Colorado Population Growth Starts To Spread Beyond Front Range

Colorado’s Front Range has been growing like a weed for years.

And finally, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows, other corners of the state are starting to pick up too.

That growth spurt can be credited to Pueblo and Grand Junction finally shrugging off the effects of the Great Recession, said state demographer Elizabeth Garner.

"Mesa [County] and Pueblo were some of the two slower metro areas to recover,” she said. “And now we're starting to see some pickup in both of those areas."

Mesa County saw 1,822 new residents from 2016 to 2017. Pueblo’s figure was about 1,600.

Those figures are dwarfed by the growth in Colorado’s largest counties — El Paso and Weld counties each grew by more than 10,000, with Denver just behind — but Garner said the fact that growth has spread beyond the Front Range is a good sign. Growth elsewhere could help alleviate some of the pressure on Front Range roads and housing, she said.

The Eastern Plains and some mountain counties are still seeing population declines, Garner noted.

Overall, the state’s population increased by nearly 80,000 residents. That’s down from a peak in 2015, when Colorado saw more than 100,000 new residents.