) (lanD0040a).jpg
Lane County Courthouse in Eugene, built in 1898 and demolished in 1959.[1]
Map of Oregon highlighting Lane County
Location in the U.S. state of Oregon
Map of the United States highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location in the U.S.
Founded January 29, 1851
Seat Eugene
Largest city Eugene
Area
 • Total 4,722 sq mi (12,230 km2)
 • Land 4,553 sq mi (11,792 km2)
 • Water 169 sq mi (438 km2), 3.6%
Population (est.)
 • (2016) 369,519
 • Density 77/sq mi (30/km2)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Pacific: UTC−8/−7
Website www.lanecounty.org

Lane County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 351,715,[2] making it the fourth-most populous county in Oregon. The county seat is Eugene.[3] It is named in honor of Joseph Lane, Oregon's first territorial governor.

Lane County comprises the Eugene, OR Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is the third largest MSA in Oregon, and the 144th largest in the country.[4][5]

History[edit]

Lane County was established on January 29, 1851. It was created from the southern part of Linn County and the portion of Benton County east of Umpqua County. It was named after the territory's first governor, Joseph Lane.[6] Originally it covered all of southern Oregon east to the Rocky Mountains and south to the California border. When the Territorial Legislature created Lane County, it did not designate a county seat. In the 1853 election, four sites competed for the designation, of which the "Mulligan donation" received a majority vote; however, since it was contiguous to the "Skinner claim" both became part of the new county seat known as Eugene.

In 1846 Elijah Bristow and his wife, the former Susannah Gabbart, had become the first white settlers to build a claim cabin within the present-day boundaries of Lane County, near Pleasant Hill. They had crossed the plains to California in the previous year, and came north with Eugene F. Skinner, Captain Felix Scott, and William Dodson.[7] As their party entered the valley between the Coast Fork and Middle Fork of the Willamette River, Bristow gazed around and exclaimed, "What a pleasant hill! Here is my home!"[8]

In 1852 John Diamond and William Macy led an exploration party to survey a shortcut for the Oregon Trail across the Cascade Range. The shortcut over the Willamette Pass became known as the Free Emigrant Road. Around 250 wagons with 1,027 people left the usual Oregon Trail route at Vale, Oregon, and followed Elijah Elliott through the central Oregon high desert. This became known as the Elliott Cutoff. When they reached what is now Bend, they sent scouts to the south to look for the road. Once settlers in the Willamette Valley discovered the emigrants were coming, a huge rescue effort was launched as the emigrants were out of supplies and in dire condition. The emigrants of this wagon train doubled the population of Lane County in 1853.[9]

The county has been vastly reduced from its original size by several boundary changes. One of the first changes gave it access to the Pacific Ocean, when it acquired the northern part of Umpqua County in 1853. With the creation of Wasco County in 1854, it lost all of its territory east of the Cascade Mountains. Minor boundary changes occurred with Douglas County in 1852, 1885, 1903, 1915, and 1917; with Linn County in 1907 and with Benton County in 1923.

Geography[edit]

Heceta Head on the coastline of Lane County
Aerial view of the Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,722 square miles (12,230 km2), of which 4,553 square miles (11,790 km2) is land and 169 square miles (440 km2) (3.6%) is water.[10] Lane County is one of two Oregon counties that extend from the Pacific Ocean to the Cascades (the other is Douglas County.)[11] A portion of the Umpqua National Forest is in Lane County.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18604,780
18706,42634.4%
18809,41146.5%
189015,19861.5%
190019,60429.0%
191033,78372.3%
192036,1667.1%
193054,49350.7%
194069,09626.8%
1950125,77682.0%
1960162,89029.5%
1970213,35831.0%
1980275,22629.0%
1990282,9122.8%
2000322,95914.2%
2010351,7158.9%
Est. 2016369,519[12]5.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
1790-1960[14] 1900-1990[15]
1990-2000[16] 2010-2016[2]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[17] of 2000, there were 322,959 people, 130,453 households, and 82,185 families residing in the county. The population density was 71 people per square mile (27/km²). There were 138,946 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile (12/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.64% White, 0.78% Black or African American, 1.13% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 1.95% from other races, and 3.32% from two or more races. 4.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 130,453 households out of which 28.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.90% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.00% were non-families. 26.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.90% under the age of 18, 12.00% from 18 to 24, 27.50% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,942, and the median income for a family was $45,111. Males had a median income of $34,358 versus $25,103 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,681. About 9.00% of families and 14.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.10% of those under age 18 and 7.50% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 351,715 people, 145,966 households, and 86,938 families residing in the county.[18] The population density was 77.2 inhabitants per square mile (29.8/km2). There were 156,112 housing units at an average density of 34.3 per square mile (13.2/km2).[19] The racial makeup of the county was 88.3% white, 2.4% Asian, 1.2% American Indian, 1.0% black or African American, 0.2% Pacific islander, 2.8% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 7.4% of the population.[18] In terms of ancestry, 21.8% were German, 14.9% were English, 13.8% were Irish, and 5.3% were American.[20]

