John Day is a city located about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Canyon City in Grant County, Oregon, at the intersection of U.S. Routes 26 and 395. The city was named for the nearby John Day River, which had been named for a Virginian member of the 1811 Astor Expedition, John Day. The city was incorporated in 1901.
John Day is at an elevation of 3,087 feet (941 m). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.87 square miles (4.84 km), all land.
John Day is surrounded by the Strawberry Mountains to the south and the Blue Mountains to the east.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,744 people, 794 households, and 450 families residing in the city. The population density was 932.6 inhabitants per square mile (360.1/km). There were 895 housing units at an average density of 478.6 per square mile (184.8/km). The racial makeup of the city was 94.4% White, 0.5% African American, 1.5% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.
There were 794 households of which 26.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.4% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.3% were non-families. 37.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.79.
The median age in the city was 42.9 years. 22.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.6% were from 25 to 44; 25.5% were from 45 to 64; and 22% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.6% male and 52.4% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1821 people, 734 households, and 472 families residing in the city. The population density was 969.5 people per square mile (374.0/km²). There were 846 housing units at an average density of 450.4 per square mile (173.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.92% White, 1.15% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 0% African American, 0.55% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.42% of the population.
There were 734 households out of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% 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 3.01.
In the city, the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 23.2% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,953, and the median income for a family was $34,327. Males had a median income of $31,908 versus $22,067 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,488. About 13.0% of families and 17.5% of the population were living below the poverty line, including 21.0% of those under the age of 18 and 22.4% of those 65 and older.