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.

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.

Colorado State Publications Blog

New Report on Youth Suicide Prevention

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office just released a new report, Community Conversations to Inform Youth Suicide Prevention: A Study of Youth Suicide in Four Colorado Counties, which is now available to view online from our library. The report examines the growing rates of youth suicide in El Paso, La Plata, Mesa, and Pueblo counties, which have the state’s highest rates of teen suicide. In El Paso County alone, the number of suicide deaths in the 10-18 age group doubled from 2014 to 2017, according to the report, which analyzed statistical data as well as information from focus groups, interviews, and community feedback. Statistical data analysis was conducted from “death certificate, hospitalization and emergency department data, the Colorado Violent Death Reporting System, the Colorado Child Fatality Prevention System and the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey.” The latter three programs are all sponsored by the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, whose website includes data as well as resources on prevention.

You can also find more information on youth suicide in these other resources from our library:

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado a Century Ago

Our library has recently digitized a delightful publication from 1917 that looks at life in the various regions of Colorado. The Story of Colorado examines all parts of the the state, for the purpose of attracting settlers and investors. The portfolio is divided first by region, then by county within each region. Each contains statistics on the area’s agriculture and industry, accompanied by some wonderful photographs of each region’s architecture, industry, and natural beauty. Find the section on your part of the state, and learn what life was like in Colorado a century ago!

The Story of Colorado
Colorado State Publications Blog

Coloradans and Tobacco

If quitting smoking is your new year’s resolution, the State of Colorado has new resources to help you.

Colorado QuitLine is a tool that Coloradans can use to get free products and coaching. According to a news release from the Colorado Department of Health & Environment, QuitLine has recently  been updated.

New online resources are available for free through the Colorado QuitLine. Thomas Ylioja, clinical director for the Colorado QuitLine, said, “As the needs and preferences of smokers change, QuitLine services are changing to meet those demands. We’ve added new features such as e-coaching, where clients can chat with a coach online rather than over the phone, if that’s what they’d prefer. Or, they can enroll online in a few minutes and receive coaching calls over the phone. Clients also can order nicotine patches or gum online and get it delivered to their door for free.”

Another helpful tool is Tobacco Free Colorado. This site also offers free support. It also contains information on how to help a friend or loved one quit smoking.

Baby & Me Tobacco Free is a program for helping pregnant women in Colorado quit smoking. Learn more about the dangers of smoking during pregnancy at CDPHE’s Quit Smoking for Baby and You webpage.

You can find additional resources at the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)’s Quit Tobacco webpage.


So, how many Coloradans use tobacco? While cigarette use has declined in recent years, new electronic vaping products have increased in use, especially among youth, according to an inphographic from CDPHE. A 2017 CDPHE report, Adult Tobacco Use and Exposure, also examines recent smoking rates and trends.


In 2006 Colorado passed the Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibits smoking inside most public places. If you’re concerned about secondhand smoke, however, you can find out about your legal rights and how to protect yourself at CDPHE’s Secondhand Smoke page. Property owners and managers can also set no-smoking policies for multi-unit housing; for more information, see this guidebook.


Finally, here are some additional resources on smoking and tobacco, available from our library:


Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Crime Statistics

The Colorado Department of Public Safety recently debuted a new crime statistics database. You can use the site to search statewide or by jurisdiction; year, back to 2008; and type of crime. For example, when you search property crimes, you get charts on location; type of weapon/force; injuries and victim types; time of day/day of week; value of property; and more. For violent crimes, data includes victims’ age, sex, and race; type of weapon/force; relationship of offender to victim; location; etc. DUI and drug data includes arrestee age; arrests by month; drug seizures by drug type; and type of criminal activity.

Check out this handy resource to learn about crime in your area.

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.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Facts and Figures

One hundred years ago the State of Colorado began publishing its annual Year Book, featuring of all kinds of facts and figures about the state. The year books were published by the State Board of Immigration and later by the State Planning Commission, as a way to attract newcomers to Colorado. Today, they are an extremely valuable resource for anyone researching life in Colorado in the first half of the twentieth century — and they are now available online from our library.

The Year Book of the State of Colorado was published from 1918 to 1950. In each edition you can find that year’s statistics on population, geography, climate, industry, agriculture, natural resources, highways, automobiles, railroads, telephones, schools, health, land classification, homeownership, elected officials, banks, post offices, commercial organizations, county data, and much more. Maps and charts supplement the data. If you’re looking for Colorado statistics from 1918 to 1950, start here!

