kids encyclopedia robot

Grant County, Washington facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Grant County
Grant County Courthouse
Grant County Courthouse
Official seal of Grant County
Map of Washington highlighting Grant County
Location within the U.S. state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Washington
Founded February 24, 1909
Named for Ulysses S. Grant
Seat Ephrata
Largest city Moses Lake
 • Total 2,791 sq mi (7,230 km2)
 • Land 2,680 sq mi (6,900 km2)
 • Water 112 sq mi (290 km2)  4.0%%
 • Total 99,123
 • Estimate 
100,297 Increase
 • Density 35/sq mi (14/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district 4th

Grant County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2020 census, the population was 99,123. The county seat is Ephrata, and the largest city is Moses Lake. The county was formed out of Douglas County in February 1909 and is named for U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.

Grant County comprises the Moses Lake, WA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also part of the Moses Lake-Othello, WA Combined Statistical Area.


Native American cultures in the area included the Interior Salish, Wenatchi, Okanagan. The first white settlers began to arrive in the mid-to-late-19th century, primarily with the goal of raising livestock. One government official described the area in 1879 as, "…a desolation where even the most hopeful can find nothing in its future prospects to cheer."

When railroads arrived they also brought new settlers, and the economy began a shift from ranching to dryland farming. This transition required the people to have ready access to water, and irrigation became a necessity. The first large-scale irrigation attempts began in 1898, but it would be years before real success.

With the influx of dryland farming, the county soon boasted access to three major railway systems; the Great Northern Railway, Northern Pacific Railroad and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. In addition, the Columbia River in this area was navigable. This allowed crops to be transported out of the area easily. Towns like Wilson Creek, Quincy and Ephrata began to thrive.

The Washington State Legislature officially created Grant County February 24, 1909, and named after President Ulysses S. Grant. The county seat was located in Ephrata. The population in the county at the time was only about 8700 people.

The Columbia Basin Reclamation Project, which began as a group of businessmen from Ephrata began looking for ways to make the area more viable. One idea was to dam the Columbia River at Grand Coulee. Although the idea of the Grand Coulee Dam would not be approved until 1933 and still not implemented until 1939, the project would fundamentally change the region forever.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,791 square miles (7,230 km2), of which 2,680 square miles (6,900 km2) is land and 112 square miles (290 km2) (4.0%) is water. It is the fourth-largest county in Washington by area.

When entering the county via I-90, a sign can be seen that welcomes travellers to Grant County and states that it is "The nation's leading potato producing county".

Geographic features

Major highways

  • I-90
  • I‑90 Bus.
  • US 2.svg U.S. Route 2
  • WA-17.svg State Route 17
  • WA-28.svg State Route 28

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 8,698
1920 7,771 −10.7%
1930 5,666 −27.1%
1940 14,668 158.9%
1950 24,346 66.0%
1960 46,477 90.9%
1970 41,881 −9.9%
1980 48,522 15.9%
1990 54,758 12.9%
2000 74,698 36.4%
2010 89,120 19.3%
2020 99,123 11.2%
2021 (est.) 100,297 12.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 89,120 people, 30,041 households, and 21,800 families living in the county. The population density was 33.3 inhabitants per square mile (12.9/km2). There were 35,083 housing units at an average density of 13.1 per square mile (5.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 72.8% white, 1.2% American Indian, 1.1% black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 20.4% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 38.3% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 15.5% were German, 8.9% were English, 7.1% were Irish, and 3.9% were American.

Of the 30,041 households, 40.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.4% were non-families, and 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.40. The median age was 32.1 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,572 and the median income for a family was $50,065. Males had a median income of $39,530 versus $27,417 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,718. About 15.7% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.4% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Grant (Washington) para niños

kids search engine
Grant County, Washington Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.