Census figures offer insight on growth, occupations


Materials provided by retired University of Colorado history professor Marjorie McIntosh, who is spearheading the Boulder County Latino History Project that inspired this series of articles, shed light on the demographics of the Latino population in several Boulder County cities.

CU undergrad and Latino History Project intern Emmanuel Melgoza used old city directories to compile three snapshots of families with Latino surnames for Longmont and Lafayette over a two-decade period in the early 1900s. In 1916, his analysis shows three such households in Boulder, 25 in Longmont and 18 in Lafayette. By 1936, those numbers had risen to 85, 175 and 132, respectively. The rise in the Boulder numbers may be explained at least partially by accounts of Latinos moving to Boulder to escape the discrimination and racism they experienced in eastern parts of the county.

Another compilation provided by the Latino History Project, prepared by CU undergrad and Latino History Project volunteer Abi Peters, features profiles of Latino households for the year 1930 based on Census records and ancestry.com. There were only three such households listed for Boulder, 29 in Lafayette and 37 in Longmont. When the heads of those households were asked to provide their occupation, 15 listed “coal miner” and 36 listed farm work of some sort, including 18 who identified themselves as beet field laborers.

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