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Chaffee County, Colorado

Chaffee County, Colorado
Map of Colorado highlighting Chaffee County
Location in the state of Colorado
Map of the United States highlighting Colorado
Colorado's location in the U.S.
Founded February 10, 1879
Named for Jerome B. Chaffee
Seat Salida
Largest city Salida
 • Total 1,015 sq mi (2,629 km2)
 • Land 1,013 sq mi (2,624 km2)
 • Water 1.6 sq mi (4 km2), 0.2%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 18,363
 • Density 18/sq mi (7/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Website .org.chaffeecountywww

Chaffee County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,809.[1] The county seat is Salida.[2]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • National protected areas 2.1
    • Recreation area 2.2
    • Trails 2.3
    • Bicycle routes 2.4
    • Adjacent counties 2.5
  • Demographics 3
  • Communities 4
    • City 4.1
    • Towns 4.2
    • Census-designated places 4.3
    • Unincorporated communities 4.4
    • Ghost towns 4.5
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


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,[3] Colorado's first United States Senator.


Arkansas River between the La Plata and Twin Lakes. Chaffee County, Colorado. Taken in 1873 for the Department of the Interior. General Land Office. U.S. Geological and Geographic Survey of the Territories. (1874 - 06/30/1879)

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.[4]

National protected areas

Recreation area


Bicycle routes

Adjacent counties


As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 16,242 people, 6,584 households, and 4,365 families residing 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.

There were 6,584 households out of which 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 all households were made up of individuals and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.77.

In the county the population was spread out with 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% who were 65 years of age 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 income for a household in the county was $34,368, and the median income for a family 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, Colorado



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 74. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  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. ^ "American FactFinder".  

External links

  • Chaffee County Clerk of Court
  • Chaffee County Government website
  • Colorado County Evolution by Don Stanwyck
  • Colorado Historical Society
  • Geologic Map of the Harvard Lakes 7.5ʹ Quadrangle, Park and Chaffee Counties, Colorado United States Geological Survey

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