Steamboat’s median age, home ownership increase, family size decreases
Markers point to an aging polulation in Routt County
June 29, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Routt County's older population is increasing.
According to 2010 census data, the number of people 45 and older has increased nearly 58 percent since 2000.
That would explain why the county's median age has increased in the past 10 years, Yampa Valley Partners Executive Director Kate Nowak said. The organization produces the Community Indicators Project, data sets that evaluate social, economic, civic and environmental trends in Northwest Colorado.
The Census data, compiled by Colorado-based nonprofit investigative news collaborative I-News, indicated that Routt's median age increased last year to 38.9 from 35 in 2000. The state median age is 36.1.
Nowak said the slight decrease in median household size, to 2.34 from 2.44, and the slight increase in the percentage of residents who own homes, to 69.9 from 69.2, also could be attributed to the addition to the county's older population in the past decade.
"That's pretty much what we're seeing," she said. "We're getting wealthier, and we're getting older as a county."
Nowak said more older people are moving to the county to be near children and grandchildren. She added that location-neutral business is exploding locally.
Some of the other census data would be what one might expect of a resort community, Nowak said.
For example, 8.2 percent of county residents are not married, up from 6.9 percent in 2000. Only Denver County, at 8.3 percent, was higher. Lake and Summit counties also were 8.2 percent. Kiowa County, in Southeast Colorado, had the lowest percentage of unmarried residents, 2.6 percent.
Other information was less conclusive. Routt is significantly lower than the state average in the number of multigenerational households. Only 1 percent of families in the county had at least three generations living under one roof, less than the state average of 3.2 percent.
Nowak said the remoteness of the county could contribute to that.
Overall, the county's population increased more than 19 percent, to 23,509 from 19,690 since 2000, according to the 2010 census.
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com