Thurston County, Washington facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Thurston County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Thurston County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the USA highlighting Washington
Washington's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded January 12, 1852
Seat Olympia
Largest City Olympia
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

774 sq mi (2,005 km²)
722 sq mi (1,870 km²)
52 sq mi (135 km²), 6.7%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

269,536
368/sq mi (142/km²)
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Website: www.co.thurston.wa.us
Named for: Samuel Thurston

Thurston County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, its population was 252,264. The county seat and largest city is Olympia, the state capital.

Thurston County was created out of Lewis County by the government of Oregon Territory on January 12, 1852. At that time, it covered all of the Puget Sound region and the Olympic Peninsula. On December 22 of the same year, Pierce, King, Island, and Jefferson counties were split off from Thurston County. It is named after Samuel R. Thurston, the Oregon Territory's first delegate to Congress.

Thurston County comprises the Olympia-Tumwater, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area and is included in the Seattle-Tacoma, WA Combined Statistical Area.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 774 square miles (2,000 km2), of which 722 square miles (1,870 km2) is land and 52 square miles (130 km2) (6.7%) is water.

Major watersheds: Black River, Budd/Deschutes, Chehalis River, Eld Inlet, Henderson Inlet, Nisqually River, Skookumchuck River, Totten Inlet and West Capitol Forest.

Geographic features

  • Alder Lake
  • Bald Hill Lake
  • Barnes Lake
  • Bass Lake
  • Bigelow Lake
  • Black Lake
  • Black River
  • Budd Inlet
  • Capitol Lake
  • Capitol Peak
  • Capitol State Forest
  • Chambers Lake
  • Chehalis River
  • Clear Lake
  • Coopers Pothole
  • Deep Lake
  • Deschutes River
  • Elbow Lake
  • Eld Inlet
  • Fifteen Lake
  • Gehrke Lake
  • Grass Lake
  • Henderson Inlet
  • Hewitt Lake
  • Hicks Lake
  • Lake Lawrence
  • Lois Lake
  • Long Lake
  • McIntosh Lake
  • Mima Mounds
  • Munn Lake
  • Nisqually River
  • Offut Lake
  • Patterson Lake
  • Puget Sound
  • Reichel Lake
  • Saint Clair Lake
  • Scott Lake
  • Simmons Lake
  • Skookumchuck River
  • Smith Lake
  • Southwick Lake
  • Springer Lake
  • Summit Lake
  • Susan Lake
  • Totten Inlet
  • Trails End Lake
  • Trosper Lake
  • Ward Lake

Major highways

  • I-5.svg Interstate 5
  • WA-507.svg SR 507
  • WA-510.svg SR 510
  • US 12.svg U.S. 12
  • US 101.svg U.S. 101

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (part)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,507
1870 2,246 49.0%
1880 3,270 45.6%
1890 9,675 195.9%
1900 9,927 2.6%
1910 17,581 77.1%
1920 22,366 27.2%
1930 31,351 40.2%
1940 37,285 18.9%
1950 44,884 20.4%
1960 55,049 22.6%
1970 76,894 39.7%
1980 124,264 61.6%
1990 161,238 29.8%
2000 207,355 28.6%
2010 252,264 21.7%
Est. 2015 269,536 6.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2015

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 207,355 people, 81,625 households and 54,933 families residing in the county. The population density was 285 per square mile (110/km²). There were 86,652 housing units at an average density of 119 per square mile (46/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 85.66% White, 2.35% Black or African American, 1.52% Native American, 4.41% Asian, 0.52% Pacific Islander, 1.69% from other races, and 3.85% from two or more races. 4.53% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.1% were of German, 10.2% English, 9.8% Irish, 6.9% United States or American and 5.5% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 81,625 households of which 33.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.10% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.70% were non-families. 25.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.99.

Age distribution was 25.30% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 29.30% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.

The median household income was $46,975, and the median family income was $55,027. Males had a median income of $40,521 versus $30,368 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,415. About 5.80% of families and 8.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.80% of those under age 18 and 5.00% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 252,264 people, 100,650 households, and 66,161 families residing in the county. The population density was 349.4 inhabitants per square mile (134.9/km2). There were 108,182 housing units at an average density of 149.8 per square mile (57.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 82.4% white, 5.2% Asian, 2.7% black or African American, 1.4% American Indian, 0.8% Pacific islander, 2.2% from other races, and 5.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 7.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 21.2% were German, 13.4% were English, 13.2% were Irish, 5.0% were Norwegian, and 4.7% were American.

Of the 100,650 households, 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.3% were non-families, and 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.95. The median age was 38.5 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $60,930 and the median income for a family was $71,833. Males had a median income of $53,679 versus $41,248 for females. The per capita income for the county was $29,707. About 7.1% of families and 10.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.0% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns


Thurston County, Washington Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.