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Washoe County, Nevada
Seal of Washoe County, Nevada
Seal
Map of Nevada highlighting Washoe County
Location in the state of Nevada
Map of the U.S. highlighting Nevada
Nevada's location in the U.S.
Founded 1861
Seat Reno
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

6,551 sq mi (16,967 km²)
6,342 sq mi (16,426 km²)
209 sq mi (541 km²), 3.19%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

486,492
67/sq mi (25.7/km²)
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Website www.washoecounty.us

Washoe County is a county located in the U.S. state of Nevada. The population was 486,492 at the 2020 census. Its county seat is Reno.[1] Washoe County includes the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area.

History[]

Washoe County was created in 1861 as one of the original nine counties of the Nevada Territory. It is named after the Washoe people who originally inhabited the area. It was consolidated with Roop County in 1864. Washoe City was the first county seat in 1861 and was replaced by Reno in 1871.

In 1911 a small group of Bannock under a leader named "Shoshone Mike" killed four ranchers in Washoe County.[2] A posse was formed, and on February 26, 1911, they caught up with the band, and eight of them were killed, along with one member of the posse, Ed Hogle.[3] Three children and a woman who survived the battle were captured. The remains of some of the members of the band were repatriated from the Smithsonian Institution to the Fort Hall Idaho Shoshone-Bannock Tribe in 1994.[4]

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,551 square miles (16,970 km2), of which, 6,342 square miles (16,430 km2) of it is land and 209 square miles (540 km2) of it is water, 3.19% of the total area.

The county is notable for sharing a border with thirteen other counties, more than any other county in the United States.

There are two incorporated cities within the county, namely Reno and Sparks. In 2010, there was a ballot question asking whether the Reno city government and the Washoe County government should become one combined governmental body.[5] According to unofficial results the day after the election, 54% of voters approved of the ballot measure to consolidate the governments.[6]

Major highways[]

  • I-80 (NV).svg Interstate 80
  • US 395.svg U.S. Route 395
  • Nevada 445.svg State Route 445
  • Nevada 447.svg State Route 447

Adjacent counties[]

National protected areas[]

  • Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge
  • Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area (part)
  • Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge (part)
  • Toiyabe National Forest (part)

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 3,091
1880 5,664 83.2%
1890 6,437 13.6%
1900 9,141 42.0%
1910 17,434 90.7%
1920 18,627 6.8%
1930 27,158 45.8%
1940 32,476 19.6%
1950 50,205 54.6%
1960 84,743 68.8%
1970 121,068 42.9%
1980 193,623 59.9%
1990 254,667 31.5%
2000 339,486 33.3%
2010 421,407 24.1%

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 339,486 people, 132,084 households, and 83,741 families residing in the county. The population density was 54 people per square mile (21/km²). There were 143,908 housing units at an average density of 23 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 80.41% White, 2.09% Black or African American, 1.82% Native American, 4.28% Asian, 0.46% Pacific Islander, 7.67% from other races, and 3.28% from two or more races. 16.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 132,084 households out of which 31.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.90% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.60% were non-families. 27.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.90% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 31.00% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 10.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 102.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,815, and the median income for a family was $54,283. Males had a median income of $36,226 versus $27,953 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,277. About 6.70% of families and 10.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.20% of those under age 18 and 6.20% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[]

Washoe County was a Republican stronghold throughout the late twentieth century, having only voted for the Democratic candidate once between 1944 and 2004 (in the 1964 Democratic landslide). Since the 1990s, it has become more competitive, going from a 22-point win for George H. W. Bush in 1988 to only a three-point win for Bush in 1992. From 1996 to 2004, the Republican candidate tallied a margin greater than four points. Barack Obama won it by a 12-point margin in 2008, and since then, it has always voted Democratic in presidential elections, albeit by relatively narrow margins. However, Republicans still hold the majority of the county's seats in the state legislature. Democratic strength is concentrated in Reno and Sparks, while the rest of the county is much more Republican.

The county is governed by an elected five-member Board of County Commissioners and an appointed county manager.[8] The commissioners serve staggered four-year terms - three are elected during midterm elections and two during presidential elections.

