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Jefferson County, Colorado
JeffersonCountyCO Courthouse 01Oct2017.jpg
Jefferson County Courthouse in Golden
Motto: Gateway to the Rocky Mountains
Map of Colorado highlighting Jefferson County
Location in the state of Colorado
Map of the U.S. highlighting Colorado
Colorado's location in the U.S.
Founded November 1, 1861
Named for Thomas Jefferson
Seat Golden
Largest city Lakewood
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

774 sq mi (2,005 km²)
764 sq mi (1,979 km²)
9.8 sq mi (25 km²), 1.3%
PopulationEst.
 - (2020)
 - Density

582,910
763/sq mi (295/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 2nd, 7th
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Website www.jeffco.us

Jefferson County, is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2020 census, the population was 582,910,[1] making it the fourth-most populous county in Colorado. The county seat is Golden,[2] and the most populous city is Lakewood.

Jefferson County is included in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, Jefferson County is adjacent to the state capital of Denver.

In 2010, the center of population of Colorado was located in Jefferson County.[3]

The county's slogan is the "Gateway to the Rocky Mountains", and it is commonly nicknamed Jeffco. The name Jeffco is incorporated in the name of the Jeffco School District, the Jeffco Business Center Metropolitan District No. 1, and several businesses located in Jefferson County. Jeffco is also incorporated in the unofficial monikers of many Jefferson County agencies. The Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport operated by Jefferson County was previously known as the Jeffco Airport.

A major employer in Jefferson County is the large Coors Brewing Company in Golden. Also, the state-supported Colorado School of Mines is located in Jefferson County, focusing on topics such as mining, geology, chemistry, and engineering.

History[]

On August 25, 1855, the Kansas Territorial Legislature created Arapahoe County to govern the entire western portion of the territory. The county was named for the Arapaho Nation of Native Americans that lived in the region.

On June 22, 1858, gold was discovered along the South Platte River in Arapahoe County (in present-day Englewood). This discovery precipitated the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. Many residents of the mining region felt disconnected from the remote territorial governments of Kansas and Nebraska, so they voted to form their own Territory of Jefferson on October 24, 1859. The following month, the Jefferson Territorial Legislature organized 12 counties for the new territory, including Jefferson County. Jefferson County was named for the namesake of the Jefferson Territory, Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the nation's third president.[4] Golden City served as the county seat of Jefferson County. Robert Williamson Steele, Governor of the Provisional Government of the Territory of Jefferson from 1859 to 1861, built his home in the county at Mount Vernon and later at Apex.

The Jefferson Territory never received federal sanction, but during his last week in office, President James Buchanan signed an act which organized the Territory of Colorado on February 28, 1861.[5] That November 1, the new Colorado General Assembly organized the 17 original counties of Colorado, including a new Jefferson County. In 1908, the southern tip of Jefferson County was transferred to Park County, reducing Jefferson County to its present length of 54 miles (87 km). Several annexations by the City & County of Denver and the 2001 consolidation of the City & County of Broomfield removed the east and extreme northwestern portion of the county, respectively.

Geography[]

Long Scraggy Peak in the southeastern part of the county.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 774 square miles (2,000 km2), of which 764 square miles (1,980 km2) is land and 9.8 square miles (25 km2) (1.3%) is water.[6]

Adjacent counties[]

Jefferson County is one of the few counties in the United States to border as many as ten counties.

Major highways[]

  • I-70 (CO).svg Interstate 70
  • I-70 Bus.
  • US 6.svg U.S. Highway 6
  • US 40.svg U.S. Highway 40
  • US 285.svg U.S. Highway 285
  • Colorado 8.svg State Highway 8
  • Colorado 58.svg State Highway 58
  • Colorado 72.svg State Highway 72
  • Colorado 74.svg State Highway 74
  • Colorado 75.svg State Highway 75
  • Colorado 93.svg State Highway 93
  • Colorado 121.svg State Highway 121
  • Colorado 391.svg State Highway 391
  • Colorado 470.svg State Highway 470
  • Chatfield Ave
  • 44th Ave

Recreational areas[]

