Washington County, Oregon
The county's major roads include small sections of Interstate 5
and Interstate 205
, the Sunset Highway
, Oregon Route 217
, Oregon Route 47
, Oregon Route 10
, Oregon Route 6, and Oregon Route 8
. Public transportation is primarily operated by TriMet
and includes buses, the Westside Express Service
commuter rail, and MAX Light Rail
. Other transportation includes air travel at the Hillsboro Airport
, private airfields and heliports, and heavy rail cargo on rail lines.
County jail in Hillsboro
Those plans have since been put on hold after Beaverton attempted to annex Nike, Inc.
's World Headquarters, which would have increased Nike's taxes substantially. Nike successfully lobbied the legislature for a law that would prohibit their annexation for 99 years. Since that decision, annexation plans have been halted, and Washington County started urban planning to provide city-level services to the unincorporated urban areas in the county.
Most of the county is in the Tualatin Valley
, formed by the Tualatin Mountains
to the east and north, the Chehalem Mountains
to the south, and the Northern Oregon Coast Range to the west and north. The county's only river is the Tualatin River
, flowing through the Tualatin Plains
. The northern and western portions of the county are forested, while the remainder of the county includes urban areas, agricultural lands, and floodplains.
The Tualatin River is the main river in Washington County. Henry Hagg Lake
, southwest of Forest Grove, is the largest lake. The Willamette River lies to the east, the Columbia River to the northeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the west of the county.
Map of Washington County
National protected areas
As of the 2000 United States Census
there were 445,342 people, 169,162 households, and 114,015 families in the county. The population density
was 615/sqmi (238/km2
). There were 178,913 housing units at an average density of 247/sqmi (95/km2
). The racial makeup of the county was 82.19% White
, 1.15% Black
or African American
, 0.65% Native American
, 6.68% Asian
, 0.30% Pacific Islander
, 5.86% from other races
, and 3.17% from two or more races. 11.17% of the population were Hispanic
of any race. 17.2% were of German
, 9.9% English
, 8.2% Irish
, and 6.7% American
ancestry. 81.7% spoke only English at home, while 9.6% spoke Spanish and 1.2% Vietnamese.
There were 169,162 households, out of which 35.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.50% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.60% were non-families. 24.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.14.
The county population contained 26.90% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 34.10% from 25 to 44, 20.90% from 45 to 64, and 8.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $52,122, and the median income for a family was $61,499. Males had a median income of $43,304 versus $31,074 for females. The per capita income
for the county was $24,969. About 4.90% of families and 7.40% of the population were below the poverty line
, including 8.30% of those under age 18 and 5.30% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census
, there were 529,710 people, 200,934 households, and 134,323 families residing in the county.
The population density was 731.4 inhabitants per square mile (282.4/km2
). There were 212,450 housing units at an average density of 293.3 per square mile (113.2/km2
The racial makeup of the county was 76.6% white, 8.6% Asian, 1.8% black or African American, 0.7% American Indian, 0.5% Pacific islander, 7.5% from other races, and 4.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 15.7% of the population.
In terms of ancestry, 20.8% were German
, 12.4% were English
, 12.1% were Irish
, and 3.2% were American
Of the 200,934 households, 36.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.2% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.2% were non-families, and 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.14. The median age was 35.3 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $62,574 and the median income for a family was $76,778. Males had a median income of $54,417 versus $40,254 for females. The per capita income for the county was $30,522. About 6.7% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line
, including 12.5% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
The county is governed by an elected board of five commissioners. The county is divided into four commissioner districts. One commissioner sits for each district, and the fifth commissioner is at-large and is the Chair of the board.
Like all of the Willamette Valley and Oregon Coast, Washington County was in its pre-Depression
history strongly Republican. After Oregon achieved statehood in 1859, Washington County voted for the Republican Presidential nominee in every presidential election from 1860 to 1928, except in the 1912 presidential election when the county supported Progressive Party candidate and former Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt
In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt
became the first Democrat to carry the Washington County vote, and he repeated this in 1936 and 1940. Between 1944 and 1988, Washington County was never won by a Democrat except in Lyndon B. Johnson
's 1964 landslide. As late as 1976, Washington County was the second-most Republican county in the state of Oregon behind remote Malheur
with Gerald Ford
's 17,529 vote victory in the county being decisive in carrying the state of Oregon for him during that year's Presidential election.
Since the 1990s, the increasing drift of the Republican Party nationally towards the South and evangelicalism, along with urbanization, has resulted in a strong shift of Washington County towards the Democratic Party. No Republican Presidential candidate has carried Washington County since George Bush Sr.
did so in 1988, and in three of the past four Presidential elections, Barack Obama
, Hillary Clinton
and Joe Biden
have carried the county by over twenty percentage points. The last Republican to win a statewide election in Washington County was Gordon H. Smith
in the 2002 Senate contest
. In the 2008 Senatorial election
Democrat Jeff Merkley
won 48.8 percent of the county's vote (111,367) while Republican incumbent Smith won 46.5 percent (106,114),
but no subsequent Republican Senate candidate has won 40 percent of the county's vote. In the 2020 presidential election, Democrat Joe Biden
hit 65.5% of the county's vote, the highest ever for a Democratic presidential nominee.
Presidential election results
Presidential elections results
Washington County is centered on a fertile plain that attracted farmers before the first wagon trains
. In 1997, orchards covered 8,403 acres (34 km2
) of the county's lands and 1,163 acres (4.7 km2
) were devoted to vineyards.
Agriculture is still a major industry in Washington County, as are lumber, manufacturing, and food processing.
Part of The Round in Beaverton, with the Beaverton Central MAX light rail station in center.
Downtown Forest Grove in 1920
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Last edited on 3 March 2021, at 07:49
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