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Key Issues / Community Health / Southwest Colorado: A Demographic and Health Profile

Southwest Colorado: A Demographic and Health Profile

December 1, 2007

Profiles of selected demographic, health care access and health status characteristics of these southwest Colorado counties: Archuleta, Delta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, San Juan and San Miguel.

The profile of this area indicates that it is a very diverse region of the state. Much of the area’s population is concentrated in cities and towns that are scattered throughout vast and sparsely populated areas. Some key demographic findings include:

The population in southwest Colorado has increased at a faster rate than the state and is forecasted to continue to outpace the state through 2016. However, growth has been uneven among counties.

Much of the growth has been among the working-age population. This population tends to have higher uninsurance rates compared to other age groups.3

The region is likely to see significant percentage increases in the population of young children, a much large increase than the state as a whole. Since young children tend to need an array of preventive health services, this trend should be taken into consideration during health care infrastructure planning.

There are a number of factors that potentially put vulnerable individuals at risk for compromised access to health care. While health care vulnerability is a complex phenomenon, an understanding of the dimensions of vulnerability can help inform how health care resources can be strategically allocated.

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