Mar 18, 2024 - News

How Denver's population is changing

Change in population, 2020 to 2023
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

More people are moving to the Denver metro area, according to new estimates from the Census Bureau, fueling population growth and possibly your road rage.

By the numbers: The Denver-Aurora-Centennial metro area grew 1.2% between July 2020 and July 2023, with more than 35,000 new people calling the Mile High City region home.

  • That's compared with a 1% population increase nationwide.
Change in population, 2020 to 2023
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, but: The metro area's growth rate pales in comparison to other major metros in the U.S., particularly in the South.

  • Meanwhile, Denver County's population as a whole dipped 0.1%, as did populations in Boulder (-1.2%) and Jefferson (-1.2%) counties, census figures show.
  • That's mostly on par with the trend from 2020 to 2022, when all three counties saw their populations dip 1% or less.

Zoom out: Between July 2020 and July 2023, the state's fastest-growing counties were also some of its smallest, including Custer (17.2%), San Juan (12.8%) and Elbert (9.9%), for a collective total of about 3,500 new people.

  • Other notable counties that saw growth include Weld (8.4%), El Paso (1.6%), Mesa (2.4%) and Larimer (3%).

The other side: Colorado counties that saw the steepest drops in population were Jackson (-5.1%), Kiowa (-4.9%) and Pitkin (-4.1%), albeit they only lost about 850 people altogether.

The big picture: The country's top four fastest-growing metro areas over the past three years were all in Florida, with Provo, Utah, and Austin, Texas trailing just behind, according to new U.S. census figures.

  • Unsurprisingly, the cost of living in those cities is lower than Denver's.

Between the lines: The data is part of the most recent release of the annual Population Estimates Program, which tracks population numbers between censuses.

  • It uses administrative records and other sources to calculate annual changes in population and housing.
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