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Benton County, Oregon facts for kids

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Benton County
Benton County Courthouse in Corvallis
Benton County Courthouse in Corvallis
Map of Oregon highlighting Benton County
Location within the U.S. state of Oregon
Map of the United States highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Oregon
Founded December 23, 1847
Seat Corvallis
Largest city Corvallis
 • Total 679 sq mi (1,760 km2)
 • Land 676 sq mi (1,750 km2)
 • Water 2.7 sq mi (7 km2)  0.4%%
 • Total 95,184
 • Estimate 
96,017 Increase
 • Density 127/sq mi (49/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional districts 4th, 5th

Benton County is one of the 36 counties in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2020 census, the population was 95,184. Its county seat is Corvallis. The county was named after Thomas Hart Benton, a U.S. Senator who advocated American control over the Oregon Country. Benton County is designated as the Corvallis, OR Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the PortlandVancouverSalem, OR–WA Combined Statistical Area. It is in the Willamette Valley.


Benton County was created on December 23, 1847 by an act of the Provisional Government of Oregon. The county was named after Democratic Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, an advocate of the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and the belief that the American government should control the whole of the Oregon Country. At the time of its formation the county included all the country west of the Willamette River, south of Polk County and running all the way to the California border in the south and the Pacific Ocean in the west.

The county was created out of lands originally inhabited by the Klickitat, who rented it from the Kalapuyas for use as hunting grounds. All aboriginal claims to land within Benton County were ceded in the Treaty of Dayton in 1855. Portions of Benton County were taken to form Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane and Lincoln Counties, leaving Benton County in its present form.

The city of Marysville, later renamed Corvallis, was made the county seat in 1851. The city briefly was the capital of Oregon. In 1862 Corvallis became the site of the Oregon State Agricultural College, known today as Oregon State University.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 679 square miles (1,760 km2), of which 676 square miles (1,750 km2) is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) (0.4%) is water. It is the fourth-smallest county in Oregon by land area and third-smallest by total area.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 814
1860 3,074 277.6%
1870 4,584 49.1%
1880 6,403 39.7%
1890 8,650 35.1%
1900 6,706 −22.5%
1910 10,663 59.0%
1920 13,744 28.9%
1930 16,555 20.5%
1940 18,629 12.5%
1950 31,570 69.5%
1960 39,165 24.1%
1970 53,776 37.3%
1980 68,211 26.8%
1990 70,811 3.8%
2000 78,153 10.4%
2010 85,579 9.5%
2020 95,184 11.2%
2021 (est.) 96,017 12.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 85,579 people, 34,317 households, and 19,256 families residing in the county. The population density was 126.6 inhabitants per square mile (48.9/km2). There were 36,245 housing units at an average density of 53.6 per square mile (20.7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.1% white, 5.2% Asian, 0.9% black or African American, 0.7% American Indian, 0.2% Pacific islander, 2.3% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 6.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 22.6% were German, 16.1% were English, 13.5% were Irish, and 3.6% were American.

Of the 34,317 households, 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.3% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 43.9% were non-families, and 28.2% 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 32.1 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $48,012 and the median income for a family was $71,763. Males had a median income of $50,282 versus $35,387 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,177. About 7.7% of families and 19.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.6% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.

2020 Census

The racial make up of the county is 75.9% non-hispanic white, 1% African American, .6% Native American, 6.7% Asian, 6.1% of two or more races, and 9% Hispanic.


Lewisburg Oregon


Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


Along with Oregon State University, agriculture, lumber, wood products, and some printing technology research and development form the economic base of the county. A substantial portion of the nation's research in forestry, agriculture, engineering, education and the sciences takes place at OSU.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Benton (Oregón) para niños

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