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Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska

Scotts Bluff County is a county located in the U.S. State of Nebraska. As of 2000, the population is 36,951, making Scotts Bluff the 6th largest county in Nebraska. Its county seat is Gering6 and its largest city is Scottsbluff.

In the Nebraska license plate system, Scotts Bluff County is represented by the prefix 21 on all license plates. (This prefix was established by population when the license plate system was established in 1922).

The county is named after a prominent bluff that served as a monument for 19th-century pioneers traveling along the Oregon Trail. The bluff was named after a fur trapper named Hiram Scott who died near the bluff in 1828. The bluff is now a United States National Park and is called Scotts Bluff National Monument. The town of Gering was founded at the base of the bluff in 1887, and the city of Scottsbluff was founded across the North Platte River from the bluff in 1900. Separated only by the river, the two cities have since grown together and now form the 8th largest urban area in Nebraska.

The economy of Scotts Bluff County is based on agriculture, with the primary crops being sugar beets, corn, and beans.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,931 km² (746 mi²). 1,915 km² (739 mi²) of it is land and 16 km² (6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.83% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 36,951 people, 14,887 households, and 10,167 families residing in the county. The population density is 19/km² (50/mi²). There are 16,119 housing units at an average density of 8/km² (22/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 87.58% White, 0.27% Black or African American, 1.88% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 8.02% from other races, and 1.63% from two or more races. 17.19% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 14,887 households out of which 31.50% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.20% are married couples living together, 10.70% have a female householder with no husband present, and 31.70% are non-families. 27.80% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.80% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 2.97.

In the county the population is spread out with 25.90% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 25.40% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 17.20% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 91.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 88.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $32,016, and the median income for a family is $38,932. Males have a median income of $30,317 versus $20,717 for females. The per capita income for the county is $17,355. 14.50% of the population and 11.00% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 22.00% are under the age of 18 and 8.70% are 65 or older.

Cities and towns