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Colorado Springs is a home rule municipality in, and the county seat of, El Paso County, Colorado, United States. It is the largest city in El Paso County, with a population of 478,961 at the 2020 United States Census, a 15.02% increase since 2010. Colorado Springs is the second-most populous city and the most extensive city in the state of Colorado, and the 40th-most populous city in the United States. It is the principal city of the Colorado Springs metropolitan area and the second-most prominent city of the Front Range Urban Corridor. It is located in east-central Colorado, on Fountain Creek, 70 miles (113km) south of Denver.
At 6,035 feet (1,839m) the city stands over 1 mile (1.6km) above sea level. Colorado Springs is near the base of Pikes Peak, which rises 14,115 feet (4,302.31m) above sea level on the eastern edge of the Southern Rocky Mountains. The city is the largest city north of Mexico above 6000 feet in elevation.
The Ute, Arapaho and Cheyenne peoples were the first recorded inhabiting the area which would become Colorado Springs. Part of the territory included in the United States' 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the current city area was designated part of the 1854 Kansas Territory. In 1859, after the first local settlement was established, it became part of the Jefferson Territory on October 24 and of El Paso County on November 28. Colorado City at the Front Range confluence of Fountain and Camp creeks was "formally organized on August13, 1859" during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. It served as the capital of the Colorado Territory from November 5, 1861, until August 14, 1862, when the capital was moved to Golden, before it was finally moved to Denver in 1867. So many immigrants from England had settled in Colorado Springs by the early 1870s that Colorado Springs was locally referred to as "Little London." In 1871 the Colorado Springs Company laid out the towns of La Font (later called Manitou Springs) and Fountain Colony, upstream and downstream respectively, of Colorado City. Within a year, Fountain Colony was renamed Colorado Springs and officially incorporated. The El Paso County seat shifted from Colorado City in 1873 to the Town of Colorado Springs. On December 1, 1880, Colorado Springs expanded northward with two annexations.
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