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Curry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregonmarker. In 2000, its population was 21,137. The county is named for George Law Curry, a governor of the Oregon Territorymarker. The seat of the county is Gold Beachmarker.


In 1852 explorers discovered gold and other precious metals in the rivers and along the beaches of this area. As a result, settlement in the county was concentrated along the coast, depending primarily on water transportation. The slow development of inland transportation routes kept the county relatively isolated well into the twentieth century. While there is still some mining of cobalt, nickel, and chromium in the Gasaquet Mountain area, the economy has reoriented to agriculture and timber. Port Orford cedar (also known as Lawson's Cypress) and myrtlewood are important export products.

The county has excellent grazing areas for raising cattle and sheep. The county also produces blueberries, horticultural nursery stock, and 90% of all Easter lilies raised in the United States. In 2001, the native tanoak in the county were afflicted by Sudden oak death, caused by infection of Phytophthora ramorum, which has threatened the success of the local nurseries; however, the infection has been successfully contained to an area in size. Tourism is also important to Curry County. The Forest Service owns 59% of the land within the county boundaries. The Port of Brookings is considered one of the safest harbors on the coast.

Geography and ecology

The county originally contained about . However, boundary adjustments with Coos Countymarker in 1872 and 1951 and Josephine Countymarker in 1880 and 1927 increased the area to 1,989 square miles (5,150 km²). 1,627 square miles (4,215 km²) of it is land and 361 square miles (935 km²) of it (18.16%) is water.

Located in Curry County is Cape Blancomarker, the westernmost point in Oregon, with a longitude of 124 degrees, 33 minutes and 46 seconds.

The county contains significant forest extents, with occurrence of Black Oak, Big leaf maple and Douglas-fir. The Blue Oak, prevalent slightly further south does not reach into Curry County.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


As of the census of 2000, there were 21,137 people, 9,543 households, and 6,183 families residing in the county. The population density was 13 people per square mile (5/km²). There were 11,406 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.89% White, 0.15% Black or African American, 2.14% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 2.90% from two or more races. 3.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.1% were of German, 13.8% English, 10.3% United Statesmarker or American and 9.9% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.9% spoke English and 2.5% Spanish as their first language.

There were 9,543 households out of which 20.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.50% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.20% were non-families. 29.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.66.

In the county, the population was spread out with 19.20% under the age of 18, 4.80% from 18 to 24, 20.00% from 25 to 44, 29.40% from 45 to 64, and 26.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,117, and the median income for a family was $35,627. Males had a median income of $31,772 versus $22,416 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,138. About 9.70% of families and 12.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.60% of those under age 18 and 10.60% of those age 65 or over.


Incorporated cities

Unincorporated communities and CDPs

See also


  1. C. Michael Hogan (2008) Blue Oak: Quercus douglasii,, ed. N. Stromberg

External links

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