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Nucla, Colorado facts for kids

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Town of Nucla, Colorado
Location in Montrose County and the state of Colorado
Location in Montrose County and the state of Colorado
Country  United States
State  Colorado
County Montrose
Incorporated (town) March 14, 1915
 • Type Statutory Town
 • Total 0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
 • Land 0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
5,787 ft (1,764 m)
 • Total 734
 • Density 1,048.6/sq mi (407.8/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 970
FIPS code 08-54935
GNIS feature ID 0185887

Nucla is a Statutory Town in Montrose County, Colorado, United States. The population was 734 at the 2000 census. Its name comes from the town's founders intent that it serve as a "nucleus" for the surrounding farms and mines, although it has since come to be associated with the growth of uranium mining in the region.


Nucla is located at 38°16′0″N 108°32′50″W / 38.26667°N 108.54722°W / 38.26667; -108.54722 (38.266775, -108.547146).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2), all of it land. Nucla is located in an area of desert land, surrounding the Uncompahgre National Forest.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 217
1930 221 1.8%
1940 361 63.3%
1950 457 26.6%
1960 906 98.2%
1970 949 4.7%
1980 1,027 8.2%
1990 656 −36.1%
2000 734 11.9%
2010 711 −3.1%
Est. 2015 702 −1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 734 people, 311 households, and 208 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,036.0 people per square mile (399.2/km²). There were 369 housing units at an average density of 520.8 per square mile (200.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.69% White, 1.09% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.54% from other races, and 3.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.68% of the population.

There were 311 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the town, the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 27.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $28,466, and the median income for a family was $33,636. Males had a median income of $32,417 versus $21,726 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,982. About 14.4% of families and 17.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.4% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.


A 1972 photograph of a coal-burning power plant in Nucla.

There are several prehistoric sites near Nucla on the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties:

  • Cottonwood Cave is a large rock shelter inhabited by 270 BC and the earliest date at which corn was found in the state of Colorado.
  • Tabeguache Cave is another prehistoric rock shelter.
  • Tabeguache Pueblo is an example of an early, dispersed Ancient Pueblo settlement, inhabited about AD 1100 and later abandoned.

The town was established by socialists, who emphasized the sharing of things. The name of the town comes from the word nucleus.

In May 2013, the Nucla Town Board passed an ordinance that required every non-exempted head of household in the town to own a firearm.

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