Malheur County, Oregon

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Malheur County, Oregon
Malheur County Courthouse.jpg
Malheur County Courthouse in Vale
Map of Oregon highlighting Malheur County
Location in the U.S. state of Oregon
Map of the United States highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location in the U.S.
Founded February 17, 1887
Named for Malheur River
Seat Vale
Largest city Ontario
Area
 • Total 9,930 sq mi (25,719 km2)
 • Land 9,888 sq mi (25,610 km2)
 • Water 42 sq mi (109 km2), 0.4%
Population (est.)
 • (2016) 30,439
 • Density 3.2/sq mi (1/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zones Mountain: UTC-7/-6
primary
Pacific: UTC-8/-7
southern fifth
Website www.malheurco.org

Malheur County /mælˈhɪər/ is a county located in the southeast corner of the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 31,313.[1] Its county seat is Vale,[2] and its largest city is Ontario. The county was named after the Malheur River, which runs through the county. "Malheur" is French for misfortune or tragedy.[3]

Malheur County is included in the Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Combined Statistical Area. It is included in the eight-county definition of Eastern Oregon.

History[edit]

Malheur County was created February 17, 1887, from the southern portion of Baker County. It was first settled by miners and stockmen in the early 1860s. The discovery of gold in 1863 attracted further development, including settlements and ranches. Basques settled in the region in the 1890s and were mainly engaged in sheep raising.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 9,930 square miles (25,700 km2), of which 9,888 square miles (25,610 km2) is land and 42 square miles (110 km2) (0.4%) is water.[4] It is the second-largest county in Oregon by area. It is the only county in Oregon in the Mountain Time Zone.

Adjacent counties[edit]

northwest/Pacific Time Border

National protected areas[edit]

Highways[edit]

Pillars of Rome, near Rome

Time zones[edit]

Most of Malheur County (shown in red) is in the Mountain Time Zone; a small portion in the southern part of the county is in the Pacific Time Zone along with the rest of the state of Oregon and neighboring Nevada.

Malheur County is the only county in Oregon that does not completely observe the Pacific Time Zone. The northern four-fifths including the five incorporated communities in the county: Ontario, Nyssa, Vale, Adrian, and Jordan Valley are in the Mountain Time Zone. The southern-most fifth including the Oregon-Nevada border town of McDermitt is in the Pacific Time Zone due to closer connections with Nevada than Idaho and also rest of Oregon.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 2,601
1900 4,203 61.6%
1910 8,601 104.6%
1920 10,907 26.8%
1930 11,269 3.3%
1940 19,767 75.4%
1950 23,223 17.5%
1960 22,764 −2.0%
1970 23,169 1.8%
1980 26,896 16.1%
1990 26,038 −3.2%
2000 31,615 21.4%
2010 31,313 −1.0%
Est. 2016 30,439 [5] −2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2016[1]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 31,615 people, 10,221 households, and 7,348 families residing in the county. The population density was 3 people per square mile (1.2/km²). There were 11,233 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0.4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was:

25.62% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.2% were of German, 10.5% English, 8.4% American and 6.9% Irish ancestry. 79.4% spoke English and 19.4% Spanish as their first language.

There were 10,221 households out of which 36.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 23.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.28.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.60% under the age of 18, 10.60% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 21.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 116.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 121.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,241, and the median income for a family was $35,672. Males had a median income of $25,489 versus $21,764 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,895. About 14.60% of families and 18.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.80% of those under age 18 and 11.60% of those age 65 or over.

Malheur County is the poorest county in Oregon.[11] As of 2008, 21% of its residents live in poverty.[12]

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 31,313 people, 10,411 households, and 7,149 families residing in the county.[13] The population density was 3.2 inhabitants per square mile (1.2/km2). There were 11,692 housing units at an average density of 1.2 per square mile (0.46/km2).[14] The racial makeup of the county was 77.5% white, 1.7% Asian, 1.2% American Indian, 1.2% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 15.5% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 31.5% of the population.[13] In terms of ancestry, 16.2% were German, 11.9% were English, 10.3% were Irish, and 9.9% were American.[15]

Of the 10,411 households, 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.3% were non-families, and 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.24. The median age was 36.2 years.[13]

The median income for a household in the county was $39,144 and the median income for a family was $46,136. Males had a median income of $33,234 versus $27,883 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,335. About 15.2% of families and 22.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.1% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.[16]

Politics[edit]

