Downtown Denver Residents: Young, White, Rich

Downtown Denver Residents: Young, White, Rich
Courtesy of Downtown Denver Partnership
A new report from the Downtown Denver Partnership titled "2018 State of Downtown Denver" confirms plenty of theories about residents of the area. According to the DDP, the downtown population is overwhelmingly white, smart, youthful and so well off that 81 percent of those who call the area home can afford to live alone despite the hefty housing costs.

Because the Downtown Denver Partnership, which describes itself in the report as "a non-profit business organization dedicated to building an economically powerful center city," is essentially a promotional agency, a lot of the facts and figures presented in the document are spun to make the city look good in comparison with other municipalities across the country. Below, we've included several examples, including lists that suggest that traffic congestion isn't really all that bad and rent costs are more reasonable than in a lot of other places.

Still, the most fascinating data is purely demographic, and it paints a vivid portrait of an area undergoing a boom of historic proportions.

According to the DDP, 80,271 people live in what's described as the "center city boundary," while 22,801 are residents of downtown Denver proper — big numbers fueled by the arrival of more than 100,000 new Denverites since 2010.

And there's no end in sight: Downtown residential population has tripled since 2000, and thirty more people are said to be moving to Denver every day.

Courtesy of Downtown Denver Partnership
Who are they? In downtown, 76 percent of them are white, with the remaining segment split between Hispanics (8 percent), blacks (4 percent), Asians (5 percent) and folks from other categories (6 percent). There's slightly more diversity in the center city neighborhoods, but Caucasians still dominate the demo: 64 percent white, 16 percent Hispanic, 7 percent black, 8 percent Asian and 10 percent "other."

Families are rare downtown, representing just 13 percent of households compared to 81 percent non-family households, designated graphically by a graphic of a single individual.

The median age of downtown residents is 34.3 years, slightly higher than the 33.8 years for the center city neighborhoods. The downtown gender breakdown is 56 percent male, 44 percent female. Meanwhile, an impressive 68 percent of downtowners have a bachelor's degree or higher (18 percent boast master's degrees, 6 percent attained a professional school degree, and 2 percent earned doctorates).

Money-wise, the average household income for people who live downtown is $120,099 — which explains how more than eight in ten are on their own. Over two-thirds of them fit what the report dubs "the 'Metro Renters' Tapestry Segment," characterized "by educated young professionals who tend to rent vs. own, have higher than average incomes, tend to live alone or with a roommate and prefer traveling without a car."

Regarding the latter, here's a graphic that depicts the transportation methods of downtown commuters:

Courtesy of the Downtown Denver Partnership
The second-largest group of downtown residents are referred to by the umbrella term "Laptops and Lattes." This 20 percent of residents "has very high labor force participation rates, high salaries and are health conscious, environmentally conscious and image conscious consumers," the study says.

Other highlighted digits:

• 74 percent increase in tech employment since 2010
• 265 tech startups formed over the past three years
• 3.3 percent retail vacancy rate in downtown Denver
• 79 percent average hotel occupancy in downtown Denver
• 45,000 college students in downtown Denver
• 4,525 residential units in the pipeline

Underscoring this last factoid: The cover illustration for "2018 State of Downtown Denver" depicts a skyline dotted with cranes.

Continue for lists related to population growth, education, job growth, traffic congestion and rent, followed by a link to the complete report.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts