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Lane County, Oregon
Map of Oregon highlighting Lane County
Location in the state of Oregon
Map of USA OR
Oregon's location in the U.S.
Founded January 29, 1851
Seat Eugene
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

4,722 sq mi (12,230 km²)
4,553 sq mi (11,792 km²)
168 sq mi (435 km²), 3.55%
 - (2010)
 - Density

75/sq mi (28.8/km²)

Lane County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is named in honor of Joseph Lane, Oregon's first territorial governor. The seat of the county is Eugene. According to 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data, Lane County has a population of 351,715.[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) encompasses the entire Lane County.[2] It is the third largest MSA in Oregon, and the 144th largest in the country.[3][4]


Although 90% of Lane County is forested, the county also contains the second largest urban area in Oregon, centered around Eugene and Springfield.

The US Forest Service is landlord of 48% of the lands within the county boundaries, a fact which has contributed to the county's inability to fund basic government services. The federal land, which can not be taxed, previously generated hundreds of millions of dollars in logging-derived support for government, but that support was sharply reduced when various environmental regulations curtailed logging by approximately 78%.[5] Although Congress subsequently passed a series of revenue replacing bills culminating in the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act (SRSCSDA) of 2000, the federal subsidies have not been adequate to fully replace logging as a means of supporting basic government services.[6] Today, according to the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission Report of 2009, Lane County crime rates are bad and continuing to worsen, but county law enforcement programs and services, from investigation to jail capacity, have been reduced to as little as 15% of state and national average capacity for a jurisdiction of similar size.[7]

Historically, Lane County's economy has been based on timber and agriculture. Agriculture is important because of the fertile soil and moderate climate that exists in the Willamette Valley, making this valley one of the most productive farming areas in the nation. However, with the reductions in timber harvesting, and the continued pressure of population growth on many agricultural areas, these have become less important in the economic development of the county.

Growth in the next decades is predicted to shift away from these two pursuits to services, manufacturing of transportation equipment, printing and publishing, and high technology. As of July 2008, PeaceHealth Medical Group is the largest private employer in Lane County.[8] A major manufacturer of recreation vehicles, Monaco Coach Corporation, is headquartered in Coburg, and operates one of four manufacturing plants there. Another major economic asset is the University of Oregon in Eugene. Lastly, with access to the mountains and the coast, tourism makes a noticeable contribution to the county's economy.


LaneCountyOR Coastline

Cape Perpetua on the coastline of Lane County

Lane County is one of two Oregon counties that extend from the Pacific Ocean to the Cascades. (The other is Douglas County.)[9] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,722 square miles (12,229.9 km2), of which 4,554 square miles (11,794.8 km2) is land and 168 square miles (435.1 km2) (3.55%) is water. A portion of the Umpqua National Forest is in Lane County.

Adjacent countiesEdit

Honeyman State Park Camp

Campground within the Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park on Highway 101.[10]

National protected areasEdit


Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2008 34.9% 63,835 62.3% 114,037
2004 40.4% 75,007 58.0% 107,769
2000 40.4% 61,578 51.6% 78,583
1996 34.5% 48,253 49.7% 69,461
1992 27.5% 41,789 48.8% 74,083
1988 39.7% 47,563 58.4% 69,883
1984 48.9% 61,493 50.9% 63,999
1980 43.6% 54,750 41.6% 52,240

Lane County is governed by a County commission. Commissioners are elected officials and serve four-year terms. The current commissioners are:

  • Sid Leiken, Springfield
  • Jay Bozievich, West Lane
  • Faye Stewart, East Lane
  • Pete Sorenson, South Eugene
  • Rob Handy, North Eugene


2000 dataEdit

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 322,959 people, 130,453 households, and 82,185 families residing in the county. The population density was 71 people per square mile (27/km²). There were 138,946 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile (12/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.64% White, 0.78% Black or African American, 1.13% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 1.95% from other races, and 3.32% from two or more races. 4.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 130,453 households out of which 28.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.90% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.00% were non-families. 26.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.90% under the age of 18, 12.00% from 18 to 24, 27.50% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,942, and the median income for a family was $45,111. Males had a median income of $34,358 versus $25,103 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,681. About 9.00% of families and 14.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.10% of those under age 18 and 7.50% of those age 65 or over.

