San Juan County’s population increased 25 percent in the last decade, with a 2010 population of 699, according to figures released Wednesday, Feb. 23, by the U.S. Census Bureau.
And 637 of those residents live in Silverton, up from 531 in the 2000 census, an increase of nearly 20 percent.
It’s the first time the county’s population has increased at all since the 1980 census, when the county’s population was recorded as being 833, up by a total of 2 from the 1970 census.
The sharp increase in population comes as a relief to town and county officials, who feared the population may drop below 500, which would impact eligibility for grant funding and other benefits.
San Juan County was one of just seven counties in the state to have a population increase greater than 25 percent.
But San Juan County still has the smallest population of any of Colorado’s 64 counties. The county with the second smallest population is Mineral County, with 712. Hinsdale County is third smallest at 843.
To the south of us, La Plata County’s population jumped 16 percent in the last decade, from 43,941 in 2000 to 51,334 in 2010.