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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Vital Statistics and Health Data

What is the leading cause of death in your county? The life expectancy? The number of live births?

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has several interactive tools on their website that can help you find this information and much more. Their Vital Statistics website includes a state map which you can use to retrieve birth and death data for each county, or statewide. Also on the site, you can find links to reports and data on a variety of topics such as drug overdose deaths; cesarean section deliveries; infant mortality; race/ethnicity and poverty characteristics of birth mothers; and statistics on the number of marriage licenses and divorce decrees in each county.

CDPHE also offers the Colorado Health Information Dataset (CoHID), which you can use to query more in-depth data on births and deaths. For instance, birth data can be viewed back to 1990. In addition to county data, the site also offers birth data for Denver neighborhoods. Death data is also available back to 1990 and can be sorted by location, cause of death, and characteristics such as age, gender, and race/ethnicity. CoHID also includes sections on general population data; behavioral risk factors; pregnancy and birth defects; cancer incidence; and injury hospitalizations.

Finally, for more data on a variety of Colorado health topics, see CDPHE’s CO Health and Environmental Data website. And, of course, search our library’s online catalog for health-related publications.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Getting Ready for the 2020 Census

Census Day – April 1, 2020 – is just a little more than a year away. Colorado has established the State Complete Count Campaign (CCC) to help bring awareness to the census and act as a resource to help ensure Colorado gets the most accurate count possible. You can find resources from the CCC as well as the US Census Bureau on the State Demography Office website.

The Demography Office has also recently issued several fact sheets that offer quick information on the census campaign, including a fact sheet for libraries and librarians. Other fact sheets offer a timeline, information on how to get involved, and “Census 101.”Additional resources can be found at the US Census Bureau website.

Keep checking these websites throughout the coming year for updated resources.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Who’s Moving Into and Out of Colorado?

According to a new report from the State Demography Office, “each year between 2011 and 2016 between 235,000 and 250,000 people moved into Colorado, and between 160,000 and 190,000 people moved out of Colorado.” That means our state’s population grows by about 60,000 to 75,000 people per year! The report also notes that most migrants, both into (41{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5}) and out of (33{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5}) Colorado, tend to be in their twenties. This is to be expected, as less-settled young people seek new opportunities. Other interesting insights include:

  • The states that have the largest numbers of people moving to Colorado are California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Illinois, followed by New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, and New Mexico. Arkansas, West Virginia, Vermont, and Maine had the fewest migrants into Colorado.
  • California, Arizona, and Texas were also three of the states that people moving out of Colorado were most likely to head to. Washington was also one of the top states for Colorado out-migrants. They were followed by Kansas, Nebraska, and Florida. Coloradans were least likely to move to Mississippi, the Dakotas, West Virginia, and some of the New England states.
  • The average household income for in-migrants was lower than that of out-migrants. “This income difference is likely related to age, as in-migrants are younger than out-migrants,” the report notes.
  • On the reverse side, in-migrants were more likely to have received a bachelor’s degree or higher than out-migrants were.
  • Not surprisingly, the vast majority of in-migrants are moving to the Denver metropolitan area.
  • The report also examines people who were born in Colorado and return after leaving. About 14 percent of Colorado in-migrants are returning Colorado residents, perhaps those returning after leaving to seek higher education or work experience.

The report concludes that “Colorado is not experiencing either a period of expanded in-migration or a period of extreme out-migration.” With the data only going through 2016 however, and with two years of rapid growth behind us, it will be interesting to see if the data changes the next time the Demography Office issues such a report. In the meantime, you can find many resources on population and demography by searching our library’s online catalog and by visiting the Demography Office’s website.

This graph from the State Demography Office shows that while the number of in-migrants to Colorado has remained fairly steady, the number of out-migrants is actually increasing.
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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Historical Population Trends

In a recent Time Machine Tuesday I wrote about some of our library’s digital documents that tell the story of population changes – and the need for water – over the last twenty years. This week, our digital documents go back quite a bit further, to examine population trends back to Colorado territorial days.

In 1940 the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station and the Rural Section of the WPA Division of Research teamed up to explore population growth and change since 1860, especially in regards to agriculture and the ability for ag workers to find jobs in Colorado. They published their findings in Population Trends in Colorado, which you can read online from our library.

