Kitsap County, Washington
Kitsap County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington, named after Chief Kitsap of the Suquamish tribe. As of 2000, its population is 231,969. Its county seat is at Port Orchard, and its largest city is Bremerton.
Kitsap County was formed out of King County, Washington and Jefferson County, Washington on January 16, 1857. Originally named Slaughter County, it was soon renamed.
The United States Navy is of great importance to the county because it is the largest employer in the county, with installations at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport, and Naval Base Kitsap (which is comprised of former NSB Bangor, and NS Bremerton).
Kitsap County is connected to the eastern shore of Puget Sound by Washington State Ferries runs from Bremerton to Downtown Seattle , Southworth to West Seattle via Vashon Island, Bainbridge Island to Downtown Seattle, and from Kingston to Edmonds
In addition to occupying most of the Kitsap Peninsula, Kitsap County includes both Bainbridge Island and Blake Island. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,466 km² (566 mi²). 1,026 km² (396 mi²) of it is land and 440 km² (170 mi²) of it (30.04%) is water.
The portion of the county north of Silverdale is often referred to as North Kitsap, and the portion south of Bremerton as South Kitsap.
* Island County, Washington - northeast
* Snohomish County, Washington - east
* King County, Washington - east/southeast
* Pierce County, Washington - south/southeast
* Mason County, Washington - southwest
* Jefferson County, Washington - northwest
As of the census² of 2000, there were 231,969 people, 86,416 households, and 61,355 families residing in the county. The population density was 226/km² (586/mi²). There were 92,644 housing units at an average density of 90/km² (234/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.27% White, 2.87% Black or African American, 1.62% Native American, 4.39% Asian, 0.78% Pacific Islander, 1.43% from other races, and 4.64% from two or more races. 4.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 86,416 households out of which 36.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.70% were married couples living together, 9.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.00% were non-families. 22.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the county, the population was spread out with 26.80% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 29.60% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 10.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 102.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $46,840, and the median income for a family was $53,878. Males had a median income of $39,889 versus $28,586 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,317. About 6.30% of families and 8.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.90% of those under age 18 and 6.00% of those age 65 or over.
Kitsap County is generally considered to be a marginally Democratic area. In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 51.3% of the vote to Republican George W. Bush's 46.9%. Since elections have been close in recent years it is considered an electoral battleground county in Washington state politics.
On mainland Kitsap County, politics are dominated by working-class Bremerton, which casts moderate margins for Democratic candidates. However, population shifts have resulted in Bremerton playing less of a role in politics, and unincorporated Kitsap County is a mix of battleground areas and staunchly Republican areas. Non-Bremerton parts of incorporated mainland Kitsap County vary, with Silverdale being marginally Republican, Poulsbo somewhat Democratic, and Port Orchard having been an exact tie in the 2004 election.
Democrats do take large margins in the Indian reservations in the area, with the area around Little Boston (part of the S'Klallam Indian Reservation) regularly giving Democratic candidates landslides of 10-to-1. The heavily white Port Madison Indian Reservation (across from Bainbridge Island) also gives Democrats victories of upwards of 2-to-1.
Democratic legislative electoral control of Kitsap County is partly due to Bainbridge Island, which casts a significant number of votes and is almost 3-to-1 Democratic. Bainbridge Island's growth and Democratic trend offsets population losses of Bremerton, generally resulting in the county as a whole being stable but very close.
The Kitsap County Auditor Website has detailed election results from 1998 to the present. County area political trends can be tracked by analyzing the election precinct data.
Kitsap County was the location of the film Walking Tall with The Rock and Johnny Knoxville. Also, the film and comic book series, Sin City, takes place in the future of Kitsap County.