Thurston County, Washington

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Thurston County
Thurston County Courthouse (Olympia, Washington).jpg
Map of Washington highlighting Thurston County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Washington
Washington in United States.svg
Washington's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 46°56′N122°50′W / 46.93°N 122.83°W / 46.93; -122.83
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of Washington.svg  Washington
FoundedJanuary 12, 1852
Named for Samuel Thurston
Seat Olympia
Largest city Lacey
Area
  Total774 sq mi (2,000 km2)
  Land722 sq mi (1,870 km2)
  Water52 sq mi (130 km2)  6.7%
Population
 (2020)
  Total294,793
  Estimate 
(2022)
298,758 Increase2.svg
  Density368/sq mi (142/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional districts 3rd, 10th
Website www.thurstoncountywa.gov

Thurston County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2020 census, its population was 294,793. [1] The county seat and largest city is Olympia, [2] the state capital.

Contents

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. [3] [4] It is named after Samuel R. Thurston, the Oregon Territory's first delegate to Congress. [5]

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 United States 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. [6]

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Geographic features

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

National protected areas

Ecology and environment

The habitat for the Golden Paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta) runs through the county. The plant was placed on the Endangered Species list in 1997 but due to conservation efforts the 12 in (30 cm) tall prairie flower was delisted in 2023. [7]

Wildlife and land preserves in South Thurston County include the Black River Habitat Management Area, the Glacial Heritage Preserve, [8] and the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area.

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
1860 1,507
1870 2,24649.0%
1880 3,27045.6%
1890 9,675195.9%
1900 9,9272.6%
1910 17,58177.1%
1920 22,36627.2%
1930 31,35140.2%
1940 37,28518.9%
1950 44,88420.4%
1960 55,04922.6%
1970 76,89439.7%
1980 124,26461.6%
1990 161,23829.8%
2000 207,35528.6%
2010 252,26421.7%
2020 294,79316.9%
2022 (est.)298,758 [9] 1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census [10]
1790–1960 [11] 1900–1990 [12]
1990–2000 [13] 2010–2020 [1]

2020 census

As of the 2020 census, there were 294,793 people, 121,438 households in the county.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 252,264 people, 100,650 households, and 66,161 families living in the county. [14] 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). [15] 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. [14] 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. [16]

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. [14]

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. [17]

2000 census

As of the 2000 census, there were 207,355 people, 81,625 households and 54,933 families living in the county. The population density was 285 people per square mile (110 people/km2). There were 86,652 housing units at an average density of 119 units per square mile (46 units/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.

Education

School Districts in Thurston County, including those that have majorities of land in other counties: [18]

Higher Education in Thurston County:

Parks and recreation

The county is home to several rail trails, including the Karen Fraser Woodland Trail, Yelm—Rainier—Tenino Trail, and the longest in the county, the Chehalis Western Trail.

Media

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

Government

Special Purpose Districts

Special-purpose districts include cemetery, fire, hospital, library, school, and water and sewer districts. Each special district is governed by officials elected by voters within that jurisdiction.

Fire Districts

Seven fire districts, three city fire departments, and two regional fire authorities provide fire prevention, fire fighting, and emergency medical services. Each fire district is governed by an elected board of commissioners. Most districts have three commissioners. Fire districts receive most of their revenue from property taxes. All of the fire districts and the regional fire authority have volunteer or paid-call firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

The City of Olympia is an all-career department. Fire District 3 only allows volunteers to live within the City of Lacey city limits.

Thurston County Fire Districts are: [20]