This publication shows that concerns over population growth are nothing new in our state. The 1940 publication emphatically states that “there is evidence to indicate that Colorado is approaching its population saturation point under its present economic and social structure.” The report suggests that unless more water could be found for irrigation, farming would diminish and “perhaps the additional population must look to industry or mining for sufficient employment to insure an adequate standard of living.” Otherwise, “it appears probable that any future increase in the population of the State will add to the relief burden already in existence.” As the state was just emerging from the Great Depression, the ability to find jobs for a growing population was a significant concern.
Population Trends in Colorado provides an in-depth look at the ups and downs of Colorado population growth from 1860 through 1930, before the Great Depression. (The author notes that a separate study was being undertaken to analyze the effect of the Depression on Colorado’s population after 1930.)  The document takes a look at historical population growth factors and explains why, “while there has been a constant gain in Colorado’s population since the first census of 1860,” some decades’ gains were smaller than others. Maps and charts showing migration rates, population density, and future estimates are shown. The publication also discusses differences between interstate and international migration to Colorado; differences between urban, farm, and village population rates; trends in family size, marital status, etc.; and education and employment growth and trends. This publication is a valuable resource for anyone researching the history of population change in Colorado; however, readers should be warned that it does include several racially insensitive comments and illustrations.

Our library has numerous additional publications that examine historical population trends in Colorado, including A Century of the Colorado Census (University of Northern Colorado, 1976), and Population Trends in Counties of Colorado, 1900-1957, published by the State Planning Division. We also have many additional resources on population growth and change in more recent decades; for these and more, search our library’s online catalog.

Crowds on Denver’s 16th Street circa 1940. Courtesy Denver Public Library Western History & Genealogy Department.
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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Water and Growth

In 1999 the Colorado Legislative Council published an Issue Brief entitled Finding Water for One Million New Residents. It reported that in 20 years the population of the Northern Front Range – including the counties of Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, and Larimer – would grow to 3.5 million people, and that one of the major issues associated with this population growth would be how to supply water to all the new people moving in.

So before we get to the water issue, let’s take a look at the population figures. Were the 1999 predictions accurate?  Using population figures from the State Demography Office, we can see that in 1999 the combined population of those six counties was 2,311,420, and their combined population in 2016 (the most recent year available) was 3,066,923 – a difference of 755,503. Not quite a million. However, given the intense growth that has happened since 2016, if we look at the Demography Office’s projected populations for those counties in 2019 – the 20 years since publication of the Issue Brief – the six counties’ combined population is expected to be around 3,217,133. That’s 905,713 more people in the Front Range than in 1999. And if we count Boulder and Broomfield counties into the mix – which were not counted in the 1999 report, but today considered by most to be a part of the Front Range – we’re definitely on track to have a million new residents between 1999 and 2019.

Now to the water issue. David Beaujon writes in the 1999 Issue Brief that “of Colorado’s seven river basins, only the Colorado River Basin has a significant amount of surplus water that could be developed for use in the Denver metropolitan area,” but cites possible federal policy changes, water projects, and transbasin diversions as potential challenges to obtaining this water. Another possible source, the Denver Basin Aquifer, “offers protection against extended droughts and a temporary water supply for rapidly growing municipalities until other supplies can be developed.” However, water in the aquifer “is essentially nonrenewable, and well pumping can exceed the natural rate of recharge from rain and snow, which is often less than an inch per year,” cautions Beaujon. Finally, other options are discussed, such as water reuse and transfers of agricultural water rights. Both of these options, however, present challenges to the agricultural economy, either by reducing the amount of lands under irrigation, or by reducing streamflow, explains the Brief.

Colorado's Water PlanSo how has the state dealt with these challenges since 1999, and what does the future hold? In 2015, the state issued its official Water Plan. The nearly 600-page document (which you can also check out in print from our library if your eyes can’t take that much screen reading) discusses the supply and demand challenges for each of Colorado’s seven basins and how the state is planning to address future need.

Here are some other helpful publications that address the issues of water supply and population growth in the Front Range:

 

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Colorado State Publications Blog

County and Regional Economic Data

If you’re researching which industries drive the economy in various parts of Colorado, be sure to view the Colorado Demography Office’s Base Industry Analysis database. This tool “provides insights into the economic activities that bring outside dollars into a community and the additional jobs that result from the spending of those dollars on local resident services,” according to the Demography Office. The database shows the number of employees, and percentages, for each industry group. You can search the database by county or region.

