SAN LUIS VALLEY - According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s five-year population estimates from the 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS) four San Luis Valley counties are among the most impoverished in Colorado.
In Colorado 10.9 percent of the state’s residents are considered impoverished. In 2019, the poverty threshold for one person under the age of 65 was an annual income of $13,300; the poverty threshold for a family of five with three kids was an annual income of $30,510.
Costilla County ranks No. 1 in the state with 1,111 residents (30.1 percent) below the poverty level. Alamosa County ranks fourth in the state with 3,635 residents or 23.7 percent living below the poverty level. Conejos County ranks sixth in the state with 22.4 percent of the population being impoverished.
Saguache County ranks 11th in the state with 17.7 percent below the poverty line and Rio Grande County ranks thirteenth in the state with 17.1 percent or 1,890 residents impoverished. Twelve percent of Mineral County falls below the poverty line.
This data makes the 2020 U.S. Census even more important to the welfare of the Valley. All San Luis Valley counties have lower Census self-response rates than the Colorado average of 68.4 percent of households responding. Mineral County has the second lowest response rate in the state with only 23.7 percent of households responding. Costilla county is not far ahead with a 26.9 percent response rate.
Alamosa County has the highest self-response rate in the Valley of 54.9 percent; followed by Rio Grande County at 49.8 percent, Conejos County with 42.8 percent and Saguache County with only 39.5 percent of households self-responding.
Census statistics inform how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years.
Data collection for the 2020 U.S. Census is scheduled to end Sept. 30. You can complete the Census online at https://www.2020census.gov, by phone 844-330-2020 or by mailing the questionnaire received through the mail to U.S. Census Bureau, National Processing Center, 100 Logistics Avenue, Jeffersonville, IN 47144.