2010 dataEdit

Lane County pop growth

Graph of the change in county population from 1860-2010

As of the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 351,715 people,[1] an 8.9% increase since 2000.[12] The majority of the growth was during the first half of the decade.[13] There were 69,689 people under age 18 (representing 19.8% of the total population), a decrease of 5.6% since 2000. There were 156,112 housing units (an increase of 12.4% since 2000), of which 93.5% were occupied. Vacant or seasonal housing units represented 6.5% of the total housing units.[12]

There were 26,167 Hispanics and Latinos (accounting for 7.4% of the total population), a 75.9% increase since 2000. Of those who were not Hispanic or Latino, 84.7% were white, 0.9% were black or African American, 1% was American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.3% were Asian, 0.2% were Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 0.1% were some other race, and 3.4% were multiracial.[12]

Lane County is the fourth most populous county in Oregon. It grew more slowly from 2000 to 2010 than did the three larger counties, Multnomah (the most populous Oregon county), Washington, and Clackamas.[13]


Lane County was established on January 29, 1851. It was created from the southern part of Linn County and the portion of Benton County east of Umpqua County. It was named after the territory's first governor, Joseph Lane. Originally it covered all of southern Oregon east to the Rocky Mountains and south to the California border. When the Territorial Legislature created Lane County, it did not designate a county seat. In the 1853 election four sites competed for the designation, of which the "Mulligan donation" received a majority vote; however, since it was contiguous to the "Skinner claim" both became part of the new county seat known as Eugene.

In 1852 John Diamond and William Macy led an exploration party to survey a shortcut for the Oregon Trail across the Cascade Range. The shortcut over the Willamette Pass became known as the Free Emigrant Road. Around 250 wagons with 1,027 people left the usual Oregon Trail route at Vale, Oregon and followed Elijah Elliott through the central Oregon desert. This became known as the Elliott Cutoff. When they reached what is now Bend, Oregon they sent scouts to the south to look for the road. Once settlers in the Willamette Valley discovered the emigrants were coming, a huge rescue effort was launched as the emigrants were out of supplies and in dire condition. The emigrants of this wagon train doubled the population of Lane County in 1853.[14]

It has been vastly reduced from its original size by several boundary changes. One of the first changes gave it access to the Pacific Ocean when it acquired the northern part of Umpqua County in 1853. With the creation of Wasco County in 1854, it lost all of its territory east of the Cascade Mountains. Minor boundary changes occurred with Douglas County in 1852, 1885, 1903, 1915, and 1917; with Linn County in 1907; and with Benton County in 1923.


Incorporated citiesEdit

The largest incorporated city in Lane County is Eugene, with over 150,000 people. The smallest is Westfir, with a population of less than 300.[15]

Unincorporated communitiesEdit

Former communitiesEdit

Largest citiesEdit

Based on the 2008 estimate, Lane County's largest cities by population are[15]:
1-Eugene - 154,620
2-Springfield - 58,005
3-Cottage Grove - 9,345
4-Florence - 8,270
5-Junction City - 4,721
6-Creswell - 4,650
7-Oakridge - 3,148
8-Veneta - 2,755
9-Dunes City - 1,360
10-Coburg - 1,070
11-Lowell - 857
12-Westfir - 276

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau delivers Oregon's 2010 population totals, including first look at race and Hispanic origin data for legislative redistricting". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses" (PDF). Office of Management and Budget. November 20, 2007. pp. 45. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "OMB Bulletin No. 10-02: Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses". United States Office of Management and Budget. December 1, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2010. 
  5. ^ The Heartland Institute,
  6. ^ Executive Summary Lane County Public Safety Report,
  7. ^ 2009 Oregon Criminal Justice Commission,
  8. ^ "Are Lane County's Top 10 employer's hiring?". January 8, 2009. 
  9. ^ "About Lane County". Official Lane County web site. 
  10. ^ Gumprecht Bannan, Jan (2002). Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide. The Mountaineers Books. p. 56. ISBN 0898867940. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ a b c "2010 census profiles: Oregon and its counties". Portland State University Population Research Center. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Buri McDonald, Sherri (24 February 2011). "Low-growth pains". The Register-Guard. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  14. ^ Sullivan, William L. (2002). Thurman, Paula (Ed.). ed. Exploring Oregon's Wild Areas (3rd ed.). The Mountaineers Books. 
  15. ^ a b "Oregon Cities, Largest, Smallest". 
  16. ^ "Ada, Oregon". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  17. ^ "Austa, Oregon". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  18. ^ "Tide, Oregon". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 43°57′N 122°53′W / 43.95, -122.88

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Lane County, Oregon. 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.