Durango Herald-State expected to add more than 2M people over next 25 years
“Colorful Colorado” may one day need to be referred to as “Crowded Colorado” given the number of people expected to move here during the next 25 years. El Paso County still will be the state’s most populous county in 2040, with Denver remaining in second place. But Weld County’s population is expected to double to half-a-million, and the growth will not be just along the Front Range.
A Rocky Mountain PBS News analysis of data from the state demographer and the U.S. Census Bureau shows seven of the 10 fastest growing counties will be on the Western Slope, including Archuleta, Eagle, Garfield and Routt counties. Archuleta County is expected to grow by 83 percent. The numbers show an estimated 7.8 million people will call Colorado home by 2040, an increase of about 2.3 million. All that growth will take a toll on the state’s infrastructure as well as water and other natural resources.
The population projections from the state demographer also show:
Almost half of the state’s growth, 1.1 million people, will take place in the seven-county Denver metro area, whose population will soar to 4.1 million by 2040. Denver will remain the second largest county, barely edging out Arapahoe County. Both will have more than 850,000 residents within 25 years. Douglas County, the state’s growth leader in the 1990s and early part of the 21st century, will see growth slow. By 2040, it will rank only 24th in overall growth since 2015, with its population expected to increase by 51 percent. San Juan County will remain the state’s smallest county, adding only 82 residents, with a total population of 787 by 2040. Otero and Washington counties on the Eastern Plains will grow the least, adding just over 5 percent to their respective populations over the next 25 years.