El Paso County is the second most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States behind Denver County. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the county population was 587,272 in 2007, a 13.61% increase since U.S. Census 2000. The county seat is Colorado Springs, the second most populous city in Colorado. The Colorado Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area comprises El Paso County and Teller County.
El Paso County is located in Colorado's 5th congressional district. Since its creation in 1871, El Paso County has voted for the Republican presidential candidate in every presidential election.
In 2004, the voters of Colorado Springs and El Paso County established the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) and adopted a 1% sales tax dedicated to improving the region's transportation infrastructure. Together with state funding for COSMIX (2007 completion) and the I-25 interchange with Highway 16 (2008 completion), significant progress has been made since 2003 in addressing the transportation needs of the area.
The Jefferson Territory never received federal sanction, but on 1861-02-28, U.S. President James Buchanan signed an act organizing the Territory of Colorado. El Paso County was one of the original 17 counties created by the Colorado legislature on November 1, 1861. Part of its western territory was broken off to create Teller County in 1899. Originally based in Old Colorado City (now part of Colorado Springs, not today's Colorado City between Pueblo and Walsenburg), El Paso County's county seat was moved to Colorado Springs in 1873.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,130 square miles (5,516 km²), of which 2,126 square miles (5,507 km²) is land and 3 square miles (8 km²)(0.15%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 516,929 people, 192,409 households, and 133,916 families residing in the county. The population density was 243 people per square mile (94/km²). There were 202,428 housing units at an average density of 95 per square mile (37/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 81.19% White, 6.51% Black or African American, 0.91% Native American, 2.53% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 4.70% from other races, and 3.91% from two or more races. 11.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 192,409 households out of which 36.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.60% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.40% were non-families. 23.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the county the population was spread out with 27.60% under the age of 18, 10.50% from 18 to 24, 32.50% from 25 to 44, 20.70% from 45 to 64, and 8.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 100.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $46,844, and the median income for a family was $53,995. Males had a median income of $35,940 versus $26,252 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,005. About 5.70% of families and 8.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.00% of those under age 18 and 6.90% of those age 65 or over.