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All about Westminster, CO
The City of Westminster is a home rule municipality located in Adams and Jefferson counties, Colorado, United States. The city population was 116,317 at the 2020 United States Census with 71,240 residing in Adams County and 45,077 residing in Jefferson County. Westminster is the eighth-most populous city in Colorado. The city is a part of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the Front Range Urban Corridor. The Westminster Municipal Center is located 9 miles (14 km) north-northwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.
History of Westminster, CO
Gold discovered in the South Platte River Valley in 1858 brought national attention to the area that would become Westminster, Colorado. The promise of fortune and The Homestead Act of 1862 encouraged many pioneers from the east to settle in Colorado rather than continue on to California. Before the settlements came, wildlife like antelope and buffalo made their homes in the area. There is also evidence of Arapaho Indians near the Crown Point (Gregory Hill) area. Westminsters’ first permanent settler was Kentucky farmer Pleasant DeSpain, who built his home in 1870 on 160 acres (near what is now West 76th Avenue and Lowell Street). The area became known as DeSpain Junction and attracted other settlers including Edward Bruce Bowles, who in 1881 constructed a brick Italianate house now known as the Bowles House. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The village of DeSpain Junction grew into a small farming community and continued to attract new settlers despite the difficulty of farming in Colorado’s arid climate. Connecticut real estate developer C.J. Harris arrived in DeSpain Junction in 1885 and purchased the DeSpain farm, among others. Harris combined the separate homesteads and divided it into smaller tracts of land, which he sold to fruit farmers. Harris renamed DeSpain Junction with his own name and the area was referred to as Harris, Colorado. In 1890, New Yorker Henry T. Mayham convinced the Denver Presbytery to build a university on land that he owned in Harris. After delays caused by the depression of 1893, the school was built from red sandstone quarried in Colorado’s Red Rocks region. The curriculum was patterned after Princeton University and was referred to as the “Princeton of the West”. The school was incorporated as Westminster University of Colorado, and classes began in 1908 with one year’s tuition costing $50 ($1,411 in 2018). The school ceased operating in 1917 when all students in attendance left to fight in World War I. In the following decade, it operated as a church and school. In 1911, Harris voted to incorporate as a city and changed its name to Westminster, in honor of the university which is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
In July 2006, it was ranked as the 24th best place to live in the US by Money magazine.
Demographics of Westminster, CO
As of the census of 2000, there were 100,940 people, 38,343 households, and 26,034 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,203.9 people per square mile (1,236.9/km2). There were 39,318 housing units at an average density of 1,248.0 per square mile (481.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.19% White, 1.23% African American, 0.74% Native American, 5.48% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 5.52% from other races, and 2.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.23% of the population.
There were 38,343 households, out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.9% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 36.0% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 6.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $56,323, and the median income for a family was $63,776. Males had a median income of $41,539 versus $31,568 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,482. About 3.1% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.1% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.
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