La Plata County, Colorado

La Plata County is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2020 census, the population was 55,638.[1] The county seat is Durango.[2] The county was named for the La Plata River and the La Plata Mountains. "La plata" means "the silver" in Spanish.

La Plata County
Strater Hotel, opened in 1888 during a mining boom in Durango.
Strater Hotel, opened in 1888 during a mining boom in Durango.
Map of Colorado highlighting La Plata 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°17′N 107°51′W / 37.29°N 107.85°W / 37.29; -107.85
Country United States
State Colorado
FoundedFebruary 10, 1874
Named forSpanish for "the silver"
SeatDurango
Largest cityDurango
Area
 • Total1,700 sq mi (4,000 km2)
 • Land1,692 sq mi (4,380 km2)
 • Water7.6 sq mi (20 km2)  0.4%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total55,638
 • Density33/sq mi (13/km2)
Time zoneUTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websiteco.laplata.co.us

La Plata County comprises the Durango, CO Micropolitan Statistical Area.[3][4]

The county is home to Durango Rock Shelters Archeology Site, the type site for the Basketmaker II period of Anasazi culture.

GeographyEdit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,700 square miles (4,400 km2), of which 1,692 square miles (4,380 km2) is land and 7.6 square miles (20 km2) (0.4%) is water.[5]

Adjacent countiesEdit

Major HighwaysEdit

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
18801,110
18905,509396.3%
19007,01627.4%
191010,81254.1%
192011,2183.8%
193012,97515.7%
194015,49419.4%
195014,880−4.0%
196019,22529.2%
197019,199−0.1%
198027,42442.8%
199032,28417.7%
200043,94136.1%
201051,33416.8%
202055,6388.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2020[1]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 43,941 people in the county, organized into 17,342 households and 10,890 families. The population density was 26 people per square mile (10/km2). There were 20,765 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile (5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.31% White, 5.78% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.31% Black or African American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 3.90% from other races, and 2.25% from two or more races. 10.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 17,342 households, out of which 29.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.90% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.20% were non-families. 24.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.70% under the age of 18, 13.90% from 18 to 24, 29.00% from 25 to 44, 25.10% from 45 to 64, and 9.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 103.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,159, and the median income for a family was $50,446. Males had a median income of $32,486 versus $24,666 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,534. 11.70% of the population and 6.70% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 9.30% of those under the age of 18 and 7.70% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

CommunitiesEdit

CityEdit

TownsEdit

Census-designated placeEdit

Other unincorporated communitiesEdit

Ghost townsEdit

PoliticsEdit

In its early years La Plata County generally leaned towards the Democratic Party. Only Benjamin Harrison in 1888, and the three landslide victories of Theodore Roosevelt, Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover saw the county vote Republican before World War II. In the period between 1940 and 1988, however, the county – like Colorado generally – took a turn towards supporting the Republican Party, with the result that between 1940 and 2000 the only Democrat to obtain a majority in the county was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Since John Kerry became the first candidate in sixteen years from either party to gain a majority in La Plata county in the 2004 election, the county has tended towards the Democratic Party: Barack Obama’s 2008 share of the vote was the highest for a Democrat since Woodrow Wilson's 92 years prior. In the 2020 election, Biden handily won majority of the vote in the county, with a higher share of the vote than the previous presidential elections.

United States presidential election results for La Plata County, Colorado[12]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 14,233 39.91% 20,548 57.61% 886 2.48%
2016 12,587 40.41% 15,525 49.84% 3,038 9.75%
2012 12,794 43.65% 15,489 52.85% 1,025 3.50%
2008 11,503 41.11% 16,057 57.39% 419 1.50%
2004 11,704 45.87% 13,409 52.56% 400 1.57%
2000 9,993 48.77% 7,864 38.38% 2,633 12.85%
1996 8,057 46.52% 6,509 37.58% 2,755 15.91%
1992 5,522 35.37% 5,913 37.87% 4,178 26.76%
1988 7,714 57.73% 5,443 40.73% 205 1.53%
1984 8,719 67.49% 4,040 31.27% 159 1.23%
1980 7,291 59.76% 3,034 24.87% 1,876 15.38%
1976 6,228 59.05% 3,843 36.44% 476 4.51%
1972 5,691 62.24% 2,830 30.95% 623 6.81%
1968 4,269 57.10% 2,523 33.75% 684 9.15%
1964 3,550 44.34% 4,442 55.48% 15 0.19%
1960 4,772 58.83% 3,329 41.04% 10 0.12%
1956 4,770 66.81% 2,366 33.14% 4 0.06%
1952 4,425 66.03% 2,210 32.98% 66 0.98%
1948 2,735 51.03% 2,536 47.31% 89 1.66%
1944 3,023 59.64% 2,031 40.07% 15 0.30%
1940 3,871 57.39% 2,835 42.03% 39 0.58%
1936 2,354 42.19% 3,040 54.49% 185 3.32%
1932 2,124 38.50% 3,156 57.21% 237 4.30%
1928 2,837 59.58% 1,872 39.31% 53 1.11%
1924 1,469 35.13% 1,516 36.25% 1,197 28.62%
1920 1,711 50.85% 1,445 42.94% 209 6.21%
1916 1,029 27.07% 2,590 68.14% 182 4.79%
1912 692 19.44% 1,775 49.86% 1,093 30.70%


RecreationEdit

National forest and wildernessEdit

National historic districtEdit

TrailsEdit

Bicycle routeEdit

Scenic bywayEdit

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. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "OMB Bulletin No. 10-02: Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses" (PDF). Office of Management and Budget. December 1, 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 21, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2012 – via National Archives.
  4. ^ See the Colorado census statistical areas.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. 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. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  11. ^ Parrott
  12. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved May 26, 2017.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 37°17′N 107°51′W / 37.29°N 107.85°W / 37.29; -107.85