Definitions to help interpret the data

This report uses a great deal of data from the American Community Survey (ACS), a nationwide survey to provide communities updated information in between decennial censuses. The most recent data available through the ACS as of mid-2019 was 2017: thus, unless otherwise noted, data reported reflects 2017 numbers.

Slight differences between the Census and the ACS methodology may make for imperfect comparisons. The ACS collects data for all 12 months of the year, not for just a single point in time. Further, while the Census works to count every single person, the ACS is distributed to a population sample and produces estimates more at risk for statistical error. The bulk of the ACS data used here is derived from one-year estimates.

The terms “Latino,” “Latinx,” “Anglo” and “of color”

In this report we use the term “Latino” or “Latinx” to encompass people identified as “Hispanic” or “Latin” by the ACS, or other similar data collecting organizations. People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, Latino or Latinx may be of any race. We use the term “Non-Hispanic white” or “Anglo” to refer to people who self-identify as white and do not claim Latino heritage. We use the term “people of color” to refer to individuals who identify as something other than Anglo.


Since 2006, the ACS has included group quarters like dormitories or sororities and assisted-living facilities in certain data tables. Students living on campus are NOT counted in poverty estimates. In contrast, students living off-campus have been counted in the data as individuals, including in information on poverty, household income, health care access, etc., since the start of the ACS program. Such students have also been included in decennial Census numbers.

Income vs. Wages

“Income” includes wages, salary, bonuses, self-employment income, gifts, tips, investment income, transfer payments such as social security or food stamps, pensions, rents, and interest income.

“Wages” include only payments received from an employer in an employment relationship that is reported to the State of Colorado for purposes of unemployment insurance. Wages do not include self-employment income.

“Per capita income” is calculated by taking all the income earned in the county and dividing this number by the population.