Okanogan County, Washington

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Okanogan County, Washington
Okanogan County Courthouse 01.jpg
Okanogan County courthouse in Okanogan
Seal of Okanogan County, Washington
Seal
Map of Washington highlighting Okanogan County
Location in the U.S. state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location in the U.S.
FoundedFebruary, 1888
Named forOkanagan people
SeatOkanogan
Largest cityOmak
Area
 • Total5,315 sq mi (13,766 km2)
 • Land5,268 sq mi (13,644 km2)
 • Water47 sq mi (122 km2), 0.9%
Population (est.)
 • (2017)41,742
 • Density7.8/sq mi (3.0/km2)
Congressional district4th
Time zonePacific: UTC−8/−7
Websiteokanogancounty.org

Okanogan County /ˌkəˈnɑːɡən/[1] is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington along the Canada–US border. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,120.[2] The county seat is Okanogan,[3] while the largest city is Omak. Its area is the largest in the state.[4]

About a fifth of the county's residents live in the Greater Omak Area. The county forms a portion of the Okanogan Country. The first county seat was Ruby, which has now been a ghost town for more than 100 years.

Okanogan County was formed out of Stevens County in February 1888.[5] The name derives from the Okanagan language place name ukʷnaqín.[6] The name Okanogan (Okanagan) also refers to a part of southern British Columbia.

History[edit]

Before Europeans arrived, the Okanogan County region was home to numerous indigenous peoples that would eventually become part of three Indian reservations referred to as the Northern Okanogans or Sinkaietk, Tokoratums, Kartars and Konkonelps. They spoke in seven types of Interior Salish languages related to the Puget Sound tribes. The Okanogans experienced a favorable climate, camping in the winter, hunting bears in the spring, catching fish in the summer and hunting deer in fall. The camps consisted of teepee-like longhouses built with hides and bark. Women gathered nuts and berries. A popular destination for this was the Kettle Falls, where the Columbia River dropped some 20 feet (6.1 m).

Due to its remoteness, the Okanogan County area was one of the last in Washington settled by white people. It was an early thoroughfare used by prospectors to gain access to other communities, such as British Columbia. By the 21st century, the region specialized in agriculture, forestry and tourism. Electric producer Grand Coulee Dam was constructed between 1933 and 1942, originally with two power plants, around the Okanogan and Grant counties at the former's southern border.[7]

In July 2014, the Carlton Complex wildfire burned over 250,000 acres (390 sq mi; 1,000 km2) in Okanogan County. It destroyed over 300 homes[8] including 100 in and around Pateros[9]

Geography[edit]

Landscape near Winthrop, Washington

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 5,315 square miles (13,770 km2), of which 5,268 square miles (13,640 km2) is land and 47 square miles (120 km2) (0.9%) is water.[10] It is the largest county in the state by area, and it is larger than three states in land area.[11]

Geographic features[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18901,467
19004,689219.6%
191012,887174.8%
192017,09432.6%
193018,5198.3%
194024,54632.5%
195029,13118.7%
196025,520−12.4%
197025,8671.4%
198030,63918.4%
199033,3508.8%
200039,56418.6%
201041,1203.9%
Est. 201741,742[12]1.5%
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 39,564 people, 15,027 households, and 10,579 families residing in the county. The population density was 8 people per square mile (3/km²). There were 19,085 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 75.32% White, 0.28% Black or African American, 11.47% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 9.58% from other races, and 2.84% from two or more races. 14.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.0% were of German, 9.5% English, 9.2% United States or American and 6.8% Irish ancestry.

There were 15,027 households out of which 33.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.40% were married couples living together, 11.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.60% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.70% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 25.50% from 25 to 44, 25.50% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,726, and the median income for a family was $35,012. Males had a median income of $29,495 versus $22,005 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,900. About 16.00% of families and 21.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.20% of those under age 18 and 10.40% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 41,120 people, 16,519 households, and 10,914 families residing in the county.[18] The population density was 7.8 inhabitants per square mile (3.0/km2). There were 22,245 housing units at an average density of 4.2 per square mile (1.6/km2).[19] The racial makeup of the county was 73.9% white, 11.4% American Indian, 0.6% Asian, 0.4% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 10.1% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 17.6% of the population.[18] In terms of ancestry, 21.4% were German, 12.4% were Irish, 12.2% were English, and 3.6% were American.[20]

