Columbia County, Oregon

Last updated
Columbia County
ColumbiaCountyORCourthouse.jpg
Columbia County Courthouse in St. Helens
Map of Oregon highlighting Columbia County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Oregon
Oregon in United States.svg
Oregon's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 45°57′N123°05′W / 45.95°N 123.08°W / 45.95; -123.08
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of Oregon.svg  Oregon
FoundedJanuary 16, 1854
Seat St. Helens
Largest citySt. Helens
Area
  Total688 sq mi (1,780 km2)
  Land657 sq mi (1,700 km2)
  Water31 sq mi (80 km2)  4.5%%
Population
  Estimate 
(2018)
52,377
  Density75/sq mi (29/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district 1st
Website www.co.columbia.or.us

Columbia County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,351. [1] The county seat is St. Helens. [2] It was named for the Columbia River, which forms its eastern and northern borders.

Contents

Columbia County is part of the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA Portland metropolitan area and is located in Northwest Oregon.

History

The Chinook and Clatskanie Native Americans inhabited this region for centuries prior to the arrival of Robert Gray, captain of the ship Columbia Rediviva , in 1792. The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled and camped along the Columbia River shore in the area later known as Columbia County in late 1805 and on their return journey in early 1806.

Columbia County was created in 1854 from the northern half of Washington County. Milton served as the county seat until 1857 when it was moved to St. Helens.

Columbia County has been afflicted by numerous flooding disasters, the most recent in December 2007. Heavy rains caused the Nehalem River to escape its banks and flood the city of Vernonia and rural areas nearby. Columbia County received a presidential disaster declaration for this event.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 688 square miles (1,780 km2), of which 657 square miles (1,700 km2) is land and 31 square miles (80 km2) (4.5%) is water. [3] It is Oregon's third-smallest county by land area and fourth-smallest by total area.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1860 532
1870 86362.2%
1880 2,042136.6%
1890 5,191154.2%
1900 6,23720.2%
1910 10,58069.6%
1920 13,96031.9%
1930 20,04743.6%
1940 20,9714.6%
1950 22,9679.5%
1960 22,379−2.6%
1970 28,79028.6%
1980 35,64623.8%
1990 37,5575.4%
2000 43,56016.0%
2010 49,35113.3%
Est. 201852,377 [4] 6.1%
U.S. Decennial Census [5]
1790-1960 [6] 1900-1990 [7]
1990-2000 [8] 2010-2018 [1]

2000 census

As of the census [9] of 2000, there were 43,560 people, 16,375 households, and 12,035 families living in the county. The population density was 66 people per square mile (26/km²). There were 17,572 housing units at an average density of 27 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.42% White, 0.24% Black or African American, 1.33% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.79% from other races, and 2.53% from two or more races. 2.51% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 21.2% were of German, 10.8% English, 9.4% American, 9.3% Irish and 5.4% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 16,375 households out of which 34.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.50% were non-families. 21.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.30% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 26.00% from 45 to 64, and 11.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,797, and the median income for a family was $51,381. Males had a median income of $42,227 versus $27,216 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,078. About 6.70% of families and 9.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.60% of those under age 18 and 7.00% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 49,351 people, 19,183 households, and 13,516 families living in the county. [10] The population density was 75.1 inhabitants per square mile (29.0/km2). There were 20,698 housing units at an average density of 31.5 per square mile (12.2/km2). [11] The racial makeup of the county was 92.5% white, 1.3% American Indian, 0.9% Asian, 0.4% black or African American, 0.2% Pacific islander, 1.2% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.0% of the population. [10] In terms of ancestry, 26.1% were German, 14.5% were English, 14.4% were Irish, 5.9% were Norwegian, and 4.8% were American. [12]

Of the 19,183 households, 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.5% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.5% were non-families, and 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.98. The median age was 41.3 years. [10]

The median income for a household in the county was $55,199 and the median income for a family was $62,728. Males had a median income of $52,989 versus $35,558 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,613. About 6.5% of families and 10.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.7% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over. [13]

Communities

Columbia County Sheriff's Office ColumbiaCountyORSheriffsOffice.jpg
Columbia County Sheriff's Office

Cities

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Media and news

Columbia County had newspapers as early as 1891, with the launch of the Clatskanie Chief. The Rainier Review was launched in 1895. [14] The St. Helens Chronicle, which grew out of a series of mergers of the Chronicle, the Sentinel, and the Mist (the latter founded in 1881), serves as a newspaper of record for the county. [15] The South County Spotlight , launched in 1961, serves the region along, [16] with a circulation of 3,600. [17] Columbia County has one AM Radio Station: KOHI AM 1600 which has broadcast continually since 1959. The Station is locally owned with an FCC estimated listenership of 10,000 weekly.

Government

The county is governed by an elected board of three commissioners. Each commissioner is elected to a term of four years. Other elected officials include the sheriff, county clerk, district attorney, treasurer, surveyor, assessor and justice of the peace.

Politics

In Presidential elections the county was between 1930 and 2010 among the most consistently Democratic in the United States. The last Republican to win a majority in Columbia County had been Herbert Hoover in the 1928 presidential election, although before 1930 no Democrat had won a majority in the county [18] since Samuel J. Tilden in 1876. However in 2016, Donald Trump won the county with just under fifty percent of the vote, a break with the tradition of choosing Democrats for president. [19] That stated, the margin had been as little as three percent in 2004 [20] and in 1984.

