Kittitas County, Washington

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Kittitas County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Kittitas County
Location in the U.S. state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location in the U.S.
Founded November 24, 1883
Seat Ellensburg
Largest city Ellensburg
 • Total 2,333 sq mi (6,042 km2)
 • Land 2,297 sq mi (5,949 km2)
 • Water 36 sq mi (93 km2), 1.5%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 42,522
 • Density 19/sq mi (7/km²)
Congressional district 8th
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7

Kittitas County /ˈkɪttæs/ is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 40,915.[1] Its county seat and largest city is Ellensburg.[2] The county was created on November 24, 1883 when it separated from Yakima County.[3]

There are numerous interpretations of the name, which is from the language of the Yakama Nation. According to one source, it "has been said to mean everything from 'white chalk' to 'shale rock' to 'shoal people' to 'land of plenty'. Most anthropologists and historians concede that each interpretation has some validity depending upon the particular dialect spoken."[4]

Kittitas County comprises the Ellensburg, WA Micropolitan Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,333 square miles (6,040 km2), of which 2,297 square miles (5,950 km2) is land and 36 square miles (93 km2) (1.5%) is water.[5] The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet (2,426 m) above sea level.

Geographic features

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 8,777
1900 9,704 10.6%
1910 18,561 91.3%
1920 17,737 −4.4%
1930 18,154 2.4%
1940 20,230 11.4%
1950 22,235 9.9%
1960 20,467 −8.0%
1970 25,039 22.3%
1980 24,877 −0.6%
1990 26,725 7.4%
2000 33,362 24.8%
2010 40,915 22.6%
Est. 2014 42,522 [6] 3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790–1960[8] 1900–1990[9]
1990–2000[10] 2010–2014[1]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 33,362 people, 13,382 households, and 7,788 families residing in the county. The population density was 14 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 16,475 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.77% White, 0.71% Black or African American, 0.91% Native American, 2.19% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 2.30% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. 5.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.4% were of German, 11.7% English, 9.0% Irish, 7.8% United States or American and 6.6% Norwegian ancestry. 93.2% spoke English and 4.5% Spanish as their first language.

There were 13,382 households out of which 26.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.80% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.80% were non-families. 28.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county, the population was spread out with 20.60% under the age of 18, 21.60% from 18 to 24, 24.60% from 25 to 44, 21.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 98.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,546, and the median income for a family was $46,057. Males had a median income of $36,257 versus $25,640 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,928. About 10.50% of families and 19.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.60% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.

File:Irrigated Hillside near Ellensburg WA.jpg
An irrigated hillside near Ellensburg

Flora and fauna

There are a variety of species represented within Kittitas County. These include a diversity of grasses, herbs, trees, birds, mammals and amphibians. The genus of ricegrass known as Oryzopsis was one of the earliest grasses classified within the county.[12] Among the amphibian species found are the Cascades frog and the Rough-skinned Newt, the latter being a common far western USA taxon; in fact, examples of neoteny have been found in individual newts of this species within the county.[13]



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


  • The Kittitas County Fair and Ellensburg Rodeo occur every Labor Day Weekend. The Kittitas County Fair began in 1885, and moved to its current location in 1923.[14]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Illustrated History of Klickitat, Yakima, & Kittitas Counties, with an outline of the early history of the state of Washington. Interstate Publishing Company. 1904. p. 244.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Cochran, Jennifer (2007). "Kittitas County About the County".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Charles Vancouver Piper (1906) Flora of the State of Washington, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC
  13. C. Michael Hogan (2008) Rough-skinned Newt ("Taricha granulosa"), GlobalTwitcher, ed. N. Stromberg [1]

Further reading

  • William Denison Lyman, History of the Yakima Valley, Washington: Comprising Yakima, Kittitas, and Benton Counties. In Two Volumes. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1919. Volume 1 | Volume 2
  • Andrew Caveness, "Images of America: Kittitas County." South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing Co., 2012. [2]

External links

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