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Summit County, Colorado facts for kids

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Summit County
Summit County court house in Breckenridge
Summit County court house in Breckenridge
Official seal of Summit County
Map of Colorado highlighting Summit County
Location within the U.S. state of Colorado
Map of the United States highlighting Colorado
Colorado's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Colorado
Founded November 1, 1861
Named for Continental Divide
Seat Breckenridge
Largest town Breckenridge
 • Total 619 sq mi (1,600 km2)
 • Land 608 sq mi (1,570 km2)
 • Water 11 sq mi (30 km2)  1.8%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 51/sq mi (20/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Summit County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2020 census, the population was 31,055. The county seat and largest town is Breckenridge.

Summit County comprises the Breckenridge, CO Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Summit County was organized as one of the seventeen original Colorado counties by the First Territorial Legislature on November 1, 1861. It was named for the many mountain summits in the county. Until February 2, 1874, its boundaries included the area now comprising Summit County, Grand County, Routt County, Moffat County, Garfield County, Eagle County, and Rio Blanco County.

In 1874, the northern half of the original Summit County was split off to form Grand County; with the creation of Garfield and Eagle counties in 1883, Summit County arrived at its present boundaries. In addition, Summit County has seen two major boom eras.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 619 square miles (1,600 km2), of which 608 square miles (1,570 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (1.8%) is water.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 258
1880 5,459 2,015.9%
1890 1,906 −65.1%
1900 2,744 44.0%
1910 2,003 −27.0%
1920 1,724 −13.9%
1930 987 −42.7%
1940 1,754 77.7%
1950 1,135 −35.3%
1960 2,073 82.6%
1970 2,665 28.6%
1980 8,848 232.0%
1990 12,281 38.8%
2000 23,548 91.7%
2010 27,994 18.9%
2020 31,055 10.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900–1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

As of the census of 2000, there were 23,548 people, 9,120 households, and 4,769 families residing in the county. The population density was 39 people per square mile (15/km2). There were 24,201 housing units at an average density of 40 per square mile (15/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 91.84% White, 0.68% Black or African American, 0.48% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 3.96% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. 9.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,120 households, out of which 24.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.00% were married couples living together, 4.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.70% were non-families. 21.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 1.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 17.40% under the age of 18, 15.70% from 18 to 24, 44.30% from 25 to 44, 19.40% from 45 to 64, and 3.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. As of 2014, the life expectancy in Summit County was 86.83 years, the longest average life expectancy of any county in the United States. For every 100 females there were 139.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 144.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $56,587, and the median income for a family was $66,914 (these figures had risen to $65,281 and $80,441 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $33,741 versus $27,017 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,676. About 3.10% of families and 9.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.30% of those under age 18 and 3.40% of those age 65 or over.

The 2019 average real estate prices in Summit County were $1,262,929 for a single family home, $559,776 for a condo, townhome or duplex and $344,945 for a vacant piece of land (YTD through December 2019).

Reservoir in the Rocky Mountains
Snowmelt runoff fills Lake Dillon in Summit County



Census-designated places

Ghost town


National protected areas

  • White River National Forest
  • Eagles Nest Wilderness

Ski areas

Trails and byways


The county has two reservoirs, Lake Dillon and Green Mountain Reservoir, that are also popular recreation sites.

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