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Elko County, Nevada
Map of Nevada highlighting Elko County
Location in the state of Nevada
Map of the U.S. highlighting Nevada
Nevada's location in the U.S.
Seat Elko
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

17,203 sq mi (44,556 km²)
17,178 sq mi (44,491 km²)
24 sq mi (62 km²), 0.14%
 - (2007)
 - Density

3/sq mi (1/km²)
Founded 1869
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7

Elko County is located in the western U.S. state of Nevada. As of the 2000 census, the population was 45,291. As of July 1, 2007, the population of Elko County was estimated at 50,434[1]. Its county seat is Elko[2]. The county was organized on March 5, 1869, being taken from Eureka County. In area, Elko County is the fourth-largest county in the United States (though its ranking is lower if one includes the boroughs of Alaska).

Elko County is part of the Elko Micropolitan Statistical Area.



Elko County was created out of eastern Eureka County, Nevada in 1869. Several explanations for the derivation of its name have been offered. One explanation is that Elko is an Indian word meaning either "white woman" or "beautiful." Another explanation credits railroad owner Charles Crocker with the naming of a railroad station after elk roaming in the area, and adding an "o" to form "Elko".


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 17,203 sq mi (44,555 km²),of which, 17,179 square miles (44,493 km²) of it is land and 24 square miles (62 km²) of it (0.14%) is water. Not counting Alaska's boroughs (four of which are also larger), it is the fourth largest county in area in the United States, after San Bernardino County in California, Coconino County in Arizona, and Nye County in Nevada. Most of the county lies within the Great Basin, with areas along the northern boundary draining into the Snake River Basin. The elevation ranges from about 4,300 feet (1,300 m) at the edge of the salt flats of the Great Salt Lake Desert, to 11,157 feet (3,401 m) in the Ruby Mountains. The Humboldt River has its source in Elko County and is a major water source for northern Nevada. ·


Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1900 5,688
1910 8,133 43.0%
1920 8,083 −0.6%
1930 9,960 23.2%
1940 10,912 9.6%
1950 11,654 6.8%
1960 12,011 3.1%
1970 13,958 16.2%
1980 17,269 23.7%
1990 33,530 94.2%
2000 45,291 35.1%
Est. 2008 47,071 3.9%

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 45,291 people, 15,638 households, and 11,493 families residing in the county. The population density was 3/sq mi (1/km²). There were 18,456 housing units at an average density of 1/sq mi (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 82.04% White, 0.59% Black or African American, 5.30% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 8.50% from other races, and 2.78% from two or more races. 19.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 15,638 households out of which 43.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.30% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.50% were non-families. 20.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.33.

In the county the population was spread out with 32.50% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 31.50% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 5.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 108.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $48,383, and the median income for a family was $52,206. Males had a median income of $41,322 versus $24,653 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,482. About 7.00% of families and 8.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.50% of those under age 18 and 7.60% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics

Elko is a highly conservative area. Of 12 partisan county officials, 11 were registered Republican and only one was a Democrat.[6] In the 2004 presidential election, George W. Bush won 78% of the vote, with only 20% having voted for John F. Kerry.[7] Both former President Jimmy Carter and President George W. Bush made visits to the city of Elko during the 2006 mid-term election.[8] These were not the first presidents to come to Elko County: William McKinley visited in 1901; Herbert Hoover made his final campaign broadcast as president from a railroad car in Elko in 1932; President Roosevelt spoke in Carlin in 1938 during his whistle stop tour. In addition there have been many other high profile political figures to come to Elko, including Vice President Cheney.

Cities and towns


  1. ^ 2006 Estimates by County
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ Nevada population by county, 1900-90 accessed 2009-05-14
  4. ^ - Elko County accessed 2009-05-14
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  6. ^ "Elko County. (2006). Elected Officials." (PDF). Retrieved 2007-09-28.  
  7. ^ "Presidential Election Results 2004". CNN.  
  8. ^ " (2007). Elko County, NV.". Retrieved 2007-09-28.  

External links

Coordinates: 41°08′N 115°21′W / 41.13°N 115.35°W / 41.13; -115.35

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