Dawson County, Nebraska

Dawson County is a county in the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 24,326.[1] Its county seat is Lexington.[2]

Dawson County
Location within the U.S. state of Nebraska

Nebraska's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 40°52′N 99°49′W
Country United States
State Nebraska
Founded1860 (authorized by Territorial Legislature)
1871 (authorized by proclamation of Acting Governor)
Named forJacob Dawson
Largest cityLexington
  Total1,019 sq mi (2,640 km2)
  Land1,013 sq mi (2,620 km2)
  Water6.3 sq mi (16 km2)  0.6%%
  Density23.4/sq mi (9.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
  Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district3rd

Dawson County is part of the Lexington, NE Micropolitan Statistical Area.

In the Nebraska license plate system, Dawson County is represented by the prefix 18 (it had the 18th-largest number of vehicles registered in the county when the license plate system was established in 1922).


Dawson County was established by the territorial legislature in 1860; it officially became a county in 1871 by proclamation of acting Governor William James. The county website states that the county was named for Jacob Dawson, the first postmaster in the settlement of Lancaster County, Nebraska.[3][4] Other sources offer another possibility: that it was named after Pennsylvania Congressman John Littleton Dawson;[5]


Dawson County lies near the center of Nebraska, in the portion of the state that observes Central Time. According to the US Census Bureau, the county has an area of 1,019 square miles (2,640 km2), of which 1,013 square miles (2,620 km2) is land and 6.3 square miles (16 km2) (0.6%) is water.[6]

Major highways

Protected areas

  • Bitterns Call State Wildlife Management Area[7]
  • Dogwood State Wildlife Management Area[8]
  • East Willow Island State Wildlife Management Area[9]
  • Gallagher Canyon State Recreation Area[10]

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Est. 201723,709[11]−2.5%
US Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2000 United States Census,[16] there were 24,365 people, 8,824 households, and 6,273 families in the county. The population density was 24 people per square mile (9/km²). There were 9,805 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 82.32% White, 0.31% Black or African American, 0.67% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 14.49% from other races, and 1.53% from two or more races. 25.36% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.0% were of German, 6.7% American, 6.7% Irish and 6.4% English ancestry.

There were 8,824 households out of which 35.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.80% were married couples living together, 7.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 24.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.21.

The county population contained 29.20% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 27.60% from 25 to 44, 20.70% from 45 to 64, and 14.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,132, and the median income for a family was $42,224. Males had a median income of $26,865 versus $20,569 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,973. About 8.60% of families and 10.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.20% of those under age 18 and 9.20% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. "State & County QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 31 May 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  3. [http://www.dawsoncountyne.org/ About Dawson County (DC website; accessed 19 January 2019)
  4. Fitzpatrick, Lilian Linder (1925). "Nebraska Place-Names". University of Nebraska Department of English. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  5. "Dawson, John L." Nebraska State Historical Society. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  6. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  7. Bitterns Call State Wildlife Management Area, Cozad NE Google Maps (accessed 19 January 2019)
  8. Dogwood State Wildlife Management Area, Lexington NE Google Maps (accessed 19 January 2019)
  9. East Willow Island State Wildlife Management Area, Cozad NE Google Maps (accessed 19 January 2019)
  10. Gallagher Canyon State Recreation Area Google Maps (accessed 19 January 2019)
  11. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  12. "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  13. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  14. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  15. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  16. "American FactFinder". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2008.

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