Littleton is the Home Rule Municipality in Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson counties that is the county seat of Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States. The city is a part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city population was 41,737 at the 2010 United States Census, ranking as the 20th most populous municipality in the State of Colorado.
Littleton is located at 39°35′59″N 105°0′39″W / 39.59972°N 105.01083°W / 39.59972; -105.01083 (39.599691, −105.010929) at an elevation of 5,351 feet (1,631 m). Located in central Colorado at the junction of U.S. Route 85 and Colorado State Highway 470, the city is 9 miles (14 km) south of downtown Denver and 55 miles (89 km) north of Colorado Springs.
Littleton lies on the South Platte River in the Colorado Piedmont region of the Great Plains a few miles east of the Front Range of the Southern Rocky Mountains. Most of the city lies on the east side of the river. Several small tributaries of the river flow northwest through the city; from north to south, these include Big Dry Creek, Slaughterhouse Gulch, Lee Gulch, and Dad Clark Gulch. In addition, there are several small lakes and reservoirs located along the river in the southwestern part of the city. Immediately west of the river are Cooley Lake, Bufflehead Lake, South Platte Reservoir, Eaglewatch Lake, Redtail Lake, and Blackrock Lake. East of the river lie Wolhurst Lake and McLellen Reservoir which is fed and drained by Dad Clark Gulch. Chatfield Reservoir lies immediately southwest of the city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.87 square miles (35.9 km) of which 12.98 square miles (33.6 km) is land and 0.89 square miles (2.3 km) (6.4%) is water.
As a suburb of Denver, Littleton is part of the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area and the Front Range Urban Corridor. It shares a border with Denver and Englewood on the north, Greenwood Village on the northeast, Centennial on the east, Highlands Ranch on the south, Columbine and Columbine Valley on the west, and Bow Mar on the northwest.
As of the 2010 census, there were 41,737 people, 18,312 households, and 10,724 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,215.5 people per square mile (1,242.2/km²). There were 19,176 housing units at an average density of 1,497.2 per square mile (570.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.0% White, 2.2% Asian, 1.4% African American, 0.8% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 12.4% of the population.
There were 18,312 households out of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.8% were married couples living together, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.4% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25, and the average family size was 2.93.
The distribution of the population by age was 21.6% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.3 years. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.
The median income for a household in the city was $54,512, and the median income for a family was $74,744. Males had a median income of $52,674 versus $40,297 for females. The city’s per capita income was $33,889. About 7.4% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.