Of the 145,966 households, 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.4% were non-families, and 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.87. The median age was 39.0 years.[18]

Graph of the change in county population from 1860–2010

The median income for a household in the county was $42,923 and the median income for a family was $55,817. Males had a median income of $43,383 versus $32,745 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,869. About 10.0% of families and 16.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.1% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.[21]


Lane County is the fourth most populous county in Oregon. It grew more slowly from 2000 to 2010 than did the three larger counties, Multnomah (the most populous Oregon county), Washington and Clackamas.[22]

Government[edit]

Lane County is governed by a County commission. Commissioners are elected officials and serve four-year terms. The current commissioners are:

  • Sid Leiken, Springfield
  • Jay Bozievich, West Lane
  • Gary Williams, East Lane
  • Pete Sorenson, South Eugene
  • Pat Farr, North Eugene
Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[23]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 35.0% 67,141 53.5% 102,753 11.5% 22,056
2012 36.4% 62,509 59.7% 102,652 3.9% 6,689
2008 34.9% 63,835 62.4% 114,037 2.8% 5,038
2004 40.4% 75,007 58.0% 107,769 1.7% 3,096
2000 40.5% 61,578 51.6% 78,583 7.9% 12,027
1996 34.5% 48,253 49.7% 69,461 15.8% 22,073
1992 27.5% 41,789 48.8% 74,083 23.7% 35,990
1988 39.7% 47,563 58.4% 69,883 1.9% 2,256
1984 48.9% 61,493 50.9% 63,999 0.3% 360
1980 43.6% 54,750 41.6% 52,240 14.8% 18,614
1976 42.7% 46,245 52.1% 56,479 5.2% 5,643
1972 48.6% 47,739 47.0% 46,177 4.4% 4,271
1968 49.1% 39,563 42.9% 34,521 8.0% 6,465
1964 32.5% 24,139 67.1% 49,785 0.4% 276
1960 52.5% 36,148 47.3% 32,596 0.2% 118
1956 56.2% 35,264 43.9% 27,534 0.0% 0
1952 63.8% 35,693 35.7% 19,960 0.5% 266
1948 55.3% 20,843 41.4% 15,606 3.3% 1,260
1944 54.6% 17,690 44.4% 14,375 1.0% 332
1940 48.1% 15,349 51.1% 16,286 0.8% 255
1936 34.3% 8,309 57.5% 13,926 8.2% 1,980
1932 43.7% 10,547 45.9% 11,073 10.4% 2,517
1928 75.0% 13,647 23.1% 4,213 1.9% 345
1924 59.9% 8,551 22.8% 3,255 17.3% 2,469
1920 62.0% 7,714 32.0% 3,986 6.0% 747
1916 51.7% 7,253 41.9% 5,880 6.4% 895
1912 26.4% 1,986 34.6% 2,596 39.0% 2,931[24]
1908 54.9% 3,313 36.0% 2,174 9.1% 546
1904 65.9% 3,501 21.9% 1,166 12.2% 647

Economy[edit]

Growth in the next decades is predicted to shift away from timber and agriculture to services, manufacturing of transportation equipment, printing and publishing, and high technology. As of July 2008, PeaceHealth Medical Group is the largest private employer in Lane County.[25]

Communities[edit]

Downtown Eugene

Incorporated cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Former communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Us". Lane County Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2012-10-30. Lane County Courthouse, NE corner of 8th Avenue and Oak Street, Eugene; Lane County Jail on left. Lane County Courthouse was built in 1898 and torn down in 1959. — Catalog Number: CS284
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "OMB Bulletin No. 10-02: Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses" (PDF). United States Office of Management and Budget. December 1, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
  6. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Government Printing Office. p. 180.
  7. ^ Walling, Albert G. (1884). Illustrated History of Lane County Oregon. Lane County, Oregon: Printing house of A. G. Walling. p. 476. ASIN B009QBROJE.
  8. ^ Friedman, Ralph (1990). In Search of Western Oregon. Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Press. p. 707. ISBN 0-87004-332-3.
  9. ^ Sullivan, William L. (2002). Thurman, Paula, ed. Exploring Oregon's Wild Areas (3rd ed.). The Mountaineers Books.
  10. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  11. ^ "About Lane County". Official Lane County web site. Archived from the original on 2008-10-16.
  12. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  15. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  17. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  18. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  19. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  20. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  21. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  22. ^ Buri McDonald, Sherri (24 February 2011). "Low-growth pains". The Register-Guard. Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  23. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  24. ^ The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 1,815 votes, while Socialist Eugene Debs received 773 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 343 votes.
  25. ^ "Are Lane County's Top 10 employer's hiring?". www.kval.com. January 8, 2009.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°57′N 122°53′W / 43.95°N 122.88°W / 43.95; -122.88