For more data on jobs and the economy, including labor force statistics, personal income trends, and economic forecasts, go to the Demography Office’s The Economy and Labor Force webpage.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

2017 Population Estimates Released

Colorado’s State Demography Office has recently released their analysis of new Census Bureau estimates for 2017 population figures.  According to this press release from the Department of Local Affairs, which houses the Demography Office,

The U.S. increased by 2.3 million people between 2016 and 2017 to reach an estimated population of 325,719,178.  During the same time Colorado increased by just over 77,049 to reach 5,607,154 ranking 8th in total growth and 9th in percent growth of 1.4{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5}. Colorado remains the 21st largest state with Wisconsin ranking 20th at 5.795 million.  The southern U.S. reported the largest growth at 1{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} followed by the Western U.S. at .9{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5}.  The Northeast and Midwest reported the slowest growth.

Colorado’s growth has been a hot topic lately as the state’s strong economy attracts many new migrants.  You can find more Colorado population statistics on the Demography Office’s website, including an interactive map gallery; also, search our library’s online catalog for information from past years and decades.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Human Population Growth and its Effect on Wildlife

You can go practically anywhere in the state and see that Colorado’s population is booming.  The I-25 corridor, including Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and the Denver Metropolitan Area, is especially seeing record growth.  More people results in more development, which equals changes and/or reduction in habitat for wildlife.  Therefore wildlife numbers are reduced, and many of those that survive are wandering into urbanized areas.  Predatory animals such as bears, mountain lions, and coyotes have become more dangerous to people and pets due to the building of homes in the animals’ natural habitats.  Other wildlife, such as prairie dogs, are being eliminated at fast pace.  Wildlife species are important to our ecosystem, and the loss of their habitat will bring continued changes and ever more frequent interactions with humans.  Not only does building development reduce wildlife habitat, but more roadways and traffic, human-caused wildfires, resource extraction, and other situations are hazardous to wildlife as well. Here are some resources from our library that discuss this trend, and how humans can deal with wildlife interactions in the interest of both human and animal safety.  All publications are issued by the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks & Wildlife) unless otherwise noted.  For more resources, visit our library’s online catalog.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

GIS Maps and Data

The Colorado Demography Office offers a number of resources regarding population data.  Some of these have been explored previously in this blog. Today, however, I wanted to highlight their GIS maps and data, located on their State of Colorado: GIS Directory website.  This site gathers many of the Colorado state agencies’ GIS maps together in one place.

You can either view data by agency in the pull-down menu, or type a keyword search in the search box.  For example, if you type “population” in the search feature, you will get a list of GIS resources that includes both State of Colorado sites and external links that have been added by Demography Office staff.  Check out this helpful resource if you are searching for GIS data on a wide variety of topics including not only demographics, but natural resources, corrections, health, transportation, and more.
You can find more resources, such as thematic PDF maps, interactive maps, census data, and GIS shapefiles, at the Demography Office’s GIS Maps and Data website.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Demographic Infographics

The State Demography Office has put together a series of infographics on population change, labor, and households for Colorado back to 1970.  (Infographics are short one-page graphs or charts accompanied by quick data, maps, etc.)  A quick glance at the infographics shows a significant population increase in Colorado since 2000.  Other infographics present pie charts and other graphs showing the state’s age distribution; labor force statistics; and household growth as related to size, age, and household composition.  If you need quick facts on population in Colorado, these infographics are a helpful resource.  The website also offers the infographics in PDF form so they can be printed as posters, etc.

One of the State Demography Office’s infographics.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Population by Age Visualization Graph

How has Colorado’s population changed in terms of age over the last 25 years, and how will it change in the coming years?  Which age group claims the greatest number of Coloradans, and how will this change?  These questions can be answered with a fascinating animated graph from the Colorado Demography Office.  Their Age by Year Visualization presents a graph for each year from 1990 through 2040, breaking down the number of Coloradans of each age, and coloring the graph by generation to show which age groups have the highest number of persons in our state.  For example, the graph predicts that by 2040, the age group born after 2000 will have by far the greatest numbers, while Baby Boomers and even Gen-Xers start to decline.  Some of this is natural aging of population, but the overall numbers show a significant increase in the state’s total population and in the birth rate. 

