St. Helens is the county seat of Columbia County, Oregon. It was founded by Captain Henry Montgomery Knighton, a native of New England, in 1845, as “Plymouth”. The name was changed to St. Helens in the latter part of 1850 for its view of Mount St. Helens, roughly 39 miles (63 km) away in Washington. The city is about 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Portland. Its population was 12,883 at the 2010 census.
U.S. Route 30 passes through the city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.51 square miles (14.27 km), of which 4.53 square miles (11.73 km) is land and 0.98 square miles (2.54 km) is covered by water.
According to the Portland State University Population Research Center, the estimated 2017 population of St. Helens is 13,240.
As of the census of 2010, there were 12,883 people, 4,847 households, and 3,243 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,843.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,098.0/km). There were 5,154 housing units at an average density of 1,137.7 per square mile (439.3/km). The racial makeup of the city was 90.3% White, 0.6% African American, 1.6% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 1.3% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.1% of the population.
There were 4,847 households of which 38.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.1% were non-families. 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.11.
The median age in the city was 34 years. 27.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.9% were from 25 to 44; 23.3% were from 45 to 64; and 10.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.8% male and 50.2% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,019 people, 3,722 households, and 2,579 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,305.6 people per square mile (889.3/km²). There were 4,032 housing units at an average density of 927.8 per square mile (357.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.74% White, 0.34% African American, 1.68% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.35% from other races, and 3.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.05% of the population. 21.5% were of German, 10.9% English, 9.5% Irish and 9.3% American ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 3,722 households out of which 39.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.7% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the city, the population was spread out with 30.2% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,648, and the median income for a family was $45,548. Males had a median income of $39,375 versus $26,725 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,237. About 8.7% of families and 11.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.