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Kittitas County, Washington facts for kids

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Kittitas County
Kittitas County Courthouse in Ellensburg
Kittitas County Courthouse in Ellensburg
Map of Washington highlighting Kittitas 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 November 24, 1883
Seat Ellensburg
Largest city Ellensburg
 • Total 2,333 sq mi (6,040 km2)
 • Land 2,297 sq mi (5,950 km2)
 • Water 36 sq mi (90 km2)  1.5%%
 • Total 44,337
 • Estimate 
45,499 Increase
 • Density 20/sq mi (8/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district 8th

Kittitas County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. At the 2020 census, its population was 44,337. Its county seat and largest city is Ellensburg. The county was created in November 1883 when it was carved out of Yakima County. Kittitas County comprises the Ellensburg, Washington, Micropolitan Statistical Area.

There are numerous interpretations of the county's name, which is from the language of the Yakama Nation. According to one source, it "has been said to mean everything from 'white chalk' to 'shale rock' to 'shoal people' to 'land of plenty'". Most anthropologists and historians concede that each interpretation has some validity depending upon the particular dialect spoken.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,333 square miles (6,040 km2), of which 2,297 square miles (5,950 km2) is land and 36 square miles (93 km2) (1.5%) is water. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet (2,426 m) above sea level.

Geographic features

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Snoqualmie National Forest (part)
  • Wenatchee National Forest (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 8,777
1900 9,704 10.6%
1910 18,561 91.3%
1920 17,737 −4.4%
1930 18,154 2.4%
1940 20,230 11.4%
1950 22,235 9.9%
1960 20,467 −8.0%
1970 25,039 22.3%
1980 24,877 −0.6%
1990 26,725 7.4%
2000 33,362 24.8%
2010 40,915 22.6%
2020 44,337 8.4%
2021 (est.) 45,499 11.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 40,915 people, 16,595 households, and 9,225 families living in the county. The population density was 17.8 inhabitants per square mile (6.9/km2). There were 21,900 housing units at an average density of 9.5 per square mile (3.7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.3% white, 2.0% Asian, 1.0% American Indian, 0.9% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 3.7% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 7.6% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 26.2% were German, 15.4% were Irish, 12.7% were English, 8.2% were Norwegian, 5.1% were Italian, 5.0% were Swedish, and 3.4% were American.

Of the 16,595 households, 24.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 44.4% were non-families, and 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.87. The median age was 31.9 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,232 and the median income for a family was $61,276. Males had a median income of $45,916 versus $35,380 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,467. About 10.3% of families and 21.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.8% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.

Flora and fauna

There are a variety of species represented within Kittitas County. These include a diversity of grasses, herbs, trees, birds, mammals and amphibians. The genus of ricegrass known as Oryzopsis was one of the earliest grasses classified within the county. Among the amphibian species found are the Cascades frog and the Rough-skinned Newt, the latter being a common far western USA taxon; in fact, examples of neoteny have been found in individual newts of this species within the county.



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


  • The Kittitas County Fair and Ellensburg Rodeo occur every Labor Day Weekend. The Kittitas County Fair began in 1885, and moved to its current location in 1923.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Kittitas para niños

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