  • Fire District 1 merged with Fire District 14 in 2002, then merging with Fire District 11 in 2010 to form West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.
  • Fire District 2 merged with Fire District 4 to form S.E. Thurston Fire Authority in 2012.
  • Fire District 3 serves the City of Lacey and surrounding areas.
  • Fire District 4 merged with Fire District 2 to form S.E. Thurston Fire Authority in 2012.
  • Fire District 5 consolidated with Fire District 9, forming McLane - Black Lake Fire Department in 2008, fully merging in 2018.
  • Fire District 6 serves East Olympia.
  • Fire District 7 merged with Fire District 8 in 2015.
  • Fire District 8 serves South Bay, Johnson Point, and North Olympia.
  • Fire District 9 operates as McLane - Black Lake Fire Department.
  • Fire District 10 merged with Fire District 9 between 1977-1981.
  • Fire District 11 merged into Fire District 1 in 2010 to form West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.
  • Fire District 12 merged with Fire District 16 to form South Thurston Fire & EMS in 2017.
  • Fire District 13 serves Steamboat Island, south to Route 8.
  • Fire District 14 merged with Fire District 1 in 2002.
  • Fire District 15 contracted service with the City of Tumwater on 4/1/1967, being annexed into the city of 2016.
  • Fire District 16 merged into Fire District 12 to form South Thurston Fire & EMS in 2017.
  • Fire District 17 serves Bald Hills.

Politics

Thurston County leans Democratic. The county has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate since 1988 and the candidates have consistently received majority of the vote in the county.

United States presidential election results for Thurston County, Washington [21] [22]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.%No.%No.%
2020 65,27738.82%96,60857.46%6,2493.72%
2016 48,62436.23%68,79851.27%16,76912.50%
2012 49,28738.58%74,03757.96%4,4163.46%
2008 48,36637.97%75,88259.57%3,1422.47%
2004 47,99242.55%62,65055.55%2,1471.90%
2000 39,92440.98%50,46751.80%7,0317.22%
1996 29,83534.18%45,52252.16%11,92313.66%
1992 25,64330.32%38,29345.28%20,63324.40%
1988 31,98047.78%33,86050.59%1,0901.63%
1984 34,44255.51%26,84043.26%7631.23%
1980 26,36948.10%20,50837.41%7,94614.49%
1976 21,00047.67%21,24748.23%1,8094.11%
1972 22,29757.48%14,59637.63%1,8994.90%
1968 13,74245.06%14,22846.65%2,5298.29%
1964 9,35134.61%17,57865.05%920.34%
1960 13,92154.37%11,62045.38%650.25%
1956 14,09358.70%9,89741.22%190.08%
1952 13,90458.32%9,76440.96%1720.72%
1948 9,51145.72%10,46150.28%8324.00%
1944 7,90044.47%9,70854.64%1580.89%
1940 7,27539.17%11,09259.72%2061.11%
1936 4,42528.05%10,64767.49%7034.46%
1932 4,24130.91%6,30845.97%3,17323.12%
1928 7,20369.59%3,01329.11%1351.30%
1924 5,12557.77%94310.63%2,80331.60%
1920 3,89952.77%1,36718.50%2,12228.72%
1916 3,22347.76%2,65839.39%86712.85%
1912 1,93730.69%1,45623.07%2,91846.24%
1908 1,94057.28%96428.46%48314.26%
1904 2,12168.51%66821.58%3079.92%
1900 1,29854.56%97841.11%1034.33%
1896 1,05242.27%1,41556.85%220.88%
1892 1,04341.70%81032.39%64825.91%

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. Reinartz, Kay. "History of King County Government 1853–2002" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 1, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
  4. "Thurston County Place Names: A Heritage Guide" (PDF). Thurston County Historical Commission. 1992. p. 87. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 18, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  5. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  6. Sailor, Craig (July 22, 2023). "Rare South Sound blossom makes comeback". The Olympian. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  7. Browne Grivas, Erica (May 9, 2023). "Why conservation groups are trying to restore native prairies in WA". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  8. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  9. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  10. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  11. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  12. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 26, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  13. 1 2 3 "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  14. "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 – County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  15. "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006–2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  16. "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006–2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  17. "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Thurston County, WA" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved July 20, 2022. - Text list - List of districts based in Thurston County
  18. Newspapers: The Olympian, McClatchy Company, archived from the original on March 7, 2013, retrieved February 13, 2013
  19. Thurston County Fire Districts map Retrieved January 20, 2024.
  20. Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  21. The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 1,471 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 1,160 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 270 votes, and Socialist Labor candidate Arthur Reimer received 17 votes.

46°56′N122°50′W / 46.93°N 122.83°W / 46.93; -122.83