Bent County
Bent County Courthouse in Las Animas
Map of Colorado highlighting Bent 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°57′N 103°05′W / 37.95°N 103.08°W / 37.95; -103.08
Country United States
State Colorado
FoundedFebruary 6, 1874
Named forWilliam Bent
SeatLas Animas
Largest cityLas Animas
Area
 • Total1,541 sq mi (3,990 km2)
 • Land1,513 sq mi (3,920 km2)
 • Water28 sq mi (70 km2)  1.8%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2020)
5,650[1]
 • Density3.7/sq mi (1.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district4th
Websitewww.bentcounty.net

Bent County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2020 census, the population was 5,650.[1] The county seat and only incorporated municipality is Las Animas.[2] The county is named in honor of frontier trader William Bent.

History

As Colorado experienced population growth following the American Civil War, government had to be closer to the people for commerce and justice to be better served in growing communities. Territorial Bent County was created in February 1870, followed by Greenwood County the following month. The June 1, 1870, Federal Census was several months away and there were plans to apply for statehood. On February 2, 1874, Grand County and Elbert County were formed. On February 6, 1874, Greenwood County was dissolved and divided between Bent and Elbert counties. At the time of this annexation, Bent County included a large portion of southeastern Colorado. In 1889, Bent County acquired its current borders when it was partitioned to create Cheyenne, Lincoln, Kiowa, Otero, and Prowers counties.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,541 square miles (3,990 km2), of which 1,513 square miles (3,920 km2) is land and 28 square miles (73 km2) (1.8%) is water.[3]

Adjacent counties

Major Highways

State protected area

Trails and byway

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870592
18801,654179.4%
18901,313−20.6%
19003,049132.2%
19105,04365.4%
19209,70592.4%
19309,134−5.9%
19409,6535.7%
19508,775−9.1%
19607,419−15.5%
19706,493−12.5%
19805,945−8.4%
19905,048−15.1%
20005,99818.8%
20106,4998.4%
20205,650−13.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1790-1960[5] 1900-1990[6]
1990-2000[7] 2010-2020[1]

At the 2000 census, there were 5,998 people, 2,003 households, and 1,388 families in the county. The population density was 4 people per square mile (2/km2). There were 2,366 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 79.53% White, 3.65% Black or African American, 2.23% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 10.25% from other races, and 3.77% from two or more races. 30.24% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 2,003 households 32.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.50% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.70% were non-families. 27.20% of households were one person and 12.20% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.07.

The age distribution was 23.80% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 29.20% from 25 to 44, 21.80% from 45 to 64, and 15.90% 65 or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 129.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 138.70 males.

The median household income was $28,125 and the median family income was $34,096. Males had a median income of $22,755 versus $24,261 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,567. About 16.60% of families and 19.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.40% of those under age 18 and 13.00% of those age 65 or over.

Politics

Bent is a strongly Republican county, although it is less so than the counties to its east. The last Democrat to carry Bent County was Bill Clinton in 1996, although Michael Dukakis in 1988 was the last to gain a majority.

United States presidential election results for Bent County, Colorado[8]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 1,503 66.09% 732 32.19% 39 1.72%
2016 1,188 61.65% 590 30.62% 149 7.73%
2012 1,075 55.36% 815 41.97% 52 2.68%
2008 1,077 56.09% 799 41.61% 44 2.29%
2004 1,338 62.09% 785 36.43% 32 1.48%
2000 1,096 55.83% 783 39.89% 84 4.28%
1996 917 41.70% 1,046 47.57% 236 10.73%
1992 759 33.63% 985 43.64% 513 22.73%
1988 1,032 47.62% 1,088 50.21% 47 2.17%
1984 1,314 59.75% 859 39.06% 26 1.18%
1980 1,206 51.76% 894 38.37% 230 9.87%
1976 1,156 46.61% 1,268 51.13% 56 2.26%
1972 1,525 64.29% 787 33.18% 60 2.53%
1968 1,228 47.47% 1,126 43.53% 233 9.01%
1964 937 34.76% 1,737 64.43% 22 0.82%
1960 1,228 42.29% 1,671 57.54% 5 0.17%
1956 1,718 57.25% 1,283 42.75% 0 0.00%
1952 1,950 59.40% 1,317 40.12% 16 0.49%
1948 1,296 43.43% 1,658 55.56% 30 1.01%
1944 1,556 51.51% 1,456 48.20% 9 0.30%
1940 1,899 51.67% 1,759 47.86% 17 0.46%
1936 1,299 40.84% 1,821 57.25% 61 1.92%
1932 1,327 39.58% 1,948 58.10% 78 2.33%
1928 1,957 72.13% 741 27.31% 15 0.55%
1924 1,511 54.14% 804 28.81% 476 17.05%
1920 1,584 60.67% 937 35.89% 90 3.45%
1916 833 34.80% 1,473 61.53% 88 3.68%
1912 420 21.76% 730 37.82% 780 40.41%


Communities

Cities

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated places

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  6. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  8. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved May 26, 2017.

Notes

Coordinates: 37°57′N 103°05′W / 37.95°N 103.08°W / 37.95; -103.08