Wahkiakum County
Wahkiakum County Courthouse at Cathlamet (July 2015)
Wahkiakum County Courthouse at Cathlamet (July 2015)
Map of Washington highlighting Wahkiakum County
Location within the U.S. state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 46°17′N 123°26′W / 46.29°N 123.43°W / 46.29; -123.43
Country United States
State Washington
FoundedApril 24, 1854
Named forChief Wahkiakum
SeatCathlamet
Largest townPuget Island
Area
 • Total287 sq mi (740 km2)
 • Land263 sq mi (680 km2)
 • Water24 sq mi (60 km2)  8.3%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total4,422
 • Estimate 
(2021)
4,582 Increase
 • Density15/sq mi (6/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitewww.co.wahkiakum.wa.us

Wahkiakum County (/wəˈk.əkʌm/) is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2020 census, the population was 4,422,[1] making it the third-least populous county in Washington. The county seat and only incorporated town is Cathlamet.[2] The county was formed out of Cowlitz County in April 1854[3] and is named for Chief Wahkiakum ("Tall Timber") of the Chinook, who is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Cathlamet.[4]

The county operates the Wahkiakum County Ferry, which connects Cathlamet to Westport, Oregon, across the Columbia River.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 287 square miles (740 km2), of which 263 square miles (680 km2) is land and 24 square miles (62 km2) (8.3%) is water.[5] It is the smallest county of Washington by total area and the third-smallest by land area, after San Juan County and Island County, which are mostly water by area.

Geographic features

State highways

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
186042
1870270542.9%
18801,598491.9%
18902,52658.1%
19002,81911.6%
19103,28516.5%
19203,4725.7%
19303,86211.2%
19404,28611.0%
19503,835−10.5%
19603,426−10.7%
19703,5924.8%
19803,8326.7%
19903,327−13.2%
20003,82414.9%
20103,9784.0%
20204,42211.2%
2021 (est.)4,582[6]3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790–1960[8] 1900–1990[9]
1990–2000[10] 2010–2020[1]

Wahkiakum County has the second lowest population of any county in Washington state. Its population of 3,978 is 0.2% the size of the population of Washington's largest county, King.

The county has the second highest divorce rate of any Washington county, behind Lincoln County.[11]

2000 census

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 3,824 people, 1,553 households, and 1,108 families living in the county. The population density was 14 people per square mile (6/km2). There were 1,792 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.46% White, 0.26% Black or African American, 1.57% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.65% from other races, and 2.51% from two or more races. 2.56% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.7% were of German, 13.1% Norwegian, 10.6% United States or American, 9.1% English, 7.7% Irish, 6.5% Swedish, and 5.9% Finnish ancestry. 96.7% spoke English and 2.5% Spanish as a first language.

There were 1,553 households, out of which 26.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.40% were married couples living together, 6.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% were non-families. 24.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.40% under the age of 18, 5.30% from 18 to 24, 22.20% from 25 to 44, 30.60% from 45 to 64, and 18.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 100.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,444, and the median income for a family was $47,604. Males had a median income of $37,123 versus $27,938 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,063. About 5.90% of families and 8.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.00% of those under age 18 and 2.70% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 3,978 people, 1,737 households, and 1,187 families living in the county.[13] The population density was 15.1 inhabitants per square mile (5.8/km2). There were 2,067 housing units at an average density of 7.8 per square mile (3.0/km2).[14] The racial makeup of the county was 94.0% white, 1.3% American Indian, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% black or African American, 0.2% Pacific islander, 0.7% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.7% of the population.[13] In terms of ancestry, 19.8% were Norwegian, 19.3% were German, 13.3% were English, 9.6% were American, 8.5% were Swedish, and 6.8% were Irish.[15]

Of the 1,737 households, 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.2% were married couples living together, 6.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.7% were non-families, and 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.69. The median age was 52.3 years.[13]

The median income for a household in the county was $40,372 and the median income for a family was $47,266. Males had a median income of $44,779 versus $36,111 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,115. About 7.1% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.5% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.[16]

Politics

In the 2016 Presidential election, Donald Trump won the county over Hillary Clinton by a decisive margin – 55.3% to 34.3%.[17] It is generally a swing county in presidential elections. Between 1932 and 1996, it voted Democratic all but twice, but since 2000 it has voted Republican all but once.

United States presidential election results for Wahkiakum County, Washington[18]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 1,741 58.40% 1,165 39.08% 75 2.52%
2016 1,344 55.33% 832 34.25% 253 10.42%
2012 1,119 48.38% 1,094 47.30% 100 4.32%
2008 1,105 47.92% 1,121 48.61% 80 3.47%
2004 1,171 52.39% 1,021 45.68% 43 1.92%
2000 1,033 52.36% 803 40.70% 137 6.94%
1996 619 33.71% 924 50.33% 293 15.96%
1992 488 27.17% 696 38.75% 612 34.08%
1988 629 38.68% 961 59.10% 36 2.21%
1984 776 44.62% 930 53.48% 33 1.90%
1980 828 46.57% 751 42.24% 199 11.19%
1976 704 41.17% 942 55.09% 64 3.74%
1972 818 47.39% 796 46.12% 112 6.49%
1968 641 38.27% 899 53.67% 135 8.06%
1964 446 27.46% 1,175 72.35% 3 0.18%
1960 796 46.23% 923 53.60% 3 0.17%
1956 808 45.73% 953 53.93% 6 0.34%
1952 815 46.31% 928 52.73% 17 0.97%
1948 622 38.95% 877 54.92% 98 6.14%
1944 532 34.43% 1,003 64.92% 10 0.65%
1940 642 35.18% 1,164 63.78% 19 1.04%
1936 419 26.47% 1,098 69.36% 66 4.17%
1932 442 32.40% 730 53.52% 192 14.08%
1928 578 59.28% 382 39.18% 15 1.54%
1924 496 60.49% 89 10.85% 235 28.66%
1920 494 57.64% 164 19.14% 199 23.22%
1916 490 52.07% 340 36.13% 111 11.80%
1912 282 31.90% 185 20.93% 417 47.17%
1908 485 70.80% 150 21.90% 50 7.30%
1904 473 72.88% 101 15.56% 75 11.56%
1900 396 61.78% 207 32.29% 38 5.93%
1896 290 42.09% 396 57.47% 3 0.44%
1892 239 46.23% 225 43.52% 53 10.25%


Communities

Town

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Notable residents

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. ^ "Milestones for Washington State History — Part 2: 1851 to 1900". HistoryLink.org. March 6, 2003.
  4. ^ History of Wahkiakum County
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  11. ^ St. John, Natalie (March 7, 2017). "Cathlamet is place to go for mail-order divorces". Chinook Observer. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  13. ^ a b c "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. ^ "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. ^ "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. ^ US Elections Atlas
  18. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 10, 2018.

Coordinates: 46°17′N 123°26′W / 46.29°N 123.43°W / 46.29; -123.43