Washington County, Oregon

Infobox U.S. County
county = Washington County
state = Oregon

map size = 250
founded = September 3, 1849
seat = Hillsboro | area_total_sq_mi =726
area_land_sq_mi =724
area_water_sq_mi =3
area percentage = 0.36%
census yr = 2000
pop = 445342
density_km2 =238
web = www.co.washington.or.us

Washington County is one of 36 counties in the U.S. state of Oregon. Originally named Twality in 1843, the territorial legislature renamed it for the first president of the United States, George Washington, in 1849. In 2000 census, its population was 445,342. The seat and largest city is Hillsboro.


The county is governed by an elected board of five commissioners. The county is divided into four commissioner districts. One commissioner sits for each district, and the fifth commissioner is "at large" and is the Chair of the board. [ [http://www.co.washington.or.us/cgi/home/washco.pl Official County web site] ]


Washington County is centered on a fertile plain that attracted farmers before the first wagon trains. In 1997, orchards covered 8,403 acres (34 km²) of the county's lands and 1,163 acres (4.7 km²) were devoted to vineyards. Agriculture is still a major industry in Washington County, as are lumber, manufacturing, and food processing. (The county is home to Roloff Farms, featured in the TV show "Little People, Big World".)

The development of a large electronics industry during the 1980s and 1990s is the dominating factor of the county economy. California-based Intel, Oregon's largest private employer, has here its largest concentration of employees.

Nike, the only Fortune 500 corporation based in Oregon, has its headquarters in Washington County. Until it was acquired by IBM, Sequent Computer Systems was headquartered right next door to Nike. The facility is now host to a number of software groups for IBM, including one of its Linux Technology Centers.

Other companies with headquarters in Washington County include Leupold & Stevens, an optical instruments manufacturer, and Reser's Fine Foods.


Located approximately convert|20|mi|km to the west of Portland, the county has a total area of 726 square miles (1,881 km²), of which, 724 square miles (1,874 km²) of it is land and 3 square miles (7 km²) of it (0.36%) is water. The county's highest point is South Saddle Mountain at 3,464 feet (1,056 m) above sea level in the Northern Oregon Coast Range. [ [http://www.peakbagger.com/peak.aspx?pid=1076 Peakbagger.com: South Saddle Mountain, Oregon] ]

The Portland Metro Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) bisects the county.

Adjacent Counties

Washington County is one of five Oregon counties making up the Greater Portland metropolitan area. The other four are:

* Multnomah County, Oregon - (east)
* Clackamas County, Oregon - (southeast)
* Columbia County, Oregon - (north)
* Yamhill County, Oregon - (south)

Adjacent rural counties:

* Tillamook County, Oregon - (west)
* Clatsop County, Oregon - (northwest)

Major highways

*Interstate 5
*Interstate 205
*U.S. Route 26
*Oregon Route 6
*Oregon Route 8
*Oregon Route 10
*Oregon Route 47
*Oregon Route 99W
*Oregon Route 210
*Oregon Route 217
*Oregon Route 219


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 445,342 people, 169,162 households, and 114,015 families residing in the county. The population density was 615 people per square mile (238/km²). There were 178,913 housing units at an average density of 247 per square mile (95/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 82.19% White, 1.15% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 6.68% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 5.86% from other races, and 3.17% from two or more races. 11.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.2% were of German, 9.9% English, 8.2% Irish and 6.7% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 81.7% spoke English, 9.6% Spanish and 1.2% Vietnamese as their first language.

There were 169,162 households out of which 35.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.50% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.60% were non-families. 24.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.90% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 34.10% from 25 to 44, 20.90% from 45 to 64, and 8.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 99.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $52,122, and the median income for a family was $61,499. Males had a median income of $43,304 versus $31,074 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,969. About 4.90% of families and 7.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.30% of those under age 18 and 5.30% of those age 65 or over.


The Provisional Legislature of Oregon created the county as Twality District on July 5 1843. [http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/county/cpwashingtonhome.html Oregon State Archives: Washington County History] ] Twality was one of the original four districts of the Provisional Government of Oregon in Oregon Country along with Clackamas, Champooick (later Marion), and Yamhill counties. Columbia, later known as Hillsboro, was selected as the county seat in 1850. Washington County obtained its present boundaries in 1854 with the creation of Columbia County to the north and Multnomah County to the east.

The construction of Canyon Road to Beaverton helped Portland to consolidate its position as the primary port of Oregon, and defeat the rival efforts of settlements as Oregon City and Milwaukie.

In November 2004, the County and the city of Beaverton agreed to a plan where the city would annex both unincorporated residential neighborhoods as well as high-value areas of land. This would result with Cedar Hills, Garden Home, Raleigh Hills, West Slope being incorporated by 2010, and the communities of Aloha, Bethany, and Cedar Mill at some point after that.

ee also

*David Hill
*Tabitha Brown
*Joseph Meek
*Washington County Jail
*Washington County Courthouse


Incorporated cities

= Unincorporated communities and CDPs =

ee also

*Washington County Museum
*L.L. "Stub" Stewart Memorial State Park
*MAX Blue Line
*Westside Express Service


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