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Missoula County, Montana
Missoula county courthouse.jpg
Missoula County Courthouse
Map of Montana highlighting Missoula County
Location in the state of Montana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Montana
Montana's location in the U.S.
Founded December 14, 1860
Seat Missoula
Largest city Missoula
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

2,618 sq mi (6,781 km²)
2,593 sq mi (6,716 km²)
25 sq mi (65 km²), 1.0
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

117,922
Congressional district At-large
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Website www.missoulacounty.us
Footnotes: * Montana county number 04

Missoula County /mˈzlə/ is located in the State of Montana. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 117,922,[1] making it Montana's third-most populous county. Its county seat and largest city is Missoula.[2] The county was founded in 1860.[3]

Missoula County comprises the Missoula, MT Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[]

Missoula County, Washington Territory was incorporated in 1860, when this area was still part of Washington Territory.[4][3] Missoula County encompassed present-day Missoula and Deer Lodge Counties, as well as a large area of land north and south of present-day Missoula County. Hell Gate Town, the county seat, was at the confluence of the Clark Fork and Bitterroot Rivers.

The area encompassing today's Missoula County became part of the United States as a result of Oregon Treaty of June 14, 1846. It was part of the Oregon Territory's Clark County, which replaced the District of Vancouver September 3, 1844. The territory was divided on March 2, 1853, with Clark County becoming part of the new Washington Territory. Clark County was divided the next year to create Skamania County, which a month later was divided to create Walla Walla County, which was further divided in 1858 to create Spokane County.[5] On December 14, 1860, Missoula County was carved out of Spokane County with the first county seat at Hell Gate. The county made up the region between modern-day Idaho and the Continental Divide north of the 46th parallel.[6] When Idaho Territory was created in 1863 it adopted Missoula County as the territory's 3rd county on January 16, 1864, with more or less the same boundaries and Wordensville (present Missoula) established as the county seat.[7][8] This first county consisted of all or part of current Ravalli, Missoula, Granite, Deer Lodge, Silver Bow, Powell, Mineral, Lake, Sanders, Lincoln, Flathead, and Glacier Counties.

Missoula County became a part of Montana Territory when the territory was organized out of the existing Idaho Territory by Act of Congress and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 26, 1864. At this time Deer Lodge County (today Deer Lodge, Granite, Silver Bow, and Powell Counties) was cut out of Missoula.[9] The creation of Flathead (today Flathead and Lincoln Counties) and Ravalli Counties in 1893, Powell in 1901, Sanders in 1905, Mineral in 1914 and finally Lake County in 1923 gave Missoula its present borders.[10]

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,618 square miles (6,780 km2), of which 2,593 square miles (6,720 km2) is land and 25 square miles (65 km2) (1.0%) is water.[11] It is the 24th largest county in Montana.

Geographic features[]

Five large valleys and two major rivers wind through this mountainous region.

Flora and fauna[]

Located in the Northern Rockies, Missoula County has a typical Rocky Mountain ecology. Local wildlife includes white-tailed deer, black bears, osprey, and bald eagles. During the winter months, rapid snow melt on Mount Jumbo due to its steep slope leaves grass available for grazing elk and mule deer. The rivers around Missoula provide nesting habitats for bank swallows, northern rough-winged swallows and belted kingfishers. Killdeer and spotted sandpipers can be seen foraging insects along the gravel bars. Other species include song sparrows, catbirds, several species of warblers, and the pileated woodpecker. The rivers also provide cold, clean water for native fish such as westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout. The meandering streams also attract beaver and wood ducks.[12]

Native riparian plant life includes sandbar willows and cottonwoods, and Montana's state tree, the ponderosa pine. Other native plants include wetland species such as cattails and beaked-sedge as well as shrubs and berry plants like Douglas hawthorn, chokecherry, and western snowberries.[12] Missoula is also home to several noxious weeds which multiple programs have tried to eliminate. Notable ones include Dalmatian toadflax, spotted knapweed, leafy spurge, St. John's wort, and sulfur cinquefoil. The Norway maples that line many of Missoula's older streets have also been declared an invasive species.[13]

Climate[]

Missoula County has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk), with cold and moderately snowy winters, hot and dry summers, and spring and autumn are short and crisp in between. Winter conditions are usually far milder than much of the rest of the state due to its western position within the state. However the mildness is also induced by the dampness, as unlike much of the rest of the state, precipitation is not at a strong minimum during winter. Winter snowfall averages 43 inches (109 cm), with most years seeing very little of it from April to October. Summers see very sunny conditions, with highs peaking at 84 °F (28.9 °C) in July. However, temperature differences between day and night are large during this time and from April to October, due to the relative aridity.[14][15]

