Williams County
Old Armory at Williston
Map of North Dakota highlighting Williams County
Location within the U.S. state of North Dakota
Map of the United States highlighting North Dakota
North Dakota's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 48°21′N 103°29′W / 48.35°N 103.48°W / 48.35; -103.48
Country United States
State North Dakota
Founded1891
Named forErastus Appleman Williams
SeatWilliston
Largest cityWilliston
Area
 • Total2,148 sq mi (5,560 km2)
 • Land2,077 sq mi (5,380 km2)
 • Water70 sq mi (200 km2)  3.3%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total40,950
 • Estimate 
(2021)
38,484
 • Density19/sq mi (7.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districtAt-large
Websitewww.williamsnd.com

Williams County is located on the western border of the U.S. state of North Dakota, next to Montana. As of the 2020 census, the population was 40,950.[1] Its county seat is Williston.[2]

The Williston Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Williams County. It is bordered on the south by the upper Missouri River, whose confluence with its tributary Yellowstone River is located just east of the border with Montana.

History

There have been two Williams counties in the history of North Dakota. The first, created in 1873, was located south of the Missouri River near where Dunn and Mercer counties are today. This county continued to exist through North Dakota statehood, and while the second Williams County was created in 1891. The first Williams County was extinguished by a county referendum on November 8, 1892; part of its territory was absorbed by Mercer County and the rest reverted to an unorganized territory.

The second Williams County was created by the North Dakota legislature on March 2, 1891, from the previous counties of Buford and Flannery, which were dissolved. The government of this county was organized on December 8, 1891. This county's boundaries were altered in 1910, when a portion of its territory was annexed to create Divide County. Its boundaries have remained unchanged since then.[3]

The county is named for Erastus Appleman Williams, a European-American settler who served in the Dakota Territory legislature and the North Dakota legislature.[4]

Outline map of Williams County, North Dakota, 1914
Outline map of Williams County, North Dakota, 1914

Geography

Williams County lies on the west edge of North Dakota. Its west boundary line abuts the east boundary line of the state of Montana. The Missouri River flows eastward along the county's south boundary line from the confluence with its tributary Yellowstone River, located on the Dakota side of the state border with Montana. Horse Creek and Willow Creek flow to the west across the upper portion of the county. The terrain consists of isolated hills amid rolling, hilly, semi-arid stretches. The area is partly devoted to agriculture.[5] The terrain is highest across its midpoint, and slopes to the NW and SE. Its highest point is a hill near the NE corner, at 2,470' (753m) ASL.[6] The county has a total area of 2,148 square miles (5,560 km2), of which 2,077 square miles (5,380 km2) is land and 70 square miles (180 km2) (3.3%) is water.[7] It is the fourth-largest county in North Dakota by area.

Lake Sakakawea, a reservoir on the Missouri River, is situated on the southern boundary of the county. Little Muddy Creek is entirely within Williams County. The confluence of the Yellowstone River with the Missouri is west of Williston.

The Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site is located in Williams County along the Missouri River on the Montana border.

Williams County is one of several western North Dakota counties with significant exposure to the Bakken formation in the Williston Basin.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Protected areas

Lakes

KotaRay Dam

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
188014
1890109678.6%
19001,5301,303.7%
191014,234830.3%
192017,98026.3%
193019,5538.7%
194016,315−16.6%
195016,4420.8%
196022,05134.1%
197019,301−12.5%
198022,23715.2%
199021,129−5.0%
200019,761−6.5%
201022,39813.3%
202040,95082.8%
2021 (est.)38,48471.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2020[1]

2000 census

As of the 2000 census, there were 19,761 people, 8,095 households, and 5,261 families in the county. The population density was 10 people per square mile (4/km2). There were 9,680 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.95% White, 0.12% Black or African American, 4.40% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 2.21% from two or more races. 0.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 48.3% were of Norwegian and 22.0% German ancestry.

There were 8,095 households, out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.3% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.0% were non-families. Of all households 30.9% were made up of individuals, and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.99.

