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Washington County, Iowa
Washigton County Courthouse
Washington County Courthouse
Map of Iowa highlighting Washington County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of USA IA
Iowa's location in the U.S.
Founded 1838
Named for George Washington
Seat Washington
Largest city Washington
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

571 sq mi (1,479 km²)
569 sq mi (1,474 km²)
2.1 sq mi (5 km²), 0.4%
 - (2010)
 - Density

38/sq mi (15/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Washington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,704.[1] The county seat is Washington.[2]

Washington County is included in the Iowa, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area.[3]


Washington County was originally formed on January 18, 1838 as Slaughter County in honor of William B. Slaughter, the secretary of Wisconsin Territory.[4] A short time later it was renamed Washington County, in honor of George Washington.[5] The first settlers arrived in Washington County in 1835. The homesteads did not start until 1836. A town was built in the present day township of Oregon named Astoria. It became the first county seat and housed the first court house. In 1839, Washington became the final location of the seat of justice.[6]

The first religious society organized by Reverend J.L. Kirkpatrick, a Methodist reverend was created in 1839.[6] The first newspaper was established in 1853; lasting only two years before crumbling. The very next year another newspaper was created, which is still viable today.[7] The major waterways through Washington County are the Skunk and English Rivers and the Crooked Creek. Timber is found in abundance around these bodies of waters which helps in the major business of lumber.[6] Soon after the year 1855, a bank was started in the city of Washington and other institutions followed soon after. No major increase in population happened until the year 1858 when the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad was finished through Washington.[7]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 571 square miles (1,480 km2), of which 569 square miles (1,470 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (0.4%) is water.[8]

Major highwaysEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 4,957
1860 14,235 187.2%
1870 18,952 33.1%
1880 20,374 7.5%
1890 18,468 −9.4%
1900 20,718 12.2%
1910 19,925 −3.8%
1920 20,421 2.5%
1930 19,822 −2.9%
1940 20,055 1.2%
1950 19,557 −2.5%
1960 19,406 −0.8%
1970 18,967 −2.3%
1980 20,141 6.2%
1990 19,612 −2.6%
2000 20,670 5.4%
2010 21,704 5.0%
Est. 2015 22,247 [9] 7.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2013[1]

2010 censusEdit

The 2010 census recorded a population of 21,704 in the county, with a population density of 38.1636/sq mi (14.7350/km2). There were 9,516 housing units, of which 8,741 were occupied.[14]

2000 censusEdit

USA Washington County, Iowa age pyramid

2000 Census Age Pyramid for Washington County

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 20,670 people, 8,056 households, and 5,631 families residing in the county. The population density was 36 inhabitants per square mile (14 /km2). There were 8,543 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (5.8 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.04% White, 0.29% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.51% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. 2.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,056 households out of which 31.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.30% were married couples living together, 6.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were non-families. 26.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 17.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,103, and the median income for a family was $45,636. Males had a median income of $29,592 versus $22,818 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,221. About 5.10% of families and 7.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.30% of those under age 18 and 7.30% of those age 65 or over.


The county is served by 3 school districts[16]

  • Highland Community School District
  • Mid-Prairie Community School District
  • Washington Community School District.

Highland Community School District includes:[17]

  • Riverside Elementary School
  • Ainsworth Elementary School
  • Highland Middle School
  • Highland High School



Unincorporated communitiesEdit

Population rankingEdit

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Washington County.[18]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)

1 Washington City 7,266
2 Kalona City 2,363
3 Wellman City 1,408
4 Riverside City 993
5 Brighton City 652
6 Ainsworth City 567
7 Crawfordsville City 264
8 West Chester City 146
9 Coppock (partially in Henry and Jefferson Counties) City 47

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ United States Office of Management and Budget. "Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses" (PDF). pp. 5, 36.. Archived from the original on 2006-05-14. Retrieved 2006-07-21. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ History
  6. ^ a b c past2present Resources and Information. This website is for sale!. Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  7. ^ a b An illustrated history of the state of Iowa, being a complete civil, political, and military history of the state, from its first exploration down to 1875. Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  9. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Population & Housing Occupancy Status 2010". United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ Education, Iowa Department of (2008-09). "Web Report Engine - Address". Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  17. ^ School District, Highland Community (2009). "Highland CSD". Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  18. ^

External linksEdit

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Coordinates: 41°20′05″N 91°43′11″W / 41.33472, -91.71972

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