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Columbia County, Oregon

Columbia County is a county located in the U.S. State of Oregon. It is named for the Columbia River, which forms its eastern and northern borders. As of 2000, the population is 43,560.

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Economy The primary industries are timber, fishing, water transportation, dairying, horticulture, and recreation. The extensive stands of old growth timber, which had attracted many of the early settlers to the area, were completely logged over by the 1950s. Second growth timber provides the raw material for local lumber and paper mills.

Geography According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,783 km² (688 mi²). 1,701 km² (657 mi²) of it is land and 82 km² (32 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 4.59% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 43,560 people, 16,375 households, and 12,035 families residing in the county. The population density is 26/km² (66/mi²). There are 17,572 housing units at an average density of 10/km² (27/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 94.42% White, 0.24% African American, 1.33% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.79% from other races, and 2.53% from two or more races. 2.51% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 16,375 households out of which 34.40% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% are married couples living together, 8.70% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.50% are non-families. 21.10% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.10% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.65 and the average family size is 3.06.

In the county, the population is spread out with 27.30% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 26.00% from 45 to 64, and 11.60% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 100.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 98.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $45,797, and the median income for a family is $51,381. Males have a median income of $42,227 versus $27,216 for females. The per capita income for the county is $20,078. 9.10% of the population and 6.70% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 11.60% are under the age of 18 and 7.00% are 65 or older.

History The Chinook and Clatskanie[?] Native Americans inhabited this region for centuries prior to the arrival of Robert Gray[?], captain of the ship Columbia Rediviva, in 1792. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, traveled and camped along the Columbia River shore in the area later known as Columbia County in late 1805 and on their return journey in early 1806.

Columbia County, was created in 1854 from the northern half of Washington County. Milton[?] served as the county seat until 1857 when it was moved to St. Helens.

Cities and Towns

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