Washington County
Old Washington County courthouse
Old Washington County courthouse
Map of Wisconsin highlighting Washington County
Location within the U.S. state of Wisconsin
Map of the United States highlighting Wisconsin
Wisconsin's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 43°22′N 88°14′W / 43.37°N 88.23°W / 43.37; -88.23
Country United States
State Wisconsin
Founded1836
Named forGeorge Washington
SeatWest Bend
Largest cityWest Bend
Area
 • Total436 sq mi (1,130 km2)
 • Land431 sq mi (1,120 km2)
 • Water5.0 sq mi (13 km2)  1.2%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total131,887
 • Estimate 
(2020)
136,445
 • Density300/sq mi (120/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district5th
Websitewww.co.washington.wi.us

Washington County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the population was 131,887.[1] Its county seat is West Bend.[2] The county was created from Wisconsin Territory in 1836 and organized in 1845.[3] It was named after President George Washington.[4]

Washington County is part of the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Washington County was created on December 7, 1836, by the Wisconsin Territory Legislature, with Port Washington designated as the county seat. It was run administratively from Milwaukee County until 1840, when an Act of Organization allowed the county self-governance, and the county seat was moved to Grafton, then called Hamburg. This solution was not satisfactory, as at that time four cities were vying to become the county seat: Port Washington, Grafton, Cedarburg, and West Bend. At least four inconclusive elections were held between 1848 and 1852, but the results were unusable due to accusations of foul play and serious irregularities.

In 1852, the state Legislature attempted to split the county into a northern and southern half, with the northern half retaining the name and the southern half becoming Tuskola County. Voters refused this decision, so in 1853 the Legislature again split the county, this time into a western and eastern portion. The western portion remained Washington County, with West Bend as its county seat, while the eastern portion became Ozaukee County, with Port Washington as its county seat. [5]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 436 square miles (1,130 km2), of which 431 square miles (1,120 km2) is land and 5.0 square miles (13 km2) (1.2%) is water.[6] It is the fifth-smallest county in Wisconsin by total area.

Major highways

Railroads

Buses

Airports

Hartford Municipal Airport (KHXF) and West Bend Municipal Airport (KETB) serve the county and surrounding communities.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840343
185019,4855,580.8%
186023,62221.2%
187023,9191.3%
188023,442−2.0%
189022,751−2.9%
190023,5893.7%
191023,7840.8%
192025,7138.1%
193026,5513.3%
194028,4307.1%
195033,90219.2%
196046,11936.0%
197063,83938.4%
198084,84832.9%
199095,32812.4%
2000117,49323.3%
2010131,88712.3%
2020 (est.)136,445[7]3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790–1960[9] 1900–1990[10]
1990–2000[11] 2010–2020[1]
2000 Census Age Pyramid for Washington County
2000 Census Age Pyramid for Washington County

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 117,493 people, 43,842 households, and 32,749 families residing in the county. The population density was 273 people per square mile (105/km2). There were 45,808 housing units at an average density of 106 per square mile (41/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.69% White, 0.40% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 1.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 59.9% were of German, 6.3% Polish and 5.5% Irish ancestry. 95.5% spoke English, 2.0% German and 1.7% Spanish as their first language.

There were 43,842 households, out of which 36.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.20% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.30% were non-families. 20.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.70% under the age of 18, 7.20% from 18 to 24, 31.50% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 11.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 99.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.00 males.

Communities

Sign on WIS 28 marking the county boundary
Sign on WIS 28 marking the county boundary

Cities

Villages

Towns

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Public High Schools

The East High School and West High Schools share the same building but are separated.

The Slinger High School's Owls and the Hartford Union High School's Orioles have a rivalry, playing every year at the Coaches vs Cancer Game. Despite their rivalry they have a joint swim team.

Government

The County Executive is Josh Schoemann, a Republican who is the 1st County Executive, with the office having been established in 2020.

Politics

Like most other suburban counties surrounding Milwaukee (the "WOW counties"), Washington County is a Republican stronghold. Since 1940, the county has been won by the Republican presidential candidate in every election except 1964, as is the case in neighboring Ozaukee and Waukesha counties. Additionally, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter are the only Democratic presidential candidates since the 1936 election to have crossed the 40 percent mark. In 2008, while Barack Obama won Wisconsin by 14 points, Washington County, one of the 13 out of 72 counties to vote for his Republican rival John McCain was his weakest county in the state, as McCain won it by almost 30 points; and other WOW counties were the only three counties where Obama did not win 40 percent of the vote.[13]

United States presidential election results for Washington County, Wisconsin[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 60,237 68.40% 26,650 30.26% 1,183 1.34%
2016 51,740 67.41% 20,852 27.17% 4,165 5.43%
2012 54,765 69.55% 23,166 29.42% 811 1.03%
2008 47,729 64.14% 25,719 34.56% 963 1.29%
2004 50,641 69.88% 21,234 29.30% 592 0.82%
2000 41,162 67.03% 18,115 29.50% 2,135 3.48%
1996 25,829 52.96% 17,154 35.18% 5,784 11.86%
1992 22,739 45.41% 13,339 26.64% 13,995 27.95%
1988 24,328 60.01% 15,907 39.24% 304 0.75%
1984 25,279 65.54% 12,966 33.61% 328 0.85%
1980 23,213 58.81% 12,944 32.79% 3,314 8.40%
1976 18,798 55.17% 14,422 42.33% 850 2.49%
1972 15,338 56.81% 10,434 38.64% 1,229 4.55%
1968 12,439 54.96% 8,104 35.81% 2,088 9.23%
1964 9,191 44.21% 11,563 55.62% 37 0.18%
1960 11,452 57.29% 8,523 42.63% 16 0.08%
1956 12,167 72.93% 4,447 26.66% 69 0.41%
1952 12,626 73.84% 4,440 25.96% 34 0.20%
1948 6,876 59.46% 4,495 38.87% 194 1.68%
1944 8,921 69.44% 3,840 29.89% 86 0.67%
1940 8,501 63.54% 4,683 35.00% 196 1.46%
1936 3,589 29.68% 7,129 58.96% 1,374 11.36%
1932 2,209 20.11% 8,570 78.02% 206 1.88%
1928 4,163 41.13% 5,827 57.57% 132 1.30%
1924 1,987 24.44% 980 12.05% 5,164 63.51%
1920 5,949 76.78% 1,328 17.14% 471 6.08%
1916 2,892 50.30% 2,732 47.52% 125 2.17%
1912 1,799 38.26% 2,425 51.57% 478 10.17%
1908 2,588 48.54% 2,625 49.23% 119 2.23%
1904 2,565 52.00% 2,243 45.47% 125 2.53%
1900 2,614 50.24% 2,524 48.51% 65 1.25%
1896 2,877 53.19% 2,404 44.44% 128 2.37%
1892 1,700 39.04% 2,624 60.27% 30 0.69%


See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 28, 2016. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Wisconsin: Individual County Chronologies". Wisconsin Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2007. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  4. ^ "Winnebago Took Its Name from an Indian Tribe". The Post-Crescent. December 28, 1963. p. 14. Retrieved August 25, 2014 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  5. ^ Quickert, Carl (1912). Washington County, Wisconsin: Past and Present. S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. pp. 51–52. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  7. ^ "County Population Totals: 2010-2020". Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  13. ^ "2008 Presidential General Election Results - Wisconsin". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 11, 2020.

Further reading

Coordinates: 43°22′N 88°14′W / 43.37°N 88.23°W / 43.37; -88.23