Friday, June 15, 2018

Metro Counties on a Growth Tear for More Than a Decade

Colorado’s rapid growth is one of the major influences affecting Colorado’s politics. The state’s county commissioners recently heard a presentation at their annual Colorado Counties Inc. conference that included a slide about the growth in the Denver metro area since 2000. The PowerPoint slide shown below presents the growth in the six largest metro counties from 2000 to 2017, the most recent census data.

Colorado’s population has grown from 4.3 million in 2000 to 5.6 million today, or a 30 percent increase. More than half that growth has been in the six-county metro area, which jumped 684,000 residents from 2.4 million to 3.1 million.

Some facts about the metro area 17 years of rapid growth:
  • Arapahoe County’s 32 percent growth moves it from the 3rd largest county to second, behind Denver (704,000) and third statewide behind El Paso (699,000).
  • Boulder and Jefferson counties are the metro laggards with 11% and 9% growth, respectively. Boulder dropped to the smallest population in the six-county metro area behind Douglas. Jefferson added only 47,000 new residents.
  • Denver’s addition of 150,000 new residents has been extraordinary, especially in the last 7 years. It has changed the politics of the metro area (more Democratic) and made growth a political issue in Denver (traffic, density, gentrification, stress on city services and facilities).
  • Adams and Douglas counties, the north and south counties on the metro Front Range, have the fastest growth rates and still have room for considerable growth.
Note: Broomfield wasn’t a county in 2000 and would increase the current total metro population by about 50,000.

1 comment:

Dave Barnes said...

Who selected those hideous colors for the slide?