Grant County
Grant County Courthouse
Official seal of Grant County
Map of Washington highlighting Grant County
Location within the U.S. state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 47°13′N 119°28′W / 47.21°N 119.47°W / 47.21; -119.47
Country United States
State Washington
FoundedFebruary 24, 1909
Named forUlysses S. Grant
SeatEphrata
Largest cityMoses Lake
Area
 • Total2,791 sq mi (7,230 km2)
 • Land2,680 sq mi (6,900 km2)
 • Water112 sq mi (290 km2)  4.0%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total99,123
 • Estimate 
(2022)
101,311 Increase
 • Density35/sq mi (14/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district4th
Websitewww.grantcountywa.gov

Grant County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2020 census, the population was 99,123.[1] The county seat is Ephrata,[2] and the largest city is Moses Lake. The county was formed out of Douglas County in February 1909[3] and is named for U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.

Grant County comprises the Moses Lake, WA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also part of the Moses Lake-Othello, WA Combined Statistical Area.

History

Native American cultures in the area included the Interior Salish, Wenatchi, and Okanagan. The first white settlers began to arrive in the mid-to-late-19th century, primarily with the goal of raising livestock. One government official described the area in 1879 as, "…a desolation where even the most hopeful can find nothing in its future prospects to cheer."[4]

When railroads arrived they also brought new settlers, and the economy began a shift from ranching to dryland farming. This transition required the people to have ready access to water, and irrigation became a necessity. The first large-scale irrigation attempts began in 1898, but it would be years before real success.

With the influx of dryland farming, the county soon boasted access to three major railway systems; the Great Northern Railway, Northern Pacific Railroad and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. In addition, the Columbia River in this area was navigable. This allowed crops to be transported out of the area easily. Towns like Wilson Creek, Quincy and Ephrata began to thrive.

The Washington State Legislature officially created Grant County on February 24, 1909, naming it in the memory of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States, and a major contributor to the Union victory in the American Civil War. The county seat was located in Ephrata. The area's population at the time stood at around 8700 people.

The Columbia Basin Project, which ultimately produced the Grand Coulee Dam with its associated irrigation and hydroelectric generating grid, was an outgrowth of the 1902 creation of the United States Bureau of Reclamation. When that agency began studying feasibility of projects in the Northwestern United States, competing groups from Spokane, Wenatchee, Ephrata and elsewhere advanced competing possibilities. One idea was to dam the Columbia River at Grand Coulee. This concept was approved in 1933, and construction continued in the following decades. The project would fundamentally change the region forever.[5][6][7]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,791 square miles (7,230 km2), of which 2,680 square miles (6,900 km2) is land and 112 square miles (290 km2) (4.0%) is water.[8] It is the fourth-largest county in Washington by area.

The environmental climate of Grant County is characterized by hot summers and cold winters. Rainshadow caused by the Cascade mountains separates eastern Washington, including Grant County, from western Washington's more temperate and oceanic climate.

A sign alongside Interstate Highway I-90 where it enters Grant County welcomes travelers to Grant County and says the county is "The nation's leading potato producing county".

Geographic features

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
19108,698
19207,771−10.7%
19305,666−27.1%
194014,668158.9%
195024,34666.0%
196046,47790.9%
197041,881−9.9%
198048,52215.9%
199054,75812.9%
200074,69836.4%
201089,12019.3%
202099,12311.2%
2022 (est.)101,311[9]2.2%
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 99,123 people and 32,803 households in the county.[1] The population density was 37.0 people per square mile (14.3 people/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.8% White, 1.3% Asian, 2.7% American Indian, 2.2% African American, 0.3% Pacific Islander, and 2.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 43.6% of the population.[1]

28.3% of the population of the county was under 18, and 7.1% were under 5. People over 65 represented 14.7% of the population. The gender ratio was equal, with 48.9% of the population being female and 51.1% being male.[1]

The median income for a household in the county was $63,566, and the per capita income was $27,466. 11.7% of the population was below the poverty line.[1]

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 89,120 people, 30,041 households, and 21,800 families living in the county. The population density was 33.3 inhabitants per square mile (12.9/km2). There were 35,083 housing units at an average density of 13.1 per square mile (5.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 72.8% white, 1.2% American Indian, 1.1% black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 20.4% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 38.3% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 15.5% were German, 8.9% were English, 7.1% were Irish, and 3.9% were American.