The county population contained 26.2% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,491, and the median income for a family was $39,065. Males had a median income of $29,884 versus $19,329 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,763. About 9.6% of families and 11.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 22,398 people, 9,293 households, and 5,746 families in the county.[12] The population density was 10.8 inhabitants per square mile (4.2/km2). There were 10,464 housing units at an average density of 5.0 per square mile (1.9/km2).[13] The racial makeup of the county was 92.1% white, 4.0% American Indian, 0.4% Asian, 0.3% black or African American, 0.3% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.9% of the population.[12] In terms of ancestry, 46.2% were of Norwegian, 35.9% of German, 9.8% of Irish, 4.5% of Swedish and 4.4% of English ancestry.[14]

Of the 9,293 households, 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 38.2% were non-families, and 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.95. The median age was 39.0 years.[12]

The median income for a household in the county was $55,396 and the median income for a family was $67,875. Males had a median income of $50,735 versus $27,071 for females. The per capita income for the county was $29,153. About 4.7% of families and 8.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.7% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.[15]

Media

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Townships

Defunct townships

Politics

Williams County voters have been reliably Republican for decades. In no national election since 1964 has the county selected the Democratic Party candidate.

United States presidential election results for Williams County, North Dakota[17][18]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 11,739 81.90% 2,169 15.13% 426 2.97%
2016 10,069 78.62% 1,735 13.55% 1,003 7.83%
2012 7,184 73.25% 2,322 23.67% 302 3.08%
2008 6,291 67.12% 2,921 31.16% 161 1.72%
2004 6,278 70.31% 2,512 28.13% 139 1.56%
2000 5,187 66.44% 2,330 29.85% 290 3.71%
1996 3,590 45.79% 3,018 38.49% 1,232 15.71%
1992 3,664 36.95% 3,008 30.33% 3,245 32.72%
1988 5,653 57.87% 4,004 40.99% 111 1.14%
1984 8,166 70.87% 3,177 27.57% 180 1.56%
1980 6,530 65.93% 2,545 25.70% 829 8.37%
1976 4,230 48.67% 4,189 48.19% 273 3.14%
1972 4,800 59.90% 2,989 37.30% 225 2.81%
1968 3,980 51.51% 3,263 42.23% 483 6.25%
1964 3,076 36.45% 5,352 63.42% 11 0.13%
1960 4,492 48.95% 4,683 51.03% 2 0.02%
1956 4,188 50.07% 4,157 49.70% 19 0.23%
1952 4,307 58.46% 2,999 40.71% 61 0.83%
1948 2,133 38.82% 2,571 46.79% 791 14.39%
1944 2,217 36.57% 3,748 61.82% 98 1.62%
1940 2,470 34.25% 4,579 63.50% 162 2.25%
1936 1,021 13.66% 4,903 65.61% 1,549 20.73%
1932 1,509 21.92% 4,823 70.06% 552 8.02%
1928 3,591 57.25% 2,503 39.91% 178 2.84%
1924 1,865 36.76% 308 6.07% 2,900 57.17%
1920 3,768 65.31% 1,330 23.05% 671 11.63%
1916 903 28.28% 1,769 55.40% 521 16.32%
1912 549 24.08% 696 30.53% 1,035 45.39%
1908 1,979 60.41% 1,034 31.56% 263 8.03%
1904 825 70.94% 316 27.17% 22 1.89%
1900 249 71.97% 95 27.46% 2 0.58%


See also

References

  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Williams County, North Dakota". www.census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Dakota Territory, South Dakota, and North Dakota: Individual County Chronologies". Dakota Territory Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2006. Archived from the original on April 2, 2018. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "County History". Official Portal for North Dakota State Government. Archived from the original on February 2, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e Williams County ND Google Maps (accessed February 19, 2019)
  6. ^ ""Find an Altitude/Williams County ND" Google Maps (accessed February 19, 2019)". Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 29, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (April 20, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  13. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  14. ^ "Selected Social Characteristics in the US – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  15. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  16. ^ US Census Bureau: Boundary Changes
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  18. ^ The leading "other" candidate, Socialist Eugene Debs received 588 votes, while Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 402 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 45 votes.

Coordinates: 48°21′N 103°29′W / 48.35°N 103.48°W / 48.35; -103.48