San Juan County
San Juan County Courthouse
San Juan County Courthouse
Map of Washington highlighting San Juan County
Location within the U.S. state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 48°34′N 122°58′W / 48.57°N 122.97°W / 48.57; -122.97
Country United States
State Washington
FoundedOctober 31, 1873
Named forSan Juan Islands
SeatFriday Harbor
Largest townFriday Harbor
Area
 • Total621 sq mi (1,610 km2)
 • Land174 sq mi (450 km2)
 • Water447 sq mi (1,160 km2)  72%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total17,788
 • Estimate 
(2021)
18,557 Increase
 • Density96/sq mi (37/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.sanjuanco.com

San Juan County is a county located in the Salish Sea in the far northwestern corner of the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2020 census, its population was 17,788.[1] The county seat and only incorporated city is Friday Harbor,[2] located on San Juan Island. The county was formed on October 31, 1873, from Whatcom County[3] and is named for the San Juan Islands, which are in turn named for Juan Vicente de Güemes, 2nd Count of Revillagigedo,[4] the Viceroy of New Spain.

Although the islands themselves have no state highways, the ferry routes serving the islands are designated as part of the state highway system.

History

Straits Steamship Company house flag, shipping firm that operated steamships on Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Straits Steamship Company house flag, shipping firm that operated steamships on Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The San Juan Islands were the subject of a territorial dispute between Great Britain and the United States from 1846 to 1872, leading to the Pig War in 1859.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 621 square miles (1,610 km2), of which 174 square miles (450 km2) is land and 447 square miles (1,160 km2) (72%) is water.[5] It is the smallest county in Washington by land area and fourth-smallest by total area.

San Juan County is a cluster of more than 400 islands and rocks with elevations above mean high tide. 134 of these islands and rocks are named. The county has a rugged, rocky shoreline and several mountains. The highest point in the county is Mount Constitution on Orcas Island at 2,407 feet (734 m) above sea level.

Geographic features

Major islands

There are approximately 743 islands and rocks in the San Juan Island chain. Most of the county's population lives on the largest four islands, which are the only county islands served by the Washington State Ferries. The four largest islands are:

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870554
188094871.1%
18902,072118.6%
19002,92841.3%
19103,60323.1%
19203,6050.1%
19303,097−14.1%
19403,1571.9%
19503,2452.8%
19602,872−11.5%
19703,85634.3%
19807,838103.3%
199010,03528.0%
200014,07740.3%
201015,76912.0%
202017,78812.8%
2021 (est.)18,557[6]17.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790–1960[8] 1900–1990[9]
1990–2000[10] 2010–2020[1]

2000 census

As of the census[11] of 2000 there were 14,077 people living in the county in 6,466 households and 4,015 families, resulting in a population density of 80 people per square mile (31/km2). The census reported 9,752 housing units at an average density of 56 per square mile (22/km2). The residents of the county reported their race as 95.0% White, 0.3% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. 2.4% of the population identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino of any race. In response to the census question concerning ancestry, 16.7% reported English ancestry; 15.0%, German; 11.6%, Irish; 5.7%, United States or American; 5.4%, French; and 5.0%, Norwegian.

Of the 6,466 households, 22.90% had children under the age of 18; 51.80% were married couples living together; 6.90% had a female householder with no husband present; 37.90% were not families; 30.60% were individuals; and 10.70% were individuals 65 years of age or older, living alone. The average household size was 2.16 persons and the average family size was 2.65.

19.1% of the county's population was under the age of 18; 4.5% ranged in age from 18 to 24; 21.7%, 25–44; 35.7%, 45–64; and 19.0%, 65 or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,491, and the median income for a family was $51,835. Males had a median income of $36,250 versus $26,516 for females. The per capita income for the county was $30,603. About 6.0% of families and 9.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.4% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.

