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El Paso County, Colorado
Map of Colorado highlighting El Paso 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 Spanish language name for Ute Pass
Seat Colorado Springs
Largest city Colorado Springs
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

2,129.56 sq mi (5,516 km²)
2,126.45 sq mi (5,507 km²)
3.11 sq mi (8 km²), 0.15%
 - (2010)
 - Density

243/sq mi (94/km²)
Most populous Colorado county

Isolated rural house snuggled next to mountain in northern El Paso County

Summer greenery of El Paso County

El Paso County is the most populous of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado of the United States, now above Denver County. The United States Census Bureau concluded that the county population was 622,371 in 2010.[1] In recent years, the population has come closer and closer to the population of Denver County, surpassing it in 2010. The county seat is Colorado Springs, the second most populous city in Colorado. The Colorado Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area comprises El Paso County and Teller County.

El Paso County is located in Colorado's 5th congressional district. Since its creation in 1871, El Paso County has typically voted for the Republican presidential candidate in presidential elections; the last Democratic nominee to win the county was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. The Democratic Party won El Paso County four additional times prior, and the Populist Party won in 1892, with General James B. Weaver.

In 2004, the voters of Colorado Springs and El Paso County established the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) and adopted a 1% sales tax dedicated to improving the region's transportation infrastructure. Together with state funding for COSMIX (2007 completion) and the I-25 interchange with Highway 16 (2008 completion), significant progress has been made since 2003 in addressing the transportation needs of the area.


In July 1858, gold was discovered along the South Platte River in Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory. 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 1859-10-24. The following month, the Jefferson Territorial Legislature organized 12 counties for the new territory including El Paso County. El Paso County was named for the Spanish language name for Ute Pass north of Pikes Peak. Colorado City served as the county seat of El Paso County.

The Jefferson Territory never received federal sanction, but on 1861-02-28, U.S. President James Buchanan signed an act organizing the Territory of Colorado.[2] El Paso County was one of the original 17 counties created by the Colorado legislature on November 1, 1861. Part of its western territory was broken off to create Teller County in 1899. Originally based in Old Colorado City (now part of Colorado Springs, not today's Colorado City between Pueblo and Walsenburg), El Paso County's county seat was moved to Colorado Springs in 1873.


El Paso County Fairgrounds in Calhan, Colorado.

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 2,129.56 square miles (5,515.5 km2), of which 2,126.45 square miles (5,507.5 km2) (or 99.85%) is land and 3.11 square miles (8.1 km2) (or 0.15%) is water.[3]

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • I-25 (CO).svg Interstate 25
  • US 24.svg U.S. Highway 24
  • US 85.svg U.S. Highway 85
  • Colorado 83.svg State Highway 83
  • Colorado 94.svg State Highway 94
  • Colorado 115.svg State Highway 115


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 987
1880 7,949 705.4%
1890 21,239 167.2%
1900 31,602 48.8%
1910 43,321 37.1%
1920 44,027 1.6%
1930 49,570 12.6%
1940 54,025 9.0%
1950 74,523 37.9%
1960 143,742 92.9%
1970 235,972 64.2%
1980 309,424 31.1%
1990 397,014 28.3%
2000 516,929 30.2%
2010 622,263 20.4%

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 516,929 people, 192,409 households, and 133,916 families residing in the county. The population density was 243 people per square mile (94/km²). There were 202,428 housing units at an average density of 95 per square mile (37/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 81.19% White, 6.51% Black or African American, 0.91% Native American, 2.53% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 4.70% from other races, and 3.91% from two or more races. 11.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 192,409 households out of which 36.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.60% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.40% were non-families. 23.90% 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 2.61 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.60% under the age of 18, 10.50% from 18 to 24, 32.50% from 25 to 44, 20.70% from 45 to 64, and 8.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 100.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $46,844, and the median income for a family was $53,995. Males had a median income of $35,940 versus $26,252 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,005. About 5.70% of families and 8.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.00% of those under age 18 and 6.90% of those age 65 or over.


El Paso County Justice Center in Colorado Springs.

El Paso County is governed by a Board of County Commissioners. Its current members are Amy Lathen, Sallie Clark, Dennis Hisey, Darryl Glenn, and Peggy Littleton.

El Paso County commissioners are expecting a projected $7.5 million shortfall in the 2008 budget.[6]

The Colorado Department of Corrections has its headquarters in an unincorporated area in the county.[7][8]

Cities and towns[]

Census-designated places and unincorporated areas[]

Peyton, Colorado.

  • Air Force Academy
  • Black Forest
  • Cascade-Chipita Park
  • Cimarron Hills
  • Ellicott
  • Falcon
  • Fort Carson
  • Gleneagle
  • Peyton
  • Security-Widefield
  • Rush
  • Stratmoor
  • Truckton
  • Woodmoor
  • Yoder

Military sites[]

  • United States Air Force Academy
  • Cheyenne Mountain
  • North American Aerospace Defense Command
  • Peterson Air Force Base
  • Schriever Air Force Base
  • Fort Carson Army Base

State park[]

  • Cheyenne Mountain State Park

National forest[]

Pikes Peak dominates the county's skyline.

  • Pike National Forest

Historic sites[]

  • Pikes Peak National Historic Landmark
  • USAFA Cadet Area National Historic District


  • American Discovery Trail
  • Barr National Recreation Trail
  • White House Ranch National Recreation Trail

See also[]

  • El Paso County, Jefferson Territory
  • Colorado census statistical areas
  • Colorado metropolitan areas
  • Colorado municipalities
  • Front Range Urban Corridor
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in El Paso County, Colorado


External links[]

Coordinates: 38°50′N 104°31′W / 38.84, -104.52

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at El Paso County, Colorado. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.