Lake County is highest elevation County in the state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,310. The county seat and the only municipality in the county is Leadville. The highest natural point in Colorado and the entire Rocky Mountains is the summit of Mount Elbert in Lake County at 14,440 feet (4401.2 meters) elevation.
Lake County was one of the original 17 counties created by the Colorado legislature on November 1, 1861. As originally defined, Lake County included a large portion of western Colorado to the south and west of its present boundaries. The county was named for Twin Lakes.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,812 people, 2,977 households, and 1,914 families living in the county. The population density was 21 people per square mile (8/km2). There were 3,913 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 77.60% White, 0.18% Black or African American, 1.25% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 17.99% from other races, and 2.62% from two or more races. 36.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,977 households, out of which 33.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.70% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.70% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.90% under the age of 18, 12.80% from 18 to 24, 33.10% from 25 to 44, 20.60% from 45 to 64, and 6.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 115.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 116.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $37,691, and the median income for a family was $41,652. Males had a median income of $30,977 versus $24,415 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,524. About 9.50% of families and 12.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.60% of those under age 18 and 6.30% of those age 65 or over.