What are Colorado’s most rural counties?

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DENVER (STACKER) – A surprising number of U.S. counties have 100% rural land-702, in fact. Stacker compiled a list of the most rural counties in Colorado using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the percent of land area that is rural, as of the 2010 Census, with ties broken by residents per square mile, according to 2019 5-year population estimates.

According to the Census Bureau, rural land encompasses any land that isn’t an urban area. To be considered an urban area, a place has to have a densely settled core of census tracts or blocks and count at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of whom must be residents of non-institutional buildings. Areas with 50,000 people or more are considered urbanized areas, while areas with between 2,500 and 50,000 people are considered urban clusters.

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#50. Eagle County

– Rural area: 98.8% (1,664 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.2% (21 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,685 square miles
— #27 largest county in state, #357 nationwide

– Population density: 32.5 people / square mile (54,681 residents)
— #48 lowest density county in state, #1,281 nationwide

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#49. Teller County

– Rural area: 98.8% (550 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.2% (7 square miles)
– Total land area: 557 square miles
— #56 largest county in state, #1,864 nationwide

– Population density: 44.0 people / square mile (24,524 residents)
— #51 lowest density county in state, #1,555 nationwide

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#48. Alamosa County

– Rural area: 99.0% (715 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.0% (7 square miles)
– Total land area: 723 square miles
— #53 largest county in state, #1,231 nationwide

– Population density: 22.3 people / square mile (16,107 residents)
— #44 lowest density county in state, #972 nationwide

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#47. Lake County

– Rural area: 99.1% (374 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.9% (3 square miles)
– Total land area: 377 square miles
— #61 largest county in state, #2,611 nationwide

– Population density: 20.6 people / square mile (7,751 residents)
— #42 lowest density county in state, #910 nationwide

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#46. Chaffee County

– Rural area: 99.1% (1,005 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.9% (9 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,013 square miles
— #43 largest county in state, #661 nationwide

– Population density: 19.3 people / square mile (19,557 residents)
— #40 lowest density county in state, #862 nationwide

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#45. Montrose County

– Rural area: 99.2% (2,223 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.8% (18 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,241 square miles
— #16 largest county in state, #248 nationwide

– Population density: 18.6 people / square mile (41,686 residents)
— #39 lowest density county in state, #839 nationwide

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#44. Delta County

– Rural area: 99.2% (1,133 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.8% (9 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,142 square miles
— #40 largest county in state, #542 nationwide

– Population density: 26.8 people / square mile (30,565 residents)
— #46 lowest density county in state, #1,117 nationwide

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#43. La Plata County

– Rural area: 99.3% (1,681 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.7% (11 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,692 square miles
— #26 largest county in state, #356 nationwide

– Population density: 32.9 people / square mile (55,617 residents)
— #49 lowest density county in state, #1,289 nationwide

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#42. Garfield County

– Rural area: 99.4% (2,930 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.6% (18 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,948 square miles
— #8 largest county in state, #176 nationwide

– Population density: 20.0 people / square mile (59,055 residents)
— #41 lowest density county in state, #896 nationwide

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#41. Morgan County

– Rural area: 99.4% (1,273 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.6% (7 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,280 square miles
— #36 largest county in state, #469 nationwide

– Population density: 22.3 people / square mile (28,517 residents)
— #43 lowest density county in state, #971 nationwide

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#40. Pitkin County

– Rural area: 99.4% (965 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.6% (6 square miles)
– Total land area: 971 square miles
— #44 largest county in state, #718 nationwide

– Population density: 18.5 people / square mile (17,926 residents)
— #38 lowest density county in state, #834 nationwide

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#39. Otero County

– Rural area: 99.6% (1,256 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.4% (6 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,262 square miles
— #37 largest county in state, #477 nationwide

– Population density: 14.5 people / square mile (18,282 residents)
— #37 lowest density county in state, #723 nationwide

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#38. Archuleta County

– Rural area: 99.6% (1,345 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.4% (5 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,350 square miles
— #33 largest county in state, #443 nationwide

– Population density: 9.8 people / square mile (13,253 residents)
— #31 lowest density county in state, #571 nationwide

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#37. Logan County

– Rural area: 99.7% (1,832 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.4% (6 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,839 square miles
— #23 largest county in state, #318 nationwide

– Population density: 12.2 people / square mile (22,380 residents)
— #33 lowest density county in state, #641 nationwide

