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Coos County, Oregon facts for kids

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Coos County
Historic Coos Bay National Bank Building.
Map of Oregon highlighting Coos 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 22, 1853
Seat Coquille
Largest city Coos Bay
 • Total 1,806 sq mi (4,680 km2)
 • Land 1,596 sq mi (4,130 km2)
 • Water 210 sq mi (500 km2)  12%
 • Total 64,929
 • Estimate 
64,999 Increase
 • Density 39/sq mi (15/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district 4th

Coos County ( kooss) is one of the 36 counties in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2020 census, the population was 64,929. The county seat is Coquille. The county was formed from the western parts of Umpqua and Jackson counties. It is named after a tribe of Native Americans who live in the region. Coos County comprises the Coos Bay, OR Micropolitan Statistical Area.


It's unclear where the name Coos originated. Lewis and Clark noted Cook-koo-oose. Early maps and documents spelled it Kowes, Cowes, Coose, Koos, among others.

Although exploration and trapping in the area occurred as early as 1828, the first settlement was established at Empire City in 1853, now part of Coos Bay, Oregon, by members of the Coos Bay Company.

Coos County was created by the Territorial Legislature from parts of Umpqua County, Oregon, and Jackson County, Oregon, counties on December 22, 1853. Curry County, Oregon, was created from the southern part in 1855. The county seat was originally at Empire City. In 1895 the legislature permitted the citizens of the county to choose a new county seat. The 1896 vote resulted in moving the seat to Coquille.

The Territorial Legislature granted permission for the development of wagon roads from Coos Bay to Jacksonville, Oregon, in 1854 and to Roseburg, Oregon, in 1857.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,806 square miles (4,680 km2), of which 1,596 square miles (4,130 km2) is land and 210 square miles (540 km2) (12%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 445
1870 1,644 269.4%
1880 4,834 194.0%
1890 8,874 83.6%
1900 10,324 16.3%
1910 17,959 74.0%
1920 22,257 23.9%
1930 28,373 27.5%
1940 32,466 14.4%
1950 42,265 30.2%
1960 54,955 30.0%
1970 56,515 2.8%
1980 64,047 13.3%
1990 60,273 −5.9%
2000 62,779 4.2%
2010 63,043 0.4%
Est. 2021 64,999 3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 63,043 people, 27,133 households, and 16,857 families living in the county. The population density was 39.5 inhabitants per square mile (15.3/km2). There were 30,593 housing units at an average density of 19.2 per square mile (7.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.8% white, 2.5% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.4% black or African American, 0.2% Pacific islander, 1.7% from other races, and 4.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 22.9% were German, 15.0% were English, 12.7% were Irish, 7.4% were American, and 5.2% were Scottish.

Of the 27,133 households, 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.9% were non-families, and 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.78. The median age was 47.3 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,491 and the median income for a family was $46,569. Males had a median income of $39,744 versus $28,328 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,981. About 11.5% of families and 16.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.4% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.

Natural history

The tallest documented living specimen of a Douglas-fir tree in the world is found 35 miles (56 km) southeast of Coos Bay in the Sitkum area and is slightly more than 100 metres (330 ft) tall.



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


Coos County aerial
The Southwest Oregon Regional Airport in North Bend

Deposits of gold initially attracted people to the county in the nineteenth century. Between 1890 and 1910, large amounts of coal were mined in the county and shipped to California; production decreased after oil was discovered in that state, and no coal mines in the county have been in production since 1950. These coal fields have been explored for natural gas since 1938, although CDX Gas, a company based in Texas announced in 2003 that they would be drilling two test wells later that year.

A project to build a 60-mile (97 km) natural gas pipeline between the cities of Roseburg and Coos Bay, which would attract new industry to the Coos Bay area, was begun in 1999 when voters approved a local bond measure to raise as much as $27 million, with the state of Oregon providing $24 million. The pipeline construction began in June 2003 and was finished in 2004.

Currently, forest products, tourism, fishing and agriculture dominate the Coos County economy. The service industry is replacing the former lumber-driven economy. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, north of Bandon and south of Coos Bay, attracts tourists and golfers from around the world. Boating, dairy farming, myrtlewood manufacturing, shipbuilding and repair and agriculture specialty products, including cranberries, also play an important role. Untapped rich deposits of iron ore and lead await development.

Two projects are under development in Coos County. One is the Jordan Cove Energy Project, which includes the development of a shipping terminal on the north spit of Coos Bay, a half billion dollar terminal facility and a pipeline to deliver liquefied natural gas to southern Oregon and northern California. This endeavor is expected to create up to 175 permanent new jobs, as well as an estimated 930 jobs during its four-year construction phase.

The second project, undertaken by Oregon Resources Corporation (ORC), uses modern strip-mining techniques to extract chromite, zircon, and garnet from local sands. The tailings after processing will be returned and re-contoured to replicate pre-mining conditions, and the affected area will be reforested. Job numbers are not listed on the company website but an annual payroll of $3.5 million is listed in the economic impact portion of the FAQ. The Oregon League of Women Voters cited similar numbers from ORC, wholly owned by Industrial Mineral Corporation of Australia; the operation was projected to create 70 to 80 jobs with a salary of $46,000 per year. Efforts to block the project because of health and environmental concerns did not succeed.

There are several port districts in the county: Port of Coos Bay founded in 1909, Port of Coquille River founded in 1912, and Port of Bandon founded in 1913. Coos Bay is considered the best natural harbor between San Francisco Bay and the Puget Sound, and the Port of Coos Bay was the largest forest products shipper in the world until late 2005 when raw log exports via transport ship were suspended.

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