Climate data for Missoula, Montana (Missoula Airport)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 60
(16)
66
(19)
78
(26)
90
(32)
95
(35)
102
(39)
107
(42)
105
(41)
99
(37)
85
(29)
73
(23)
60
(16)
107
(42)
Average high °F (°C) 33.2
(0.7)
38.8
(3.8)
49.8
(9.9)
58.5
(14.7)
67.3
(19.6)
75.2
(24.0)
85.9
(29.9)
84.9
(29.4)
73.1
(22.8)
57.8
(14.3)
41.5
(5.3)
31.0
(−0.6)
58.2
(14.6)
Average low °F (°C) 18.3
(−7.6)
21.2
(−6.0)
27.7
(−2.4)
32.8
(0.4)
39.8
(4.3)
46.6
(8.1)
51.4
(10.8)
50.1
(10.1)
41.8
(5.4)
32.4
(0.2)
24.9
(−3.9)
16.7
(−8.5)
33.7
(0.9)
Record low °F (°C) −33
(−36)
−28
(−33)
−13
(−25)
2
(−17)
21
(−6)
26
(−3)
31
(−1)
29
(−2)
15
(−9)
−4
(−20)
−23
(−31)
−30
(−34)
−33
(−36)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.85
(21.6)
0.70
(17.8)
1.00
(25.4)
1.22
(31)
2.01
(51.1)
2.07
(52.6)
0.99
(25.1)
1.19
(30.2)
1.17
(29.7)
0.88
(22.4)
1.01
(25.7)
1.04
(26.4)
14.13
(358.9)
Snowfall inches (cm) 8.3
(21.1)
6.1
(15.5)
5.1
(13)
1.2
(3)
0.2
(0.5)
Trace 0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
Trace 0.6
(1.5)
5.4
(13.7)
11.0
(27.9)
37.9
(96.3)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 11.8 9.4 11.4 11.1 12.3 12.1 7.1 7.5 8.2 8.4 11.1 12.3 122.7
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 9.4 6.8 5.1 1.6 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 5.4 9.8 39.4
humidity 81.3 78.1 70.3 61.2 61.7 61.1 51.7 52.5 62.8 70.8 80.2 83.5 67.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 95.8 133.0 209.3 245.0 280.5 311.1 389.3 334.8 264.7 194.3 99.5 82.9 2,640.2
Percent possible sunshine 34 46 57 60 60 66 81 76 70 58 35 31 59
Source: NOAA (normals 1981−2010, relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)[16][17][18]

National protected areas[]

  • Bitterroot National Forest (part)
  • Flathead National Forest (part)
  • Lolo National Forest (part)
  • Rattlesnake National Recreation Area

Major highways[]

  • I-90.svg Interstate 90
  • US 12.svg U.S. Highway 12
  • US 93.svg U.S. Highway 93
  • MT-83.svg Montana Highway 83
  • MT-200.svg Montana Highway 200

Adjacent counties[]

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 2,554
1880 2,537 −0.7%
1890 14,427 468.7%
1900 13,964 −3.2%
1910 23,596 69.0%
1920 24,041 1.9%
1930 21,782 −9.4%
1940 29,038 33.3%
1950 35,493 22.2%
1960 44,663 25.8%
1970 58,263 30.5%
1980 76,016 30.5%
1990 78,687 3.5%
2000 95,802 21.8%
2010 109,426 14.2%
US Decennial Census[19]
1790-1960[20] 1900-1990[21]
1990-2000[22] 2010-2020[1]

2000 census[]

As of the 2000 United States Census,[23] there were 95,802 people, 38,439 households, and 23,140 families in Missoula County. The population density was 37 people per square mile (14/km2). There were 41,319 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was:

1.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 22.7% were of German, 13.0% Irish, 10.4% English, 8.5% Norwegian and 5.6% American ancestry.

There were 38,439 households, out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.40% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.80% were non-families. 28.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.96.

