Montrose is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Montrose County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 19,132 at the 2010 United States Census. The main road that leads in and out of Montrose is U.S. Highway 50. The town is located in cardinal-western Colorado, in the upper Uncompahgre Valley and is an economic, labor, and transportation waypoint for the surrounding recreation industry. Demographically, the town is majority white, with a large Hispanic population. It is also the home of a few major engineering projects, namely the Gunnison Tunnel.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.4 square miles (48 km); all of it is land.
Montrose is in the south end of the Uncompahgre valley, and is built on the Uncompahgre River, which runs to the north, where 60 miles further its waters will join the Colorado River. It is surrounded by, to the north, the widening Uncompagre Valley and the Grand Mesa, to the east, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, to the south, the San Juan Mountains, and to the west the Uncompahgre Plateau. The valley is arid, and is only arable due to the water from the Gunnison Tunnel.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,344 people, 5,244 households, and 3,319 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,076.3 people per square mile (415.5/km²). There were 5,581 housing units at an average density of 486.6 per square mile (187.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.01% White, 0.44% African American, 0.98% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 6.55% from other races, and 2.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.36% of the population.
There were 5,244 households, out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the city, the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,750, and the median income for a family was $42,017. Males had a median income of $30,674 versus $21,067 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,097. About 11.3% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.9% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.