Washoe County is a county located in the U.S. state of Nevada. As of the 2010 census, the population was 421,407,[2] making it the second-most populous county in Nevada. Its county seat is Reno.[3]

Washoe County is included in the Reno, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Washoe County was created on November 25, 1861, as one of the original nine counties of the Nevada Territory. It is named after the Washoe people who originally inhabited the area. It was consolidated with Roop County in 1864. Washoe City was the first county seat in 1861 and was replaced by Reno in 1871.

Washoe County is the setting of the 1965 episode "The Wild West's Biggest Train Holdup" of the syndicated western television series, Death Valley Days. In the story line, deputy Jim Brand (Charles Bateman) places a locked chain on a Central Pacific Railroad engine until the company agrees to pay its tax assessment. Roy Barcroft played the aging Sheriff Jackson with Pat Priest as his daughter, Nora, who is romantically interested in Brand.[4]

In 1911, a small group of Bannock under a leader named "Shoshone Mike" killed four ranchers in Washoe County.[6] A posse was formed, and on February 26, 1911, they caught up with the band, and eight of them were killed, along with one member of the posse, Ed Hogle.[7] Three children and a woman who survived the battle were captured. The remains of some of the members of the band were repatriated from the Smithsonian Institution to the Fort Hall Idaho Shoshone-Bannock Tribe in 1994.[8]

In 1918, Washoe County elected the first woman elected to the Nevada Legislature, Sadie Hurst, a Republican.[9]

"For decades Paiute children growing up in northern Nevada were required by the federal government to attend a boarding school in Carson City where they learned English, not Paiute."[10]

As of 2013, "Washoe County is the first school district in the state to offer Paiute classes," offering an elective course in the Paiute language at Spanish Springs High School[10] and North Valleys High School.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,542 square miles (16,940 km2), of which 6,302 square miles (16,320 km2) is land and 240 square miles (620 km2) (3.7%) is water.[11] The highest point in Washoe County is Mount Rose at 10,785 ft (3,287 m), while the most topographically prominent peak is Virginia Peak.

There are two incorporated cities within the county, namely Reno and Sparks. In 2010, there was a ballot question asking whether the Reno city government and the Washoe County government should become one combined governmental body.[12] According to unofficial results the day after the election, 54% of voters approved of the ballot measure to consolidate the governments.[13]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
18703,091
18805,66483.2%
18906,43713.6%
19009,14142.0%
191017,43490.7%
192018,6276.8%
193027,15845.8%
194032,47619.6%
195050,20554.6%
196084,74368.8%
1970121,06842.9%
1980193,62359.9%
1990254,66731.5%
2000339,48633.3%
2010421,40724.1%
Est. 2015446,903[14]6.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]
1790-1960 1900-1990[16]
1990-2000[17] 2010-2013[2]

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 339,486 people, 132,084 households, and 83,741 families residing in the county. The population density was 54 people per square mile (21/km²). There were 143,908 housing units at an average density of 23 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 80.41% White, 2.09% Black or African American, 1.82% Native American, 4.28% Asian, 0.46% Pacific Islander, 7.67% from other races, and 3.28% from two or more races. 16.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 132,084 households out of which 31.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.90% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.60% were non-families. 27.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.90% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 31.00% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 10.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 102.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,815, and the median income for a family was $54,283. Males had a median income of $36,226 versus $27,953 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,277. About 6.70% of families and 10.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.20% of those under age 18 and 6.20% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 421,407 people, 163,445 households, and 102,768 families residing in the county.[18] The population density was 66.9 inhabitants per square mile (25.8/km2). There were 184,841 housing units at an average density of 29.3 per square mile (11.3/km2).[19] The racial makeup of the county was 76.9% white, 5.2% Asian, 2.3% black or African American, 1.7% American Indian, 0.6% Pacific islander, 9.5% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 22.2% of the population.[18] In terms of ancestry, 16.9% were German, 13.1% were Irish, 11.8% were English, 7.2% were Italian, and 4.7% were American.[20]

Of the 163,445 households, 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.1% were non-families, and 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.11. The median age was 37.0 years.[18]

The median income for a household in the county was $55,658 and the median income for a family was $67,428. Males had a median income of $46,653 versus $35,559 for females. The per capita income for the county was $29,687. About 8.5% of families and 12.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.0% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.[21]

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Other communities

  • Anderson
  • Antelope Valley
  • Arrowcreek
  • Bartley Ranch
  • Beulah
  • Border Town
  • Bronco
  • Buffalo Ranch
  • Caughlin Ranch
  • Copperfield
  • Damonte Ranch
  • Deep Hole
  • Diessner
  • Dodge
  • Flanigan
  • Franktown
  • Galena
  • Glendale
  • Grand View Terrace
  • Heinz
  • Hidden Valley
  • Hot Springs
  • Huffaker
  • Jumbo
  • Lawton
  • Mayberry-Highland Park
  • McCarran (partly in Storey County)
  • Mira Loma
  • Montreux
  • Mustang
  • New Washoe City
  • North Valleys
  • Northeast Reno
  • Northwest Reno
  • Olinghouse
  • Palomino Valley
  • Panther Valley
  • Patrick
  • Phil
  • Poeville
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Pyramid
  • Raleigh Heights
  • Rancho Haven
  • Red Hawk
  • Red Rock
  • Reederville
  • Saddlehorn
  • Sand Pass
  • Sano
  • Steamboat
  • Upper Pyramid
  • Vya
  • Washoe City
  • Washoe Summit
  • Wedekind
  • Winnemucca Ranch