Presidential Elections Results[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 68.9% 7,194 21.5% 2,246 9.5% 995
2012 68.8% 6,851 27.7% 2,759 3.5% 346
2008 68.6% 7,157 28.3% 2,949 3.1% 327
2004 74.9% 8,123 23.8% 2,577 1.4% 146
2000 73.3% 7,624 22.5% 2,336 4.3% 444
1996 61.1% 6,045 28.6% 2,827 10.3% 1,020
1992 50.4% 5,374 23.8% 2,539 25.8% 2,750
1988 66.6% 6,285 31.4% 2,965 2.0% 193
1984 76.2% 8,441 23.6% 2,611 0.2% 19
1980 67.8% 7,705 25.8% 2,937 6.4% 722
1976 59.1% 5,682 36.5% 3,507 4.4% 421
1972 67.4% 5,908 21.3% 1,870 11.3% 993
1968 65.2% 5,447 24.2% 2,021 10.7% 892
1964 52.3% 4,177 47.6% 3,798 0.1% 8
1960 59.9% 5,043 40.1% 3,381 0.0% 0
1956 61.3% 4,981 38.8% 3,151 0.0% 0
1952 70.5% 5,414 29.2% 2,245 0.3% 26
1948 55.4% 3,265 42.4% 2,499 2.3% 134
1944 55.1% 2,797 44.0% 2,234 0.9% 47
1940 49.4% 2,929 49.9% 2,958 0.7% 42
1936 31.4% 1,385 59.6% 2,630 9.0% 395
1932 42.3% 1,589 53.9% 2,025 3.7% 140
1928 67.4% 2,164 31.6% 1,016 1.0% 33
1924 51.9% 1,671 25.7% 828 22.3% 718
1920 65.0% 2,352 29.7% 1,075 5.3% 193
1916 42.4% 1,682 48.8% 1,937 8.8% 350
1912 33.8% 648 34.2% 656 32.1% 615
1908 54.4% 800 36.9% 543 8.6% 127
1904 63.8% 799 22.4% 280 13.8% 173

Like all counties in eastern Oregon, the majority of registered voters who are part of a political party in Malheur County are members of the Republican Party. In the 2008 presidential election, 69.10% of Malheur County voters voted for Republican John McCain, while 28.47% voted for Democrat Barack Obama and 2.42% of voters voted for a third-party candidate. These statistics do not include write-in votes.[18] These numbers show a small shift towards the Democratic candidate when compared to the 2004 presidential election, in which 74.9% of Malheur Country voters voted for George W. Bush, while 23.8% voted for John Kerry, and 1.3% of voters either voted for a third-party candidate or wrote in a candidate.[19]

Political orientations in Malheur County, Oregon (2009).gif[20]

Malheur County is one of the most Republican counties in Oregon when it comes to Presidential elections. It was one of only two counties in Oregon to give the majority of its vote to Barry Goldwater and has favored the Republican candidate for decades.[21] The last Democratic candidate to carry the county was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940.[22] Further every Republican candidate since 1996 has received more than 60% of the county's vote.[23] Malheur County is also one of the most reliably Republican counties in state elections, for example in the 1998 gubernatorial election it was the only county to vote for Bill Sizemore instead of John Kitzhaber, and in the 2004 U.S. Senate election, it was one of only three to vote for rancher Al King over Ron Wyden.

As part of Oregon's 2nd congressional district it has been represented by Republican Greg Walden since 1999.

Economy[edit]

The county is 94% rangeland, with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) controlling 72% of the land. Irrigated fields in the county's northeast corner, known as Western Treasure Valley, are the center of intensive and diversified farming. Malheur County's economy also depends on tourism.

The county's two largest employers are the Heinz Frozen Food Company of Ontario, a potato processor branded as Ore-Ida, and the Snake River Correctional Institution, five miles northwest of Ontario.[12]

Communities[edit]

A sugar beet plant of the Amalgamated Sugar Company in Nyssa

Cities[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ malheur, WordReference.com.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  8. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^ U.S. Census Data
  12. ^ a b Jacklet, Ben (April 2008). "Prisontown myth". Oregon Business magazine. Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  13. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-02-23. 
  14. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-02-23. 
  15. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-02-23. 
  16. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-02-23. 
  17. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS
  18. ^ http://www.malheurco.org/general2008nov4 Retrieved on 4/21/09
  19. ^ http://www.city-data.com/county/Malheur_County-OR.html Retrieved on 4/21/09
  20. ^ http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/votreg/mar09.pdf Retrieved on 4/21/09
  21. ^ David Leip's Presidential Atlas (Maps for Oregon by election)
  22. ^ Geographie Electorale
  23. ^ The New York Times electoral map (Zoom in on Oregon)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°13′N 117°38′W / 43.21°N 117.63°W / 43.21; -117.63