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Traffic Data

As more and more people move to Colorado, we all spend a lot more of our time sitting in traffic. Colorado’s highways were constructed in the mid-twentieth century, when the population was much lower. So how does your daily commute compare with a half-century ago?

In 1971, the Colorado Division of Highways released Traffic Volumes on Urban Freeways in Colorado, a report containing graphs and charts with average weekday traffic volumes for Colorado’s highways. You can compare these numbers to the current traffic volumes, which are available in the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Online Transportation Information System (OTIS) database, for some pretty amazing results!

Colorado State Publications Blog

Community Corrections in Colorado

Felonies for controlled substances and assault increased in 2017 over the previous year, while theft and forgery were slightly down, according to the 2017 annual report of the Office of Community Corrections, which was released last week. A part of the Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS), the Office of Community Corrections works to “enhance public safety by working to improve the supervision and rehabilitation of offenders assigned to community corrections across Colorado.” Community corrections refers to parole, probation, behavioral health, etc. The annual report offers statistics on offender types, demographics, treatment, escapes and violations, employment, length of stay, criminal history, discharges, child support, and much more. You can find the annual reports going back to 2000 available online from our library.
CDPS also recently released a new research and statistical report, Community Corrections in Colorado: Program Outcomes and Recidivism. The also recently updated their Community Corrections Standards. Other community corrections reports available from our library include:

For additional resources visit our web catalog.


Colorado State Publications Blog

CoCoRaHS: The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network

2018 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network, or CoCoRaHS. The network began on June 17, 1998 with just a handful of volunteer meteorological observers and has grown to over 20,000 volunteers across North America. Each time it rains, hails, or snows in their area, volunteers take measurements of the precipitation and the data is posted to the CoCoRaHS website. Current and historical data and maps about weather, climate, and precipitation can be downloaded off the site. Apps, publications, webinars, and educational tools are also available.

CoCoRaHS Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network Anniversary

CoCoRaHS is sponsored by Colorado State University’s Colorado Climate Center. View their website for even more meteorological data. The Climate Center has also issued numerous publications which you can find in our library’s web catalog.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Workforce Supply and Demand Data

What are the most in-demand occupations in Colorado? The State’s Talent Found Dashboard uses current job posting data to measure demand, and presents interactive maps and tables that you can use to find out the state’s hottest jobs.

Talent Found Colorado

The data on the website supplements two 2017 state reports, the Colorado Talent Pipeline Report and Colorado Rises: Advancing Education and Talent Development. The former report analyzes workforce supply and demand in Colorado while the latter report examines Colorado’s higher education and training needs in order to meet these demands. Search our library’s online catalog for further resources on jobs and the workforce in Colorado.

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.

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.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Citizen Science

Colorado State University’s Natural Resources Economy Lab (NREL), along with several other partners, has developed, a site where everyday citizens can go to contribute data and scientific research.  Using the site, researchers can create a project, collect data, and view the results.  For instance, one of the site’s projects is a the “Front Range Pika Project,” where volunteers log photos and data on sightings of this endangered mountain critter. Other projects include tree species mapping, water data, birdwatching observations, invasive species monitoring, beaver sightings, butterfly-plant interactions, an amphibian survey, and much more.  You can log in to volunteer for any of the projects, or access the data to learn about the natural environment in Colorado and other states.

CSU also sponsors another, separate but also citizen-driven scientific data collection site, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network, or CoCoRAHS.  As suggested in its name, this site relies on citizen volunteers to collect meteorological data.  You can use their site to find maps and data on precipitation, evapotranspiration, soil moisture, and climate.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Understanding Colorado School Finance

As one of the largest portions of our state budget, school finance is something that the Legislature keeps close tabs on.  There have already been a number of school finance bills introduced in the first month of the 2018 session.

Because of the number of laws that govern school finance in Colorado, such as the Public School Finance Act of 1994, marijuana revenue, and the State Education Fund, understanding how it works can be very complex.  So the State has issued a number of resources that can be helpful for navigating the complex web of school finance laws.  For starters, the Colorado Department of Education publishes an annual brochure entitled Understanding Colorado School Finance and Categorical Program FundingAlso, each February, the Colorado Legislative Council (the nonpartisan research office for the legislature) publishes their Report on the State Education Fund.  The new edition was just released; previous editions can be accessed from our library.

Here are some other helpful resources for understanding Colorado school finance:

Data on Colorado public school finance can be found in the Department of Education’s annual data spreadsheets and on their Office of School Finance website.

