Columbia County, Oregon facts for kids

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Columbia County, Oregon
Map

Location in the state of Oregon
Map of the USA highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded January 16, 1854
Seat St. Helens
Largest City St. Helens
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

688 sq mi (1,782 km²)
657 sq mi (1,702 km²)
31 sq mi (80 km²), 4.5%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

49,600
75/sq mi (29/km²)
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Website: www.co.columbia.or.us

Columbia County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,351. The county seat is St. Helens. It was named for the Columbia River, which forms its eastern and northern borders.

Columbia County is part of the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA Portland metropolitan area and is located in Northwest Oregon.

History

The Chinook and Clatskanie Native Americans inhabited this region for centuries prior to the arrival of Robert Gray, captain of the ship Columbia Rediviva, in 1792. The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled and camped along the Columbia River shore in the area later known as Columbia County in late 1805 and on their return journey in early 1806.

Columbia County was created in 1854 from the northern half of Washington County. Milton served as the county seat until 1857 when it was moved to St. Helens.

Columbia County has been afflicted by numerous flooding disasters, the most recent in December 2007. Heavy rains caused the Nehalem River to escape its banks and flood the city of Vernonia and rural areas nearby. Columbia County received a presidential disaster declaration for this event.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 688 square miles (1,780 km2), of which 657 square miles (1,700 km2) is land and 31 square miles (80 km2) (4.5%) is water. It is Oregon's third-smallest county by land area and fourth-smallest by total area.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge (part)

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 532
1870 863 62.2%
1880 2,042 136.6%
1890 5,191 154.2%
1900 6,237 20.2%
1910 10,580 69.6%
1920 13,960 31.9%
1930 20,047 43.6%
1940 20,971 4.6%
1950 22,967 9.5%
1960 22,379 −2.6%
1970 28,790 28.6%
1980 35,646 23.8%
1990 37,557 5.4%
2000 43,560 16.0%
2010 49,351 13.3%
Est. 2015 49,600 13.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 43,560 people, 16,375 households, and 12,035 families residing in the county. The population density was 66 people per square mile (26/km²). There were 17,572 housing units at an average density of 27 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.42% White, 0.24% Black or African American, 1.33% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.79% from other races, and 2.53% from two or more races. 2.51% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 21.2% were of German, 10.8% English, 9.4% American, 9.3% Irish and 5.4% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 16,375 households out of which 34.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.50% were non-families. 21.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.30% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 26.00% from 45 to 64, and 11.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 100.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,797, and the median income for a family was $51,381. Males had a median income of $42,227 versus $27,216 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,078. About 6.70% of families and 9.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.60% of those under age 18 and 7.00% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 49,351 people, 19,183 households, and 13,516 families residing in the county. The population density was 75.1 inhabitants per square mile (29.0/km2). There were 20,698 housing units at an average density of 31.5 per square mile (12.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.5% white, 1.3% American Indian, 0.9% Asian, 0.4% black or African American, 0.2% Pacific islander, 1.2% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 26.1% were German, 14.5% were English, 14.4% were Irish, 5.9% were Norwegian, and 4.8% were American.

Of the 19,183 households, 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.5% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.5% were non-families, and 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.98. The median age was 41.3 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $55,199 and the median income for a family was $62,728. Males had a median income of $52,989 versus $35,558 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,613. About 6.5% of families and 10.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.7% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

CC Rider van at Willow Creek MAX station
The CC Rider transit service links the county to Portland and points in Washington County, including connecting with TriMet buses and the MAX light rail system in eastern Hillsboro.

Limited public transit service within Columbia County, and connecting the county with certain points in adjacent counties, is provided by the Columbia County Rider (or CC Rider), a service operated by the county's Transit Division. The service carried 91,500 passengers in 2010.

Communities

ColumbiaCountyORSheriffsOffice
Columbia County Sheriff's Office

Cities

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


Columbia County, Oregon Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.