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Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska facts for kids

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Scotts Bluff County
Scotts Bluff County Courthouse in Gering
Scotts Bluff County Courthouse in Gering
Map of Nebraska highlighting Scotts Bluff County
Location within the U.S. state of Nebraska
Map of the United States highlighting Nebraska
Nebraska's location within the U.S.
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Country  United States
State  Nebraska
Founded 1888
Named for Scotts Bluff
Seat Gering
Largest city Scottsbluff
 • Total 745 sq mi (1,930 km2)
 • Land 739 sq mi (1,910 km2)
 • Water 6.0 sq mi (16 km2)  0.8%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 49.2/sq mi (19.0/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Scotts Bluff County is a county on the western border of the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 36,970. Its county seat is Gering, and its largest city is Scottsbluff.

Scotts Bluff County is included in the Scottsbluff, NE Micropolitan Statistical Area.

In the Nebraska license plate system, Scotts Bluff County is represented by the prefix 21, since the county had the twenty-first-largest number of registered vehicles registered when the state's license-plate system was established in 1922.


The county is named after a prominent bluff that served as a landmark for 19th-century pioneers traveling along the Oregon Trail. Scotts Bluff was named after Hiram Scott, a Rocky Mountain Fur Company trapper who died nearby around 1828. Washington Irving claimed after being injured and abandoned Scott had crawled sixty miles only to perish near the bluff that now bears his name. The bluff is now managed by the National Park Service as Scotts Bluff National Monument.

The town of Gering was founded at the base of the bluff in 1887, and the city of Scottsbluff was founded across the North Platte River in 1900. Joined by the river, the former transportation highway, the two cities now form Nebraska's 7th-largest urban area.


Scotts Bluff County Airport (BFF) is Nebraska's third-busiest airport in terms of passenger boardings.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 745 square miles (1,930 km2), of which 739 square miles (1,910 km2) is land and 6.0 square miles (16 km2) (0.8%) is water.

Scotts Bluff County Road Map
Road map of Scotts Bluff County.

Major highways

  • US 26.svg U.S. Highway 26
  • N-29.svg Nebraska Highway 29
  • N-71.svg Nebraska Highway 71
  • N-92.svg Nebraska Highway 92

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 1,888
1900 2,552 35.2%
1910 8,355 227.4%
1920 20,710 147.9%
1930 28,644 38.3%
1940 33,917 18.4%
1950 33,939 0.1%
1960 33,809 −0.4%
1970 36,432 7.8%
1980 38,344 5.2%
1990 36,025 −6.0%
2000 36,951 2.6%
2010 36,970 0.1%
2018 (est.) 35,989 −2.7%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 36,951 people, 14,887 households, and 10,167 families in the county. The population density was 50 people per square mile (19/km2). There were 16,119 housing units at an average density of 22 per square mile (8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.58% White, 0.27% Black or African American, 1.88% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 8.02% from other races, and 1.63% from two or more races. 17.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 39.5% were of German, 8.6% English and 6.8% Irish ancestry.

There were 14,887 households, out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.20% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.70% were non-families. 27.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.

The county population contained 25.90% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 25.40% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 17.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,016, and the median income for a family was $38,932. Males had a median income of $30,317 versus $20,717 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,355. About 11.00% of families and 14.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.00% of those under age 18 and 8.70% of those age 65 or over.




Unincorporated communities


The economy of Scotts Bluff County is based on agriculture, with the primary crops being sugar beets, corn, and beans.

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