County Transportation Metrics is a project of the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) and will provide a roadmap for setting transportation priorities.

Wahkiakum County

Wahkiakum is a small, heavily-forested county located on the Columbia River roughly fifteen miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The area is named after Chief Wahkiakum of the Chinook. Cathlamet, the county seat and only incorporated town, is named for a related group who founded it some time before the first pioneers settled there in 1846.

Logging is the main industry, and local government is a major source of jobs and wages. The county is an attractive place to retire, and more than a quarter of the county's personal income comes from transfer payments such as Social Security and Medicare.

The county has an ideal climate for growing Douglas fir trees on a short rotation. It is relatively isolated in terms of transportation infrastructure, linked by Highway 2 to the Longview area (eastward) and Ilwaco (westward). In addition, the county operates a ferry from Cathlamet to Westport, OR. As a result, the county has kept a largely rural feel, with much of its land devoted to forests.

As agriculture, forestry and fishing have declined in recent years, Wahkiakum County has moved to a more suburban existence. An increasing number of residents commute to, or retire from, urban areas in other counties.

Population (OFM Databook, 2011) 

Population (2011) 4,000
Population Change (2000 to 2010)      .3%
Land Area (Sq. Mi.) 263.38
Density (Population/Sq. Mi.) 15.19


Cathlamet                                                        530

County Roads (CRAB and OFM, 2011)

Total Center Lane Miles
Maintenance Expenditures
$ 1,517,622
Preservation Expenditures
$ 441,359
Improvement Expenditures

County Revenues  & Expenditures (OFM Databook, 2011)

Total Revenues
$ 11,523,577
Total Expenditures
 $ 10,629,498
Transportation Expenditures
$ 2,539,602

Performance Measures

Links & Sources

Washington State Association of Counties
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