Malheur County, Oregon facts for kids

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Malheur County, Oregon
Map

Location in the state of Oregon
Map of the USA highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded February 17, 1887
Seat Vale
Largest City Ontario
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

9,930 sq mi (25,719 km²)
9,888 sq mi (25,610 km²)
42 sq mi (109 km²), 0.4%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

30,380
3.2/sq mi (1/km²)
Website: www.malheurco.org
Named for: Malheur River

Malheur County /mælˈhɪər/ is a county located in the southeast corner of the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 31,313. Its county seat is Vale, and its largest city is Ontario. The county was named after the Malheur River, which runs through the county. "Malheur" is French for misfortune or tragedy.

Malheur County is included in the Ontario, OR-ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Boise City-Mountain Home-Ontario, ID-OR Combined Statistical Area. It is included in the eight-county definition of Eastern Oregon.

History

Malheur County was created February 17, 1887, from the southern portion of Baker County. It was first settled by miners and stockmen in the early 1860s. The discovery of gold in 1863 attracted further development, including settlements and ranches. Basques settled in the region in the 1890s and were mainly engaged in sheep raising.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 9,930 square miles (25,700 km2), of which 9,888 square miles (25,610 km2) is land and 42 square miles (110 km2) (0.4%) is water. It is the second-largest county in Oregon by area. It is the only county in Oregon in the Mountain Time Zone.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge (part)
  • Malheur National Forest (part)
  • Whitman National Forest (part)
See also: Bully Creek Reservoir

Highways

  • I-84.svg Interstate 84
  • US 20.svg US 20
  • US 26.svg US 26
  • US 30.svg US 30
  • US 95.svg US 95
  • OR 78.svg OR 78
  • OR 201.svg OR 201
PillarsOfRomePano1
Pillars of Rome, near Rome

Time zones

UTC hue4map US-OR
Most of Malheur County (shown in red) is in the Mountain Time Zone; a small portion in the southern part of the county is in the Pacific Time Zone along with the rest of the state of Oregon and neighboring Nevada.

Because of its economic relationship with Idaho, most of the county is in the Mountain time zone, making it the only county in Oregon that does not completely follow Pacific Time. The largely unpopulated southern quarter of the county, near McDermitt, observes Pacific Time. The legal dividing line between the two begins at the southwest corner of township 35 S, range 37 E and continues east to the Oregon–Idaho border, crossing Highway 95 at approximately 42.45° N. latitude. (Precisely, 42 degrees, 27.166 minutes. The official Oregon sign marking the crossing is in the wrong place, about ten miles north.) Malheur is one of the few counties in the U.S. that legally observes two different time zones.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 2,601
1900 4,203 61.6%
1910 8,601 104.6%
1920 10,907 26.8%
1930 11,269 3.3%
1940 19,767 75.4%
1950 23,223 17.5%
1960 22,764 −2.0%
1970 23,169 1.8%
1980 26,896 16.1%
1990 26,038 −3.2%
2000 31,615 21.4%
2010 31,313 −1.0%
Est. 2015 30,380 −3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 31,615 people, 10,221 households, and 7,348 families residing in the county. The population density was 3 people per square mile (1.2/km²). There were 11,233 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0.4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was:

  • 75.78% White
  • 1.22% Black or African American
  • 1.02% Native American
  • 1.96% Asian
  • 0.08% Pacific Islander
  • 17.38% from other races
  • 2.56% from two or more races

25.62% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.2% were of German, 10.5% English, 8.4% American and 6.9% Irish ancestry. 79.4% spoke English and 19.4% Spanish as their first language.

There were 10,221 households out of which 36.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 23.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.28.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.60% under the age of 18, 10.60% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 21.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 116.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 121.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,241, and the median income for a family was $35,672. Males had a median income of $25,489 versus $21,764 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,895. About 14.60% of families and 18.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.80% of those under age 18 and 11.60% of those age 65 or over.

Malheur County is the poorest county in Oregon. As of 2008, 21% of its residents live in poverty.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 31,313 people, 10,411 households, and 7,149 families residing in the county. The population density was 3.2 inhabitants per square mile (1.2/km2). There were 11,692 housing units at an average density of 1.2 per square mile (0.46/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 77.5% white, 1.7% Asian, 1.2% American Indian, 1.2% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 15.5% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 31.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 16.2% were German, 11.9% were English, 10.3% were Irish, and 9.9% were American.

Of the 10,411 households, 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.3% were non-families, and 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.24. The median age was 36.2 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,144 and the median income for a family was $46,136. Males had a median income of $33,234 versus $27,883 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,335. About 15.2% of families and 22.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.1% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Amalgamated Sugar Co. plant, Nyssa, OR
A sugar beet plant of the Amalgamated Sugar Company in Nyssa

Cities

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Images for kids


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