Of the 16,519 households, 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.9% were non-families, and 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.96. The median age was 42.9 years.[18]

The median income for a household in the county was $38,551 and the median income for a family was $48,418. Males had a median income of $37,960 versus $29,032 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,093. About 14.7% of families and 19.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.3% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.[21]

Communities[edit]

Landscape near Okanogan, Washington

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

Politics[edit]

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[22]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 54.7% 9,610 35.9% 6,298 9.4% 1,648
2012 54.2% 9,221 41.8% 7,108 4.0% 674
2008 51.8% 8,798 44.8% 7,613 3.4% 576
2004 59.0% 9,636 38.6% 6,309 2.4% 397
2000 63.4% 9,384 29.3% 4,335 7.3% 1,079
1996 45.1% 5,890 36.8% 4,810 18.2% 2,375
1992 32.7% 4,265 38.5% 5,015 28.8% 3,753
1988 49.9% 5,856 48.0% 5,630 2.2% 254
1984 57.3% 7,476 40.8% 5,330 1.9% 253
1980 51.7% 6,460 37.1% 4,634 11.2% 1,399
1976 47.1% 5,455 47.8% 5,543 5.2% 597
1972 56.1% 5,796 37.1% 3,835 6.8% 703
1968 45.2% 4,490 44.1% 4,379 10.7% 1,066
1964 37.5% 3,931 62.5% 6,554 0.1% 10
1960 48.3% 5,169 51.5% 5,507 0.2% 22
1956 50.7% 5,448 49.3% 5,298 0.1% 8
1952 55.6% 6,085 44.0% 4,817 0.4% 48
1948 41.1% 4,083 56.8% 5,644 2.1% 208
1944 46.6% 4,084 53.0% 4,642 0.4% 38
1940 44.0% 4,244 55.5% 5,362 0.5% 49
1936 27.3% 2,367 64.9% 5,622 7.8% 678
1932 32.8% 2,277 57.1% 3,969 10.1% 701
1928 64.9% 3,245 34.4% 1,722 0.7% 36
1924 50.4% 2,531 14.4% 721 35.2% 1,769
1920 55.0% 2,784 24.9% 1,260 20.1% 1,020
1916 35.6% 1,896 54.8% 2,924 9.6% 514
1912 19.0% 804 34.5% 1,461 46.6% 1,974[23]
1908 49.2% 1,368 38.7% 1,074 12.1% 337
1904 66.6% 1,192 24.3% 435 9.1% 162
1900 38.1% 457 59.5% 714 2.4% 29
1896 22.7% 284 76.0% 950 1.3% 16
1892 50.0% 577 36.9% 425 13.1% 151

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • An illustrated history of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties, State of Washington. Western Historical Pub. Co. 1904.Available online through the Washington State Library's Classics in Washington History collection

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Washington Placenames Pronunciation". Washington County Highpoint Trip Reports. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Wilma, David (January 21, 2006). "Okanogan County — Thumbnail History". HistoryLink.org.
  5. ^ "Washington State Archives – Central Regional Branch: Guide to Holdings: Okanogan County". Retrieved December 31, 2007.
  6. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 346. ISBN 978-0-8061-3598-4. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  7. ^ Thumbnail History. HistoryLink. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  8. ^ "Fire's updated toll: 300 homes, 'horrifying' devastation". Seattle Times. July 26, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  9. ^ Geranios, Nicholas K.; Johnson, Gene (July 19, 2014). "Damage from Washington Wildfires 'Hard to Believe'". The Associated Press. Boston.com. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014.
  10. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  11. ^ Rhode Island has 1,545 sq. mi, and Delaware has 2,489 sq. mi. Connecticut has 5,543 sq. mi. total, but only 4,842 sq. mi. of land area, and thus is considered smaller than Okanogan County in this regard.
  12. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  15. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  17. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  18. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  19. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 – County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  20. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006–2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  21. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006–2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  22. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  23. ^ The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 1,088 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 827 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 38 votes, and Socialist Labor candidate Arthur Reimer received 21 votes.



Coordinates: 48°33′N 119°45′W / 48.55°N 119.75°W / 48.55; -119.75