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Ravalli County, Montana facts for kids

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Ravalli County, Montana
Map
Map of Montana highlighting Ravalli County
Location in the state of Montana
Map of the USA highlighting Montana
Montana's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1893
Seat Hamilton
Largest City Hamilton
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

2,400 sq mi (6,216 km²)
2,391 sq mi (6,193 km²)
9.4 sq mi (24 km²), 0.4%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

41,373
17/sq mi (7/km²)
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Website: www.rc.mt.gov
Named for: Antonio Ravalli

Ravalli County is a county located in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Montana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 40,212. Its county seat is Hamilton.

Ravalli County is part of a north/south mountain valley bordered by the Sapphire Mountains on the East and the Bitterroot Mountains on the West. It is often referred to as the Bitterroot Valley, which is named for the Bitterroot Flower. The county is entirely on the Pacific Ocean side of the Continental Divide, which follows the Idaho-Montana border from Wyoming until Ravalli County. Here it turns east into Montana, between Chief Joseph Pass and Lost Trail Pass, and follows the Ravalli County-Beaverhead County border.

History

Ravalli County was once home to the Bitterroot Salish tribe. The tribe was first encountered in 1805 by the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which noted the friendly nature of the tribe. The Catholic Church took interest in creating a mission in the area, and in 1841, Stevensville was founded. In 1891, the Salish tribe was relocated to the current Flathead Reservation under the Treaty of Hellgate.

In 1877, Chief Joseph and his Wallowa band of Nez Perce passed through Ravalli County in their attempt to escape confinement to a reservation; they were captured en route to Canada just south of Havre.

Ravalli County was created by the Montana Legislature on March 3, 1893. It is named after the Italian Jesuit priest Antony Ravalli, who arrived in the Bitterroot Valley in 1845.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,400 square miles (6,200 km2), of which 2,391 square miles (6,190 km2) is land and 9.4 square miles (24 km2) (0.4%) is water.

Major highways

  • US 93.svg U.S. Highway 93
  • MT-38.svg Montana Highway 38

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Bitterroot National Forest (part)
  • Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge
  • Lolo National Forest (part)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 7,822
1910 11,666 49.1%
1920 10,098 −13.4%
1930 10,315 2.1%
1940 12,478 21.0%
1950 13,101 5.0%
1960 12,341 −5.8%
1970 14,409 16.8%
1980 22,493 56.1%
1990 25,010 11.2%
2000 36,070 44.2%
2010 40,212 11.5%
Est. 2015 41,373 2.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 36,070 people, 14,289 households, and 10,188 families residing in the county. The population density was 15 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 15,946 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.71% White, 0.14% Black or African American, 0.88% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 1.44% from two or more races. 1.88% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 22.1% were of German, 14.1% English, 11.1% Irish, 7.9% American and 6.3% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 14,289 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.30% were married couples living together, 7.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.70% were non-families. 24.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 6.20% from 18 to 24, 24.70% from 25 to 44, 28.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,992, and the median income for a family was $38,397. Males had a median income of $30,994 versus $19,987 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,935. About 9.60% of families and 13.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.10% of those under age 18 and 6.30% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 40,212 people, 16,933 households, and 11,380 families residing in the county. The population density was 16.8 inhabitants per square mile (6.5/km2). There were 19,583 housing units at an average density of 8.2 per square mile (3.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.9% white, 0.9% American Indian, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 28.8% were German, 17.4% were English, 15.9% were Irish, 8.3% were American, 5.7% were Italian, and 5.5% were Norwegian.

Of the 16,933 households, 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.5% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.8% were non-families, and 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.83. The median age was 46.0 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,000 and the median income for a family was $53,004. Males had a median income of $42,065 versus $27,629 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,908. About 9.6% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.5% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

City

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

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