San Juan County has the highest per capita income in the state of Washington. Deer Harbor, located in the county, has a per capita income exceeding $100,000. Waldron Island, with a population of 104 in the 2000 census, is considered one of the most impoverished areas in Washington, with about 56% of the people living in poverty.[citation needed]

In a survey by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, San Juan County was ranked the healthiest in the state of Washington.[12]

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 15,769 people, 7,613 households, and 4,438 families residing in the county.[13] The population density was 90.7 inhabitants per square mile (35.0/km2). There were 13,313 housing units at an average density of 76.5 per square mile (29.5/km2).[14] The racial makeup of the county was 92.6% white, 1.1% Asian, 0.7% American Indian, 0.3% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 2.6% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.4% of the population.[13] The largest ancestry groups were:[15]

Of the 7,613 households, 19.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 41.7% were non-families, and 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.56. The median age was 52.7 years.[13]

The median income for a household in the county was $50,726 and the median income for a family was $61,096. Males had a median income of $44,190 versus $32,911 for females. The per capita income for the county was $35,487. About 7.6% of families and 10.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.3% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.[16]

Religion

According to a 2020 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, San Juan County has the highest concentration of religiously unaffiliated people of any county in the United States. The unaffiliated make up 49% of the population.[17]

Politics

The county has voted heavily Democratic in presidential elections since the 1990s. The only area of the county won by George W. Bush in 2004 was the Decatur Island/Blakely Island precinct, with just over 50 votes. Waldron Island's precinct voted 96.5% for John Kerry. In 2006, Maria Cantwell, the Democrat running for re-election to the U.S. Senate, won all precincts.[18] The county's legislative body is the San Juan County Council, which was created in 2006.[19]

United States presidential election results for San Juan County, Washington[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 3,057 23.16% 9,725 73.69% 415 3.14%
2016 2,688 24.14% 7,172 64.42% 1,274 11.44%
2012 3,111 29.10% 7,125 66.64% 456 4.26%
2008 2,958 27.94% 7,374 69.66% 254 2.40%
2004 3,290 32.56% 6,589 65.21% 225 2.23%
2000 3,005 35.67% 4,426 52.54% 993 11.79%
1996 2,523 34.31% 3,663 49.81% 1,168 15.88%
1992 1,901 26.71% 3,353 47.11% 1,863 26.18%
1988 2,660 45.75% 3,008 51.74% 146 2.51%
1984 2,900 52.48% 2,514 45.49% 112 2.03%
1980 2,363 46.97% 1,666 33.11% 1,002 19.92%
1976 1,998 53.68% 1,467 39.41% 257 6.90%
1972 1,786 63.90% 906 32.42% 103 3.69%
1968 1,164 59.30% 685 34.90% 114 5.81%
1964 839 47.94% 906 51.77% 5 0.29%
1960 1,112 63.91% 624 35.86% 4 0.23%
1956 1,105 65.27% 584 34.49% 4 0.24%
1952 1,133 64.16% 619 35.05% 14 0.79%
1948 881 55.94% 636 40.38% 58 3.68%
1944 703 51.92% 644 47.56% 7 0.52%
1940 808 48.24% 860 51.34% 7 0.42%
1936 690 43.26% 775 48.59% 130 8.15%
1932 607 40.44% 786 52.37% 108 7.20%
1928 814 66.72% 400 32.79% 6 0.49%
1924 744 66.67% 86 7.71% 286 25.63%
1920 833 66.64% 196 15.68% 221 17.68%
1916 591 42.37% 669 47.96% 135 9.68%
1912 341 27.52% 311 25.10% 587 47.38%
1908 581 65.95% 178 20.20% 122 13.85%
1904 554 71.95% 113 14.68% 103 13.38%
1900 428 61.49% 245 35.20% 23 3.30%
1896 411 58.30% 291 41.28% 3 0.43%
1892 348 54.89% 226 35.65% 60 9.46%


Communities

Town

Unincorporated communities

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Hayes, Derek (1999). Historical Atlas of the Pacific Northwest: Maps of Exploration and Discovery ; British Columbia, Washington, Oregaon, Alaska, Yukon. Sasquatch Books. pp. 72–73. ISBN 978-1-57061-215-2. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  11. ^ The News Tribune, February 17, 2010 – Tacoma, WA.[permanent dead link],
  12. ^ a b c "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.
  13. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 – County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ Jenkins, Jack (July 8, 2021). "Survey: White mainline Protestants outnumber white evangelicals, while 'nones' shrink". Religion News Service.
  17. ^ Leip, David (2005). "2006 Senatorial General Election Results – San Juan County, WA".
  18. ^ "San Juan County Council". San Juan County. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  19. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 10, 2018.

Coordinates: 48°34′N 122°58′W / 48.57°N 122.97°W / 48.57; -122.97