Colorado Adds 100,986 People, Making It the Second Fastest-Growing State

The crowd at the Westword Music Showcase in 2015...
The crowd at the Westword Music Showcase in 2015...

Does it seem like Colorado got much more crowded in 2015? That's because it did.

According to estimates released by the U.S Census Bureau on December 22, Colorado's population increased by 100,986 between July 2014 and July 2015 — when the state's total population reached 5,456,574.

That pace makes Colorado the second fastest-growing state in the country over that twelve-month period, behind just North Dakota. In terms of the sheer numbers of people added, Colorado placed seventh, behind Texas, Florida, California, Georgia, Washington and North Carolina. Since 2010, Colorado’s population has increased by 408,320, which puts it at eighth in the U.S. for total population change.

Colorado’s population increase in the twelve months ending in July consisted of 32,000 in natural increase (births-deaths) and 68,000 in net migration, according to the state Department of Local Affairs; Colorado’s net migration rate was 12.4 persons per thousand. Since 2010, Colorado’s growth from net migration was 250,500 (fifth highest in the U.S.) and 169,500 from natural increase (thirteenth in the US).

And here's another not-too-surprising conclusion from the Census Bureau: Colorado's housing-unit growth has not kept up with new household formation in recent years. Last year alone, there were an estimated 45,300 new households in this state — and just 25,000 new housing units. Since 2007 and the beginning of the recession, state records show, Colorado household formation has outpaced housing unit growth by an estimated 128,000.

With no end in sight.

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