El Paso County, Colorado

Infobox U.S. County
county = El Paso County
state = Colorado

map size = 200
founded date = November 1
founded year = 1861
seat wl = Colorado Springs | largest city wl = Colorado Springs
area_total_sq_mi =2130
area_land_sq_mi =2126
area_water_sq_mi =3
area percentage = 0.15%
census yr = 2000
pop = 516929
density_km2 =94
UTC offset = -7
DST offset = -6
footnotes =
Most populous Colorado county

web = www.elpasoco.com
named for = Spanish language name for Ute Pass|

El Paso County is the second most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States behind Denver County. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the county population was 587,272 in 2007, a 13.61% increase since U.S. Census 2000.cite web | url = http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/tables/CO-EST2007-01-08.csv | title = Annual County Population Estimates and Estimated Components of Change: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007 (CO-EST2007-alldata) | format = CSV | work = 2006 Population Estimates | publisher = United States Census Bureau, Population Division | date = 2007-03-22 | accessdate = 2007-05-08] 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 voted for the Republican presidential candidate in every presidential election.

In 2004, the voters of Colorado Springs and El Paso County established the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority ( [http://www.pprta.com 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.cite web|url=http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/territory.pdf|title=An Act to provide a temporary Government for the Territory of Colorado|format=PDF|publisher=Thirty-sixth United States Congress|date=1861-02-28|accessdate=2007-11-26] 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.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,130 square miles (5,516 km²), of which 2,126 square miles (5,507 km²) is land and 3 square miles (8 km²)(0.15%) is water.

Adjacent counties

* Douglas County, Colorado - north
* Elbert County, Colorado - north and east
* Lincoln County, Colorado - east
* Crowley County, Colorado - southeast
* Pueblo County, Colorado- south
* Fremont County, Colorado - west
* Teller County, Colorado - west

Major highways



As of the censusGR|2 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 is governed by a Board of County Commissioners. Its current members are Wayne Williams, Douglas Bruce, Sallie Clark, Dennis Hisey, and Jim Bensberg.

El Paso County commissioners are expecting a projected $7.5 million shortfall in the 2008 budget. [http://www.gazette.com/articles/county_23274___article.html/million_services.html] Douglas Bruce is no longer a county commisioner. He was replaced by Amy Lathen.

Cities and Towns

*Colorado Springs (mostly)
*Green Mountain Falls
*Manitou Springs
*Palmer Lake

Census-Designated Places and Unincorporated Areas

*Air Force Academy
*Black Forest
*Cascade-Chipita Park
*Cimarron Hills
*Fort Carson

Military sites

*United States Air Force Academy
*Cheyenne Mountain
*North American Aerospace Defense Command
*Peterson Air Force Base
*Schriever Air Force Base

tate park

*Cheyenne Mountain State Park

National forest

*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


External links

* [http://www.elpasoco.com El Paso County Government website]
* [http://www.stanwyck.com/cogenweb/cocounties.html Colorado County Evolution by Don Stanwyck]
* [http://www.coloradohistory.org/ Colorado Historical Society]

ee also

*El Paso County, Jefferson Territory
*Colorado census statistical areas
*Colorado counties
*Colorado metropolitan areas
*Colorado municipalities
*Colorado Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area
*Front Range Urban Corridor

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