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#36. Routt County

– Rural area: 99.7% (2,354 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.4% (8 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,362 square miles
— #15 largest county in state, #234 nationwide

– Population density: 10.6 people / square mile (25,072 residents)
— #32 lowest density county in state, #595 nationwide

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#35. Prowers County

– Rural area: 99.7% (1,634 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.3% (5 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,638 square miles
— #28 largest county in state, #368 nationwide

– Population density: 7.3 people / square mile (12,022 residents)
— #27 lowest density county in state, #463 nationwide

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#34. Rio Grande County

– Rural area: 99.8% (910 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.2% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 912 square miles
— #45 largest county in state, #816 nationwide

– Population density: 12.4 people / square mile (11,305 residents)
— #34 lowest density county in state, #647 nationwide

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#33. Montezuma County

– Rural area: 99.8% (2,026 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.2% (4 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,030 square miles
— #20 largest county in state, #280 nationwide

– Population density: 12.8 people / square mile (26,031 residents)
— #35 lowest density county in state, #664 nationwide

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#32. Grand County

– Rural area: 99.9% (1,844 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,846 square miles
— #22 largest county in state, #315 nationwide

– Population density: 8.3 people / square mile (15,303 residents)
— #29 lowest density county in state, #507 nationwide

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#31. Las Animas County

– Rural area: 99.9% (4,767 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (6 square miles)
– Total land area: 4,773 square miles
— #1 largest county in state, #86 nationwide

– Population density: 3.0 people / square mile (14,266 residents)
— #14 lowest density county in state, #234 nationwide

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#30. Moffat County

– Rural area: 99.9% (4,738 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (6 square miles)
– Total land area: 4,743 square miles
— #2 largest county in state, #89 nationwide

– Population density: 2.8 people / square mile (13,127 residents)
— #13 lowest density county in state, #219 nationwide

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#29. Gunnison County

– Rural area: 99.9% (3,236 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (3 square miles)
– Total land area: 3,239 square miles
— #5 largest county in state, #158 nationwide

– Population density: 5.2 people / square mile (16,802 residents)
— #21 lowest density county in state, #374 nationwide

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#28. Huerfano County

– Rural area: 99.9% (1,589 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,591 square miles
— #30 largest county in state, #378 nationwide

– Population density: 4.2 people / square mile (6,679 residents)
— #18 lowest density county in state, #321 nationwide

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#27. Bent County

– Rural area: 99.9% (1,511 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (1 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,513 square miles
— #32 largest county in state, #392 nationwide

– Population density: 3.8 people / square mile (5,787 residents)
— #17 lowest density county in state, #292 nationwide

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#26. Kit Carson County

– Rural area: 99.9% (2,159 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (1 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,161 square miles
— #18 largest county in state, #257 nationwide

– Population density: 3.4 people / square mile (7,447 residents)
— #16 lowest density county in state, #266 nationwide

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#25. Yuma County

– Rural area: 99.9% (2,363 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,364 square miles
— #14 largest county in state, #233 nationwide

– Population density: 4.2 people / square mile (10,003 residents)
— #19 lowest density county in state, #327 nationwide

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#24. Gilpin County

– Rural area: 100.0% (150 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 150 square miles
— #63 largest county in state, #3,061 nationwide

– Population density: 40.1 people / square mile (6,018 residents)
— #50 lowest density county in state, #1,472 nationwide

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#23. Clear Creek County

– Rural area: 100.0% (395 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 395 square miles
— #59 largest county in state, #2,547 nationwide

– Population density: 24.0 people / square mile (9,495 residents)
— #45 lowest density county in state, #1,039 nationwide

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#22. Elbert County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,851 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,851 square miles
— #21 largest county in state, #313 nationwide

– Population density: 13.9 people / square mile (25,717 residents)
— #36 lowest density county in state, #704 nationwide

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#21. Ouray County

– Rural area: 100.0% (542 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 542 square miles
— #58 largest county in state, #1,928 nationwide

– Population density: 8.9 people / square mile (4,796 residents)
— #30 lowest density county in state, #531 nationwide

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#20. Park County

– Rural area: 100.0% (2,194 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,194 square miles
— #17 largest county in state, #256 nationwide

– Population density: 8.1 people / square mile (17,867 residents)
— #28 lowest density county in state, #502 nationwide

