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Aspen by the Numbers

Colin Flaherty's picture

March 8, 2009

Aspen by the Numbers.

Year round residents of the Aspen area are older, richer, whiter, more masculine and a heck of a lot more liberal than their fellow residents of Colorado and the United States.

So let’s look at the Aspen area by the numbers:

Pitkin County has 15,106 residents. 97 percent are white. 1.4 percent are asian. .7 percent are black. And 8.2 percent are Hispanic. If you noticed this adds up to way more than 100 percent, that is because Hispanic is an ethnic group, not a race. So they can get counted twice.

About 15 percent are under the age of 18 and 9 percent are over 65.

There are 115 men in Aspen for every 100 women.

Median household income is $72000 with 4.2 percent living below the poverty line.

If you are one of those people who think that race and income are the main factors in how someone votes, you might have to think again. Aspen area folks went for Barack Obama by a margin of 73 to 24 percent.

Races for United States Senate and Congress were similarly lopsided.

Pitkin County is named for a former Governor of Colorado who was a Republican.

The average price of a home in Aspen is $6 million – that is 25 times the cost of a home in the rest of the country and a 1500 percent increase sine the early 1980’s.

But total housing sales are down from $2.52 billion in 2007 to $1.37 billion in 2008. That’s a 40 percent drop for those who are counting. (

The City of Aspen maintains 2600 housing units for seasonal or full time workers. Priority is given to those who can demonstrate they have worked there for four years.

One of the top ten most expensive homes in the world is located in Aspen. Owned by Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the former Saudi Ambassador to the United States, features 56,000 sq. ft of the nicest living space gobs of oil money can buy. The house was listed for $135 million in 2006.

The average room rate in Aspen has increased 40 percent over the last five years while taxable retail sales has dropped 23 percent since 1998.

The City of Aspen and County of Pitkin polled local voters in 2008. 60 percent said traffic was their most important issue; followed by 59 percent who said the cost of living was their primary concern and 55 percent who listed preservation of their small town character.

When asked if the Aspen area was going in the right direction, 42 percent said Yes. 44 percent said No. For the full report complete with lots of cross tabs, check out

As of March 6, there were 11 people in the Aspen jail. All men. Visiting hours are 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Warrant checks are done on all visitors.

In 2007, the last year for which figures are available, police in Aspen and Pitkin county made 10,116 traffic stops. Up 32 percent from the year before.

Dispatchers received 2913 unintentional cellular calls to 911 emergency service. (

For you scanner fans, The Primary Law Enforcement Dispatch Channel for Aspen, Basalt, andSnowmass Village Police Departments, and the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office is 155.250 Mhz. For a complete list of local law enforcement channels go to

Aspen is the 302nd largest radio market in America.

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