San Juan County, Washington
San Juan County is a county located in the Salish Sea in the far northwestern corner of the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, its population was 15,769. The county seat and only incorporated city is Friday Harbor, located on San Juan Island. The county was formed on October 31, 1873, from Whatcom County and is named for the San Juan Islands, which are in turn named for Juan Vicente de Güemes, 2nd Count of Revillagigedo, the Viceroy of New Spain.
|San Juan County, Washington|
San Juan County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of Washington
Washington's location within the U.S.
|Founded||October 31, 1873|
|Named for||San Juan Islands|
|Largest town||Friday Harbor|
|• Total||621 sq mi (1,608 km2)|
|• Land||174 sq mi (451 km2)|
|• Water||447 sq mi (1,158 km2), 72%|
|• Density||96/sq mi (37/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific: UTC−8/−7|
The San Juan Islands were the subject of a territorial dispute between Great Britain and the United States from 1846 to 1872, leading to the Pig War in 1859.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 621 square miles (1,610 km2), of which 174 square miles (450 km2) is land and 447 square miles (1,160 km2) (72%) is water. It is the smallest county in Washington by land area and fourth-smallest by total area.
San Juan County is a cluster of more than 400 islands and rocks with elevations above mean high tide. 134 of these islands and rocks are named. The county has rugged, rocky shoreline and several mountains. The highest point in the county is Mount Constitution on Orcas Island at 2,407 feet (734 m) above sea level.
There are approximately 743 islands and rocks in the San Juan Island chain. Most of the county's population lives on the largest four islands, which are the only county islands served by the Washington State Ferries. The four largest islands are:
- Orcas Island (149.43 km²/57.7 sq mi)
- San Juan Island (143.62 km²/55.5 sq mi)
- Lopez Island (76.57 km²/29.6 sq mi)
- Shaw Island (19.64 km²/7.6 sq mi)
- Whatcom County – northeast
- Skagit County – east
- Island County – southeast
- Jefferson County – south
- Clallam County – south/southwest
- Capital Regional District, British Columbia – west
National protected areasEdit
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000 there were 14,077 people living in the county in 6,466 households and 4,015 families, resulting in a population density of 80 people per square mile (31/km²). The census reported 9,752 housing units at an average density of 56 per square mile (22/km²). The residents of the county reported their race as 94.99% White, 0.26% Black or African American, 0.83% Native American, 0.89% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.91% from other races, and 2.04% from two or more races. 2.40% of the population identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino of any race. In response to the census question concerning ancestry, 16.7% reported English ancestry; 15.0%, German; 11.6%, Irish; 5.7%, United States or American; 5.4%, French; and 5.0%, Norwegian.
Of the 6,466 households, 22.90% had children under the age of 18; 51.80% were married couples living together; 6.90% had a female householder with no husband present; 37.90% were not families; 30.60% were individuals; and 10.70% were individuals 65 years of age or older, living alone. The average household size was 2.16 persons and the average family size was 2.65.
19.10% of the county's population was under the age of 18; 4.50% ranged in age from 18 to 24; 21.70%, 25–44; 35.70%, 45–64; and 19.00%, 65 or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $43,491, and the median income for a family was $51,835. Males had a median income of $36,250 versus $26,516 for females. The per capita income for the county was $30,603. About 6.00% of families and 9.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.40% of those under age 18 and 3.10% of those age 65 or over.
San Juan county has the highest per capita income in the state of Washington. Deer Harbor, located in the county, has a per capita income exceeding $100,000. Waldron Island, with a population of 104 in the 2000 census, is considered one of the most impoverished areas in Washington, with about 56% of the people living in poverty.
In a survey by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, San Juan County was ranked the healthiest in the state of Washington.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 15,769 people, 7,613 households, and 4,438 families residing in the county. The population density was 90.7 inhabitants per square mile (35.0/km2). There were 13,313 housing units at an average density of 76.5 per square mile (29.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.6% white, 1.1% Asian, 0.7% American Indian, 0.3% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 2.6% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.4% of the population. The largest ancestry groups were:
- 19.6% German
- 19.3% English
- 14.1% Irish
- 5.6% Norwegian
- 5.6% Scottish
- 5.0% French
- 4.4% Swedish
- 4.2% Mexican
- 3.6% Italian
- 3.1% Scotch-Irish
- 2.9% Dutch
- 2.8% American
- 2.1% Welsh
- 1.8% Polish
- 1.7% Russian
- 1.6% Danish
- 1.4% British
- 1.1% Swiss
- 1.0% Canadian
Of the 7,613 households, 19.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 41.7% were non-families, and 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.56. The median age was 52.7 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $50,726 and the median income for a family was $61,096. Males had a median income of $44,190 versus $32,911 for females. The per capita income for the county was $35,487. About 7.6% of families and 10.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.3% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.
This county is usually even more liberal than the famously liberal King County, but does not have the reputation King County does because its population is so much smaller, and therefore its effect on elections much weaker. The only area of the county won by George W. Bush in 2004 was the Decatur Island/Blakely Island precinct, with just over 50 votes. Waldron Island's precinct voted 96.5% for John Kerry. In 2006, Maria Cantwell, the Democrat running for re-election to the U.S. Senate, won all precincts.
- Friday Harbor (county seat)
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