The Times-Independent

Castle Valley census shows moderate growth

During a Castle Valley town council meeting 30 years ago this week, then mayor John Groo reported on the results of the census, which was conducted that previous year.

Ron Drake

The figures revealed that the population in Castle Valley in 1990 was 211 inhabitants, which amounted to 26.4 people per square mile. That was the first census for the Town of Castle Valley after its incorporation in 1985. Twenty years later the town’s population increased to 319 based on the 2010 census.

According to the latest census, Castle Valley is now the 213th largest city in Utah with a population of 352 people and, based on the last 10 years, we are growing at a rate of 0.28% annually. The population increased by 10.34% since our last census in 2010. Spanning over nine miles, Castle Valley now has a population density of 38 people per square mile.

If you are into figures and percentages, the census provides a lot of them. For instance, the average household income in Castle Valley is $74,474 with a poverty rate of 10.68%. The median house value is $327,100 and the median age in Castle Valley is 63.4 years, almost the same for males and females. There are 152 females and 213 males, which somehow adds up to 13 more than the total population and 329 are adults with 143 of us are classified as seniors. The rate of home ownership is 91%.

Nobody in Castle Valley has less than an eighth-grade education and 13 attended some high school with another 50 who graduated. Those with some college education were 72, another 24 with associate degrees and the majority of 92 people earned a bachelor degree and 78 with a graduate degree.

The majority of us speak only one language (91.55%) while 8.45% speak other languages but mostly Spanish and 73.9 percent of the females and 64.6 percent of males are married. There are 71 veterans in Castle Valley with 40 who served in the Vietnam War, 13 in the first Gulf War and three in the Korean War. About 51% are in the labor force with 50.9 percent employed and 0.6 percent unemployed. Most of us are native-born residents at 93.15 percent, 26.85% were born in Castle Valley and 4.93% are non-citizens.

File photo by Carter Pape

I question some of the census results, such as the 100% white population. There must be a small percentage of other races in Castle Valley. Also, the median house value seems a little low and one has to really wonder if over a quarter of our population was born in Grand County much less in Castle Valley.

To look at the Town of Castle Valley it would appear that the population would be much greater than it is but probably nearly half of the homes here are second or vacation homes and not the permanent residents for those people who own them. Some of those owners visit their homes once or twice a year while others seldom stay in their homes. Second homes seem to be a trend throughout Grand County.

The DayStar Adventist Academy and the Castle Valley Farm are just outside the town boundaries so were not counted as part of the Castle Valley census. The population of the school and farm organization total nearly 50 inhabitants including 10 new students who are enrolled at the school this year. They come from many parts of the United States, including nearby Colorado, the Dakotas, Texas, and Washington but, probably because of COVID-19, they have no foreign students enrolled this year.

The school is for high school-aged students who are taught the core subjects, as well as vocational classes such as auto mechanics, welding, farming, computer science and other skills in addition to religious classes. The farm produces a large variety of fruits and vegetables, which are available for sale to the public at their store located on the farm. They also have large fields of alfalfa, wheat and other grains and beans that is also available for sale.

With the town and our DayStar neighbors and other nearby residents along the Castleton Road, we total about 400 people not to mention the folks up in the community Castleton and the those along the Colorado River.