Washington County Courthouse in Hillsboro
Location within the U.S. state of Oregon
Oregon's location within the U.S.
|Founded||July 5, 1843 (as Twality District)|
|• Total||726 sq mi (1,880 km2)|
|• Land||724 sq mi (1,880 km2)|
|• Water||2.2 sq mi (6 km2) 0.3%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||826/sq mi (319/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
Washington County is one of 36 counties in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 529,710,making it the state's second most populous county. The county seat and largest city is Hillsboro.
Washington County is part of the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Cities in Washington County include Hillsboro, Beaverton, Tigard, and Forest Grove, the county's oldest city.
Originally named Twality when created in 1843, the territorial legislature renamed it for the nation's first president in 1849. The original boundaries included the entire northwest corner of Oregon before sections became new counties. The Tualatin River and its drainage basin are almost entirely within the county, with the county nearly coterminous with the Tualatin Valley. It is bordered on the west and north by the Northern Oregon Coast Range, on the south by the Chehalem Mountains, and on the north and east by the Tualatin Mountains (or West Hills).
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.
The Provisional Legislature of Oregon created the county as Twality District on July 5, 1843. Twality was one of the original four districts of the Provisional Government of Oregon in Oregon Country along with Clackamas, Champooick (later Marion), and Yamhill counties. Columbia, later known as Hillsboro, was selected as the county seat in 1850. Washington County lost significant portions of its original area when Columbia and Multnomah counties were created in 1854. The county area was increased by 160 acres (65 ha) in 2014 when a section of Multnomah County was attached to Washington. The area was returned to Washington County to allow for property development.
The construction of Canyon Road to Beaverton helped Portland to consolidate its position as the primary port of Oregon, and defeat the rival efforts of settlements such as Oregon City and Milwaukie.
In November 2004, the County and the City of Beaverton agreed to a plan where the city would annex both unincorporated residential neighborhoods as well as high-value areas of land. This would result with Cedar Hills, Garden Home, Raleigh Hills, West Slope being incorporated by 2010, and the communities of Aloha, Bethany, and Cedar Mill at some point after that.
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.
According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 726 square miles (1,880 km2), of which 724 square miles (1,880 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) (0.3%) is water. It is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) to the west of Portland. The Portland Metro Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) bisects the county. The county's highest point is South Saddle Mountain at 3,464 feet (1,056 m) above sea level in the Northern Oregon Coast Range.
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.
|US Decennial Census |
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 or Latino 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. 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.The population density was
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. It voted for the Republican Presidential nominee in every election from Oregon statehood until 1930, except for the 1912 election when it supported Progressive candidate and former President Theodore Roosevelt.In 1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first Democrat to carry the county vote, and he repeated this in 1936 and 1940. Between 1944 and 1988 the county was never won by a Democrat except in Lyndon Johnson's 1964 landslide. As late as 1976 Washington was the second-most Republican county in the state behind remote Malheur, and Gerald Ford's nineteen thousand-vote victory in the county was decisive in carrying the state for him during that year's Presidential election.
Since the 1990s, the increasing drift of the Republican Party 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 senior did so in 1988, and in two of the past three Presidential elections Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton 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 winning 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.
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.[ citation needed ] Agriculture is still a major industry in Washington County, as are lumber, manufacturing, and food processing.
The development of a large electronics industry during the 1980s and 1990s is the dominating factor of the county economy. California-based Intel, Oregon's largest private for-profit employer, [ citation needed ] Other technology companies include Electro Scientific Industries, FEI Company, Qorvo, Tektronix, SolarWorld, Planar Systems, and EPSON.[ citation needed ]has its largest concentration of employees in the county, mainly in Hillsboro.
Nike, one of two Fortune 500 corporations based in Oregon, has its headquarters in Washington County. Until it was acquired by IBM, Sequent Computer Systems was headquartered near Nike. Other companies with headquarters in Washington County include optical instruments manufacturer Leupold & Stevens, Columbia Sportswear, and Reser's Fine Foods.
|City||1990 population||2000 population||2010 population||Incorporated||Notes|
|Lake Oswego||30,576||35,278||36,619||1910||Small portion, most in Clackamas County|
|Portland||437,319||529,121||583,776||1851||Small portion, most in Multnomah County|
|Rivergrove||294||324||289||1971||Small portion, most in Clackamas County|
|Tualatin||15,013||22,791||26,054||1913||Small portion also in Clackamas County|
|Wilsonville||7,106||13,991||19,509||1969||Small portion, most in Clackamas County|
Beaverton is a city in Washington County, in the U.S. state of Oregon. The city center is 7 miles (11 km) west of downtown Portland in the Tualatin River Valley. As of the 2010 census, the population is 89,803. This makes it the second-largest city in the county and Oregon's sixth-largest city. Fire protection are provided through Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, EMS services are provided by Metro West Ambulance
Wahkiakum County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,978, making it the second-least populous county in Washington. The county seat and only incorporated town is Cathlamet. The county was formed out of Cowlitz County in April 1854 and is named for Chief Wahkiakum of the Chinook, who is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Cathlamet.
