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Montgomery County was established in 1777 from Fincastle County. The county is named for Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed in 1775 while attempting to capture Quebec City, Canada.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 389 square miles (1,009 km²), of which 388 square miles (1,005 km²) is land and 1 square mile (3 km²) (0.31%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 83,629 people, 30,997 households, and 17,203 families residing in the county. The population density was 215 people per square mile (83/km²). There were 32,527 housing units at an average density of 84 per square mile (32/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.00% White, 3.65% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 3.97% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.53% from two or more races. 1.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 30,997 households out of which 25.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.80% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.50% were non-families. 25.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.60% 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 2.87.
In the county, the population was spread out with 17.10% under the age of 18, 31.30% from 18 to 24, 25.60% from 25 to 44, 17.30% from 45 to 64, and 8.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 110.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 110.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,330, and the median income for a family was $47,239. Males had a median income of $33,674 versus $23,555 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,077. About 8.80% of families and 23.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.60% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.