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#19. Crowley County

– Rural area: 100.0% (787 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 787 square miles
— #49 largest county in state, #1,095 nationwide

– Population density: 7.3 people / square mile (5,754 residents)
— #26 lowest density county in state, #461 nationwide

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#18. Custer County

– Rural area: 100.0% (739 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 739 square miles
— #51 largest county in state, #1,195 nationwide

– Population density: 6.5 people / square mile (4,776 residents)
— #25 lowest density county in state, #431 nationwide

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#17. Conejos County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,287 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,287 square miles
— #34 largest county in state, #464 nationwide

– Population density: 6.3 people / square mile (8,128 residents)
— #24 lowest density county in state, #426 nationwide

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#16. San Miguel County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,287 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,287 square miles
— #35 largest county in state, #465 nationwide

– Population density: 6.3 people / square mile (8,049 residents)
— #23 lowest density county in state, #423 nationwide

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#15. Phillips County

– Rural area: 100.0% (688 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 688 square miles
— #54 largest county in state, #1,362 nationwide

– Population density: 6.2 people / square mile (4,290 residents)
— #22 lowest density county in state, #422 nationwide

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#14. Sedgwick County

– Rural area: 100.0% (548 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 548 square miles
— #57 largest county in state, #1,904 nationwide

– Population density: 4.2 people / square mile (2,322 residents)
— #20 lowest density county in state, #330 nationwide

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#13. Costilla County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,227 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,227 square miles
— #38 largest county in state, #499 nationwide

– Population density: 3.1 people / square mile (3,745 residents)
— #15 lowest density county in state, #239 nationwide

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#12. Lincoln County

– Rural area: 100.0% (2,578 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,578 square miles
— #10 largest county in state, #207 nationwide

– Population density: 2.2 people / square mile (5,585 residents)
— #12 lowest density county in state, #165 nationwide

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#11. Saguache County

– Rural area: 100.0% (3,169 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 3,169 square miles
— #7 largest county in state, #162 nationwide

– Population density: 2.1 people / square mile (6,592 residents)
— #11 lowest density county in state, #162 nationwide

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#10. Rio Blanco County

– Rural area: 100.0% (3,221 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 3,221 square miles
— #6 largest county in state, #159 nationwide

– Population density: 2.0 people / square mile (6,384 residents)
— #10 lowest density county in state, #152 nationwide

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#9. Washington County

– Rural area: 100.0% (2,518 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,518 square miles
— #12 largest county in state, #216 nationwide

– Population density: 1.9 people / square mile (4,868 residents)
— #9 lowest density county in state, #146 nationwide

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#8. Dolores County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,067 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,067 square miles
— #42 largest county in state, #604 nationwide

– Population density: 1.7 people / square mile (1,857 residents)
— #8 lowest density county in state, #130 nationwide

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#7. San Juan County

– Rural area: 100.0% (387 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 387 square miles
— #60 largest county in state, #2,575 nationwide

– Population density: 1.5 people / square mile (589 residents)
— #7 lowest density county in state, #110 nationwide

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#6. Baca County

– Rural area: 100.0% (2,555 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,555 square miles
— #11 largest county in state, #212 nationwide

– Population density: 1.4 people / square mile (3,561 residents)
— #6 lowest density county in state, #97 nationwide

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#5. Cheyenne County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,778 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,778 square miles
— #24 largest county in state, #333 nationwide

– Population density: 1.1 people / square mile (2,026 residents)
— #5 lowest density county in state, #83 nationwide

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#4. Mineral County

– Rural area: 100.0% (876 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 876 square miles
— #46 largest county in state, #922 nationwide

– Population density: 0.9 people / square mile (824 residents)
— #4 lowest density county in state, #60 nationwide

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#3. Kiowa County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,768 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,768 square miles
— #25 largest county in state, #335 nationwide

– Population density: 0.8 people / square mile (1,489 residents)
— #3 lowest density county in state, #51 nationwide

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#2. Jackson County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,614 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,614 square miles
— #29 largest county in state, #375 nationwide

– Population density: 0.8 people / square mile (1,261 residents)
— #2 lowest density county in state, #45 nationwide

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#1. Hinsdale County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,117 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,117 square miles
— #41 largest county in state, #564 nationwide

– Population density: 0.8 people / square mile (857 residents)
— #1 lowest density county in state, #44 nationwide

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