Grays Harbor County, Washington

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Grays Harbor County, Washington
Grays Harbor County Courthouse 01.jpg
Grays Harbor County Courthouse
Map of Washington highlighting Grays Harbor County
Location in the U.S. state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location in the U.S.
Founded April 14, 1854
Named for Grays Harbor
Seat Montesano
Largest city Aberdeen
 • Total 2,224 sq mi (5,760 km2)
 • Land 1,902 sq mi (4,926 km2)
 • Water 322 sq mi (834 km2), 14%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 70,818
 • Density 37/sq mi (14/km²)
Congressional district 6th
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7

Grays Harbor County is a county in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 72,797.[1] The county seat is Montesano,[2] and its largest city is Aberdeen. The county is named after a large estuarine bay near its southwestern corner. On May 7, 1792, Boston fur trader Robert Gray crossed the bar into the bay he called Bullfinch Harbor, but which later cartographers would label Chehalis Bay, and then Grays Harbor.[3]

The county, originally named Chehalis County, was formed out of Thurston County on April 14, 1854.[4] Its name was subsequently changed to Grays Harbor County by the Washington legislature,[5] effective June 9, 1915.[6] The name change helped eliminate confusion resulting from the fact that the city named Chehalis was in Lewis County.[3]

Grays Harbor County comprises the Aberdeen, WA Micropolitan Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,224 square miles (5,760 km2), of which 1,902 square miles (4,930 km2) is land and 322 square miles (830 km2) (14%) is water.[7]

Geographic features

State parks

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 285
1870 401 40.7%
1880 921 129.7%
1890 9,249 904.2%
1900 15,124 63.5%
1910 35,590 135.3%
1920 44,745 25.7%
1930 59,982 34.1%
1940 53,166 −11.4%
1950 53,644 0.9%
1960 54,465 1.5%
1970 59,553 9.3%
1980 66,314 11.4%
1990 64,175 −3.2%
2000 67,194 4.7%
2010 72,797 8.3%
Est. 2014 70,818 [8] −2.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790–1960[10] 1900–1990[11]
1990–2000[12] 2010–2014[1]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 67,194 people, 26,808 households, and 17,907 families residing in the county. The population density was 35 people per square mile (14/km²). There were 32,489 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (7/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.30% White, 0.34% Black or African American, 4.66% Native American, 1.22% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 2.27% from other races, and 3.10% from two or more races. 4.85% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.3% were of German, 11.9% United States or American, 9.9% English, 9.2% Irish, and 6.1% Norwegian ancestry according to Census 2000. 94.1% spoke English and 3.9% Spanish as their first language.

There were 26,808 households out of which 30.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.70% were married couples living together, 11.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.20% were non-families. 26.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 26.00% from 25 to 44, 25.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 98.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,160, and the median income for a family was $39,709. Males had a median income of $35,947 versus $24,262 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,799. 16.10% of the population and 11.90% of families were below the poverty line. 21.60% of those under the age of 18 and 9. 40% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


Grays Harbor County is one of the most consistently Democratic in the nation. The last Republican Presidential candidate to carry the county was Herbert Hoover in 1928[14] and the last Republican gubernatorial candidate to carry the county was Daniel J. Evans in 1964.[15]

In the United States House of Representatives Grays Harbor is part of Washington's 6th congressional district, which has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+5 and is represented by Derek Kilmer. In the Washington State Legislature it lies in the 19th, 24th, and 35th districts. In the Washington State Senate it is represented by Brian Hatfield, James Hargrove, and Tim Sheldon. In the Washington House of Representatives it is represented by Brian Blake, Fred Finn, Kathy Haig, Lynn Kessler, Dean Takko, and Kevin Van De Wege. All of these politicians are of the Democratic Party.[16]


The principal economic activities are

  • Wood and Paper Products
  • Seafood Processing
  • Food Processing
  • Manufacturing



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Notable people

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. "Statutes of the Territory of Washington, 1854, p. 472, An Act to Create the County of Chehalis" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Statutes of Washington, 1915, chapter 77, SB 297" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Statutes of Washington, 1915, Explanatory" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "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>
  8. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "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>
  11. "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>
  12. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Geographie Electorale
  14. David Leip's Election Atlas
  15. Washington State Legislature district map

External links

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