McLean County, North Dakota Information (Geography)
Historic McLean County Courthouse, now Historical Museum.
Location within the U.S. state of North Dakota
North Dakota's location within the U.S.
|Founded||March 8, 1883 (created)|
November 1, 1883 (organized)
|Named for||John A. McLean|
|• Total||2,328 sq mi (6,030 km2)|
|• Land||2,111 sq mi (5,470 km2)|
|• Water||217 sq mi (560 km2) 9.3%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||3.8/sq mi (1.5/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 ( Central)|
|• Summer ( DST)||UTC−5 ( CDT)|
The Dakota Territory legislature created the county on March 8, 1883, with areas partitioned from Burleigh, Sheridan, and (now-extinct) Stevens counties. The county was named for John A. McLean, the first mayor of Bismarck.  The county organization was completed on November 1 of that year. Its boundaries were altered in 1885, in 1892, and in 1908. It has retained its current configuration since November 3, 1908, when a portion of its previous territory was partitioned to recreate Sheridan County (Sheridan had been dissolved on November 8, 1892, with its territory annexed to McLean). 
The county's western boundary is delineated by Lake Sakakawea, created in 1956 by construction of Garrison Dam at the county's SW edge. The southwestern boundary of the county is delineated by the Missouri River as it continues its southeastward flow from the lake. The county terrain consists of rolling hills, dotted with lakes and ponds in its eastern portion. The area is largely devoted to agriculture.  The terrain slopes to the south and east, with its highest point on the north boundary line near its NW corner, at 2,201' (671m) ASL.  The county has a total area of 2,328 square miles (6,030 km2), of which 2,111 square miles (5,470 km2) is land and 217 square miles (560 km2) (9.3%) is water.  It is the third-largest county in North Dakota by land area and second-largest by total area.
Protected areas 
- Audubon National Wildlife Refuge
- Camp Lake National Wildlife Refuge
- De Trobriand State Game Management Area
- Douglas Creek Public Use Area
- Hiddenwood National Wildlife Refuge
- Lake Nettie National Wildlife Refuge
- Lake Otis National Wildlife Refuge
- Lake Susie National Wildlife Refuge
- Lost Lake National Wildlife Refuge
- McLean National Wildlife Refuge
- Riverdale State Game Management Area
- Totten Trail Park
- Wilton Mine State Game Management Area (part)
- Blackwater Lake
- Blue Lake
- Brumwell Slough
- Camp Lake
- Cherry Lake (part)
- Cottonwood Lake
- Crooked Lake
- Lake Audubon
- Lake Brekken
- Lake Holmes
- Lake Margaret
- Lake Nettie
- Lake Ordway
- Lake Williams
- Lost Lake
- Minehan Slough
- Nelson Lake
- Otis Lake
- Painted Woods Lake
- Pelican Lake
- Peterson Lake
- Postel Lake (part)
- Strawberry Lake
- Turtle Lake
- Wildwood Lake
- Yanktonal Lake
|US Decennial Census
1790-1960  1900-1990 
1990-2000  2010-2018 
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 9,311 people, 3,815 households, and 2,712 families in the county. The population density was 4.41/sqmi (1.70/km²). There were 5,264 housing units at an average density of 2.49/sqmi (0.96/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.52% White, 0.02% Black or African American, 5.95% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. 0.87% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 48.6% were of German and 22.1% Norwegian ancestry.
There were 3,815 households out of which 29.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.30% were married couples living together, 5.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 26.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.88.
The county population contained 23.80% under the age of 18, 5.10% from 18 to 24, 22.70% from 25 to 44, 27.90% from 45 to 64, and 20.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 98.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,337, and the median income for a family was $39,604. Males had a median income of $32,376 versus $18,224 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,220. About 10.40% of families and 13.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.30% of those under age 18 and 12.90% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 8,962 people, 3,897 households, and 2,600 families residing in the county.  The population density was 4.25/sqmi (1.64/km²). There were 5,590 housing units at an average density of 2.65/sqmi (1.02/km²).  The racial makeup of the county was 91.0% white, 7.0% American Indian, 0.1% black or African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.2% of the population.  In terms of ancestry, 54.4% were German, 24.6% were Norwegian, 6.5% were Irish, 5.6% were Swedish, 5.1% were English, and 3.6% were American. 
Of the 3,897 households, 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 5.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.3% were non-families, and 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.75. The median age was 49.1 years. 
The median income for a household in the county was $52,922 and the median income for a family was $62,686. Males had a median income of $48,906 versus $29,431 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,029. About 6.5% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.5% of those under age 18 and 13.3% of those age 65 or over. 
Unincorporated communities 
- Blue Hill
- Horseshoe Valley
- Lake Williams
- Medicine Hill
- Saint Mary
- Turtle Lake
- Beaver Creek
- Charging Eagle
- Lucky Mound
- Red Butte ( Mandan community)
- Shell Creek
McLean County voters have voted Republican for decades. In only one national election since 1964 has the county selected the Democratic Party candidate (as of 2016).
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "County History". Official Portal for North Dakota State Government. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
- "Dakota Territory, South Dakota, and North Dakota: Individual County Chronologies". Dakota Territory Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2006. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- McLean County ND Google Maps (accessed 26 February 2019)
- "Find an Altitude/McLean County ND" Google Maps (accessed 26 February 2019)
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 29, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (April 20, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". US Census Bureau. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
- "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". US Census Bureau. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
- "Selected Social Characteristics in the US – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
- "Selected Economic Characteristics – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
- Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 526 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 325 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 31 votes.
- Mary Ann Barnes Williams, Pioneer Days of Washburn, N. Dakota and Vicinity. Washburn ND: Washburn Leader, 1936.
- McLean County Heritage. Washburn ND: McLean County Historical Society, 1978.