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Oconto County, Wisconsin

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Map_of_Wisconsin_highlighting_Oconto_County.png
Image:Map of Wisconsin highlighting Oconto County.png

Oconto County is a county located in the state of Wisconsin. As of 2000, the population is 35,634. Its county seat is Oconto6.

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Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,976 km² (1,149 mi²). 2,585 km² (998 mi²) of it is land and 391 km² (151 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 13.15% water.

Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 35,634 people, 13,979 households, and 10,050 families residing in the county. The population density is 14/km² (36/mi²). There are 19,812 housing units at an average density of 8/km² (20/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 97.76% White, 0.13% Black or African American, 0.78% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. 0.67% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 13,979 households out of which 32.20% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.70% are married couples living together, 6.90% have a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% are non-families. 23.50% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.70% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.52 and the average family size is 2.97.

In the county, the population is spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 28.70% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.10% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 101.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 99.70 males.

Oconto County is perennially among the poorest counties in Wisconsin. Stagnant growth turned to negative growth in the early years of the 21st century as employers left the region. Oconto County had an unemployment rate of over 10% in 2004.

History

First visited by French explorers in the 16th Century, Oconto County is among the oldest settlements in Wisconsin. Among the first settlers was Joseph Tourtilott, who explored much of the Oconto River Watershed. Many of Tourtilott's descendants continue to inhabit Oconto County, which has the highest percentage of people of French descent in Wisconsin.

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