The county population contained 22.90% under the age of 18, 15.40% from 18 to 24, 29.20% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 10.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 99.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,454, and the median income for a family was $44,865. Males had a median income of $31,605 versus $21,720 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,808. About 8.80% of families and 14.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.60% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 109,299 people, 45,926 households, and 25,931 families residing in the county.[24] The population density was 42.1 inhabitants per square mile (16.3 /km2). There were 50,106 housing units at an average density of 19.3 per square mile (7.5 /km2).[25] The racial makeup of the county was 92.7% white, 2.6% American Indian, 1.1% Asian, 0.4% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 0.4% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.6% of the population.[24] In terms of ancestry, 26.1% were German, 17.8% were Irish, 12.3% were English, 7.3% were Norwegian, and 5.4% were American.[26]

Of the 45,926 households, 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.9% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 43.5% were non-families, and 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.88. The median age was 34.3 years.[24]

The median income for a household in the county was $42,887 and the median income for a family was $58,302. Males had a median income of $39,603 versus $30,069 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,343. About 8.8% of families and 17.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.9% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.[27]

Economy[]

Missoula County has a diverse economy as a growing regional trade center with several major employers such as the University of Montana, regional hospitals, and the U.S. Forest Service each employing thousands. However, 90% of wage and salary workers work for small businesses with under 20 workers with a quarter of them self-employed.[28]

Law and government[]

Missoula County is governed by a Board of County Commissioners of three members; each serving six-year terms staggered so as to have one election every two years. The commission has authority over all legislative, executive, and administrative issues throughout the county not specifically reserved by law or ordinance to other elected officials.[29]

Originally a swing county, Missoula County has voted reliably Democratic since 2004, and has voted Republican only once since 1988. In 2000, Republican George W. Bush won the county by a 9% margin while Green Party candidate Ralph Nader received over 16% of the vote in the county. This is most likely due to the city of Missoula being home to the University of Montana.

United States presidential election results for Missoula County, Montana[30]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 26,347 36.85% 43,357 60.64% 1,795 2.51%
2016 22,250 36.64% 31,543 51.95% 6,929 11.41%
2012 22,652 39.58% 32,824 57.35% 1,756 3.07%
2008 20,743 34.99% 36,531 61.63% 2,003 3.38%
2004 23,989 45.73% 26,983 51.44% 1,482 2.83%
2000 21,474 46.11% 17,241 37.02% 7,861 16.88%
1996 16,034 36.13% 21,874 49.29% 6,474 14.59%
1992 12,898 29.79% 20,347 46.99% 10,054 23.22%
1988 15,965 44.76% 19,178 53.77% 526 1.47%
1984 19,777 53.54% 16,540 44.78% 620 1.68%
1980 16,161 46.72% 13,115 37.91% 5,318 15.37%
1976 16,350 51.36% 15,099 47.43% 388 1.22%
1972 15,557 51.77% 13,784 45.87% 708 2.36%
1968 9,745 48.02% 8,398 41.39% 2,149 10.59%
1964 8,065 38.40% 12,900 61.42% 39 0.19%
1960 10,396 53.76% 8,876 45.90% 65 0.34%
1956 10,627 61.12% 6,760 38.88% 0 0.00%
1952 10,053 58.99% 6,901 40.50% 87 0.51%
1948 6,426 46.32% 7,005 50.49% 442 3.19%
1944 5,371 48.70% 5,558 50.40% 99 0.90%
1940 5,640 41.66% 7,747 57.23% 150 1.11%
1936 2,697 24.97% 7,690 71.18% 416 3.85%
1932 3,819 39.72% 5,242 54.51% 555 5.77%
1928 5,056 59.71% 3,291 38.87% 120 1.42%
1924 2,386 29.44% 1,012 12.49% 4,706 58.07%
1920 4,374 52.61% 3,292 39.60% 648 7.79%
1916 2,926 38.69% 4,069 53.80% 568 7.51%
1912 589 12.64% 1,523 32.70% 2,546 54.66%
1908 1,856 46.15% 1,780 44.26% 386 9.60%
1904 2,239 59.90% 996 26.65% 503 13.46%
1900 1,392 41.85% 1,893 56.92% 41 1.23%
1896 365 13.88% 2,259 85.89% 6 0.23%
1892 2,045 39.82% 2,340 45.56% 751 14.62%



Education[]

School districts[]

Missoula County is home to 18 school districts (13 Elementary, 2 Secondary, and 3 Unified).[31]

Elementary

  • Arlee
  • Bonner
  • Clinton
  • De Smet
  • Hellgate
  • Lolo
  • Missoula
  • Potomac
  • Seeley
  • Sunset
  • Swan Valley
  • Target Range
  • Woodman

Secondary

  • Arlee
  • Missoula

Unified

  • Alberton
  • Florence-Carlton
  • Frenchtown

Colleges and universities[]

Missoula County is home to the University of Montana and the Missoula College - University of Montana.

