Pitkin County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of Colorado
Colorado's location within the U.S.
|Founded||February 23, 1881|
|Named for||Frederick Walker Pitkin|
|o Total||973 sq mi (2,520 km2)|
|o Land||971 sq mi (2,510 km2)|
|o Water||2.5 sq mi (6 km2) 0.3%%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||18/sq mi (7/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-7 (Mountain)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-6 (MDT)|
Pitkin County is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,148. The county seat is Aspen. The county is named in honor of the late Colorado Governor Frederick Walker Pitkin. Pitkin County has the seventh-highest per capita income of any county in the United States. Measured by the mean income of the top 5% of earners, Pitkin County is the wealthiest in the United States.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 973 square miles (2,520 km2), of which 971 sq mi (2,510 km2) is land and 2.5 sq mi (6.5 km2) (0.3%) is water. The county's highest point is Castle Peak, a fourteener with a height of 14,265 feet (4,348 m). It is located 20 miles (32 km) south of Aspen on the Gunnison County border.
As of the censusof 2000, there were 14,872 people, 6,807 households, and 3,185 families living in the county. The population density was 15 people per square mile (6/km2). There were 10,096 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.33% White, 0.53% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 1.12% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.37% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. Of the population, 6.54% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 6,807 households, out of which 21.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.70% were married couples living together, 5.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 53.20% were non-families. Of all households, 35.80% were made up of individuals, and 3.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.77.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 16.70% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 38.30% from 25 to 44, 30.50% from 45 to 64, and 6.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 115.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 117.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $59,375, and the median income for a family was $75,048. Males had a median income of $40,672 versus $33,896 for females. The per capita income for the county was $40,811. About 3.00% of families and 6.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.40% of those under age 18 and 5.60% of those age 65 or over.
According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, residents of Pitkin County had a 2014 life expectancy of 86.52 years, the second-longest in the nation. Both men and women live longer in Pitkin County than nearly every other county in the United States. The life expectancy at birth is 85.2 years for men and 88.0 years for women. Two contiguous counties, Summit and Eagle counties, rank first and third in the nation respectively in life expectancy.
Factors contributing to the high life expectancy in Pitkin County are "high education, high income, high access to medical care, the people are physically active, obesity is lower than anywhere else--so you're doing it right", said Ali Mokdad, one of the study's co-authors.
In its early history, Pitkin County favored the Democratic Party, for which it voted in every election between 1896 and 1916, one of the few Western counties to support Alton B. Parker in 1904. After that, it followed the trends of the nation until being narrowly carried by losing candidate Thomas E. Dewey in 1944. Pitkin subsequently remained Republican-leaning until the growing ski resort community drew its residents to the liberal George McGovern - rejected by a majority of the electorates of all but 129 other counties - in 1972. Like many ski destination counties, since the 1980s, Pitkin has turned powerfully Democratic. The last Republican to carry the county was Ronald Reagan in 1984, and George H. W. Bush in the following election is the last Republican to gain a third of the county's vote.
In this modern era, Pitkin has also frequently been one of the leading counties for leftist third-party candidates, being the fourth-best county for Eugene McCarthy in 1976, and the third-best for John B. Anderson in 1980.