Jefferson County: Gateway to the Rockies
Known as the “gateway to the Rockies,” Jefferson County is centrally located, with downtown Denver to the east and the magnificent Rocky Mountains to the west.
If you’re looking to enjoy the quieter life of the suburbs, Jefferson County is a great place to live. Spanning 773-square-miles, Jeffco has something for everyone. From more urban feeling areas bordering the city to rural areas further north to quintessential suburbs to the south and mountains to the west, it really does have it all.
Officially formed as the Territory of Jefferson in 1859, Jeffco has its roots in mining and agriculture.
With a population of more than 565,000, Jeffco is the fourth largest county in the state. Based on the most recent census data, Jeffco had an annual growth rate of approximately 0.17 percent from 2000 to 2011, which is slower than anticipated. The unincorporated areas of the county saw a growth rate of around four percent, while many of the cities saw a decline in their populations.
Additionally, unincorporated areas of the county include Applewood, Conifer, Evergreen, Genesee, and parts of Littleton. The unincorporated population is roughly 188,000, or 35 percent, while the city of Lakewood is the largest municipality with around 143,200 people, or 27 percent of the population. According to the Jefferson Economic Council, the median home price in Jefferson County is $293,926. The Jefferson County Planning & Zoning division has more detailed demographic information if you are interested in additional specifics.
Jefferson County is served by a public school system that has several nationally recognized schools.
It is also home to several institutes of higher education, including Red Rocks Community College, Front Range Community College, Colorado Christian University, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, and the renowned Colorado School of Mines. The county also boasts a highly educated workforce, with more than 40 percent of the population who have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
For lifelong learners, Jefferson County has a first-class public library system
It includes 10 locations, a Bookmobile, and an online library. In addition to both a print and digital catalog of 1.1 million items, Jefferson County Public Library offers storytimes for families, programs for teens and adults, and technology courses for those looking to improve their computer literacy skills.
For those that enjoy the great outdoors, Jefferson County has a world-class Open Space system.
There are 29 parks that cover 54,000 acres that provide access to hiking, biking, camping, picnicking, and more.
If you’re looking for more contained places to explore, Jeffco has plenty to offer, including the Colorado Railroad Museum, Butterfly Pavilion, Bandimere Speedway, Lakeside Amusement Park, Coors Brewery, and more. For entertainment buffs, Jefferson County is home to one of the world’s most famous music venues: Red Rocks Amphitheater. The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities also offers first class concerts and theatrical performances.
As you can see, Jefferson County has something for everyone. If you’re looking for a little more background on some of the cities and towns in Jeffco, check out our list. If you’re interested in learning what your commute might look like, check out my post on Denver Traffic.
Have unanswered questions about Jeffco? Contact us in the comments section below.