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Harlan County, Nebraska facts for kids

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Harlan County
Harlan County Courthouse in Alma
Harlan County Courthouse in Alma
Map of Nebraska highlighting Harlan County
Location within the U.S. state of Nebraska
Map of the United States highlighting Nebraska
Nebraska's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Nebraska
Founded 1871
Seat Alma
Largest city Alma
Area
 • Total 574 sq mi (1,490 km2)
 • Land 553 sq mi (1,430 km2)
 • Water 21 sq mi (50 km2)  3.6%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2017)
3,443
 • Density 6.2/sq mi (2.4/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Harlan County is a county in the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 3,423. Its county seat is Alma. The county is home to the Harlan County Reservoir.

In the Nebraska license plate system, Harlan County is represented by the prefix 51 (it had the 51st-largest number of vehicles registered in the county when the license plate system was established in 1922).

History

Prior to 1870, the portion of the Republican valley that now includes Harlan County was a prized hunting ground for the Native Americans; and the threat of attack deterred white settlement in the area. The defeat of the Sioux at the Battle of Summit Springs in 1869 largely eliminated this threat, and several parties were organized to explore the agricultural possibilities of the area.

A party of forty men from eastern Nebraska settled near the site of present-day Orleans in August 1870. In 1871, a party from Cheyenne, Wyoming, led by Thomas Harlan, settled near Alma, which was named after a daughter of one of the settlers. In that year, Harlan County was separated from Lincoln County by the Nebraska state legislature. Accounts differ as to the county's namesake: either Thomas Harlan, or James Harlan, who was U.S. Secretary of the Interior between 1865 and 1866.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 574 square miles (1,490 km2), of which 553 square miles (1,430 km2) is land and 21 square miles (54 km2) (3.6%) is water.

Major highways

  • US 6.svg U.S. Highway 6
  • US 34.svg U.S. Highway 34
  • US 183.svg U.S. Highway 183
  • N-4.svg Nebraska Highway 4
  • N-46.svg Nebraska Highway 46
  • N-89.svg Nebraska Highway 89

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 6,086
1890 8,158 34.0%
1900 9,370 14.9%
1910 9,578 2.2%
1920 9,220 −3.7%
1930 8,951 −2.9%
1940 7,130 −20.3%
1950 7,189 0.8%
1960 5,081 −29.3%
1970 4,357 −14.2%
1980 4,292 −1.5%
1990 3,810 −11.2%
2000 3,786 −0.6%
2010 3,423 −9.6%
2017 (est.) 3,443 0.6%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 3,786 people, 1,597 households, and 1,049 families in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile (3/km2). There were 2,327 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile (2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.86% White, 0.13% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. 0.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,597 households, out of which 25.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.00% were married couples living together, 4.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.30% were non-families. 30.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.93.

The county population contained 24.20% under the age of 18, 5.00% from 18 to 24, 21.60% from 25 to 44, 26.20% from 45 to 64, and 23.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,679, and the median income for a family was $36,875. Males had a median income of $27,580 versus $18,411 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,618. About 7.00% of families and 10.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.40% of those under age 18 and 9.10% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

City

Villages

Unincorporated communities

Townships

  • Albany
  • Alma
  • Antelope
  • Eldorado
  • Emerson
  • Fairfield
  • Mullally
  • Orleans
  • Prairie Dog
  • Republican City
  • Reuben
  • Sappa
  • Scandinavia
  • Spring Grove
  • Turkey Creek
  • Washington
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