Dolores County is a small rural county in Southwestern Colorado. According to the 2010 Census, Dolores County's total population was 2,064 with 735 citizens residing within the town of Dove Creek.
Dove Creek Population
Dolores County Population
Male 55% Female 45%
Median Household Income $44,167
Median Individual Income $23,478
Average Adult $24,684
Adult and Child $39,155
Average Rental Cost $617.50
Dolores County's current unemployment rate is 5.8%, compared to a National unemployment rate of 6.7% and a Colorado rate of 6.5%.
Agriculture is a prominent way of life for Dolores County. In Dolores County, most farming is high altitude dry land, with a strong emphasis on soil and water conservation production practices. The average farm is 623 acres, with most area farms still owned and operated by descendants of the original homesteaders. Dolores County is one of the few counties on the West Slope of Colorado that has an economy that is still farm dependent. There are 772,211 acres of land in Dolores County. Of this, 274,460 acres are privately owned. Of the privately owned land, approximately 158,000 acres are in farm or crop land. An estimated 7,600 acres are irrigated or approximately 5%. Irrigation water arrived in Dolores County in 1993, and is used for crops, lawns (where available), commercial enterprises and is the major raw water source for the Town of Dove Creek. Since the arrival of limited irrigation, interest has grown in crop diversification including vegetable and fruit tree production. Drought is a major factor in Dolores County Agriculture because approximately 95% of farmland is not under irrigation. Major crops grown are spring and winter wheat, dry beans, oats, alfalfa and grass hay. Our county also has mineral resources such as: uranium, CO2, helium, natural gas, oil and potash. Mineral extraction has improved Dolores County's income and is expected to increase in the future. For the year 2013, 64% tax revenue was generated from oil and gas. Coming in 2015, Dolores County will contain a helium extraction facility operated by Air Products Helium, Inc. This helium plant will extract the helium from the existing CO2 gas stream coming from the Kinder Morgan CO2 gas plant. The helium extraction plant is expected to employ 12 full-time employees to operate the facility and would generate in excess of $1 million in property tax revenue annually for Dolores County.
Public education in Dolores County is administered by the Dolores County School District. There are two schools in Dove Creek which includes one high school/middle school 6th-12th and one elementary school PreK-5th. Approximately 275 students are enrolled in the Dolores County School District and the student teacher ratio is approximately 12/1. Approximately 50% of Dolores County students qualify for free or reduced a lunch program which is significantly above the state average.