Communities[]

City[]

  • Missoula (county seat)

Census-designated places[]

  • Bonner-West Riverside
  • Carlton
  • Clinton
  • Condon
  • East Missoula
  • Evaro
  • Frenchtown
  • Huson
  • Lolo
  • Orchard Homes
  • Piltzville
  • Potomac
  • Seeley Lake
  • Turah
  • Twin Creeks
  • Wye

Other unincorporated communities[]

  • Clearwater[32]
  • Coloma
  • Greenough[33]
  • Hell Gate
  • Lolo Hot Springs
  • Lothrop
  • Milltown
  • Nagos[34]
  • Ninemile[35]
  • Sunset[36]
  • Westview Park[37]
  • Yreka[38]

See also[]

  • List of lakes in Missoula County, Montana
  • List of mountains in Missoula County, Montana
  • Milltown State Park
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Missoula County, Montana

References[]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/missoulacountymontana/PST045221. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  3. ^ a b "Montana Place Names Companion". Montana Place Names From Alzada to Zortman. Montana Historical Society Research Center. http://mtplacenames.org/. 
  4. ^ "Act of Congress Admitting Oregon to the Union". Oregon Blue Book. February 14, 1859. https://sos.oregon.gov/blue-book/Pages/facts/history/congress-act.aspx. 
  5. ^ Contributions, with transactions, Volume (1895)2. "Sketch by Judge Frank H. Woody". Montana Historical Society.
  6. ^ Missoula County 1860
  7. ^ "An Act Establishing Counties, County Boundaries, and County Seats East of the Bitter Root Mountains" Idaho Territory Session Laws: 1863-1864 pp. 674-677
  8. ^ Washington, Oregon and Idaho Map 1863
  9. ^ LLC., Historic Map Works. "Montana 1865 Wall Map 17x22, Atlas: Montana 1865 Wall Map, Montana Historical Map". http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/55369/Montana+1865+Wall+Map+17x22/Montana+1865+Wall+Map/Montana/. 
  10. ^ "Montana History Wiki". http://montanahistorywiki.pbworks.com/w/page/21639855/The%20History%20of%20County%20Creation. 
  11. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". U.S. Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/docs/gazetteer/counties_list_30.txt. 
  12. ^ a b "Missoula Conservation Lands Management Plan". Missoula Parks and Recreation. June 1, 2010. http://www.ci.missoula.mt.us/DocumentView.aspx?DID=4174. 
  13. ^ Chaney, Rob (September 28, 2011). "City sees some success removing Norway maples from Greenough Park". Missoulian.com. http://missoulian.com/news/local/city-sees-some-success-removing-norway-maples-from-greenough-park/article_bde222f6-ea4c-11e0-b4b3-001cc4c03286.html. 
  14. ^ NOAA "Station Information Data Sheet - Missoula, Montana". NOAA. January 1998. http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/wrh/PROFILE/missoula.html NOAA. 
  15. ^ "Climatography of the United States No. 20 1971–2000". NOAA. February 2004. http://cdo.ncdc.noaa.gov/climatenormals/clim20/mt/245745.pdf. 
  16. ^ "NowData-NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). http://w2.weather.gov/climate/xmacis.php?wfo=mso. 
  17. ^ "MT Missoula INTL AP". NOAA. ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/normals/1981-2010/products/station/USW00024153.normals.txt. 
  18. ^ "WMO Climate Normals for Missoula/Johnson–Bell Field, MT 1961–1990". NOAA. ftp://ftp.atdd.noaa.gov/pub/GCOS/WMO-Normals/TABLES/REG_IV/US/GROUP4/72773.TXT. 
  19. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  20. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  21. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/mt190090.txt. 
  22. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  23. ^ "U.S. Census website". US Census Bureau]]. https://www.census.gov. 
  24. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". US Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_DP/DPDP1/0500000US30063. 
  25. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". US Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_SF1/GCTPH1.CY07/0500000US30063. 
  26. ^ "Selected Social Characteristics in the US – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_5YR/DP02/0500000US30063. 
  27. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_5YR/DP03/0500000US30063. 
  28. ^ The People, Economy, Land, and Resources of Missoula County and Potential Vulnerabilities to Climate Change
  29. ^ Missoula County Board of County Commissioners
  30. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 
  31. ^ School District Reference Maps (2010 Census) - Montana
  32. ^ Clearwater MT Google Maps (accessed January 3, 2019)
  33. ^ Greenough MT Google Maps (accessed January 3, 2019)
  34. ^ Nagos MT Google MT (accessed January 3, 2019)
  35. ^ Ninemile MT Google Maps (accessed January 3, 2019)
  36. ^ Sunset MT Google Maps (accessed January 3, 2019)
  37. ^ Westview Park MT Google Maps (accessed January 3, 2019)
  38. ^ Yreka MT Google Maps (accessed January 3, 2019)

External links[]

Coordinates: 47°02′N 113°56′W / 47.04, -113.93

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