Wallowa County (/wəˈlaʊwə/) is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,008, making it Oregon’s fourth-least populous county. Its county seat is Enterprise. According to Oregon Geographic Names, the origins of the county’s name are uncertain, with the most likely explanation being it is derived from the Nez Perce term for a structure of stakes (a weir) used in fishing. An alternative explanation is that Wallowa is derived from a Nez Perce word for “winding water”. The journals of Lewis and Clark Expedition record the name of the Wallowa River as Wil-le-wah.
Wallowa is the northeasternmost county of Oregon. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,152 square miles (8,160 km), of which 3,146 square miles (8,150 km) is land and 5.5 square miles (14 km) (0.2%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,226 people, 3,029 households, and 2,083 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 3,900 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.50% White, 0.03% Black or African American, 0.71% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. 1.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 21.8% were of German, 15.7% American, 12.3% English and 11.8% Irish ancestry.
There were 3,029 households out of which 28.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.70% were married couples living together, 6.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.20% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.85.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.30% under the age of 18, 4.90% from 18 to 24, 21.90% from 25 to 44, 30.00% from 45 to 64, and 18.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 100.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,129, and the median income for a family was $38,682. Males had a median income of $28,202 versus $21,558 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,276. About 9.80% of families and 14.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.30% of those under age 18 and 11.40% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 7,008 people, 3,133 households, and 2,024 families residing in the county. The population density was 2.2 inhabitants per square mile (0.85/km). There were 4,108 housing units at an average density of 1.3 per square mile (0.50/km). The racial makeup of the county was 96.0% white, 0.6% American Indian, 0.4% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 0.5% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.2% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 28.4% were German, 16.7% were English, 14.6% were Irish, 7.3% were American, and 5.4% were Scotch-Irish.
Of the 3,133 households, 22.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.3% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.4% were non-families, and 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.70. The median age was 50.5 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $41,116 and the median income for a family was $49,961. Males had a median income of $35,963 versus $29,395 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,023. About 9.6% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.4% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.