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Kitsap County, Washington
Map of Washington highlighting Kitsap County
Location in the state of Washington (state)
Map of USA WA
Washington's location in the U.S.
Founded January 16, 1857
Seat Port Orchard
Largest city Bremerton
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

566 sq mi (1,466 km²)
396 sq mi (1,026 km²)
170 sq mi (440 km²), 30.04%
 - (2010)
 - Density

634/sq mi (244.7/km²)

Kitsap County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington, named after Chief Kitsap of the Suquamish tribe. As of 2010, its population was 251,133. Its county seat is at Port Orchard, and its largest city is Bremerton.

Kitsap County was formed out of King County, Washington, and Jefferson County, Washington on January 16, 1857. Originally named Slaughter County, it was soon renamed.[1]

The United States Navy is the largest employer in the county, with installations at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport, and Naval Base Kitsap (which comprises former NSB Bangor, and NS Bremerton).

Kitsap County is connected to the eastern shore of Puget Sound by Washington State Ferries routes, including the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry, Southworth to West Seattle via Vashon Island, Bainbridge Island to Downtown Seattle, and from Kingston to Edmonds, Washington.


In addition to occupying most of the Kitsap Peninsula, Kitsap County includes both Bainbridge Island and Blake Island. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 566 square miles (1,465.9 km2), of which 396 square miles (1,025.6 km2) is land and 170 square miles (440.3 km2) (30.04%) is water. According to Puget Sound Partnership, Kitsap county has over 250 miles (400 km) of saltwater shoreline.

The portion of the county north of Silverdale is often referred to as North Kitsap, and the portion south of Bremerton as South Kitsap.

Geographic featuresEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit


Kitsap County was organized in 1857.[2]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 544
1870 866 59.2%
1880 1,738 100.7%
1890 4,624 166.1%
1900 6,767 46.3%
1910 17,647 160.8%
1920 33,162 87.9%
1930 30,776 −7.2%
1940 44,387 44.2%
1950 75,724 70.6%
1960 84,176 11.2%
1970 101,732 20.9%
1980 147,152 44.6%
1990 189,731 28.9%
2000 231,969 22.3%
2010 251,133 8.3%
IMG 0225 Kit

Kitsap Seen From Whidbey Island

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 251,133 people, 86,416 households, and 61,355 families residing in the county. The population density was 586 people per square mile (226/km²). There were 92,644 housing units at an average density of 234 per square mile (90/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.27% White, 2.87% Black or African American, 1.62% Native American, 4.39% Asian, 0.78% Pacific Islander, 1.43% from other races, and 4.64% from two or more races. 4.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.6% were of German, 10.4% English, 9.8% Irish, 7.2% United States or American and 7.0% Norwegian ancestry according to Census 2000. 92.2% spoke English, 2.5% Spanish and 2.2% Tagalog as their first language.

There were 86,416 households out of which 36.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.70% were married couples living together, 9.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.00% were non-families. 22.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.80% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 29.60% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 10.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 102.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $46,840, and the median income for a family was $53,878. Males had a median income of $39,889 versus $28,586 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,317. About 6.30% of families and 8.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.90% of those under age 18 and 6.00% of those age 65 or over.


Kitsap County is generally considered to be a marginally Democratic area. In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 51.3% of the vote to Republican George W. Bush's 46.9%. Since elections have been close in recent years it is considered an electoral battleground county in Washington state politics.

On mainland Kitsap County, politics are dominated by working-class Bremerton, which casts moderate margins for Democratic candidates. However, population shifts have resulted in Bremerton playing less of a role in politics, and unincorporated Kitsap County is a mix of battleground areas and staunchly Republican areas. Non-Bremerton parts of incorporated mainland Kitsap County vary, with Silverdale being marginally Republican, Poulsbo somewhat Democratic, and Port Orchard having been an exact tie in the 2004 election.

Democrats normally carry the Indian reservations of the area by wide margins; the area around Little Boston (part of the S'Klallam Indian Reservation) regularly gives Democratic candidates landslides of 10-to-1. The heavily white Port Madison Indian Reservation (across from Bainbridge Island) also gives Democrats victories of upwards of 2-to-1.

Democratic legislative electoral control of Kitsap County is partly due to Bainbridge Island, which casts a significant number of votes and is almost 3-to-1 Democratic. Bainbridge Island's growth and Democratic trend offsets population losses of Bremerton, generally resulting in the county as a whole being stable but very close.

The Kitsap County Auditor Website has detailed election results from 1998 to the present. County area political trends can be tracked by analyzing the election precinct data.

Notable residentsEdit

Delilah Rene, a famous radio host from a radio show called Delilah After Dark.

James Kelsey, known for his steel sculptures including two on display at the Tacoma Police Department.

Board of County CommissionersEdit

Steve Bauer (D) - District #1, North Kitsap
(Steve was elected to a full term in Nov. 2008 elections after being appointed to replace Chris Endresen in July 2007. Endresen resigned in June 2007 to become chief of staff for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell.)[4]

Charlotte Garrido (D) - District #2, South Kitsap
(Charlotte beat Tim Matthes in Nov. 2008 elections to fill the seat vacated by Jan Angel, who resigned to run for state legislature. Charlotte previously served on the county commission from 1997 to 2000, when she lost the seat to Jan Angel.[5]

Josh Brown (D) - District #3, Central Kitsap

Census-recognized communitiesEdit


map of Kitsap County and surrounding area

Other communitiesEdit

Fragaria washington

Beach Cottages in Fragaria along Colvos Passage in Kitsap County.

School DistrictsEdit

Bremerton, Central Kitsap, North Kitsap, South Kitsap, Bainbridge Island

In fictionEdit

Walking Tall with The Rock and Johnny Knoxville was based in Kitsap County, and is the basis for the fictional community of Cedar Cove in the books by Debbie Macomber.

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Coordinates: 47°38′N 122°39′W / 47.64, -122.65

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Kitsap County, Washington. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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