Coos County, Oregon

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Coos County is a county located in the state of Oregon. The county was named after a tribe of Native Americans who dwelt in the area of the future county. It was created from the western parts of Umpqua and Jackson County prior to statehood. As of 2000, the population is 62,779.

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Economy

Deposits of gold initially attracted people to the county in the nineteenth century. Between 1890 and 1910, large amounts of coal were mined in the county and shipped to California; production decreased after oil was discovered in that state, and no coal mines in the county have been in production since 1950. These coal fields have been explored for natural gas since 1938, although CDX Gas, a company based in Texas announced in 2003 that they would be drilling two test wells later that year.

A project to build a 57 mile natural gas line between the city of Coos Bay and Roseburg, which would attract new industry to the Coos bay area, was begun in 1999 when voters approved a local bond measure to raise as much as $27 million and the state of Oregon provided a matching $24 million. The contract was awarded to MasTec, Inc. for $23 million, who started construction in June of 2002. However, the construction project became enmeshed with accusations of illegally releasing waste into local streams by both environmental groups and the Corps of Engineers; construction was halted December 15, 2003, after $18 million had been paid out, and the contract formally terminated April 22, 2004.

Currently, forest products, tourism, fishing and agriculture dominate the Coos County economy. Boating, dairy farming, myrtlewood manufacturing, shipbuilding and repair and agriculture specialty products including cranberries, also play an important role. Untapped rich deposits of iron ore, and lead await development.

There are several port districts in the county: Port of Coos Bay founded in 1909, Port of Coquille River founded in 1912, and Port of Bandon founded in 1913. Coos Bay is considered the best natural harbor between San Francisco Bay and the Puget Sound, and the Port of Coos Bay is the largest forest products shipper in world.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,678 km² (1,806 mi²). 4,145 km² (1,600 mi²) of it is land and 533 km² (206 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 11.40% water.


Adjacent Counties

Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 62,779 people, 26,213 households, and 17,457 families residing in the county. The population density is 15/km² (39/mi²). There are 29,247 housing units at an average density of 7/km² (18/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 91.97% White, 0.31% Black or African American, 2.41% Native American, 0.90% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 1.06% from other races, and 3.17% from two or more races. 3.40% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 26,213 households out of which 26.00% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.90% are married couples living together, 9.90% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.40% are non-families. 27.20% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.30% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.34 and the average family size is 2.80.

In the county, the population is spread out with 21.90% under the age of 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 24.00% from 25 to 44, 27.80% from 45 to 64, and 19.10% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 43 years. For every 100 females there are 96.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $31,542, and the median income for a family is $38,040. Males have a median income of $32,509 versus $22,519 for females. The per capita income for the county is $17,547. 15.00% of the population and 11.10% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 19.90% of those under the age of 18 and 9.40% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

History

Although exploration and trapping in the area occurred as early as 1828, the first settlement was established at Empire City in 1853, now part of Coos Bay, Oregon, by members of the Coos Bay Company in 1853.

Coos County was created by the Territorial Legislature from parts of Umpqua County, Oregon and Jackson County, Oregon Counties on December 22, 1853. Curry County, Oregon was created from the southern part in 1855. The county seat was originally at Empire City. In 1895 the legislature permitted the citizens of the county to choose a new county seat. The 1896 vote resulted in moving the seat to Coquille.

The Territorial Legislature granted permission for the development of wagon roads from Coos Bay to Jacksonville, Oregon in 1854 and to Roseburg, Oregon in 1857.

Cities and towns



State of
Oregon
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