Hinsdale County, Colorado

Hinsdale County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2020 census, the population was 788,[1] making it the second-least populous county in Colorado. With a population density of only 0.71 inhabitants per square mile (0.27/km2), it is also the least-densely populated county in Colorado. The county seat and only incorporated municipality in the county is Lake City.[2] The county is named for George A. Hinsdale,[3] a prominent pioneer and former Lieut. Governor of Colorado Territory.

Hinsdale County
The 1877 Hinsdale County Court House in Lake City, Colorado.
The 1877 Hinsdale County Court House in Lake City, Colorado.
Map of Colorado highlighting Hinsdale County
Location within the U.S. state of Colorado
Map of the United States highlighting Colorado
Colorado's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 37°49′N 107°17′W / 37.82°N 107.28°W / 37.82; -107.28
Country United States
State Colorado
FoundedFebruary 10, 1874
Named forGeorge A. Hinsdale
SeatLake City
Largest townLake City
Area
 • Total1,123 sq mi (2,910 km2)
 • Land1,117 sq mi (2,890 km2)
 • Water5.9 sq mi (15 km2)  0.5%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2020)
788
 • Density0.7/sq mi (0.3/km2)
Time zoneUTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitewww.hinsdalecountycolorado.us
Bonanza-Empire Chief mine and mill, on the Alpine Loop. The mill ruins were stabilized in 2000 by the Bureau of Land Management and Hinsdale County Historical Society. In 2007–2008, the mill ruins were demolished by an avalanche.

GeographyEdit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,123 square miles (2,910 km2), of which 1,117 square miles (2,890 km2) is land and 5.9 square miles (15 km2) (0.5%) is water.[4]

Hinsdale County is one of the most remote counties in Colorado and the United States. The county is covered by mountains, including multiple fourteeners, and contains one of the most roadless areas in the country.[5] The continental divide crosses the county twice. Most of the county is divided among several different national forests and the Weminuche Wilderness area.

Adjacent countiesEdit

Major HighwaysEdit

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
18801,487
1890862−42.0%
19001,60986.7%
1910646−59.9%
1920538−16.7%
1930449−16.5%
1940349−22.3%
1950263−24.6%
1960208−20.9%
1970202−2.9%
1980408102.0%
199046714.5%
200079069.2%
20108436.7%
2020788−6.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2020[1]

As of the census of 2000, there were 790 people, 359 households, and 246 families living in the county. The population density was 0.7 people per square mile (0.3/km2). There were 1,304 housing units at an average density of 1.2 per square mile (0.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.34% White, 1.52% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.38% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. 1.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 359 households, out of which 23.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.0% were married couples living together, 4.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.20% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 3.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.2 and the average family size was 2.6.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 19.5% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 34.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 105.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.9 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,279, and the median income for a family was $42,159. Males had a median income of $26,210 versus $23,750 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,360. About 4.5% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.

PoliticsEdit

Republican presidential nominees have carried Hinsdale County since Franklin Delano Roosevelt defeated Alf Landon by eight votes in 1936. Along with Elbert County and Washington County it was one of three Colorado counties to vote for Barry Goldwater over Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In 2020, Joe Biden received the highest vote share for a Democrat since Johnson, and became the third Democrat since 1940 to breach 40% of the vote.

United States presidential election results for Hinsdale County, Colorado[10]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 353 55.85% 255 40.35% 24 3.80%
2016 339 57.56% 197 33.45% 53 9.00%
2012 353 58.83% 229 38.17% 18 3.00%
2008 344 57.43% 240 40.07% 15 2.50%
2004 355 58.97% 236 39.20% 11 1.83%
2000 316 55.83% 188 33.22% 62 10.95%
1996 289 52.83% 185 33.82% 73 13.35%
1992 188 39.50% 151 31.72% 137 28.78%
1988 295 72.48% 111 27.27% 1 0.25%
1984 310 74.88% 98 23.67% 6 1.45%
1980 232 69.05% 76 22.62% 28 8.33%
1976 189 66.55% 83 29.23% 12 4.23%
1972 172 77.48% 44 19.82% 6 2.70%
1968 127 66.15% 43 22.40% 22 11.46%
1964 107 53.23% 94 46.77% 0 0.00%
1960 138 62.73% 82 37.27% 0 0.00%
1956 155 76.73% 47 23.27% 0 0.00%
1952 154 74.04% 54 25.96% 0 0.00%
1948 133 63.94% 75 36.06% 0 0.00%
1944 124 67.03% 61 32.97% 0 0.00%
1940 150 58.82% 103 40.39% 2 0.78%
1936 129 47.78% 137 50.74% 4 1.48%
1932 94 38.21% 138 56.10% 14 5.69%
1928 128 53.78% 106 44.54% 4 1.68%
1924 138 50.00% 79 28.62% 59 21.38%
1920 149 59.13% 67 26.59% 36 14.29%
1916 94 31.13% 178 58.94% 30 9.93%
1912 136 38.64% 157 44.60% 59 16.76%


The last Democrat to carry Hinsdale County in a statewide election was John Hickenlooper in the 2010 gubernatorial contest,[11] and the only other case since at least 1980 have been Democratic senator Ben “Nighthorse” Campbell, who was later to shift to the Republican Party, in 1992, alongside popular Governor Roy Romer, who carried all but three counties statewide, in 1990.[12]

2020 County Wide Election Results [13]Edit

County Commissioner District 1
Candidates Votes Percentages
Henry E. Woods (D) 129 21.15%
Gregory Levine (I) 481 78.85%
Total 610 100.00%
County Commissioner District 3
Candidates Votes Percentages
Robert R. Hurd (R) 503 83.69%
Norman Ragle (I) 98 16.31%
Total 601 100.00%
Hinsdale County Sherriff
Candidates Votes Percentages
Christopher Kambish (R) 460 80.70%
Gabe McNeese (Write In) 110 19.30%
Total 570 100.00%

RecreationEdit

National forestsEdit

National wilderness areasEdit

TrailsEdit

Scenic bywaysEdit

CommunitiesEdit

 
Capitol City, Colorado, a ghost town on the Alpine Loop National Scenic Back Country Byway. Capitol City once had a population of 400; its founders wanted it to become the capital of Colorado. The post office, some outbuildings, and brick kilns remain.

TownEdit

Census-designated placesEdit

Ghost townsEdit

[14]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 157.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  5. ^ Tracy Staedter (May 3, 2007). "Roadless Space Uneven Across U.S." Discovery News. Archived from the original on May 6, 2007.
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  10. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  11. ^ Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas; 2010 Gubernatorial General Election Results – Colorado
  12. ^ Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas; 1990 Gubernatorial General Election Results – Colorado
  13. ^ "Election Night Reporting". results.enr.clarityelections.com. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  14. ^ "Ghost Towns of Colorado- Hinsdale County". Ghost Towns. Retrieved June 21, 2020.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 37°49′12″N 107°16′48″W / 37.82000°N 107.28000°W / 37.82000; -107.28000