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Colorado Counties
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Colorado Counties

Colorado currently has sixty-four counties. In February 1866, the first new county, Las Animas, was created. Alamosa was created in 1913, and in 2001, Broomfield was recognized as a city-county, bringing a total of 64 counties.

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City and County of Denver, Colorado

Denver County Education, Geography, and HistoryCity and County of Denver, Colorado Courthouse

The City and County of Denver is the capital and most populous municipality of the state of Colorado. As of 2014, Denver is also the most populous county in Colorado. the county seat is Denver. Denver County was created on November 22, 1858 from Arapahoe County and reorganized as a consolidated city and county. The county is named in honor of James W. Denver, Governor of the Territory of Kansas from 1857 to 1859.

Denver is ranked as a Beta- world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. With a 2014 estimated population of 663,862, Denver ranks as the 21st-most populous US city. The 10-county Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated 2013 population of 2,697,476 and ranked as the 21st most populous US metropolitan statistical area.

Etymology - Origin of the City and County of Denver Name

The City and County of Denver is named in honor of James William Denver, Governor of the Territory of Kansas from 1857 to 1859.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Denver County History

The Colorado Territory was created on February 28, 1861, Arapahoe County was formed on November 1, 1861, and Denver City was incorporated on November 7, 1861. Denver City served as the Arapahoe County Seat from 1861 until consolidation in 1902. In 1865, Denver City became the Territorial Capital. With its new-found importance, Denver City shortened its name to just Denver. On August 1, 1876, Denver became the State Capital when Colorado was admitted to the Union.

In 1901 the Colorado General Assembly voted to split Arapahoe County into three parts: a new consolidated City and County of Denver, a new Adams County, and the remainder of the Arapahoe County to be renamed South Arapahoe County. A ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court, subsequent legislation, and a referendum delayed the creation of the City and County of Denver until 1902-11-15.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 154.9 square miles (401.3 km2), of which 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), or 1.03%, is water.

Denver is located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Denver downtown district is located immediately east of the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River, approximately 12 miles east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is nicknamed the Mile-High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile above sea level, making it one of the highest major cities in the United States.

Adjacent counties, municipalities and CDPs:

  • West: Jefferson County, Wheat Ridge, Lakeside, Mountain View, Edgewater, Lakewood, Dakota Ridge
  • North: Adams County, Berkley, Northglenn, Commerce City
  • South: Arapahoe County, Bow Mar, Littleton, Sheridan, Englewood, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, Aurora
  • Adams County
    East: Aurora
    Arapahoe County
  • Denver
    Enclave: Arapahoe County, Glendale, Holly Hills


Denver Public Schools (DPS) is the public school system in Denver. It currently educates about 73,000 students in 73 elementary schools, 15 K-8 schools, 17 middle schools, 14 high schools, and 19 charter schools. The first school of what is now DPS was a log cabin that opened in 1859 on the corner of 12th Street between Market and Larimer Streets. The district boundaries are coextensive with the city limits. The Cherry Creek School District serves some areas with Denver postal addresses that are outside the city limits.

Denver's many colleges and universities range in age and study programs. Three major public schools constitute the Auraria Campus, University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Community College of Denver. The private University of Denver was the first institution of higher learning in the city and was founded in 1864. Other prominent Denver higher education institutions include Johnson & Wales University, Catholic (Jesuit) Regis University and the city has Roman Catholic and Jewish institutions, as well as a health sciences school. In addition to those schools within the city, there are a number of schools located throughout the surrounding metro area.

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