Washoe County Board of County Commissioners[9]
District Commissioner Party First elected Last elected Notes
1 Alexis Hill Democratic 2020 2020
2 Bob Lucey Republican 2014 2018 Chair
3 Kitty Jung Democratic 20071) 2018
4 Vaughn Hartung Republican 2012 2020 Vice-chair
5 Jeanne Herman Republican 2014 2018

1) Appointed by Governor Jim Gibbons.

United States presidential election results for Washoe County, Nevada[10]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 116,760 46.31% 128,128 50.82% 7,254 2.88%
2016 94,758 45.14% 97,379 46.39% 17,772 8.47%
2012 88,453 47.09% 95,409 50.79% 3,993 2.13%
2008 76,880 42.61% 99,671 55.25% 3,863 2.14%
2004 81,545 51.26% 74,841 47.05% 2,693 1.69%
2000 63,640 52.04% 52,097 42.60% 6,564 5.37%
1996 49,477 45.28% 44,915 41.11% 14,874 13.61%
1992 42,636 37.18% 39,500 34.45% 32,535 28.37%
1988 52,654 59.34% 32,902 37.08% 3,172 3.57%
1984 50,418 67.67% 22,321 29.96% 1,772 2.38%
1980 41,276 63.54% 15,621 24.05% 8,059 12.41%
1976 29,264 54.98% 21,687 40.74% 2,276 4.28%
1972 33,539 66.22% 17,106 33.78% 0 0.00%
1968 23,492 54.65% 14,560 33.87% 4,936 11.48%
1964 18,350 47.64% 20,170 52.36% 0 0.00%
1960 18,833 55.21% 15,280 44.79% 0 0.00%
1956 18,865 66.45% 9,525 33.55% 0 0.00%
1952 19,044 68.18% 8,888 31.82% 0 0.00%
1948 11,323 56.09% 8,365 41.44% 500 2.48%
1944 9,024 51.84% 8,384 48.16% 0 0.00%
1940 8,062 46.59% 9,243 53.41% 0 0.00%
1936 4,358 31.42% 9,514 68.58% 0 0.00%
1932 4,333 34.74% 8,141 65.26% 0 0.00%
1928 5,767 59.34% 3,952 40.66% 0 0.00%
1924 3,549 45.70% 1,669 21.49% 2,548 32.81%
1920 4,189 61.02% 2,357 34.33% 319 4.65%
1916 3,225 45.44% 3,341 47.07% 532 7.50%
1912 644 17.88% 1,446 40.14% 1,512 41.98%
1908 2,053 50.01% 1,745 42.51% 307 7.48%
1904 1,517 59.44% 721 28.25% 314 12.30%
1900 919 47.77% 1,005 52.23% 0 0.00%
1896 513 30.52% 1,168 69.48% 0 0.00%
1892 530 32.56% 235 14.43% 863 53.01%
1888 902 57.42% 655 41.69% 14 0.89%
1884 716 59.22% 493 40.78% 0 0.00%
1880 755 47.69% 828 52.31% 0 0.00%



Nevada Senate districts
  • 13th (central Reno and Sparks)
  • 14th (northern Washoe County)
  • 15th (Cold Springs, Mogul, Verdi)
  • 16th (Incline Village, Washoe Valley)


Communities[]

Cities[]

Census-designated places[]

Ranching in Washoe County

  • Cold Springs
  • Gerlach-Empire
  • Incline Village-Crystal Bay
  • Lemmon Valley-Golden Valley
  • Nixon
  • Spanish Springs
  • Stead
  • Sun Valley
  • Sutcliffe
  • Verdi-Mogul
  • Wadsworth

Other communities[]

  • Border Town
  • Copperfield
  • Damonte Ranch
  • Flanigan
  • Franktown
  • Galena
  • Grand View Terrace
  • Hidden Valley
  • Lawton
  • New Washoe City
  • North Valleys
  • Northeast Reno
  • Northwest Reno
  • Panther Valley
  • Patrick
  • Poeville
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Raleigh Heights
  • Red Rock
  • Steamboat
  • Vya
  • Washoe City

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Washoe County, Nevada
  • Reno 911!, a parody cop show set in Washoe County
  • Washoe Zephyr, a regional wind referenced by Mark Twain.

References[]

External links[]

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Coordinates: 40°38′N 119°41′W / 40.63, -119.68


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