Columbia County, Oregon facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Columbia County Courthouse in St. Helens
Location within the U.S. state of Oregon
Oregon's location within the U.S.
|Founded||January 16, 1854|
|Largest city||St. Helens|
|• Total||688 sq mi (1,780 km2)|
|• Land||657 sq mi (1,700 km2)|
|• Water||31 sq mi (80 km2) 4.5%%|
| • Estimate
|• Density||75/sq mi (29/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
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.
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.
- Clatsop County (west)
- Washington County (south)
- Multnomah County (southeast)
- Clark County, Washington (east)
- Cowlitz County, Washington (northeast)
- Wahkiakum County, Washington (northwest)
National protected area
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the 2010 census, there were 49,351 people, 19,183 households, and 13,516 families living 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.
Columbia County Rider (CC Rider), a service of the Columbia County Transit Division, provides six intercity bus lines and one "flex route" serving various points of downtown St. Helens and downtown Scappoose. As of 2016, CC Rider buses are operated by contract drivers supplied by MTR Western, a charter motor coach operator.
The transit agency is largely funded by grants from the Oregon Department of Transportation and the federal government. Attempts at making CC Rider a separate transit district and to introduce new taxes to fund it have repeatedly failed since 2015. Columbia County and nearby Clatsop County are currently studying options on consolidating the two county's transit services.
Single-ride fares range from $2 to $6 per ride, depending on number of zones traveled. A ride to Astoria costs up to $10 per ride each way.
- US 26
- US 30
US 30 Bus.
- OR 47
- OR 202
The primary industries are wood products and paper manufacturing, trade, construction and horticulture. The extensive stands of old-growth timber, which had attracted many of the early settlers to the area, were completely logged over by the 1950s. Second-growth timber provides the raw material for local lumber and paper mills. About half the county's workforce commutes out of the county to work, most to the nearby Portland, Oregon, metro area. Columbia County's average non-farm employment was 10,740 in 2007. The five largest private employers in Columbia County are Fred Meyer, Cascade Tissue Group, Wal-Mart, OMIC, USIA, and USG.
Columbia County, Oregon Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.