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Benton County, Oregon

Benton County is a county located in the U.S. State of Oregon. It was named after Thomas Hart Benton[?], a US senator who, with his colleague Lewis F. Linn[?], advocated the extension of US control into the Oregon Country. As of 2000, the population is 78,153.

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Economy Along with Oregon State University, agriculture, lumber, and wood products form the economic base of the county. A substantial portion of the nation's research in forestry, agriculture, engineering, education and the sciences takes place at OSU.

Geography According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,759 km² (679 mi²). 1,752 km² (676 mi²) of it is land and 6 km² (3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.37% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 78,153 people, 30,145 households, and 18,237 families residing in the county. The population density is 45/km² (116/mi²). There are 31,980 housing units at an average density of 18/km² (47/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 89.16% White, 0.84% African American, 0.79% Native American, 4.49% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 1.92% from other races, and 2.56% from two or more races. 4.66% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 30,145 households out of which 28.40% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.40% are married couples living together, 7.20% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.50% are non-families. 26.10% of all households are made up of individuals and 6.70% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.43 and the average family size is 2.95.

In the county, the population is spread out with 21.30% under the age of 18, 20.20% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 21.40% from 45 to 64, and 10.30% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 99.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $41,897, and the median income for a family is $56,319. Males have a median income of $42,018 versus $29,795 for females. The per capita income for the county is $21,868. 14.60% of the population and 6.80% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 10.60% are under the age of 18 and 4.90% are 65 or older.

History Benton County was created from Polk County by an act of the Provisional Government of Oregon in 1847. The county was created out of an area originally inhabited by the Klickitat[?], who rented it from the Kalapooias[?] for use as hunting grounds. All Indian claims to land within Benton County were ceded in the Treaty of Dayton[?] in 1855.

At that time, the boundaries began at the intersection of Polk County and the Willamette River, extended south as far as the California border and as far west as the Pacific Ocean. Later, portions of Benton County were taken to form Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane and Lincoln Counties, leaving it in its present form.

The city of Marysville, later renamed Corvallis, Oregon, was made the county seat in 1851. In 1862 Corvallis became the site of the Oregon State Agricultural College, known today as Oregon State University.

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