Elko County is a county in the northeastern corner of the U.S. state of Nevada. As of the 2010 census, the population was 48,818. Its county seat is Elko. The county was established on March 5, 1869, from Lander County. Elko County is the fourth-largest county by area in the contiguous United States, ranking lower when the boroughs of Alaska are included. It is one of only 10 counties in the U.S. with more than 10,000 square miles (25,900 km²) of area.
Elko County is part of the Elko, NV Micropolitan Statistical Area. It contains 49.8 percent of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, set up in the late 19th century for the Shoshone-Paiute peoples; they are a federally recognized tribe. Although slightly more than 50% of the reservation is across the border in Owyhee County, Idaho, the majority of tribal members live on the Nevada side. The reservation's land area is 450.391 square miles (1,166.5 km²).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 17,203 square miles (44,560 km²), of which 17,170 square miles (44,500 km²) is land and 33 square miles (85 km²) (0.2%) is water. Not counting Alaska's boroughs (four of which are also larger), it is the fourth-largest county in area in the United States (behind San Bernardino County, California, Coconino County, Arizona, and Nye County, Nevada). The elevation ranges from about 4,300 feet (1,300 m) at the edge of the salt flats of the Great Salt Lake Desert, to 11,387 feet (3,471 m) on the summit of Ruby Dome in the Ruby Mountains. The most topographically prominent mountain in Elko County is Pilot Peak.
The county has three physiographic sections (70% Great Basin section, 20% Payette, 10% Snake River Plain) and 4 watersheds (45% Humboldt River, 30% Upper Snake River, 20% central Nevada desert, 5% Pilot-Thousand Springs).
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 48,818 people, 17,442 households, and 12,441 families residing in the county. The population density was 2.8 inhabitants per square mile (1.1/km²). There were 19,566 housing units at an average density of 1.1 per square mile (0.42/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.4% white, 5.3% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.8% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 10.3% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 22.9% of the population. In terms of ancestry.
Of the 17,442 households, 39.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.7% were non-families, and 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.26. The median age was 33.4 years.
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