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Island County, Washington facts for kids

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Island County
Shoreline at Fort Ebey State Park within U.S. Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve on Whidbey Island
Map of Washington highlighting Island 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 1852
Seat Coupeville
Largest city Oak Harbor
Area
 • Total 517 sq mi (1,340 km2)
 • Land 208 sq mi (540 km2)
 • Water 309 sq mi (800 km2)  60%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 86,857
 • Estimate 
(2021)
87,432 Increase
 • Density 381/sq mi (147/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Island County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2020 census, its population was 86,857. Its county seat is Coupeville, while its largest city is Oak Harbor.

The county's name reflects the fact that it is composed entirely of islands. It contains two large islands, Whidbey and Camano, and seven smaller islands (Baby, Ben Ure, Deception, Kalamut, Minor, Smith, and Strawberry). Island County was created out of Thurston County on December 22, 1852, by the legislature of Oregon Territory, and is the eighth-oldest county in Washington. It originally encompassed what are now Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, and San Juan Counties.

Island County comprises the Oak Harbor, Washington Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the SeattleTacoma, WA Combined Statistical Area.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 517 square miles (1,340 km2), of which 208 square miles (540 km2) is land and 309 square miles (800 km2) (60%) is water. It is the second-smallest county in Washington by area.

Geographic features

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 294
1870 626 112.9%
1880 1,087 73.6%
1890 1,787 64.4%
1900 1,870 4.6%
1910 4,704 151.6%
1920 5,489 16.7%
1930 5,369 −2.2%
1940 6,098 13.6%
1950 11,079 81.7%
1960 19,638 77.3%
1970 27,011 37.5%
1980 44,048 63.1%
1990 60,195 36.7%
2000 71,558 18.9%
2010 78,506 9.7%
2020 86,857 10.6%
2021 (est.) 87,432 11.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 78,506 people, 32,746 households, and 22,156 families living in the county. The population density was 376.6 inhabitants per square mile (145.4/km2). There were 40,234 housing units at an average density of 193.0 per square mile (74.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 86.1% white, 4.4% Asian, 2.2% black or African American, 0.8% American Indian, 0.5% Pacific islander, 1.5% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.5% of the population. The largest ancestry groups were:

  • 21.4% German
  • 14.3% Irish
  • 14.0% English
  • 6.1% Norwegian
  • 4.5% Scottish
  • 4.3% French
  • 4.1% Dutch
  • 4.0% Swedish
  • 4.0% American
  • 3.6% Mexican
  • 3.5% Italian
  • 2.9% Filipino
  • 2.5% Scotch-Irish
  • 2.1% Polish
  • 1.6% Welsh
  • 1.5% Danish

Of the 32,746 households, 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.3% were non-families, and 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.81. The median age was 43.2 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $57,190 and the median income for a family was $68,106. Males had a median income of $46,801 versus $35,189 for females. The per capita income for the county was $29,079. About 5.7% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.1% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

The primary islands of Island County, Whidbey Island and Camano Island are served by a total of 3 Washington State Routes, those being SR 20 and SR 525, on Whidbey Island, and SR 532 on Camano Island. SR 20 enters Island County via the Port Townsend-Coupeville (Keystone) ferry route from the West, and departs via the Deception Pass Bridge in the North. SR 525 enters Island County from the East/South via the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry and terminates at an intersection with SR 20, South of Coupeville. SR 532 begins on Camano Island, just a few hundred yards inside Island County at an intersection with Sunrise Boulevard and departs Island County to the East via the Camano Gateway Bridge. These islands are also served by a fare-free/pre-paid bus service called Island Transit.

Communities

Cities

Town

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

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