County has more native Coloradans than average

Mesa County is a bit more Colorado than, well, Colorado.

The American Community Survey, which was released this week, shows 49 percent of people who lived in Mesa County from the years of 2005 to 2009 were born in the Centennial State.

Statewide, 42 percent of respondents identified themselves as Colorado natives, according to the survey, which is conducted by the Census Bureau. The survey is not to be confused with the decennial census, the preliminary results of which are to be released next week.

The 55,000 households in Mesa County had an average size of 2.5 people, the same size as Colorado’s 1.9 million households, the survey said.

A larger proportion of those households, 54 percent, in Mesa County were headed by married couples. Statewide, the figure was 51 percent.

Mesa County residents were slightly less likely to live alone than their counterparts across the state, 26 percent to 28 percent, according to the survey.

Mesa County residents, however, tended to be slightly more transient than their statewide counterparts, and they tend to move a great deal more within the county. During the years of the survey, 77 percent of Mesa County respondents who had lived in the county were still in the same residence one year later. Statewide, the figure was 80 percent. In Mesa County, 15 percent of respondents had moved within the last year from another residence in the county. The statewide figure was 10 percent.

Mesa County residents also graduated with greater frequency from high school than Coloradans in general, but the county lags behind the rest of the state in terms of graduate or professional degrees. Thirteen percent of Coloradans have advanced degrees, according to the survey, but in Mesa County, the figure is 8 percent. Similarly. Mesa County lags in terms of bachelor’s degrees, with 16 percent compared to the state’s 23 percent.

Nearly one-third of Mesa County residents, 32 percent, graduated from high school or obtained the equivalent degree, while just short of a quarter of all Coloradans, 24 percent, can say the same, according to the survey.

Mesa County also lagged behind the rest of Colorado in terms of income. The median income for Colorado was $56,222, but in Mesa County it was $50,611.

Although 21 percent of Colorado households received Social Security, the number was 30 percent in Mesa County.

Not surprisingly, Mesa County residents tended to be older than other Coloradans.

Fifteen percent of Mesa County residents were 65 or older, while 10 percent of Coloradans had hit that milestone. Residents 45 to 64 accounted for 27 percent of the population, slightly more than the 26 percent statewide.

A quarter of Mesa County residents were in the 25-to-44 age bracket, compared to 29 percent across Colorado.

Coloradans 18 or younger accounted for 25 percent of the population, and that group accounted for 24 percent of Mesa County residents.

Families headed by single women fared worse in Mesa County than elsewhere in Colorado. Nearly one-third in Mesa County, 32 percent, were in poverty, a percentage greater than the 27 percent statewide number, according to the survey.

Women outnumbered men in Mesa County, 70,000 to 68,000 over the time of the survey. Statewide, the breakdown by sex was 50-50.


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