Columbia County is part of Oregon's 1st congressional district, which is represented by Suzanne Bonamici and has a Cook Partisan Voting Index score of D+8.

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results [21]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 49.7%13,21738.2% 10,16712.2% 3,234
2012 45.1% 10,77250.3%12,0044.6% 1,099
2008 42.0% 10,41354.1%13,3903.9% 965
2004 47.6% 11,86850.4%12,5632.0% 486
2000 44.2% 9,36948.7%10,3317.1% 1,495
1996 33.6% 6,20550.2%9,27516.2% 2,996
1992 26.9% 5,22742.8%8,29830.3% 5,877
1988 40.6% 6,42456.8%8,9832.5% 399
1984 48.5% 7,81151.0%8,2190.5% 75
1980 42.7% 6,62346.0%7,12411.3% 1,758
1976 37.7% 5,22657.8%8,0054.5% 628
1972 43.5% 5,34848.8%5,9977.6% 939
1968 38.1% 4,20854.9%6,0647.0% 775
1964 24.2% 2,48975.3%7,7280.5% 51
1960 44.0% 4,35656.0%5,5460.1% 6
1956 43.3% 4,27556.7%5,592
1952 47.5% 4,66651.8%5,0960.7% 72
1948 37.0% 3,04957.8%4,7685.3% 434
1944 33.5% 2,69664.8%5,2131.7% 140
1940 33.7% 2,95965.6%5,7580.7% 57
1936 23.3% 1,81571.6%5,5875.1% 399
1932 33.3% 1,97561.4%3,6435.4% 319
1928 65.2%3,51932.9% 1,7751.9% 102
1924 56.2%2,48323.0% 1,01520.8% 920
1920 61.5%2,00729.7% 9708.7% 285
1916 54.0%2,02338.7% 1,4517.4% 276
1912 28.1% 57424.8% 50747.2%965
1908 63.7%1,24223.3% 45413.0% 254
1904 74.3%1,30112.6% 22113.1% 230

Economy

The primary industries are wood products and paper manufacturing, trade, construction and horticulture. [22] [23] The extensive stands of old growth timber, which had attracted many of the early settlers to the area, were completely logged over by the 1950s. [24] Second-growth timber provides the raw material for local lumber and paper mills. About half the county's workforce commutes out of the county to work, most to the nearby Portland, Oregon, metro area. [25] Columbia County's average nonfarm employment was 10,740 in 2007. [26] The five largest private employers in Columbia County are Fred Meyer, Cascade Tissue Group, Wal-Mart, OMIC, USIA, [27] and USG. [28]

Transportation

The CC Rider transit service links the county to Portland and points in Washington County, including connecting with TriMet buses and the MAX light rail system in eastern Hillsboro. CC Rider van at Willow Creek MAX station.jpg
The CC Rider transit service links the county to Portland and points in Washington County, including connecting with TriMet buses and the MAX light rail system in eastern Hillsboro.

Public transit

Columbia County Rider (CC Rider), a service of the Columbia County Transit Division, provides six intercity bus lines and one "flex route" serving various points of downtown St. Helens and downtown Scappoose. [29] Since 2016, CC Rider buses are operated by contract drivers supplied by MTR Western, a charter motor coach operator. [30]

The transit agency is largely funded by grants from the Oregon Department of Transportation and the federal government. Attempts at making CC Rider a separate transit district and to introduce new taxes to fund it have repeatedly failed since 2015. Columbia County and nearby Clatsop County are currently studying options on consolidating the two county's transit services. [31] [32]

Single-ride fares range from $2 to $6 per ride depending on number of zones traveled. A ride to Astoria costs up to $10 per ride each way. [33] [34]

Major highways

See also

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References

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  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  4. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved May 9, 2019.
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  9. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  10. 1 2 3 "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  11. "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  12. "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  13. "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  14. Turnbull, George S. (1939). "Columbia County"  . History of Oregon Newspapers . Binfords & Mort.
  15. https://library.uoregon.edu/govdocs/micro/news
  16. http://www.orenews.com/scappoose
  17. https://www.mondotimes.com/1/world/us/37/2073/5164
  18. The Political Graveyard; Columbia County, Oregon
  19. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; Columbia County, Oregon – 2016
  20. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; Columbia County, Oregon – 2004
  21. Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  22. Oregon Labor Market Information System
  23. Analysis, US Department of Commerce, BEA, Bureau of Economic. "Bureau of Economic Analysis". www.bea.gov. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
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  25. U.S. Census Bureau
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  27. UnderSea Industrial Apparel
  28. Columbia County Economic Team
  29. "Columbia County Rider". NW Oregon Connector. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  30. "Where does CC Rider go from here?". The St. Helens Chronicle. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  31. "Clatsop, Columbia transit networks look at linking". Daily Astorian. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  32. "CC Rider looks at service cuts, possible transit merger". Columbia County Spotlight. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  33. "7 Lower Columbia Connector" (PDF). CC Rider. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  34. "1 Downtown Portland" (PDF). CC Rider. Retrieved 16 May 2018.

Coordinates: 45°57′N123°05′W / 45.95°N 123.08°W / 45.95; -123.08