All About Washington County, Oregon

Demographics and Diversity

Washington County is the second most populous county among Oregon’s 36 counties, and we celebrate the fact that we are the most diverse one. Our residents include American Indians and Alaska Natives (0.6%), Black or African Americans (1.9%), Asians (9.7%), Hispanic or Latino of any race (16.4%) and Non-Hispanic white (67.1%). Ten percent of the population have a disability; 17% are born out of the United States; and 24% speak languages other than English.

Washington County is also home to several universities and colleges and enjoys one of the highest levels of educational attainment in the state, where over 91% have a high school diploma or GED, and 42% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The American Community Survey adheres to definitions of race and ethnicity set forth by the 1997 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards. These categories are based on self-identification and are "not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically or genetically," according to the Census Bureau.

According to the OMB standards, the category of "Hispanic" maps to the concept of ethnicity, not race, and so is not included in this chart. A person who identifies as Hispanic may be of any race or combination of races.

Educational Attainment

Educational attainment refers to the highest grade level or degree that an individual has completed. The data shown here only include people ages 25 and over.

Employment

Washington County is home to some of the largest employers in the region that play an important role in the local development and economy, along with other small and medium-size businesses in the county. The vibrant nature of the local economy is reflected by the fact that more than 84% of civilian employed population 16 years and over work in the private sector. Other employers include government (10%) and self-employment (5%).

This chart shows how the number of employees in each major industry sector has changed between 2010 to 2017. Hover over a sector to see more details.

Housing

Three-fifths of all housing units in the county are owner-occupied, and the remaining two-fifths are renter-occupied. Housing is a major household expense and could cost a substantial proportion of individuals and families’ income, especially around major metropolitan areas in the Pacific Northwest. 

As is the case in the rest of region, affordable housing in Washington County is a significant concern for many. Nearly a third of housing units are cost-burdened, meaning the resident households spend 30% or more of their income on housing costs.  This figure is higher for renters, and may represent undue burdens for lower and low-income groups. WC Housing Services is continuously working with various public and private partners to create housing options that are affordable to moderate- and low-income households.

Health and Access to Healthcare

Washington County has ranked as one of the healthiest counties in Oregon in almost every health outcome category. For example, 94% of county residents have some form of health insurance. However, there are differences in health insurance coverage based on where people live (see map below for insurance coverage by Census tract). 

Unfortunately, significant disparities continue to persist in some health outcomes such as chronic disease, underscoring the need for additional efforts to eliminate these disparities. WC Health and Human Services identified a set of priorities to address in the next phase of the Community Health improvement Plan, in collaboration with community partners.

Hover over a census tract to see its corresponding data. To see data from a different 5-year period, drag the time-slider beneath the map.

Life Expectancy at Birth

Life expectancy at birth is the average number of years a newborn is expected to live if mortality rates at the time of birth remain the same. The national report is part of the United States Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project (USALEEP). USALEEP is a joint effort of the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The report is based on state death records and population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

About the Data

This report uses data from the American Community Survey (ACS)conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Unlike the Census — which is an exact count of people and households every 10 years — ACS statistics are estimated based on a representative survey sample. 

The ACS releases two kinds of data: one-year and five-year estimates. The one-year estimates provide more current data, but are not available for small locations like census tracts, and are unreliable for small demographic slices. The five-year estimates provide greater detail and accuracy by widening the period of the survey.

Cost-burdened Housing data was calculated by LiveStories based on data from ACS Table B25106. The calculation sums all housing units where housing costs comprise 30% or more of the occupants' household income, and also sums households with zero or negative income. This sum is then divided by the total number of occupied housing units to yield a percentage. For owner-occupied housing units, the costs are monthly owner costs; for renter-occupied units, the costs are gross rent. 

Life Expectancy data is from the United States Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project.