We have many, many more resources available as well, including historical information.  Search our library’s online catalog for more resources.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Public School Enrollment

You might be surprised to find out that in spite of the recent population boom in our state, the number of public school enrollments in 2017 showed the smallest increase since 1989!  According to figures just released by the Colorado Department of Education, public school enrollment only grew by 5,261 students in 2017 over the previous year.  Denver Public Schools is still the largest school district in the state, but showed markedly slower growth than many other districts.  Jefferson County Schools, the state’s second largest district, actually showed a small decrease.  You can find all of the numbers by viewing the department’s 2017-2018 pupil membership webpage. This includes breakdowns for race/ethnicity, free/reduced lunch, special education, online schools, English language learners, and more.  For a summary, see the department’s press release.

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.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Financing Public Schools in the Early 20th Century

In 1917, it cost a yearly average of $69.00 per pupil to educate Colorado’s public school students.  A century later, that number is up to $9,363 per pupil, according to statistics from the Colorado Department of Education.

A wealth of statistics on the funding of Colorado public schools in the early decades of the twentieth century, such as the 1917 figure above, can be found in the 1930 publication Cost of Public Education from Viewpoint of Agriculture in Larimer County, ColoradoThis report, published by the Colorado Agricultural College (now CSU)’s Agricultural Experiment Station, is available online from our library.  Although the focus of the report is on Larimer County, and especially on how public school taxes affected farmers — who in 1930 were already suffering the effects of the Depression and the Dust Bowl — the report provides many statistical comparisons with the state as a whole, so this report can be very useful to researchers beyond just those looking at farm economics or at Larimer County.

For researchers studying Colorado education history, this report is also useful to compare against other state reports.  G. S. Klemmedson, the author of the 1930 report, notes that in his research he “found many errors in published records and even in the original records which were used as a basis of study.  This was especially true of bonded indebtedness and tax levy figures. Information obtained from the State Superintendent of Schools did not agree with figures obtained from the Colorado State Tax Commission or with those obtained from the State Board of Immigration.” Therefore, this publication is helpful in reconciling the figures presented by the other agencies, whose reports you can also find in our library.  These include the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; the Annual Report of the Colorado Tax Commission; and the State Board of Immigration’s Year Book of the State of Colorado.

Examples of some of the statistical diagrams in the 1930 Cost of Education report.
Colorado State Publications Blog

Financial Transparency for Colorado Schools

The Colorado Department of Education just released a new website, Financial Transparency for Colorado Schools, which gives financial data for every school, district, and BOCES in the state.  The site “provid[es] citizens a way to track the funding and spending for education and compare finances of schools and districts from throughout the state,” according to the department’s press release.  The site tracks both spending and funding.

Financial transparency — and the creation of this website — is mandated by state law.  House Bill 10-1036 and House Bill 14-1292 require the posting of school financial data online in an easy-to-understand format.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Department of Revenue Annual Report

The Colorado Department of Revenue has just released its 2016 Annual Report.  This annual report is one of the most useful and robust statistical reports published by the State.  In the report you can find numbers on such topics as:


  • Titles and registrations
  • Emissions
  • Licenses issued
  • Permits issued 
  • Numbers of licenses in force, by type
  • Organ donors
  • Renewals and reinstatements
  • Vehicle ownership tax collected by county
  • Registered vehicles by type and by county
  • Registered vehicles by plate type (special plates)


  • Ticket sales by game type, including comparison with previous years
  • Distribution of funds 


  • Number of dealer licenses by type
  • Investigations
  • Fines 


  • Revenues and expenditures
  • Fund distribution
  • Revenue distribution resulting from Amendment 50
  • Gambling intercept payments (restitution)


  • Tobacco sales violations and compliance checks
  • Liquor licenses by type
  • Liquor licenses by county
  • Liquor sales violations


  • Active licenses, medical and retail
  • Application fees collected
  • Sales and excise taxes collected
  • Licensed businesses by county


  • Live racing days
  • Pari-mutuel sales (horse and greyhound)
  • Pari-mutuel tax collections
  • Racetrack and licensed off-track betting locations


  • Sales and use tax net collections
  • Income tax returns
  • Tax credits
  • Alternative minimum tax
  • Refunds issued
  • Distribution of tax collections by type
  • Severance tax
  • Gross receipts realized by source
  • Cost of administration
  • Individual income tax checkoffs

…and more.  You can also compare this data with previous years by viewing the department’s past annual reports, available online from our library all the way back to 1942!