Jul 14, 2022 - News

What the latest census numbers tell us about Colorado, in 4 maps

 Illustration of people's silhouettes made from US Census questions.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Colorado saw an increase in minority populations and growth toward the outer reaches of the Denver metro area in 2021, compared to the prior year.

State of play: The 2020 census offered a look at how Colorado changed over the last decade, and new figures released this month provide a snapshot of where the state is going.

What to know: How the state is shifting is captured in four maps that look at population, housing growth and demographics.

Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Note: Labeled counties have the largest change for those with population over 10k; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios

In a year's time, the Denver metro area held relatively stable in terms of population estimates, the data shows.

By the numbers: What's remarkable is how we're migrating to more open spaces. Weld and Douglas counties added about 9,000 people, and Elbert saw growth too.

Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Map: Erin Davis/Axios

The population increase roughly mirrors where new housing units are popping up.

By the numbers: Weld and Elbert counties saw the largest percentage gains beyond the Denver metro, followed by Douglas and Adams.

  • Chaffee County in the mountains and El Paso, home to Colorado Springs, also saw slight gains.
U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Skye Witley/Axios

The state's fastest-growing demographics over the last 12 months were native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander groups, which ticked up 4.3%.

By the numbers: Continuing a broader national trend from the 2020 census, people listing two or more races also saw an increase. In Colorado, that population rose 2.6%.

  • The white population remained steady, while other minority communities saw small gains.
Note: Labeled counties have the largest change for those with populations over 10k; Data: U.S. Census; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

The Denver metro remains youthful compared to the rest of the state

By the numbers: The median age in Denver is 35.1, a slight uptick from a year earlier.

  • Adams County is even younger, with a median age of 34.8.
  • Meanwhile, the mountains and Western Slope are getting slightly older — a sign of retirees moving in.
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Map: Erin Davis/AxiosVisuals

Much of Colorado saw more deaths than births in 2021 compared to 2020, a sign of the broader toll of COVID-19 on older populations.

By the numbers: But natural increases in population were most evident in mountain counties, including Eagle, Pitkin, Summit, Lake and Grand, as well as booming Weld County.

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