San Juan County, Washington


San Juan County, Washington

Infobox U.S. County
county = San Juan County
state = Washington


map size = 250
founded = October 31, 1873
seat = Friday Harbor | area_total_sq_mi =621
area_land_sq_mi =175
area_water_sq_mi =446
area percentage = 71.84%
census yr = 2000
pop = 14077
density_km2 =31
web = www.sanjuanco.com
|

San Juan County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington, composed of most of the San Juan Islands. It is named after San Juan Island, which was named after St. John the Baptist ("San Juan Bautista") by its European discoverer, Spanish explorer Francisco de Eliza, in 1791. As of 2000, the population is 14,077. The county seat is at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, which is also the county's only incorporated city.

San Juan County was created out of Whatcom County on October 31, 1873.cite web | title=Milestones for Washington State History — Part 2: 1851 to 1900|url=http://www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=5380| date=March 6, 2003|publisher=HistoryLink.org] It is the smallest of Washington's 39 counties in land area.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 621 square miles (1,609 km²).Of this, 175 square miles (453 km²) of it is land and 446 square miles (1,156 km²) of it (71.84%) is water. The highest point in the county is Mount Constitution on Orcas Island at 2,407 feet (734 meters) above sea level.

Geographic features

*Boundary Pass
*Haro Strait
*Rosario Strait
*San Juan Islands
*Strait of Georgia
*Strait of Juan de Fuca

Major islands

There are 743 islands in the San Juan Island chain. Most of the population lives on the largest four, listed here from largest to smallest geographical area.
*Orcas Island (147.37 km²/56.9 sq mi)
*San Juan Island (143.23 km²/55.3 sq mi)
*Lopez Island (76.40 km²/29.5 sq mi)
*Shaw Island (19.94 km²/7.7 sq mi)These islands are the only four San Juan Islands served by the Washington State Ferries.

Physical Characteristics

San Juan comprises a total land mass of 179 square miles. It is the smallest of Washington's 39 counties. San Juan County is a cluster of approx. 200 islands (172 of which are named.)The main ones are San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw Islands. It has rugged mountainous terrain that is both steep and rocky.

Adjacent counties

*Whatcom County, Washington - northeast
*Skagit County, Washington - east
*Island County, Washington - southeast
*Jefferson County, Washington - south
*Clallam County, Washington - south/southwest

It also shares a western border with the Capital Regional District, British Columbia, Canada.

National protected areas

* San Juan Island National Historical Park
* San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Demographics

As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 14,077 people, 6,466 households, and 4,015 families residing in the county. The population density was 80 people per square mile (31/km²). There were 9,752 housing units at an average density of 56 per square mile (22/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 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 were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.7% were of English, 15.0% German, 11.6% Irish, 5.7% United States or American, 5.4% French and 5.0% Norwegian ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 6,466 households out of which 22.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.80% were married couples living together, 6.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.90% were non-families. 30.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.65.

In the county, the population was spread out with 19.10% under the age of 18, 4.50% from 18 to 24, 21.70% from 25 to 44, 35.70% from 45 to 64, and 19.00% who were 65 years of age 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. On the contrary, Waldron Island is generally considered one of the most impoverished areas in Washington, with about 56% of people living in poverty,The majority of the county is served by San Juan Island EMS. http://www.sanjuanems.org

Politics

San Juan County is an affluent area with a politically left of center lean. The only area to vote for George W. Bush in 2004 was the Decatur Island/Blakely Island precinct, with just over 50 votes. On the opposite extreme, Waldron Island's precinct gave 96.5% of the vote to John Kerry. In 2006, all precincts gave a majority vote to Maria Cantwell, the Democratic Senatorcite web | last = Leip | first = David| title=2006 Senatorial General Election Results - San Juan County, WA |url=http://www.uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/statesub.php?year=2006&fips=53055&f=0&off=3&elect=0| date=2005]

Census-recognized communities

*Friday Harbor

Other communities

*Argyle
*Beach Haven
*Blakely Island/Thatcher
*Crane Island
*Decatur Island/Decatur
*Deer Harbor
*Doebay
*Eastsound
*Lopez
*Lopez Island
*Olga
*Orcas Village
*Orcas Island
*Port Stanley
*Rosario
*Richardson
*Roche Harbor
*Shaw Island
*Waldron
*West Beach
*Westsound

History

* The San Juan Islands were disputed territory between England and the United States from 1846-1872, leading to the Pig War in 1859.

References

External links

* [http://www.co.san-juan.wa.us/ San Juan County] , county government website
* [http://www.islandguardian.com/index.html The Island Guardian] , Online news
* [http://www.sanjuanupdate.com/ San Juan Island Update] Online news
* [http://www.guidetosanjuans.com/ Guide to San Juans] , local chamber of commerce website with tourist information
* [http://www.sanjuansites.com/map/San%20Juan%20Island%20Map.asp High Quality Interactive Map of the San Juan Islands]
* [http://www.desticam.com Live images of the San Juan Islands]


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