Mesa County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2020 census, the population was 155,703. The county seat is Grand Junction. The county was named for the many large mesas in the area, including Grand Mesa.
Mesa County comprises the Grand Junction, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2020 it ranked as the 271st most populous metropolitan area in the United States. It is the only metropolitan area in Colorado not located on the Front Range of Colorado.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and (0.4%) is water. It is the fourth-largest county by area in Colorado.
National protected areas
State protected areas
Trails and byways
As of the census of 2010, there were 146,723 people, 58,095 households, and 38,593 families living in the county. The population density was 44.1 people per square mile (17.23.1/km2). There were 62,644 housing units. Information that follows comes from the 2000 American Factfinder data: The racial makeup of the county was 92.34% White, 0.46% Black or African American, 0.91% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 3.67% from other races, and 1.99% from two or more races. 10.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 45,823 households, out of which 31.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.30% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.10% were non-families. 25.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.00% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 23.70% from 45 to 64, and 15.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $35,864, and the median income for a family was $43,009. Males had a median income of $32,316 versus $22,374 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,715. About 7.00% of families and 10.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.50% of those under age 18 and 8.10% of those age 65 or over.
Unlike most urban counties, Mesa County is powerfully Republican. It has voted Democratic only once since 1952, during Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 landslide, and Hubert Humphrey in the following 1968 election is the last Democrat to tally forty percent of the county’s vote.
2020-2021 alleged county clerk election tampering
It was reported in August 2021 that the Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters in May 2021 allowed an unauthorized person into a secure facility during an annual upgrade to the county's election equipment software, compromising the equipment. The security breach meant Mesa County would not be able to use the equipment for its fall 2021 election.
This was not the first time Peters had been a source of election controversy. In February 2020, it was discovered that Peters' office neglected to count 574 ballots cast in a dropbox outside her office. These uncounted ballots were cast in the November 2019 election and remained uncounted in the dropbox for 3 months. They were found only because Peters' office checked the dropbox for ballots cast in the next election - the 2020 presidential primary. This prompted an attempt to recall Peters as county clerk. The effort was unsuccessful.
In March 2022, Peters was indicted by a Mesa County grand jury on seven felony and three misdemeanor counts of election tampering and misconduct related to the alleged May 2021 security breach. Her deputy was charged on six counts. At the time of indictment, Peters was a candidate for Colorado Secretary of State, a position that would involve supervising the state's elections.
Other unincorporated places
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Mesa County, CO, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.