Union County, Oregon

Union County, Oregon

Infobox U.S. County
county = Union County
state = Oregon

map size = 225
founded = October 14, 1864
seat = La Grande | area_total_sq_mi =2039
area_land_sq_mi =2037
area_water_sq_mi =2
area percentage = 0.10%
census yr = 2000
pop = 24530
density_km2 =5
web = www.union-county.org

Union County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. The county is named for the town of Union, which is located within its boundaries. In 2000, its population was 24,530. The seat of the county is La Grande.


The initial economic interest in the area was mining, but most of the mines were in the portion Baker County annexed in 1901. Farming (wheat, fruit, vegetables, and grass seeds), cattle, sheep raising, and timber have replaced mining as the primary economic forces in the county. Nearby mountains and streams offer hunting, fishing, skiing, and camping, which attract vacationers. The Forest Service owns 47% of the lands inside the county boundaries.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,039 square miles (5,280 km²), of which, 2,037 square miles (5,275 km²) of it is land and 2 square miles (5 km²) of it (0.10%) is water.

Adjacent counties

* Umatilla County, Oregon - (west)
* Wallowa County, Oregon - (east)
* Baker County, Oregon - (south)
* Grant County, Oregon - (southwest)


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 24,530 people, 9,740 households, and 6,516 families residing in the county. The population density was 12 people per square mile (5/km²). There were 10,603 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.29% White, 0.51% Black or African American, 0.85% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.62% Pacific Islander, 1.22% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. 2.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.2% were of German, 15.5% American, 12.2% English and 10.5% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 9,740 households out of which 30.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.10% were married couples living together, 8.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.10% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 12.10% from 18 to 24, 23.50% from 25 to 44, 25.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,738, and the median income for a family was $40,520. Males had a median income of $33,028 versus $21,740 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,907. About 8.50% of families and 13.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.60% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.


Population growth in eastern Oregon during the early 1860s prompted the State Legislature to split Umatilla and Baker Counties from Wasco County in 1862. Further settlement in the Grande Ronde Valley led to the creation of Union County from Baker County on October 14, 1864.

The establishment of a county seat resulted in competition, based on geography and on economic and population growth, between La Grande and the city of Union. The county seat alternated between Union and La Grande until it permanently came to rest at La Grande in 1905. Between 1875 and 1913, adjustments were made between Union County's borders and the borders of Baker, Umatilla, and Wallowa Counties.


Incorporated cities

Unincorporated communities


External links

* [http://www.union-county.org Union County Government Official Web Site]
* [http://www.rootsweb.com/~cemetery/oregon/union.html Union County graveyards from Oregon Tombstone Transcription Project]

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