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Clatsop County, Oregon facts for kids

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Clatsop County
Clatsop County Courthouse in Astoria
Clatsop County Courthouse in Astoria
Official seal of Clatsop County
Seal
Map of Oregon highlighting Clatsop 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 June 22, 1844
Seat Astoria
Largest city Astoria
Area
 • Total 1,084 sq mi (2,810 km2)
 • Land 829 sq mi (2,150 km2)
 • Water 255 sq mi (660 km2)  24%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 41,072
 • Estimate 
(2021)
41,810 Increase
 • Density 45/sq mi (17/km2)
Congressional district 1st

Clatsop County is one of the 36 counties in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2020 census, the population was 41,072. The county seat is Astoria. The county is named for the Clatsop tribe of Native Americans, who lived along the coast of the Pacific Ocean prior to European settlement.

Clatsop County comprises the Astoria, OR Micropolitan Statistical Area, or Sunset Empire, and is located in Northwest Oregon.

History

The Lewis and Clark Expedition stayed for the winter of 1805–6 in the area of the future county at Fort Clatsop. Astoria, Oregon's oldest settlement, was established as a fur trading post in 1811 and named after John Jacob Astor.

Clatsop County was created from the northern and western portions of the original Twality District on June 22, 1844. Until the creation of Vancouver District five days later, Clatsop County extended north across the Columbia into present-day Washington. The Provisional and Territorial Legislatures further altered Clatsop County's boundaries in 1845 and 1853.

Before 1850 most of Clatsop County's government activity occurred in Lexington, a community located where Warrenton is now. However, commercial and social activities came to center on Astoria as that city grew, and an election in 1854 chose Astoria to be the new county seat.

Fort Stevens, located near the peninsula formed by the south shore of the Columbia river and the Pacific Ocean, became the only continental US military installation attacked in World War II, when submarine I-25 of the Imperial Japanese Navy fired 17 rounds at the base June 21, 1942. The submarine escaped when the order was given not to return fire with the 10-inch (250 mm) shore guns. This was done to so that the base position was not given away. While the damage caused was slight (reportedly only a baseball backstop was damaged and a powerline severed), the presence of the enemy ship sowed panic along the Pacific coast of the United States.

In 1975, Clatsop County commissioners considered seceding from Oregon, and become a part of Washington. The movement was based on disagreements residents of the county had with then-Governor Bob Straub. The movement was created after Alumax Corporation changed their plans of building a plant in the county. Some residents, including two county commissioners, blamed the Oregon Governor for the movement of the plant. The State of Washington's Governor, Daniel J. Evans, said the county was not welcome in the state. Clatsop County commissioners later abandoned the idea.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,084 square miles (2,810 km2), of which 829 square miles (2,150 km2) is land and 255 square miles (660 km2) (24%) is water. The highest point is Saddle Mountain at 3,283 feet (1,001 m), part of the Northern Oregon Coast Range.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

National protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 462
1860 498 7.8%
1870 1,255 152.0%
1880 7,222 475.5%
1890 10,016 38.7%
1900 12,765 27.4%
1910 16,106 26.2%
1920 23,030 43.0%
1930 21,124 −8.3%
1940 24,697 16.9%
1950 30,776 24.6%
1960 27,380 −11.0%
1970 28,473 4.0%
1980 32,489 14.1%
1990 33,301 2.5%
2000 35,630 7.0%
2010 37,039 4.0%
2020 41,072 10.9%
2021 (est.) 41,810 12.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 37,039 people, 15,742 households, and 9,579 families living in the county. The population density was 44.7 inhabitants per square mile (17.3/km2). There were 21,546 housing units at an average density of 26.0 per square mile (10.0/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.9% white, 1.2% Asian, 1.0% American Indian, 0.5% black or African American, 0.2% Pacific islander, 3.3% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 7.7% of the population.

Of the 15,742 households, 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 39.2% were non-families, and 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.85. The median age was 43.2 years.

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Economy

Haystack Rock, Oregon (drone photograph)
Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach is a popular tourist destination in Oregon.

The principal industries of Clatsop County are manufacturing, travel (primarily tourism), and trade. Fishing and timber are still important but contribute proportionally less to the county's employment and income than they used to. The county's average nonfarm employment was 17,480 in 2007. About 30% of the lands within the county boundaries belong to the state of Oregon, as part of the state forests. The Port of Astoria was created in 1914 to support trade and commerce.

Tourism

Astoria, Oregon, the county seat, has multiple tourist attractions including the Astoria Riverfront Trolley, Fort Clatsop, the Uppertown Firefighters Museum, and Columbia River Maritime Museum. Seaside, Oregon, noted as Oregon's oldest ocean resort community.

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