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All about Lakewood, CO
The City of Lakewood is the home rule municipality that is the most populous municipality in Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 155,984 at the 2020 U.S. Census making Lakewood the fifth most populous city in Colorado and the 167th most populous city in the United States. Lying immediately west of Denver, Lakewood is a principal city of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area and a major city of the Front Range Urban Corridor.
History of Lakewood, CO
The urban and suburban development of the community known as Lakewood was started in 1889 by Charles Welch and W.A.H. Loveland, who platted a 13-block area along Colfax Avenue west of Denver in eastern Jefferson County. Loveland, the former president of the Colorado Central Railroad, retired to the new community of Lakewood after many years of living in Golden.
Until 1969, the area known as Lakewood had no municipal government, relying instead on several water districts, several fire districts, and the government of Jefferson County. Lakewood was a community with policing provided by the Jefferson County Sheriff, several volunteer-staffed fire districts, and some neighborhoods without street lights or sidewalks. However, the community had already existed for about 80 years.
The City of Lakewood was incorporated in 1969 as Jefferson City. Soon after, an election was held and the city’s name was changed to Lakewood, due to an overwhelming dislike of “Jefferson City” and the belief that it would be confused with existing communities in Colorado and Missouri. At the time of incorporation, the city population was already over 90,000.
Lakewood never had a traditional downtown area. West Colfax Avenue served the metropolitan area as U.S. Route 40 and the main route joining Denver with the Rocky Mountains. As such, Colfax from Harlan west to Kipling and beyond had mostly commercial establishments. In addition to the Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society (JCRS) for tuberculosis patients, the small, frame Methodist Church, and telephone exchange, by the 1950s grocery and drug stores, gas stations, restaurants and taverns, several motels, branch banks, a movie theater, a roller rink, a bowling alley, and used car lots emerged there. Several multiple-business “shopping centers” developed followed by much larger centers at JCRS and Westland. The Villa Italia Mall on West Alameda Avenue, 20 blocks south of Colfax, reflected the southward expansion of Lakewood settlement and housed a larger concentration of retail space. As the mall went into decline, the Lakewood City Council developed a plan to demolish the Villa Italia Mall and replace it with a new development called Belmar.
In 2011, Lakewood was named an All-America City for the first time.
Demographics of Lakewood, CO
As of the 2010 census, 142,980 people, 61,986 households, and 35,882 families were residing in the city. The population density was 3,334.4 people per square mile (1,286.9/km2). Its 65,758 housing units averaged 1,533.5 per square mile (591.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.9% White, 3.1% Asian, 1.6% Black, 1.4% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.7% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 22.0% of the population.
Of the 61,986 households, 26.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.1% were not families. About 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27, and the average family size was 2.92.
The distribution of the population by age was 20.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.2 years. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female.
The median income for a household in the city was $52,960, and for a family was $66,947. Males had a median income of $46,907 versus $41,476 for females. The city’s per capita income was $30,027. About 9.1% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those aged 65 or over.
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