Little Dry Creek in Englewood
Location within the U.S. state of Colorado
Colorado's location within the U.S.
|Founded||November 1, 1861|
|Named for||The Arapaho Nation|
|• Total||805 sq mi (2,080 km2)|
|• Land||798 sq mi (2,070 km2)|
|• Water||7.3 sq mi (19 km2) 0.9%%|
|• Density||806/sq mi (234/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−7 (Mountain)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−6 (MDT)|
|Congressional districts||1st, 4th, 6th|
Arapahoe County ( // ə-RAP-ə-hoh) is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, its population was 572,003, making it the third-most populous county in Colorado. The county seat is Littleton, and the most populous city is Aurora. The county was named for the Arapaho Native American tribe, who once lived in the region.
Arapahoe County is part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan statistical area. Arapahoe County calls itself "Colorado's First County", since its origins antedate the Pike's Peak Gold Rush.
On August 25, 1855, the Kansas Territorial Legislature created a huge Arapahoe County to govern the entire western portion of the Territory of Kansas. The county was named for the Arapaho Nation, who lived in the region.
In July 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 a smaller Arapahoe County. Denver City served as the county seat of Arapahoe County.
The Jefferson Territory never received federal sanction, and when the State of Kansas was admitted to the Union on January 29, 1861, the mining regions temporarily reverted to unorganized territory. On February 28, 1861, Congress passed an act organizing the Territory of Colorado, using present-day borders.On November 1, 1861, the Colorado Territorial Assembly organized the 17 original counties of Colorado, including a new Arapahoe County. Arapahoe County originally stretched from the line of present-day Sheridan Boulevard 160 miles (258 km) east to the Kansas border, and from the line of present-day County Line Road 30 miles (48 km) north to the 40th parallel north (168th Avenue). Denver City served as the county seat of Arapahoe County until 1902.
In 1901, the Colorado General Assembly voted to split Arapahoe County into three parts - a new consolidated City and County of Denver, a new Adams County, and the remainder of the Arapahoe County to be renamed South Arapahoe County. A ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court, subsequent legislation, and a referendum delayed the reorganization until November 15, 1902. Governor James Bradley Orman designated Littleton as the temporary county seat of South Arapahoe County. On April 11, 1903, the Colorado General Assembly changed the name of South Arapahoe County back to Arapahoe County. On November 8, 1904, Arapahoe County voters chose Littleton over Englewood by a vote of 1310 to 829 to be the permanent county seat.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 805 square miles (2,080 km2), of which 798 square miles (2,070 km2) are land and 7.3 square miles (19 km2) (0.9%) are covered by water. The county measures 72 mi (116 km) east-west and 4 to 12 mi (6 to 19 km) north-south.
Two exclaves of Arapahoe County are entirely surrounded by the City and County of Denver, the City of Glendale, and the Holly Hills neighborhood, a census-designated place.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
As of the census of 2000, 487,967 people, 190,909 households, and 125,809 families were residing in the county. The population density was 608 people/sq mi (235/km2). The 196,835 housing units averaged 245/sq mi (95/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 79.93% White, 7.67% African American, 0.66% Native American, 3.95% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 4.51% from other races, and 3.16% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race made up 11.81% of the population .
Of the 190,909 households, 34.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.20% were married couples living together, 10.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.10% were not families. About 27.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53, and the average family size was 3.11.
In the county, the age distribution was 26.70% under 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 33.10% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 8.60% who were 65 or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.20 males.
The median income for a household was $53,570, and for a family was $63,875. Males had a median income of $41,601 versus $31,612 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,147. About 4.20% of families and 5.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.00% of those under age 18 and 5.10% of those age 65 or over.
Arapahoe County was once a Republican stronghold, and a classic bastion of suburban conservatism, although with a noticeable north-south split, with the working class Democratic-leaning city of Aurora in the northwest and the former wealthy Republican strongholds in the Denver Technological Center region in the southwest, though with some Democratic strength in older, more urbanized and mixed-development suburbs bordering Denver's southwest border near Hampden Avenue such as Englewood and Sheridan (the eastern parts of the county are extremely rural and Republican to this day). However, heavy urbanization, demographic changes and population increases - such as the rapid diversification of Aurora's population and younger professionals in the southern suburbs - have caused the county to become much more competitive since the 1990s, eventually changing it to more of a Democratic-leaning suburban swing county. In 2008, the county swung over dramatically to support Barack Obama, who became the first Democrat to carry it since 1964, and only the second since 1936. It swung from a four-point win for George W. Bush in 2004 to a 13-point win for Obama in 2008. It voted for Obama by a similar margin in 2012, and provided much of Hillary Clinton's statewide margin in 2016 as Donald Trump failed to win even 40 percent of the vote in one of the worst showings for a Republican in the county's history, with the Democrats carrying the former Tech Center area Republican strongholds of Centennial and Littleton. In the 2020 election, Joe Biden became the first Democrat to carry the county with over 60% of the vote since 1916, winning both Aurora by lopsided margins and the southern parts of the county by nearly 20 points.
