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Delaware County, Oklahoma facts for kids

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Delaware County
Delaware County Courthouse
Delaware County Courthouse
Map of Oklahoma highlighting Delaware County
Location within the U.S. state of Oklahoma
Map of the United States highlighting Oklahoma
Oklahoma's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Oklahoma
Founded 1907
Named for Delaware Indians
Seat Jay
Largest city Grove
 • Total 792 sq mi (2,050 km2)
 • Land 738 sq mi (1,910 km2)
 • Water 54 sq mi (140 km2)  6.8%%
 • Total 41,487
 • Estimate 
 • Density 56/sq mi (22/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Delaware County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,487. Its county seat is Jay. The county was named for the Delaware Indians, who had established a village in the area prior to the Cherokees being assigned to relocate to Indian Territory in the 1830s. Delaware County was created in 1907. Prior to becoming Delaware County, a large portion of the area was known as the Delaware District of the Cherokee Nation. Today, Delaware County continues to be recognized by the Cherokee Nation as the Delaware District.


Archaeological studies have shown that at least three different periods of prehistoric people had lived in the area covered by Delaware County. These included 23 Archaic, 17 Woodland, and 63 Eastern Villager sites. Artifacts date back between 1400 and 2000 years from the present. Many of these sites have been submerged since the creation of Grand Lake o' the Cherokees.

Few Native Americans lived in the area until the early nineteenth century, when the federal government began relocating tribes from the Eastern United States. About 1820, a group of Delaware, who had allied with the Cherokee against the Osage, settled Delaware Town, about two miles south of the present town of Eucha. In 1828, the Western Cherokee moved from Arkansas Territory into the area just south of the present Delaware County. In 1832, the Seneca moved from Ohio into an area that included the northeastern part of Delaware County.

The present day county was created at statehood in 1907. Initially, Grove, the only incorporated town in the county, was designated as the county seat. However, a large number of county residents wanted a more centrally located seat. This group founded the town of Jay, where they built a wooden courthouse and won an election to move the county seat. A court suit resolved the dispute in favor of the Jay location.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 792 square miles (2,050 km2), of which 738 square miles (1,910 km2) is land and 54 square miles (140 km2) (6.8%) is water. The county lies on the western slope of the Ozark Plateau. There are no oil, gas or mineral resources of economic consequence, but the county has abundant water.

Lake Eucha, a man-made reservoir on Spavinaw Creek, completed in 1952, lies primarily within Delaware County. Grand Lake o' the Cherokees, completed in 1940, and Lake Spavinaw, completed in 1924, are partly within Delaware County. The Grand River and the Elk River drain the northern part of the county, while Flint Creek and the Illinois River drain the southern part.

Major highways

  • US 59.svg U.S. Highway 59
  • US 60.svg U.S. Highway 60
  • US 412.svg U.S. Highway 412
  • Oklahoma State Highway 10.svg State Highway 10
  • Oklahoma State Highway 20.svg State Highway 20
  • Oklahoma State Highway 25.svg State Highway 25
  • Oklahoma State Highway 28.svg State Highway 28

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 11,469
1920 13,868 20.9%
1930 15,370 10.8%
1940 18,592 21.0%
1950 14,734 −20.8%
1960 13,198 −10.4%
1970 17,767 34.6%
1980 23,946 34.8%
1990 28,070 17.2%
2000 37,077 32.1%
2010 41,487 11.9%
2019 (est.) 43,009 3.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019
USA Delaware County, Oklahoma age pyramid
Age pyramid for Delaware County, Oklahoma, based on census 2000 data.

As of the 2010 census, there were 41,487 people, up from 37,077 people in 2000. In 2000, there were 14,838 households, and 10,772 families residing in the county. The population density was 50 people per square mile (19/km2). There were 22,290 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile (12/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 70.22% White, 0.13% Black or African American, 22.31% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 6.53% from two or more races. Self-identified Hispanic or Latino Americans made up 1.75% of the population. 93.8% spoke English, 3.5% Cherokee and 2.3% Spanish as their first language.

There were 14,838 households, out of which 29.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.50% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.40% were non-families. 24.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.50% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 24.40% from 25 to 44, 26.70% from 45 to 64, and 17.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 96.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,996, and the median income for a family was $33,093. Males had a median income of $25,758 versus $19,345 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,424. About 14.10% of families and 18.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.40% of those under age 18 and 11.60% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

NRHP sites

The following sites are in Delaware County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • Bassett Grove Ceremonial Grounds, Grove
  • Beattie's Prairie, Jay
  • Corey House/Hotel, Grove
  • Hildebrand Mill, Siloam Springs
  • Polson Cemetery, Jay
  • Saline Courthouse, Rose
  • Splitlog Church, Grove
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