The City of Durango is located at 37¬∞16’N 107¬∞52W, at 6,523 feet of elevation, with a total area of 6.8 square miles. Durango began as a mining and agricultural center, but is now known for being a rural college town and recreational Mecca. The town lies at the base of the La Plata Mountains and is bisected by the Animas River. It is surrounded on all sides by spectacular mountain and desert scenery, attracting outdoor enthusiasts, elite athletes, and tourists from all over the world.
It is home to Fort Lewis College, a fully accredited, four-year, state supported institution. The area also attracts well-educated retired persons who add their knowledge and experience to the local resource base. As a result, our citizens are generally better-educated (21 percent have at least a bachelor’s degree), are younger (43 percent of the population is under the age of 24), and less obese than the state and national averages. Median household income is lower ($34,892 compared to state median of $47,203) and a significant percent are uninsured or underinsured (approx. 38 percent have no health insurance). The Census Bureau estimates the current Durango population at 15,501, 87 percent White, 10 percent Hispanic, and 6 percent Native American.
The incidence of obesity increases with age, and is most prevalent in middle-aged adults in our community (69 percent between 55 and 64 years old are overweight, and 20.9 percent are obese), and the overall incidence generally increases with age. Despite being an agricultural community, 76 percent of us eat fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day (below state average).
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