Several pages on the COMPASS of Larimer County website were updated last week:

  • There was a 31.5% decrease in the number of substantiated Child Abuse reports last year (2011) in Larimer County over the previous year.
  • In Larimer County, the most common type of Out-of-Home Placement in FY2011 was family foster homes, averaging 83 children at an average monthly cost of $1,473 per child.
  • Last year (2011), 1,685 households received Section 8 (Housing Choice) vouchers. As of March 2012, there were nearly 3,500 families on the waiting list for Federally Subsidized Housing.
  • Public Transportation ridership was up 6.0% in Fort Collins last year, compared to a 2.6% increase in Loveland.
  • Over the last decade, Recycling at the Larimer County Landfill increased nearly 44%.
  • The amount of Solid Waste collected at the landfill decreased approximately 22% between 2002 and 2011.
  • Wind Energy Consumption in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Estes Park saw large increases between 2006 and 2009. Since 2009, wind energy consumption has leveled off in all 3 communities.

This week the U.S. Census Bureau released information from the 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates on county-to-county migration. This is the first time county-to-county migration figures have been published since 2000. Later this year the U.S. Census plans to release figures from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey that will also include demographic characteristics such as age, sex, race and ethnicity.

The estimates for Larimer County residents show that between 2005 and 2009, 76% of county residents had not moved within the previous year. An additional 14.4% of county residents moved during the previous year, but they moved within Larimer County.

But what about residents who moved to Larimer County from other Colorado counties or other states or countries?

Nearly 44% of those who moved in to Larimer County were from other Colorado counties. The top 5 Colorado counties for inflow into Larimer County were:

  1. Weld (2,566)
  2. Jefferson (1,810)
  3. El Paso (1,172)
  4. Boulder (1,115)
  5. Denver (871)

As for other states, more people moved in to Larimer from California than any other state. The top 5 states for inflow into Larimer County were:

  1. California (2,220)
  2. Texas (1,145)
  3. Arizona (984)
  4. Wyoming (884)
  5. Washington (597)

Of the top 5 California counties with residents moving to Larimer County, 4 of them were from Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and San Diego). Residents from Texas, Arizona and Wyoming came from the counties with the largest cities: Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Phoenix, Tucson, Cheyenne and Laramie.

But Washington state was different. Klickitat County, a relatively small county in south central Washington, accounted for 31% of Washington’s immigrants. King County, where Seattle is located, accounted for only 18% of Washington’s immigrants.

Larimer County also saw people move into the county from around the world. In order by number, the county gained residents from Europe, Central America, Asia, Oceania, Canada, the Caribbean, Africa, and South America.


The following information was updated on the COMPASS website the week of March 19, 2011:

Alternative Sentencing Department
Bankruptcy and Foreclosure
Birth Defects (updated to correct error on the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment database)
Domestic Violence
Home Ownership/Affordable Housing
Marriage-Divorce Rates
Unemployment Rate
Water Consumption

A community can’t grow and flourish without adequate water supplies. Managing water in a semi-arid region can be a balancing act, but our municipal water utilities do a good job of doing just that.

The Water Consumption information on the COMPASS website was recently updated. In 2011, water customers in Fort Collins consumed a total of 7.6 billion gallons of water, or 141 gallons per person per day. In Loveland, a total of 3.7 billion gallons was consumed, or 149 gallons per person per day.

The national average is somewhere between 80 and 100 gallons per person per day.

Although water consumption in Fort Collins and Loveland is more than 50% of the national average, progress has been made over the last 10 years. Fort Collins has decreased water consumption by 21% since 2002 and Loveland has seen a 14% decrease.

Much of the additional water consumed in Larimer County is used for agriculture and landscaping, so as new homes are built with smaller yards and more native plants, less water will be consumed.


This week the information on Home Ownership in Larimer County was updated on the COMPASS of Larimer County website.

Housing is considered affordable if housing costs are less than 30% of household income. According to the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, an estimated 31% of Larimer County homeowners (not including renters) paid 30% or more for housing.

What was more surprising was the percentage of homeowners in the county without mortgages who were paying 30% or more of income for housing. An estimated 11% of homeowners in the county without mortgages fit in that category, and of those, 45% were paying 50% or more for their housing costs.

It’s very possible many of those homeowners without mortgages were retired and living on fixed incomes. It’s also possible they would have downsized if the housing bubble hadn’t decreased property values over the last several years.

Several COMPASS pages were updated this week including the number of bankruptcy and foreclosure filings in Larimer County in 2011.

Back in 2006, Congress enacted tougher bankruptcy laws and the number of bankruptcy filings in Larimer County dropped by 72% that year. But since 2006, filings have increased 184%. There were 1,787 filings in the county in 2011, the 2nd highest number in the last 10 years. From the data, it doesn’t seem at all clear that the tougher laws have had the desired effect.

Foreclosures have also seen some dramatic increases over the last 10 years. Between 2002 and 2009, foreclosure filings increased 345% before dropping in 2010 and 2011. What’s unclear is whether the decline is due to an improving economy, a slowdown by mortgage lenders due to legal questions, or a combination of factors.

There’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon, although it’s too early to tell if this is a blip or the beginning of a trend.

The number of Larimer County households receiving food stamp benefits decreased 1.2% in February over the previous month.

Although this is a small decrease, it’s been extremely rare to find a month when the current number is smaller than the previous month.

Let’s see what next month brings.