Kittitas County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Kittitas County
Location in the state of Washington (state)
Map of USA WA
Washington's location in the U.S.
Founded November 24, 1883
Seat Ellensburg
Largest city Ellensburg
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

2,333 sq mi (6,042 km²)
2,297 sq mi (5,949 km²)
36 sq mi (93 km²), 1.54%
 - (2010)
 - Density

18/sq mi (6.8/km²)

Kittitas County (play /ˌˈkɪtɪˌtæs/ is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of 2010, the population was 40,915. Its county seat is Ellensburg, which is also the county's largest city.

There are numerous interpretations of the name, which is from the language of the Kittitas American Indian language. 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."[1]

Kittitas County officially separated from Yakima County in 1884.[2]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,333 square miles (6,042.4 km2), of which 2,297 square miles (5,949.2 km2) is land and 36 square miles (93.2 km2) (1.54%) is water. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet (2,426 m) above sea level.

Geographic features Edit

Major highways Edit

Adjacent counties Edit

National protected areasEdit


Historical populations
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%

As of the census[3] 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 according to Census 2000. 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.

Irrigated Hillside near Ellensburg WA

An irrigated hillside near Ellensburg

Flora and fauna Edit

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.[4] 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.[5]

Census-recognized communities Edit

Other communities Edit

See alsoEdit

References Edit

  1. ^ Cochran, Jennifer (2007). "Kittitas County About the County". 
  2. ^ Illustrated History of Klickitat, Yakima, & Kittitas Counties, with an outline of the early history of the state of Washington. Interstate Publishing Company. 1904. pp. 349. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ Charles Vancouver Piper (1906) Flora of the State of Washington, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC
  5. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2008) Rough-skinned Newt ("Taricha granulosa"), GlobalTwitcher, ed. N. Stromberg [1]

External links Edit

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  • Kittitas County official website
  • The Frederick Krueger Photograph Collection The Frederick Krueger Collection contains images of the Upper Kittitas Valley of Washington State from the 1880s to the 1960s. The images, scanned from photographic prints, glass negatives and rare publications, visually document the communities of Cle Elum, Roslyn and other towns and villages in western Kittitas County. The collection also focuses upon mining, logging and fur trapping in the region during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century.

Further reading Edit

Template:Kittitas County, Washington

Coordinates: 47°07′N 120°41′W / 47.12, -120.68

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