Gunnison County is the fifth-most extensive of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,324. The county seat is Gunnison. The county was named for John W. Gunnison, a United States Army officer and captain in the Army Topographical Engineers, who surveyed for the transcontinental railroad in 1853.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,260 square miles (8,400 km²), of which 3,239 square miles (8,390 km²) is land and 21 square miles (54 km²) (0.6%) is water. It is the fifth-largest county by area in Colorado. The county seat is Gunnison, Colorado which is located in a wide valley at the confluence of Tomichi Creek and Gunnison River. The county rests in the Gunnison Basin formed by the Continental Divide to the east, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness rises in the northeast, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness and the White River National Forest to the north, the West Elk Wilderness rises in the west of the county with Delta and Montrose Counties on its western slopes. The Uncompahgre Wilderness rises in the southwest of the county and the Powderhorn Wilderness east of there and Saquache County being south of Gunnison county eastward over to Marshall Pass southeast of the county.
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,956 people, 5,649 households, and 2,965 families residing in the county. The population density was 4 people per square mile (2/km²). There were 9,135 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.08% White, 0.49% Black or African American, 0.70% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 1.72% from two or more races. 5.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,649 households out of which 24.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.20% were married couples living together, 5.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.50% were non-families. 27.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.84.
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