Douglas County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 285,465. The county seat is Castle Rock.
Adams County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 441,603. The county seat is Brighton. The county is named for Alva Adams, an early Governor of the State of Colorado in 1887–1889.
Denver is the central city of a conurbation region in the U.S. state of Colorado. The conurbation includes one continuous region consisting of the six central counties of Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson. The Denver region is part of the Front Range Urban Corridor.
Weld County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 252,825. The county seat is Greeley.
Park County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,206. The county seat is Fairplay. The county was named after the large geographic region known as South Park, which was named by early fur traders and trappers in the area.
Lincoln County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,467. The county seat is Hugo. The county obtains its name in memory of President Abraham Lincoln.
Jefferson County, is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 534,543, making it the fourth-most populous county in Colorado. The county seat is Golden, and the most populous city is Lakewood.
Gilpin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado, smallest in land area behind only the City and County of Broomfield. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,441. The county seat is Central City. The county was formed in 1861, while Colorado was still a Territory, and was named after Colonel William Gilpin, the first territorial governor.
El Paso County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. The 2010 Census recorded its population of 622,263 for El Paso County. The Census Bureau's 2018 estimate indicates it is the second-most populous county in Colorado, after the City and County of Denver. The county seat is Colorado Springs, the second most populous city in Colorado. El Paso County is included in the Colorado Springs, Colorado, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Clear Creek County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,088. The county seat is Georgetown.
Columbine is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place (CDP) located in and governed by Jefferson and Arapahoe counties, Colorado, United States. The CDP is a part of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located primarily in Jefferson County, Columbine lies immediately south of Denver. The population of the Columbine CDP was 24,280 at the United States Census 2010. The community lies in ZIP code 80123.
The City of Englewood is a Home Rule Municipality located in Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States. Englewood is located immediately south of Denver and is a part of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2010, its population was 30,255. Englewood is part of the Denver metropolitan area. Englewood is located in the South Platte River Valley east of the Front Range. Downtown Englewood is located directly east of the confluence of Little Dry Creek and the South Platte River, between Santa Fe Drive and Broadway.
The Territory of Jefferson was an extralegal and unrecognized United States territory that existed from October 24, 1859 until the creation of the Colorado Territory on February 28, 1861. The Jefferson Territory included land officially part of the Kansas Territory, the Nebraska Territory, the New Mexico Territory, the Utah Territory, and the Washington Territory, but the area was remote from the governments of those five territories. The government of the Jefferson Territory, while democratically elected, was never legally recognized by the United States government, although it managed the territory with relatively free rein for 16 months. Many of the laws enacted by the Jefferson Territorial Legislature were reenacted and given official sanction by the new Colorado General Assembly in 1861.
The City of Centennial is a Home Rule Municipality located in Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States. Centennial is a part of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city population was 100,377 at the 2010 United States Census. Centennial is a part of the Denver metropolitan area. Centennial is the tenth most populous municipality in the state of Colorado and its 2001 city incorporation was the largest in U.S. history. Centennial is ranked as the 15th-safest city in the country.
Colorado's 6th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Colorado. Located in central Colorado, the district encompasses much of the eastern part of the Denver metropolitan area, including all of Aurora, as well as portions of the southern and northern metro area.
The City of Littleton is a Home Rule Municipality located in Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson counties, Colorado, United States. Littleton is the county seat of Arapahoe County and is a part of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city population was 41,737 at the 2010 United States Census, ranking as the 20th most populous municipality in the State of Colorado.
The United States Office of Management and Budget has defined the 12-county Denver–Aurora, CO Combined Statistical Area comprising the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area, the Boulder, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the Greeley, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population was 3,214,218 as of July 1, 2012, an increase of +3.99% since the 2010 United States Census, and ranking as the 16th most populous metropolitan combined statistical area and the 17th most populous primary statistical area of the United States. The population estimate for 2016 is 3,412,607.
The North Central Colorado Urban Area comprises the four contiguous metropolitan statistical areas in the north central region of the State of Colorado: the Denver–Aurora Metropolitan Statistical Area, the Boulder Metropolitan Statistical Area, the Fort Collins-Loveland Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the Greeley Metropolitan Statistical Area. With the exception of southeastern Elbert County, southeastern Park County, and tiny portions of southern Douglas County, the entire North Central Colorado Urban Area is drained by the South Platte River and its tributaries. The North Central Colorado Urban Area is the central, and the most populous, of the three primary subregions of the Front Range Urban Corridor.
Arapahoe County was a county of Kansas Territory in the United States that existed from August 25, 1855, until Kansas's admission into the Union on January 29, 1861.
Dove Valley is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place (CDP) located in and governed by Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States. The CDP is a part of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population of the Dove Valley CDP was 5,243 at the United States Census 2010. The Dove Valley Metropolitan District provides services to the area, which lies in ZIP code 80112.