DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado and its popular Front Range communities continue to be among the nation’s highest growth areas.
The U.S. Census Bureau released local figures from the 2020 Census Thursday, showing that Colorado is home to one of only 14 metro areas in the country that gained more than 100,000 residents in the last 10 years, a figure that tracks with national trends.
The 2020 data says that larger metro counties have been the only ones to gain population since 2010, while smaller counties shrank. Western metro counties saw some of the greatest growth.
Colorado will gain an eighth Congressional district and another presidential elector, one of 13 states that either gained or lost Congressional seats in the 2020 census.
Colorado added nearly 745,000 new residents since 2010, a 14.8% increase and more than 43 other states.
Growth was concentrated in the Front Range counties outside the Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs metro areas. Eastern plains counties, in contrast, lost much of their population.
The 2020 census counted a more diverse nation than in previous years. Nationwide, the percentage of the population that identifies as white alone dropped 8.6% since 2010. Now at 61.6%, the United States has its lowest-ever count of white Americans.
Colorado is whiter than the nation at large, with a 70.7% white alone population – down from 81.3% in 2010.
This is not simply because of demographic change, however.
The U.S. Census Bureau changed the options for self reporting racial and ethnic identification since the 2010 census. The new questions allowed for a greater range of options and changed some of the methodology. As a result, what appears to be more diversity in some part simply reflects a diversity that was undercounted in previous years.
Indeed, the biggest percentage changes in Colorado’s population are not in minority groups proper but in multiracial or multiethnic categories.
Between 2010 and 2020, the percentage of Coloradans who identified as either “some other race alone or in combination” or “two or more races” doubled.
Other racial categories went up, but in smaller percentages. The percentage of Coloradans identifying as Black or African American alone or in combination went from 5% to 5.5%, while the population of Asians went from 3.7% to 4.9%.
Most counties experienced a decrease in the percentage of residents identifying as white alone.
Only one-quarter of the counties in Colorado have a larger percentage of white alone residents in 2020 than in 2010: Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Elbert, Broomfield, Weld, Larimer, Custer, Gunnison, Ouray, San Miguel, Dolores, La Plata, Mineral and Archuleta.