Sep 29, 2021 - Politics

Colorado’s Latino population boom will shape local politics

Data: Brookings Institution; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios
Data: Brookings Institution; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Colorado is contributing to the country’s Latino boom.

Driving the news: The Hispanic or Latino population in the U.S. grew by 23% during the past decade, a new census analysis shows. But as Axios' Stef W. Kight reports, some Colorado metros saw a population surge nearly two times that rate.

Metro areas with the fastest-growing Latino populations between 2010 and 2020 were:

  • Fort Collins — 41.2%  
  • Colorado Springs — 38.7%
  • Greeley — 37.4%

Why it matters: A national demographic shift is in motion, and the rapidly growing and more dispersed Latino populations come with important implications for politics at all levels of government.

  • While Democrats have typically enjoyed strong support among Latinos, there are signs some may be skewing to the right.

What they’re saying: Candidates from both parties must "address the needs and challenges of Latinos — because they are going to play such a critical role in elections," Marco Dorado, a Democratic activist and state director for All On The Line, tells Axios Denver.

  • A growing number of Hispanic voters also opens opportunities to put Latinos into power, including in Congress, Dorado says.

The big picture: Colorado's Latino population increased to 22% and four counties now have non-white majorities, as we previously reported.

  • Among those is Adams County, a prime political battleground and one of the state's most populous counties.

The bottom line: "We have long known that Colorado is in a Latino population growth mode," Nicole Nieto, executive vice president of the National Hispanic Institute, tells Axios.

  • With more representation, Colorado Latinos will "run and support candidates who reduce barriers and create conditions for economic and social prosperity," she says.

Go deeper: How Colorado's population grew and why it matters


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