Klickitat County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,318. The county seat and largest city is Goldendale. The county is named after the Klickitat tribe of the Yakama Native Americans.
Yamhill County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 99,193. The county seat is McMinnville. The name's origin is probably an explorer's name for a local Native American tribe, the Yamhill, who are part of the North Kalapuyan family.
Wallowa County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,008, making it Oregon's fourth-least populous county. Its county seat is Enterprise. According to Oregon Geographic Names, the origins of the county's name are uncertain, with the most likely explanation being it is derived from the Nez Perce term for a structure of stakes used in fishing. An alternative explanation is that Wallowa is derived from a Nez Perce word for "winding water". The journals of Lewis and Clark Expedition record the name of the Wallowa River as Wil-le-wah.
Morrow County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,173. The county seat is Heppner. The county is named for one of its first white settlers, Jackson L. Morrow, who was a member of the state legislature when the county was created. Half of the Umatilla Chemical Depot, which includes the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, and the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility Boardman are located within the county.
Clatsop County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 37,039. The county seat is Astoria. The county is named for the Clatsop tribe of Native Americans, who lived along the coast of the Pacific Ocean prior to European settlement.
Clackamas County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 375,992, making it Oregon's third-most populous county. Its county seat is Oregon City. The county was named after the Native Americans living in the area, the Clackamas Indians, who are part of the Chinookan people.
Aloha is a census-designated place and unincorporated community in Washington County, Oregon, United States. By road it is 10.9 miles (17.5 km) west of downtown Portland. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 49,425. Fire protection and EMS services are provided through Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue. and Metro West Ambulance.
Cedar Hills is a census-designated place and neighborhood in Washington County, Oregon, United States south of U.S. Route 26 and west of Oregon Route 217 and within the Portland metropolitan area. Constructed starting in 1946, Cedar Hills was the largest single housing tract development in the western United States at the time of its completion in 1961.
Cornelius is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States. Located in the Portland metropolitan area, the city's population was 11,869 at the 2010 census. The city lies along Tualatin Valley Highway between Forest Grove to the west and Hillsboro to the east. Cornelius was incorporated in 1893 and is named for founder Thomas R. Cornelius.
Forest Grove is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States, 25 miles (40 km) west of Portland. Originally a small farm town, it is now primarily a bedroom suburb of Portland. Settled in the 1840s, the town was platted in 1850, then incorporated in 1872, making it the first city in Washington County. The population was 21,083 at the 2010 census, an increase of 19.1% over the 2000 figure (17,708).
Garden Home-Whitford is a census-designated place (CDP) consisting of the neighborhoods of Garden Home and the smaller Whitford area in Washington County, Oregon, United States. They are located in the southwest hills of Portland, near Beaverton. As of the 2000 census, the CDP population was 6,931.
Hillsboro is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon and is the county seat of Washington County. Lying in the Tualatin Valley on the west side of the Portland metropolitan area, the city hosts many high-technology companies, such as Intel, that comprise what has become known as the Silicon Forest. At the 2010 Census, the city's population was 91,611.
Rockcreek is a census-designated place in Washington County, Oregon, United States, north of U.S. Route 26. It is named for the Rock Creek neighborhood in the area. As of the 2010 census, the CDP population was 9,316.
West Slope is an unincorporated suburb of Portland, Oregon, United States and a census-designated place. It is in Washington County, to the west of Portland's West Hills neighborhood, to the northwest of Raleigh Hills and south of U.S. Route 26. Fire protection and EMS services are provided through Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue.
Tualatin is a city located primarily in Washington County in the State of Oregon. A small portion of the city is also located in neighboring Clackamas County. It is a southwestern suburb in the Portland Metropolitan Area that is located south of Tigard. The population was 26,054 at the 2010 census.
The Tualatin Valley is a farming and suburban region southwest of Portland, Oregon in the United States. The valley is formed by the meandering Tualatin River, a tributary of the Willamette River at the northwest corner of the Willamette Valley, east of the Northern Oregon Coast Range. Most of the valley is located within Washington County, separated from Portland by the Tualatin Mountains. Communities in the Tualatin Valley include Banks, Forest Grove, Cornelius, Hillsboro, Aloha, Beaverton, Sherwood, Tigard, and Tualatin.
The Portland metropolitan area or Greater Portland is a metropolitan area in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington centered on the principal city of Portland, Oregon. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) identifies it as the Portland–Vancouver–Hillsboro, OR–WA Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan statistical area used by the United States Census Bureau (USCB) and other entities. The OMB defines the area as comprising Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, and Yamhill Counties in Oregon, and Clark and Skamania Counties in Washington. The area's population is estimated at 2,753,168 in 2017.
The Tualatin Plains are a prairie area in central Washington County, Oregon, United States. Located around the Hillsboro and Forest Grove areas, the plains were first inhabited by the Atfalati band of the Kalapuya group of Native Americans. Euro-American settlement began in the 1840s.
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