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The Town of Carbondale is a Home Rule Municipality in Garfield County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 6427 at the 2010 United States Census. The town is located in the Roaring Fork Valley, downstream from Aspen and upstream from the mouth of the Roaring Fork River at Glenwood Springs. The town proper sits on the south bank of the river, at the confluence of the Crystal River. Carbondale's horizon is dominated by the 12,953 ft (3,952 m) tall Mount Sopris several miles to the south of town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Carbondale has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,196 people, 1,744 households, and 1,168 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,583.8 people per square mile (998.1/km²). There were 1,821 housing units at an average density of 905.5 per square mile (349.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 84.28% White, 0.65% African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 11.80% from other races, and 2.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 32.12% of the population.
There were 1,744 households out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.8% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.32.
In the town, the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 11.7% from 18 to 24, 37.4% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 6.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 110.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $52,429, and the median income for a family was $55,726. Males had a median income of $33,025 versus $24,786 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,383. About 9.8% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.0% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.
Carbondale takes its name from Carbondale, Pennsylvania, hometown of some of Carbondale's early settlers. Carbondale's economy was initially agriculturally based. Farmers and ranchers capitalized on open lands around Carbondale to supply food for miners in nearby Aspen, then a booming center of silver mining activity. Early in the 20th century, before the rise of industrial agriculture in Idaho, Carbondale's primary agricultural product was potatoes. The legacy lives on in Potato Day, an annual fall parade and cookout in Sopris Park. Despite the non-geologic origins of the town's name, the Carbondale area does in fact possess significant coal resources. Until the late 1980s Carbondale's economy was primarily based on coal operations up the Crystal River Valley. The coal mined from the area was favored for its high burning temperature, low sulphur content, and density. However, the coal deposits also contained significant amounts of methane gas. In 1981, a methane gas explosion killed 15 miners  and by 1991 the mines closed down permanently. The rise of Aspen as a skiing mecca and subsequent hyperinflation of its real estate prices has forced a majority of its workers downvalley to other towns like Carbondale. Thus, especially since the 1980s, Carbondale has partly served as a bedroom community to Aspen. More recently Carbondale has seen a boom of second-home construction, arts and recreational amenities, and tourism as the area's wealth and renown has grown. A notable arts event is the annual summer arts and music festival, Mountain Fair held in Sopris Park. The event has annual attendance between 18,000 and 20,000 people over the three days of which it is held, being nearly triple the population of Carbondale. KDNK is an FM radio station licensed to Carbondale.
Carbondale is within the Roaring Fork School District.
Roaring Fork Transportation Authority provides bus transit service in Carbondale.
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