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Union County, Oregon
Map of Oregon highlighting Union County
Location in the state of Oregon
Map of the U.S. highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location in the U.S.
Founded October 14, 1864
Seat La Grande
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

2,039 sq mi (5,281 km²)
2,037 sq mi (5,276 km²)
2 sq mi (5 km²), 0.10%
 - (2000)
 - Density

13/sq mi (5/km²)

Union County is located in the U.S. state of Oregon. The county is named for the town of Union, which is located within its boundaries. In 2000, its population was 24,530. The seat of the county is La Grande.


The initial economic interest in the area was mining, but most of the mines were in the portion Baker County annexed in 1901. Farming (wheat, fruit, vegetables, and grass seeds), cattle, sheep raising, and timber have replaced mining as the primary economic forces in the county. Nearby mountains and streams offer hunting, fishing, skiing, and camping, which attract vacationers. The Forest Service owns 47% of the lands inside the county boundaries.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 5,280 km² (2,039 sq mi). 5,275 km² (2,037 sq mi) of it is land and 5 km² (2 sq mi) of it (0.10%) is water.

Adjacent Counties[]


As of the census² of 2000, there were 24,530 people, 9,740 households, and 6,516 families residing in the county. The population density was 5/km² (12/sq mi). There were 10,603 housing units at an average density of 2/km² (5/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 94.29% White, 0.51% Black or African American, 0.85% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.62% Pacific Islander, 1.22% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. 2.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,740 households out of which 30.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.10% were married couples living together, 8.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.10% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 12.10% from 18 to 24, 23.50% from 25 to 44, 25.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,738, and the median income for a family was $40,520. Males had a median income of $33,028 versus $21,740 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,907. About 8.50% of families and 13.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.60% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.


Population growth in eastern Oregon during the early 1860s prompted the State Legislature to split Umatilla and Baker Counties from Wasco County in 1862. Further settlement in the Grande Ronde Valley led to the creation of Union County from Baker County on October 14, 1864.

The establishment of a county seat resulted in competition, based on geography and on economic and population growth, between La Grande and the city of Union. The county seat alternated between Union and La Grande until it permanently came to rest at La Grande in 1905. Between 1875 and 1913, adjustments were made between Union County's borders and the borders of Baker, Umatilla, and Wallowa Counties.


Incorporated cities[]

Unincorporated communities[]

External links[]

Maps and aerial photos

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Union 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.