On the website, click on the “animate” button to see an animated version of how the population’s numbers and ages change over the years, or select a specific year for data from the drop down menu.  Selecting 2015, for example, shows that there are more 35-year-olds in Colorado than any other specific age.  Ten years ago, in 2005, the greatest number of persons were age 30.  Since this is only a five-year age difference in 10 years, it suggests how much of Colorado’s population change is do to migration rather than aging.  For more information on Colorado’s population growth and demographics, visit the Colorado Demography Office website.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Population Change

For the past several decades Colorado has been among the fastest growing states in the nation — in fact, it is the fourth fastest growing state since 2012, according to the State Demography Office.  The Office has prepared a helpful website, Components of Change, that details Colorado’s growth since 1970.  Using data from the U.S. Census, the IRS, and county data, the website includes information on in- and out-migration; forecasts birth, death, and migration data through 2040; and breaks down the data by categories such as age and income.  Much of the information is presented in both PDF and Excel format. 

The State Demography Office also offers a wealth of other population data on its website.  Click the links on the right side of the page for data on race/ethnicity, age and gender, housing and housholds, and more.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Household Projections

What will Colorado households look like in 2040?  The Colorado Demography Office predicts an increase of over a million total households between 2014 (2.14 million households) and 2040 (3.15 million) statewide.  You can find this data by searching the Demography Office’s handy Colorado Household Projections feature.  On the site, you can enter various search parameters to calculate the predicted number of households statewide or by county in any year from 2010 to 2040.  You can also search by age group and number of persons in the household, which can offer some interesting data on the changing types of households in the twenty-first century.   

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Colorado State Publications Blog

2010 Census Data for Colorado

The State Demography Office is in the process of compiling and releasing Colorado demographical information from the 2010 Census.  Data currently available on their website includes urban/rural population, age, households, housing occupancy, housing tenure, and more.  Also included are maps illustrating these population figures.  The data is presented both statewide and by county.  The site also presents information on the population change between 2000 and 2010, including population change by age and race.  Finally, the site offers estimates, forecasts and projections for the future using the 2010 census data.  Check back often as the site is continually being updated with new data.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Demography Map Gallery

The Colorado State Demography Office has added a new Map Gallery to their website.  The gallery features maps with census information, poverty data, household income, state-to-state migration, and more.  The maps are interactive and customizable.  The gallery also includes several apps which, according to the Demography Office,

  • “Compare 2010 Census vs 2000 Census with a simple “swipe” interface
  • View individual subject webmaps for Poverty and Income
  • Access data visualizations for County and State Migration, as well as an animation of Colorado County Population over time
  • An easy to understand guide to get you started
  • And more!”
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Colorado State Publications Blog

New: Demography Dashboard

The State Demography Office (part of the Colorado Dept. of Local Affairs) has just released a new “dashboard” feature, with information presented for each county.  According to the Office, 

“Our new Demography Dashboard shows graphs and charts for various datasets by county. Graphs include: Net Migration by Age, Population Estimates, Population Projections and Components of Change.”

And, as always, you can find a great deal of other information on the Office’s webpage, including population data, housing and households data, the economy and labor force, demographic profiles, and US census data and information.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

New Population Estimates and Economic Forecasts for 2010

New 2010 population estimates and economic forecasts have just been released from the Colorado State Demography Office. Population and housing unit figures, and county populations by single year of age and sex have been updated. The updated forecasts show Colorado’s population growing by 1.6{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} per year over the next five years, increasing to 1.8{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} per year before the end of the decade to grow to close to 6 million persons by the year 2020.

The economic base analysis and job estimates for 2010 have also been updated and released. According to the State Demographers, Colorado saw a slight dip in total jobs, losing 45,411 (-1.6 percent) jobs between 2009 and 2010. The largest contraction occurred in the Denver Metro Area, with Denver, Jefferson, and Arapahoe Counties accounting for nearly half (20,128) of jobs lost statewide.

There are also interesting thematic maps based on figures from the 2005-2009 American Community survey.

Visit www.colorado.gov/demography for the latest data and information.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Region Profiles

If you would like to learn more about Colorado, take a look at the new Region Profiles from the State Demography Office. The reports give descriptions of the 19 planning and management regions in Colorado, with information on the population, economy, new community projects, the housing market, and a highlight of the main industries for each area. These profiles are a great way to become more familiar with our diverse state.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Demographic Information Maps

The Colorado Dept. of Local Affairs’ Demography Section has added a new page to their website, the Thematic Map Gallery. This very interesting site offers a variety of demographic maps. These include historical maps illustrating population back to 1880 as well as “night sky maps” that illustrate the clusters of light at nighttime that indicate areas of greater or lesser population. There are also a variety of maps based on information from the 2000 census, and maps forecasting population change all the way to 2030.