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

Whitman County

Whitman County was carved out of Stevens County in 1871. The county was named after Marcus Whitman, an early pioneering missionary in the western states. The county is part of the Palouse region in southeastern Washington, characterized by wide and rolling landscapes. The county seat is at Colfax. The largest city, Pullman, is home to Washington State University.

The lower Snake River, which forms the southern boundary of the county, provided ample fish and water for the Palouse and Nez Perce tribal peoples. Lewis and Clark explored the Snake River in 1805. In 1869, white settlers began to arrive. Early settler raised cattle, sheep and hogs, but later settlers began growing crops, especially wheat. Oats, barley, rye and flax were also important crops as were apples, plums and peaches until dams inundated the orchards in the 1970s.

Agriculture plays a critical role in the economy. Whitman County ranks first in wheat production in the state and is the second wheat-producing county in the nation. It ranks first in the nation in the production of edible dry peas, barley, and lentils, and is also the largest producer of hogs and pigs in the state.  In 2002, the county had ore than a thousand farms with the average size farm being more than a thousand acres. Productivity gains on farms means that agriculture has a significant economic impact, although it's actual employment numbers are outpaced by other sectors.

For the last few years, the Whitman County's economy has diversified with growth in manufacturing and retail sales. Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories is an up-and-coming major employer, designing and manufacturing relays for electric power systems.  Government is also an important employer – particularly through the presence of Washington State University.

Population (OFM Databook, 2011) 

Population (2011) 44,800
Population Change (2000 to 2010)      .7%
Land Area (Sq. Mi.) 2,159.09
Density (Population/Sq. Mi.) 20.75

Municipalities/Population 

Albion                                                     555
Colfax 2,805
Colton 425
Endicott 293
Farmington 145
Garfield
600
LaCrosse
315
Lamont
80
Malden
205
Oakesdale
425
Palouse
1,005
Pullman
29,820
Rosalia
555
St. John
523
Tekoa
775
Uniontown
300

Major Highways

  • US Route 195
  • SR 23
  • SR 26
  • SR 27
  • SR 127
  • SR 270
  • SR 271
  • SR 272

 

County Roads (CRAB and OFM, 2011)

Total Center Lane Miles
1,904.99
Maintenance Expenditures
 $ 4,975,489
Preservation Expenditures
$ 1,491,365
Improvement Expenditures
0
 

County Revenues  & Expenditures (OFM Databook, 2011)

Total Revenues
$ 27,129,704
Total Expenditures
$ 29,613,569
Transportation Expenditures
$ 9,060,045

Performance Measures

Links & Sources


Washington State Association of Counties
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