The latest 2000 Census figures show 66,152 people live in Valencia County.
County Manager James Fernandez said he thought the population figure would be higher.
“I was surprised at the figures, that the numbers are as low as they were,” he said. “While the census was in process, a number of people called to say they were not counted.”
Richard Chavez, the county addresser in the Planning and Zoning Department, knows every road and home in the county.
U.S. Census officials worked with him on the census.
“I thought it was accurate,” Chavez said. “I did the Census Review. I had 60 days to review the figures. I gave them new developments and roads they’d missed in the county. They had to come and recount some census blocks. I wanted to make sure all houses were counted.”
He said he had expected the count to be higher at first too.
Across the country, census workers are reluctant to go on some streets, Chavez said, but they went back and redid areas in Valencia County.
“We had to submit proof that people lived on the streets,” he said.
The first count came back to Chavez in February, 2000, he said.
In Valencia County, “there are some areas on the other side of a ditch, and census workers thought no one was living there. They might have missed some houses. They missed 600 structures at first.
“I felt they’d missed some. They accepted my changes,” Chavez said. “I submitted maps to redo it. It took a couple of months.”
Chavez said, by law, he is required to destroy all documents pertaining to the census.
Of the total of 66,152 in Valencia County:
- 44,001, or 66.5 percent, are white.
- 36,371, or 55 percent, are Hispanic.
- 2,183, or 3.3 percent, are American Indian and Alaska Native.
- 837, or 1.3 percent, are African American.
- 235, or .4 percent, are Asian.
- 15,827, or 23.9 percent, are “some other race.”
And 49.8 percent are women and 50.2 percent are men.
The figures show that Valencia County is a good place to own a home. A total of 83.9 percent own homes and the rest, 3,646, or 16.1 percent, rent.
Of the 22,681 households in the county, 17,340, or 76.5 percent, are family households. That means that 8,986, or 39.6 percent, “live with their own children under 18 years of age.” And 12,976, or 57.2 percent, are a “married couple family.”
A total of 2,975, or about 13 percent of the households, are headed by females.
Figures also report that 30 percent are under 18-years-old, 20,327 are high school graduates and 3,343 are college graduates.