  • Alderfer/Three Sisters Park
  • Apex Park
  • Bear Creek Lake Park
  • Centennial Cone Park
  • Clear Creek Canyon Park
  • Coal Creek Canyon
  • Crown Hill Park
  • Deer Creek Canyon Park
  • Elk Meadow Park
  • Evergreen Lake
  • Fairmount Trail
  • Flying J Ranch Park
  • Hildebrand Ranch Park
  • Hiwan Homestead Museum
  • Lair o' the Bear Park
  • Lewis Meadows Park
  • Lookout Mountain Nature Center
  • Matthews/Winters Park
  • Meyer Ranch Park
  • Mount Falcon Park
  • Mount Galbraith Park
  • Mount Glennon
  • Mount Lindo
  • North Table Mountain Park
  • Pine Valley Ranch Park
  • Ranson/Edwards Homestead Ranch
  • Reynolds Park
  • Sister City Park
  • South Table Mountain Park
  • South Valley Park
  • Standley Lake Regional Park
  • Van Bibber Park
  • Welchester Tree Grant Park
  • White Ranch Park
  • Windy Saddle Park
  • Urban Trails

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 2,390
1880 6,804 184.7%
1890 8,450 24.2%
1900 9,306 10.1%
1910 14,231 52.9%
1920 14,400 1.2%
1930 21,810 51.5%
1940 30,725 40.9%
1950 55,687 81.2%
1960 127,520 129.0%
1970 233,031 82.7%
1980 371,753 59.5%
1990 438,430 17.9%
2000 527,056 20.2%
2010 534,543 1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2020[1]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 527,056 people, 206,067 households, and 140,537 families residing in the county. The population density was 683 people per square mile (264 people/km²). There were 212,488 housing units at an average density of 275 people per square mile (106 people/km²). The racial makeup of the county was

90.59% White
0.89% Black or African American
0.75% Native American
2.28% Asian
0.08% Pacific Islander
3.23% from other races
9.95% of the population were either Hispanic or Latino of any race
2.18% in two or more races

There were 206,067 households, out of which 33.40% had children under age 18 living with them, 55.10% were married couples living together, 9.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.80% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals, of those 6.30% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52, and the average family size was 3.03 persons.

In the county, the population ages were spread out:

25.30% under age 18
8.10% aged 18–24
32.10% from 25–44
24.90% from 45–64
9.60% 65 years of age or older
The median age was 37 years.

For every 100 females there were 99.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $57,339, and the median income for a family was $67,310. Males had a median income of $45,306 versus $32,372 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,066. About 3.40% of families and 5.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.80% of those under age 18, and 5.10% of those age 65 or over.

According to a report in the JAMA, residents of Jefferson County had a 2014 life expectancy of 80.02 years.[12]

Education[]

  • Jefferson County School District R-1.

Government and infrastructure[]

  • The Federal Correctional Institution, Englewood is in unincorporated Jefferson County.[13]
  • The Rocky Flats Plant produced nuclear weapons in Jefferson County from 1952 until 1989.
  • The Jefferson County Public Library, established in 1952.
  • The Jefferson County Government Center, also known as the "Taj Mahal".
  • The Denver Federal Center, the largest concentration of federal government agencies outside of Washington, D.C., is located in Lakewood.

Jefferson County was once a Republican stronghold, but starting with the 2008 election it has consistently voted Democratic. In 2020 Joe Biden won the largest percentage for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1916.

United States presidential election results for Jefferson County, Colorado[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 148,417 39.33% 218,396 57.88% 10,545 2.79%
2016 138,177 42.01% 160,776 48.89% 29,930 9.10%
2012 144,197 46.36% 159,296 51.21% 7,559 2.43%
2008 131,628 44.61% 158,158 53.60% 5,282 1.79%
2004 140,644 51.79% 126,558 46.60% 4,366 1.61%
2000 120,138 51.02% 100,970 42.88% 14,383 6.11%
1996 101,517 48.41% 89,494 42.67% 18,712 8.92%
1992 82,705 37.05% 80,834 36.22% 59,664 26.73%
1988 110,820 56.39% 81,824 41.64% 3,867 1.97%
1984 124,496 68.92% 53,700 29.73% 2,432 1.35%
1980 97,008 59.66% 41,525 25.54% 24,078 14.81%
1976 87,080 60.44% 52,782 36.64% 4,211 2.92%
1972 80,082 69.88% 31,555 27.54% 2,960 2.58%
1968 50,847 56.90% 31,392 35.13% 7,118 7.97%
1964 33,398 43.48% 43,162 56.19% 252 0.33%
1960 34,105 59.62% 22,962 40.14% 137 0.24%
1956 25,398 63.71% 14,270 35.80% 197 0.49%
1952 19,971 63.05% 11,509 36.34% 194 0.61%
1948 9,903 51.29% 9,145 47.36% 260 1.35%
1944 9,815 57.20% 7,277 42.41% 68 0.40%
1940 8,780 52.81% 7,745 46.59% 100 0.60%
1936 5,271 41.10% 7,283 56.79% 271 2.11%
1932 5,522 45.83% 6,023 49.99% 503 4.17%
1928 6,754 69.09% 2,880 29.46% 141 1.44%
1924 4,869 63.69% 1,271 16.63% 1,505 19.69%
1920 3,593 61.52% 1,941 33.24% 306 5.24%
1916 2,040 36.60% 3,368 60.42% 166 2.98%
1912 1,011 18.87% 2,309 43.10% 2,037 38.03%
1908 2,623 48.58% 2,583 47.84% 193 3.57%
1904 2,903 60.76% 1,739 36.40% 136 2.85%
1900 1,807 44.79% 2,138 53.00% 89 2.21%
1896 300 8.41% 3,176 88.99% 93 2.61%
1892 792 42.86% 0 0.00% 1,056 57.14%
1888 970 52.92% 767 41.84% 96 5.24%
1884 845 50.97% 743 44.81% 70 4.22%
1880 832 49.55% 790 47.05% 57 3.39%



