During the 1990s, Deschutes County experienced the most rapid growth of any county in Oregon largely due to the availability of recreation activities year-round. Beyond tourism, principal industries in the county are lumber, tourism, ranching and agriculture -- chiefly potatoes. The Forest Service owns 51% of the lands within the county boundaries.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 7,912 km² (3,055 mi²). 7,817 km² (3,018 mi²) of it is land and 95 km² (37 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.20% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 115,367 people, 45,595 households, and 31,962 families residing in the county. The population density is 15/km² (38/mi²). There are 54,583 housing units at an average density of 7/km² (18/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 94.85% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 0.83% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.36% from other races, and 1.96% from two or more races. 3.73% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 45,595 households out of which 32.10% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.00% are married couples living together, 8.50% have a female householder with no husband present, and 29.90% are non-families. 22.00% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.70% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.50 and the average family size is 2.91.
In the county, the population is spread out with 24.80% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 28.60% from 25 to 44, 25.70% from 45 to 64, and 13.10% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 98.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $41,847, and the median income for a family is $48,403. Males have a median income of $34,070 versus $25,069 for females. The per capita income for the county is $21,767. 9.30% of the population and 6.30% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 10.40% are under the age of 18 and 6.10% are 65 or older.