Kittitas County, Washington facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Kittitas County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Kittitas County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the USA highlighting Washington
Washington's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded November 24, 1883
Seat Ellensburg
Largest City Ellensburg
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

2,333 sq mi (6,042 km²)
2,297 sq mi (5,949 km²)
36 sq mi (93 km²), 1.5%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

43,269
19/sq mi (7/km²)
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Website: www.co.kittitas.wa.us

Kittitas County /ˈkɪttæs/ is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 40,915. Its county seat and largest city is Ellensburg. The county was created on November 24, 1883 when it separated from Yakima County.

There are numerous interpretations of the 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."

Kittitas County comprises the Ellensburg, WA Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography

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)

Demographics

Historical populations
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%
Est. 2015 43,269 29.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2015

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 33,362 people, 13,382 households, and 7,788 families residing in the county. The population density was 14 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 16,475 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.77% White, 0.71% Black or African American, 0.91% Native American, 2.19% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 2.30% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. 5.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.4% were of German, 11.7% English, 9.0% Irish, 7.8% United States or American and 6.6% Norwegian ancestry. 93.2% spoke English and 4.5% Spanish as their first language.

There were 13,382 households out of which 26.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.80% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.80% were non-families. 28.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county, the population was spread out with 20.60% under the age of 18, 21.60% from 18 to 24, 24.60% from 25 to 44, 21.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 98.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,546, and the median income for a family was $46,057. Males had a median income of $36,257 versus $25,640 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,928. About 10.50% of families and 19.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.60% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.

Irrigated Hillside near Ellensburg WA
An irrigated hillside near Ellensburg

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 40,915 people, 16,595 households, and 9,225 families residing 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.

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Events

  • 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.

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