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Polk County, Oregon

Polk County is a county located in the U.S. State of Oregon. It was named for James Knox Polk, the 11th president of the United States. As of 2000, the population is 62,380.

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Economy The major industries of the county are agriculture, forest products, manufacturing, and education. With 1322 acres, Polk has the second largest number of acres devoted to grape-growing in Oregon. Western Oregon University[?] in Monmouth, is a major employer.

Geography According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,927 km² (744 mi²). 1,919 km² (741 mi²) of it is land and 8 km² (3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.42% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 62,380 people, 23,058 households, and 16,140 families residing in the county. The population density is 32/km² (84/mi²). There are 24,461 housing units at an average density of 13/km² (33/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 89.19% White, 0.42% African American, 1.85% Native American, 1.09% Asian, 0.25% Pacific Islander, 4.48% from other races, and 2.72% from two or more races. 8.78% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 23,058 households out of which 32.10% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.10% are married couples living together, 9.20% have a female householder with no husband present, and 30.00% are non-families. 22.30% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.90% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.62 and the average family size is 3.07.

In the county, the population is spread out with 25.40% under the age of 18, 11.70% from 18 to 24, 24.70% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.80% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 94.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $42,311, and the median income for a family is $50,483. Males have a median income of $36,667 versus $26,272 for females. The per capita income for the county is $19,282. 11.50% of the population and 6.30% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 12.50% are under the age of 18 and 5.50% are 65 or older.

History The Provisional Legislature created Polk County from Yamhill District on December 22, 1845, granting to it the entire southwestern portion of present day Oregon to the California border. County boundaries were periodically changed to reflect the creation of Benton and Lincoln Counties.

The first county seat was a settlement on the north side of Rickreall Creek[?] named Cynthian (also known as Cynthia Ann). In 1852 city officials renamed Cynthian to Dallas after Vice President George M. Dallas,Vice President to James Polk. During the 1880s and 1890s, there were a series of unsuccessful efforts to the county seat to nearby Independence.

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