Chaffee County
County of Chaffee
Old Chaffee County Courthouse
Old Chaffee County Courthouse
Interactive map of Chaffee County
Location within the U.S. state of Colorado
Location within the U.S. state of Colorado
Country United States
State Colorado
EstablishedFebruary 10, 1879
Named forJerome B. Chaffee
County seatSalida
Largest citySalida
Area
 • Total1,015 sq mi (2,630 km2)
 • Land1,013 sq mi (2,620 km2)
 • Water1.6 sq mi (4 km2)  0.2%
Highest elevation14,421 ft (4,396 m)
Population
19,476[2]
 • Density19/sq mi (7/km2)
Time zoneUTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
Area code970 719
FIPS code08015
GNIS feature ID198123
Websitewww.chaffeecounty.org
Salida, Colorado with Sangre de Cristo Range in background

Chaffee County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2020 census, the population was 19,476.[2] The county seat is Salida.[3]

History

Chaffee County has a confusing origin. Between February 8 and February 10, 1879, Carbonate County was created by the Colorado legislature out of northern Lake County. On February 10 the two counties were renamed, with the southern part of Lake County becoming Chaffee County, and Carbonate County becoming Lake County. Chaffee County is known as the “Heart of the Rockies”. It was named for Jerome B. Chaffee,[4] Colorado's first United States Senator.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,015 square miles (2,630 km2), of which 1,013 square miles (2,620 km2) is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) (0.2%) is water.[5]

Adjacent counties

Major Highways

National protected areas

Recreation area

Trails

Bicycle routes

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18806,512
18906,6121.5%
19007,0857.2%
19107,6227.6%
19207,7531.7%
19308,1264.8%
19408,109−0.2%
19507,168−11.6%
19608,29815.8%
197010,16222.5%
198013,22730.2%
199012,684−4.1%
200016,24228.1%
201017,8099.6%
202019,4769.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2020[2]

At the 2000 census there were 16,242 people, 6,584 households, and 4,365 families living in the county. The population density was 16 people per square mile (6/km2). There were 8,392 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.94% White, 1.58% Black or African American, 1.09% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 4.21% from other races, and 1.69% from two or more races. 8.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[10] Of the 6,584 households 25.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.70% were married couples living together, 6.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.70% were non-families. 28.40% of households were one person and 11.20% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.77.

The age distribution was 19.70% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 28.00% from 25 to 44, 27.50% from 45 to 64, and 17.00% 65 or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 113.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 116.20 males.

The median household income was $34,368 and the median family income was $42,043. Males had a median income of $30,770 versus $22,219 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,430. About 7.40% of families and 11.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.30% of those under age 18 and 10.20% of those age 65 or over.

Chaffee County is also home to a source of water that Arrowhead water uses for some water bottles. The source is Ruby Mountain Springs.

Politics

Chaffee County is a bellwether county, having supported the winner of 10 out of the last 11 presidential elections. The most recent election where Chaffee County supported the presidential loser was in 2008, when John McCain won the county despite Barack Obama winning decisively nationally and statewide.

United States presidential election results for Chaffee County, Colorado[11]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 6,222 45.36% 7,160 52.19% 336 2.45%
2016 5,391 47.92% 4,888 43.45% 971 8.63%
2012 5,070 48.46% 5,086 48.61% 306 2.92%
2008 4,873 49.12% 4,862 49.01% 186 1.87%
2004 4,875 55.59% 3,766 42.94% 129 1.47%
2000 4,300 56.50% 2,768 36.37% 542 7.12%
1996 2,768 42.49% 3,052 46.85% 695 10.67%
1992 2,284 36.36% 2,419 38.51% 1,579 25.14%
1988 3,080 53.90% 2,548 44.59% 86 1.51%
1984 3,680 66.31% 1,779 32.05% 91 1.64%
1980 3,327 60.73% 1,583 28.90% 568 10.37%
1976 2,925 56.66% 2,064 39.98% 173 3.35%
1972 2,859 66.63% 1,354 31.55% 78 1.82%
1968 2,121 51.07% 1,667 40.14% 365 8.79%
1964 1,476 37.36% 2,463 62.34% 12 0.30%
1960 2,094 52.14% 1,918 47.76% 4 0.10%
1956 2,284 63.67% 1,303 36.33% 0 0.00%
1952 2,171 56.70% 1,643 42.91% 15 0.39%
1948 2,065 57.68% 1,476 41.23% 39 1.09%
1944 1,675 48.83% 1,731 50.47% 24 0.70%
1940 1,933 46.91% 2,153 52.24% 35 0.85%
1936 1,069 29.18% 2,447 66.78% 148 4.04%
1932 1,061 29.24% 2,393 65.96% 174 4.80%
1928 1,880 59.49% 1,230 38.92% 50 1.58%
1924 1,336 43.40% 612 19.88% 1,130 36.71%
1920 1,501 52.91% 1,233 43.46% 103 3.63%
1916 864 24.59% 2,546 72.47% 103 2.93%
1912 723 21.30% 1,641 48.34% 1,031 30.37%


Communities

Chaffee County, Colorado
Chaffee County, Colorado
Buffalo Peaks near Buena Vista
Buffalo Peaks near Buena Vista

City

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

See also

References

  1. ^ Mount Harvard
  2. ^ a b c "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 74.
  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 7, 2014.
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  11. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved May 26, 2017.

Coordinates: 38°44′N 106°11′W / 38.74°N 106.18°W / 38.74; -106.18