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Marion County, Oregon

Marion County is a county located in the U.S. State of Oregon. It was originally named Champooick, after Champoeg[?], a meeting place on the Willamette River. On September 3, 1849, the territorial legislature renamed the county for Francis Marion, a general in the American Revolutionary War. As of 2000, the population is 284,834.

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Economy Agriculture and food processing are important to the county's economy, as are lumber, manufacturing, and education. Marion county has 10,640 acres planted in orchards. Government, however, is the county's main employer and economic base.

Geography According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,093 km² (1,194 mi²). 3,066 km² (1,184 mi²) of it is land and 26 km² (10 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.85% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 284,834 people, 101,641 households, and 70,437 families residing in the county. The population density is 93/km² (241/mi²). There are 108,174 housing units at an average density of 35/km² (91/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 81.62% White, 0.89% African American, 1.44% Native American, 1.75% Asian, 0.36% Pacific Islander, 10.58% from other races, and 3.35% from two or more races. 17.10% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 101,641 households out of which 34.50% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.70% are married couples living together, 11.00% have a female householder with no husband present, and 30.70% are non-families. 24.00% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.50% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.70 and the average family size is 3.19.

In the county, the population is spread out with 27.40% under the age of 18, 10.30% from 18 to 24, 28.70% from 25 to 44, 21.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.40% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 101.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 99.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $40,314, and the median income for a family is $46,202. Males have a median income of $33,841 versus $26,283 for females. The per capita income for the county is $18,408. 13.50% of the population and 9.60% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 18.10% are under the age of 18 and 7.40% are 65 or older.

History

Marion county was created in July 5, 1843, one of the original four districts of the Oregon territory along with Twality (later Washington), Clackamas, and Yamhill counties. The four districts were redesignated as counties in 1845.

Originally, this political entity stretched southward to the California border and eastward to the Rocky Mountains. With the creation of Wasco, Linn, Polk, and other counties, its area was reduced in size. Marion County's present geographical boundaries were established in 1856.

In 1849 Salem was designated the county seat. The territorial capital was moved from Oregon City to Salem in 1852. The ensuing controversy over the location of the capital was settled in 1864 when Salem was confirmed as the state capital.

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