According to the most recent state and county population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, as shown in Chart 1, Colorado had the second fastest growing population in 2015. Colorado’s population grew by 1.9 percent (100,986 people) between 2014 and 2015.
Colorado’s booming population growth is due to both a high net natural population rate (births minus deaths) and net migration rate (domestic and international).
#Colorado has the second fastest growing population in 2015. (click to tweet)
As shown in Chart 2, Colorado’s net natural population rate, as a percent of total population, was 0.59 percent in 2015—the 9th highest rate in the country. This high percentage of natural population growth is predominately due to a low death rate (0.64 percent, 3rd lowest) as their birth rate is middle-of-the-road (1.23 percent, 28th highest)).
More significantly, as shown in Chart 3, Colorado’s net migration rate, as a percent of total population, was 1.24 percent—the 4th highest rate in the country. The vast majority of this migration originates within the U.S. with domestic migration rate at 1 percent—the 3rd highest rate in the country. In contrast, international migration rate was 0.24 percent which ranks as the 24th highest.
Thanks to these favorable demographic trends, Colorado is currently well positioned to face the coming Demographic Winter.
Of course, the population change within Colorado is not distributed equally. The top 10 Colorado counties with the highest rate of population change between 2014 and 2015 include:
The bottom 10 Colorado counties with the slowest rate of population change between 2014 and 2015 include:
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J. Scott Moody has nearly 20 years experience as a public policy economist with a specialty in tax policy and has over 180 publications. He has worked for numerous national and state-based think tanks such as the American Conservative Union Foundation, Federalism In Action, Tax Foundation, Heritage Foundation, and The Maine Heritage Policy Center.