Of the 30,041 households, 40.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.4% were non-families, and 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.40. The median age was 32.1 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,572 and the median income for a family was $50,065. Males had a median income of $39,530 versus $27,417 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,718. About 15.7% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.4% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Education

School districts in the county include:[14]

Politics

Grant County is a reliably Republican county in presidential elections; it has not voted for the Democratic candidate since Lyndon B. Johnson's landslide victory in 1964. It has cast at least 60% of its vote for the Republican presidential candidate in all six elections since 2000.

United States presidential election results for Grant County, Washington[15]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 24,764 65.72% 11,819 31.37% 1,097 2.91%
2016 18,518 63.29% 7,810 26.69% 2,930 10.01%
2012 17,852 64.15% 8,950 32.16% 1,027 3.69%
2008 17,153 62.07% 9,601 34.74% 880 3.18%
2004 17,799 68.47% 7,779 29.92% 417 1.60%
2000 15,830 66.52% 7,073 29.72% 895 3.76%
1996 10,895 49.83% 8,065 36.88% 2,906 13.29%
1992 9,503 43.35% 7,278 33.20% 5,140 23.45%
1988 10,859 57.76% 7,564 40.24% 376 2.00%
1984 12,888 65.81% 6,298 32.16% 398 2.03%
1980 11,152 61.29% 5,673 31.18% 1,371 7.53%
1976 9,192 51.87% 7,777 43.89% 752 4.24%
1972 9,370 59.25% 5,487 34.70% 957 6.05%
1968 7,007 48.77% 5,773 40.18% 1,587 11.05%
1964 6,065 42.04% 8,352 57.89% 10 0.07%
1960 7,568 50.44% 7,400 49.32% 37 0.25%
1956 6,603 48.73% 6,938 51.21% 8 0.06%
1952 4,512 50.61% 4,381 49.14% 22 0.25%
1948 2,081 33.15% 4,067 64.79% 129 2.06%
1944 1,530 39.21% 2,354 60.33% 18 0.46%
1940 1,487 26.55% 4,097 73.15% 17 0.30%
1936 694 13.03% 4,560 85.59% 74 1.39%
1932 840 34.85% 1,376 57.10% 194 8.05%
1928 1,407 68.07% 641 31.01% 19 0.92%
1924 813 40.87% 332 16.69% 844 42.43%
1920 1,378 58.24% 684 28.91% 304 12.85%
1916 1,205 39.77% 1,563 51.58% 262 8.65%
1912 458 17.41% 771 29.32% 1,401 53.27%

Economy

Grant is the #1 crop-producing County in the State, producing a large part of the Washington hay harvest.[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Milestones for Washington State History — Part 3: 1901 to 1950". HistoryLink.org. March 6, 2003.
  4. ^ Symons, Lieut. Thomas W. Report of an Examination of the Upper Columbia River and the Territory in Its Vicinity in September and October 1881, to Determine Its Navigability, and Adaptability to Steamboat Transportation: Made by Direction of the Commanding General of the Department of the Columbia. p. 121.
  5. ^ "Grant County - Thumbnail History". Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  6. ^ "Great Grant County – News from the best county in the world!". greatgrantcounty.com. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  7. ^ "North Central Washington in the 1900s". ncwportal.com. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  13. ^ "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 7, 2014.
  14. ^ 2020 Census – School District Reference Map: Grant County, WA (PDF) (Map). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved July 29, 2022. - Text list
  15. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  16. ^ "Census of Agriculture - State and County Profiles - Washington". USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2022.

47°13′N 119°28′W / 47.21°N 119.47°W / 47.21; -119.47