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Portage County, Wisconsin facts for kids

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Portage County
Portage County Courthouse in Stevens Point
Portage County Courthouse in Stevens Point
Flag of Portage County
Flag
Map of Wisconsin highlighting Portage County
Location within the U.S. state of Wisconsin
Map of the United States highlighting Wisconsin
Wisconsin's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
Founded 1844
Named for the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers
Seat Stevens Point
Largest city Stevens Point
Area
 • Total 823 sq mi (2,130 km2)
 • Land 801 sq mi (2,070 km2)
 • Water 22 sq mi (60 km2)  2.7%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 70,019
 • Estimate 
(2020)
71,032
 • Density 85.08/sq mi (32.849/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Portage County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2020 census, the population was 70,377. Its county seat is Stevens Point.

Portage County comprises the Stevens Point, WI Micropolitan Statistical Area and is included in the Wausau-Stevens Point-Wisconsin Rapids, WI Combined Statistical Area.

History

Portage County was created from the Wisconsin Territory in 1836 and organized in 1844. Like the city of Portage, Portage County is named for the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers; Portage County originally included the portage and Portage but boundary changes detached the county from its namesake.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 823 square miles (2,130 km2), of which 801 square miles (2,070 km2) is land and 22 square miles (57 km2) (2.7%) is water.

Major highways

  • I-39.svg Interstate 39
  • US 10.svg U.S. Highway 10
  • US 51.svg U.S. Highway 51
  • WIS 22.svg Highway 22 (Wisconsin)
  • WIS 34.svg Highway 34 (Wisconsin)
  • WIS 49.svg Highway 49 (Wisconsin)
  • WIS 54.svg Highway 54 (Wisconsin)
  • WIS 66.svg Highway 66 (Wisconsin)
  • WIS 73.svg Highway 73 (Wisconsin)
  • WIS 161.svg Highway 161 (Wisconsin)

Airport

  • KSTE - Stevens Point Municipal Airport

Adjacent counties

Natural Wildlife refuges

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,623
1850 1,250 −23.0%
1860 7,507 500.6%
1870 10,634 41.7%
1880 17,731 66.7%
1890 24,798 39.9%
1900 29,483 18.9%
1910 30,945 5.0%
1920 33,649 8.7%
1930 33,827 0.5%
1940 35,800 5.8%
1950 34,858 −2.6%
1960 36,964 6.0%
1970 47,541 28.6%
1980 57,420 20.8%
1990 61,405 6.9%
2000 67,182 9.4%
2010 70,019 4.2%
Est. 2020 71,032 1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020
USA Portage County, Wisconsin age pyramid
2000 Census Age Pyramid for Portage County

As of the census of 2000, there were 67,182 people, 25,040 households, and 16,501 families residing in the county. The population density was 83 people per square mile (32/km2). There were 26,589 housing units at an average density of 33 per square mile (13/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.73% White, 0.32% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 2.25% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. 1.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.8% were of Polish, 31.6% German, 5.4% Norwegian and 5.0% Irish ancestry. 93.9% spoke English, 1.7% Spanish, 1.6% Polish and 1.3% Hmong as their first language.

There were 25,040 households, out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.10% were married couples living together, 7.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.10% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.10% under the age of 18, 16.20% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 21.10% from 45 to 64, and 10.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 99.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.80 males.

In 2017, there were 674 births, giving a general fertility rate of 46.4 births per 1000 women aged 15–44, the third lowest rate out of all 72 Wisconsin counties.

Communities

Portage County Wisconsin Fairgrounds
Fairgrounds
Portage County Wisconsin Grandstands
Grandstands at the county fairgrounds
Amherst Speedway Four Cylinder race cars
4 cylinder stock cars racing at the county fairgrounds

City

Villages

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost town

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