About the Community

About Summit County

County Statistics

Population: 28,044
Year Incorporated: 1861
Largest City: Breckenridge
Size: 608 sqmi



Population & Demographics

The 5th highest county in the US by elevation, Summit County is home to nearly 30,000 Coloradans. The recreation areas the county is known for draw a young demographic; 20% of the population is between 20 and 29 years old.

Race & Ethnicity (2012): Summit County
Non-Hispanic White 83.0% 69.6%
Hispanic or Latino 14.1% 21.0%
African American 1.0% 4.3%
Asian American 0.9% 3.0%
American Indian 0.5% 1.6%
Other, or In Combination 1.5% 3.0%

Industry & Economy

The top industry in Summit County is recreation-based tourism, with visitors spending around $620 million locally per year, and the tourism industry earning over $160 million annually. Lodging, retail, government, real estate, and construction are the top employers in the county. Although known for the winter activities available at ski resorts, Summit County draws visitors in the summer for golf, fishing, hiking, and other recreation.

Education & Income (2012): Summit County
High School Graduates 95.4% 89.9%
College Graduates 49.1% 36.7%
Median Home Value $460,500 $236,800
Median Household Income $64,680 $58,244
Living in Poverty 11.8% 12.9%


Summit County was one of the first 17 counties within Colorado, forming in 1861 as the entire northwest quadrant of the state and shrinking to its current boundaries by 1883. In the first half of the 19th century, residents tried to keep the discovery of gold and silver a secret but eventually prospectors rushed to the area and mining towns sprung up throughout the county. With the end of the gold rush, these bustling mining towns mostly turned into ghost towns by the beginning of the 20th century.  Snow became the new gold in the mid-20th century with the opening of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in 1946. Soon to follow was Breckenridge Ski Area in 1961, then Keystone and Copper in the early 1970s.  From 1970-1980, Summit County was the fastest growing county in the country, with a 232% increase in the permanent resident population.