Recreation[]

State parks[]

  • Chatfield State Park
  • Golden Gate Canyon State Park
  • Staunton State Park

National forests and wilderness[]

  • Pike National Forest
  • Roosevelt National Forest
  • Lost Creek Wilderness

National wildlife refuges[]

  • Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge
  • Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge

Historic trail[]

  • South Platte Trail

Recreational trails[]

  • American Discovery Trail
  • Apex National Recreation Trail
  • Big Dry Creek National Recreation Trail
  • Colorado Trail
  • Platte River Greenway National Recreation Trail
  • Two Ponds National Recreation Trail

Scenic byway[]

  • Lariat Loop Scenic and Historic Byway

Golf courses[]

  • Applewood Golf Course
  • Bear Creek Golf Club
  • Evergreen Golf Course
  • Foothills Golf Course
  • Fossil Trace Golf Course
  • Fox Hollow Golf Course
  • Heritage Golf Course at Westmoor
  • Hiwan Golf Club
  • Homestead Golf Course
  • Indian Tree Golf Club
  • Lake Arbor Golf Course
  • Lakewood Country Club
  • Racoon Creek Golf Course
  • Rolling Hills Country Club

Communities[]

Cities[]

Towns[]

  • Bow Mar
  • Lakeside
  • Morrison
  • Mountain View
  • Superior (part)

Census-designated places[]

  • Applewood
  • Aspen Park
  • Coal Creek (partial)
  • Columbine
  • Dakota Ridge
  • East Pleasant View
  • Evergreen
  • Fairmount
  • Genesee
  • Idledale
  • Indian Hills
  • Ken Caryl
  • Kittredge
  • West Pleasant View

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Buffalo Creek
  • Conifer
  • Evergreen
  • Foxton
  • Idledale
  • Pine
  • Pine Junction

See also[]

Geography
North America
Colorado
Mountains
  • Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory
  • Colorado metropolitan areas
  • Denver-Aurora, CO Combined Statistical Area
  • Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area
  • Front Range Urban Corridor
  • Index of Colorado-related articles
  • Jefferson County, Colorado Territory
  • Jefferson County, Jefferson Territory
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Jefferson County, Colorado
  • North Central Colorado Urban Area
  • Outline of Colorado
  • Pike's Peak Gold Rush

References[]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/jeffersoncountycolorado/PST045219. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  3. ^ "Centers of Population by State: 2010". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/docs/cenpop2010/CenPop2010_Mean_ST.txt. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off.. pp. 168. https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_9V1IAAAAMAAJ. 
  5. ^ "An Act to provide a temporary Government for the Territory of Colorado". Thirty-sixth United States Congress. 1861-02-28. http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/territory.pdf. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. https://www.census.gov/geographies/reference-files/time-series/geo/gazetteer-files.html. 
  7. ^ U.S. Decennial Census (Report). United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ Historical Census Browser (Report). University of Virginia. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990 (Report). United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/co190090.txt. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000 (Report). Census 2000. United States Census Bureau. PHC-T-4. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Census" (main website). United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  12. ^ Dwyer-Lindgren, Laura (8 May 2017). "Inequalities in life expectancy among U.S. counties, 1980 to 2014". JAMA Internal Medicine 177 (7): 1003–1011. DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.0918. PMID 28492829. 
  13. ^ "FCI Englewood Contact Information." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on July 28, 2010.
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/. 

External links[]

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Coordinates: 39°35′N 105°15′W / 39.59, -105.25

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