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Whitman County, Washington facts for kids

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Whitman County
Colfax Post Office
Map of Washington highlighting Whitman County
Location within the U.S. state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Washington
Founded November 29, 1871
Named for Marcus Whitman
Seat Colfax
Largest city Pullman
Area
 • Total 2,178 sq mi (5,640 km2)
 • Land 2,159 sq mi (5,590 km2)
 • Water 19 sq mi (50 km2)  0.9%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 44,776
 • Estimate 
(2020)
49,500
 • Density 22/sq mi (8/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district 5th

Whitman County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 44,776. The county seat is Colfax, and its largest city is Pullman.

The county was formed from Stevens County in 1871. It is named after Marcus Whitman, a Presbyterian missionary who, with his wife Narcissa, was killed in 1847 by members of the Cayuse tribe.

Whitman County comprises the Pullman, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,178 square miles (5,640 km2), of which 2,159 square miles (5,590 km2) is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) (0.9%) is water. Whitman County is part of the Palouse, a wide and rolling prairie-like region of the middle Columbia basin.

Rivers

Lakes and reservoirs

Summits and peaks

  • Tekoa Mountain (elevation: 4009')
  • Kamiak Butte (elevation: 3641')
  • Steptoe Butte (elevation: 3612')
  • Bald Butte (elevation: 3369)

Notable parks

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • US 195.svg U.S. Route 195
  • WA-23.svg State Route 23
  • WA-26.svg State Route 26
  • WA-27.svg State Route 27
  • WA-127.svg State Route 127
  • WA-270.svg State Route 270
  • WA-271.svg State Route 271
  • WA-272.svg State Route 272

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 7,014
1890 19,109 172.4%
1900 25,360 32.7%
1910 33,280 31.2%
1920 31,323 −5.9%
1930 28,014 −10.6%
1940 27,221 −2.8%
1950 32,469 19.3%
1960 31,263 −3.7%
1970 37,900 21.2%
1980 40,103 5.8%
1990 38,775 −3.3%
2000 40,740 5.1%
2010 44,776 9.9%
2020 (est.) 49,500 10.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 44,776 people, 17,468 households, and 8,130 families living in the county. The population density was 20.7 inhabitants per square mile (8.0/km2). There were 19,323 housing units at an average density of 8.9 per square mile (3.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 84.6% white, 7.8% Asian, 1.7% black or African American, 0.7% American Indian, 0.2% Pacific islander, 1.4% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.6% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 29.4% were German, 14.5% were English, 13.4% were Irish, 7.1% were Norwegian, and 4.1% were American.

Of the 17,468 households, 20.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.4% were married couples living together, 5.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 53.5% were non-families, and 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.86. The median age was 24.4 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,368 and the median income for a family was $61,598. Males had a median income of $46,663 versus $34,496 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,506. About 10.7% of families and 27.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.3% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Ghost town

Economy

Whitman County has highly productive agriculture. According to Heart of Washington, Whitman County produces more barley, wheat, dry peas, and lentils than any other county in the United States.

The county is also home to Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman.

Education

Pullman is home to Washington State University, the state's land-grant university.

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