Population: 40,725 (2012)
Year Incorporated: 1883
Largest City: Montrose
Size: 2,242.6 sqmi
The 17th most populous county in Colorado, Montrose County is home to just over 40,000 Coloradans. In contrast to many other counties, Montrose’s population is actually shrinking, having lost nearly 1.5% of its residents since 2010.
|Race & Ethnicity (2012):||Montrose County
|Hispanic or Latino||20.0%||21.0%|
|Other, or In Combination||2.1%||3.0%|
The strategic location that led Montrose to become a hub for transportation and commerce serves as an asset today. The main industries in Montrose are agriculture, government (with much of the country comprised of National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park land), and tourism. In the summer, Montrose attracts hikers, mountain bikers, campers, fisherman, equestrian enthusiasts, four-wheelers, white water rafters, and others eager to explore the Western Slope. In the winter, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, snowmobiling, ice fisherman, and ice climbers find themselves in Montrose County. Transportation, construction, manufacturing, and mining also play a role in Montrose’s economy.
|Education & Income (2012):||Montrose County
|High School Graduates||85.0%||89.9%|
|Median Home Value||$200,900||$236,800|
|Median Household Income||$47,139||$58,244|
|Living in Poverty||13.8%||12.9%|
In the 1870s, settlers made their way to the Uncompahgre Valley. After the Ute Indians were removed from their land and placed on a Utah reservation, those settlers could legally purchase land. In 1882, Montrose became an official town with the intention of providing supplies to nearby mining communities. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Co. built its railroad through Montrose on its way from Denver to Salt Lake City, establishing Montrose as an important transportation center. After the mining decline, Montrose’s economy shifted to be agriculturally-focused, producing fruits, grains, vegetables, and livestock.