Colorado Population 2017


Our 2016 estimate for Colorado's population is 5,557,560. This estimate is calculated from projecting the most recent Census estimates. The last official population count for Colorado was taken during the 2010 Census. At that time, it was found that the population was 5,029,196.

The 2010 Census numbers represented a rise of 16.9% from the 2000 census survey, when 4,301,262 residents were shown to be living in Colorado. Updated estimates arrive on a yearly basis, and in 2015, it was reported that the numbers in Colorado had increased to 5,456,574.

The 2015 estimate reflects an 8.5% increase since the last census. With a yearly growth rate of 1.85% in 2016, Colorado is second fastest-growing state in the US.

Colorado Population Density

With a large surface area of 104,094 square miles (269,837 square kilometers) Colorado is the eighth largest state in the USA, but it is relatively sparsely populated. Some of the terrain is harsh, and the vast Rocky Mountain range accounts for a significant proportion of the state’s land mass.

As a result, there are 52 people per square mile (19.9 per square kilometer) and that makes Colorado only the 37th biggest state in terms of population density.

Colorado Population Chart

Colorado’s Population History

Historically, Colorado’s location in the middle of the USA made it a popular route for those traveling through the new world. Many liked the state so much that they chose to settle there, and the evidence of that is clear from the earliest censuses.

Back in 1860, the Colorado population was declared at 34,277 and ten years later, there had been just a modest rise of 16.3% to 39,864. However, by 1880 that figure had almost quadrupled and the census from that year reveals a total population of 194,327 -- an increase of 387.5% from the 1870 numbers.

Although that was by far the biggest increase in decade on decade terms, further significant rises followed, and by the beginning of the 20th century, Colorado’s numbers had grown to 539,700. In the latter half of the 1900s, increases in the region of 30% from census to census took the population of Colorado past the 5 million mark in 2012.

Colorado Population Projections

Many states in the US have shown growth at every census, but Colorado's population is actually growing faster now than it did during the 20s, 30s, and 40s. The current growth is already causing housing shortages and increased traffic as Denver and Colorado Springs try to address the increased immigration.

Like most states across the US, the population of Colorado is growing, but the growth has been significant in past years. Increases between censuses of 30% are not uncommon, and if that trend continues, the numbers could comfortably exceed 6 million at the next census in 2020. Some estimates have placed the 2040 population as high as 7.8 million.

Population Data via US Census

Colorado Growth Rate

Colorado State Rank

Year Pop % Change
2020 5,961,504 1.72%
2019 5,860,518 1.75%
2018 5,759,532 1.78%
2017 5,658,546 1.82%
2016 5,557,560 1.85%
2015 5,456,574 1.89%
2014 5,355,588 1.60%
2013 5,271,132 1.53%
2012 5,191,731 1.41%
2011 5,119,480 1.80%
2010 5,029,196 1.58%
2000 4,301,261 2.70%
1990 3,294,394 1.32%
1980 2,889,964 2.73%
1970 2,207,259 2.33%
1960 1,753,947 2.84%
1950 1,325,089 1.67%
1940 1,123,296 0.81%
1930 1,035,791 0.98%
1920 939,629 1.63%
1910 799,024 4.00%
1900 539,700 2.71%
1890 413,249 7.84%
1880 194,327 17.16%
1870 39,864 1.52%
1860 34,277 0.00%

Colorado Facts

Colorado Population in 2017 Source: Matt Wright

  • Colorado lies completely above 1,000 meters elevation. It is the only state that can make this claim.
  • Over one-third of the land in the state is owned by the US federal government.
  • Colorado has the largest city park system in the nation, boasting 205 parks within the city limits, and 20,000 acres of park space within the mountains.
  • The nation's highest suspension bridge is located near Canon City and is built over the Royal Gorge.
  • The view from Pikes Peak was the inspiration for the song, "America the Beautiful."
  • Colorado is the only place where four states -- Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona -- meet.
  • The first license plate was issued in Denver in 1908.
  • Leadville, Colorado, is the highest unincorporated town in the country at over 10,000 feet.
  • Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike explored the Louisiana Territory in 1806 and published a report that drew interest to the area.

Colorado Population Density by County

  • Population
  • Density
  • Growth Since 2010
  • State Rank
  • % of State

Colorado Population Growth Rate by County

From the time of the 2010 Census until 2015 when the US Census Bureau took population estimates, several counties in the state posted significant growth rates. The counties with the highest growth are all neighboring, beginning with Larimer County and Weld County along the northern border, and ending with El Paso County. With a growth rate of 13.14%, Denver County had the highest recorded population growth during the 5-year period.

Just as some Colorado counties saw growth, others posted declining populations during the same time period. The southwestern county of Bent had the highest decline of 10.43%. while neighboring Las Animas County has the second largest decline of 8.68%. Other counties that saw decreases in population include Moffatt County, Hinsdale County, and Kit Carson County.

Population Pyramid

To compare Colorado to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage

Approximately 10% of the population of Colorado is made up of immigrants. These immigrants, according to data from 2011, make up over 11% of workers for the state of Colorado.

Estimates also show that 34.9% of the Latino population is under the age of 18, ountumbering African Americans (25%), Asian Americans (23%), and non-Hispanic Whites (19.3%) in the under-18 age bracket. There are higher proportions of Hispanics located in Colorado Springs, Metro Denver, Pueblo, and Greeley, with a large percentage of descendents of early Mexican settlers. The state has the fifth largest Mexican-American population in the nation, as well as the sixth highest percentage of Mexican-Americans.

Colorado also has large communities of African American residents located in Denverand Colorado Springs. Asian-Americans are also found throughout the state, particularly in the south and southeast areas of Denver. This includes Mongolians, Koreans, Filipinos, and Chinese residents. The Denver metropolitan area is considered to be one of the most racially diverse in the state.

Languages Spoken in Colorado

Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 4,779,527 100
English 4,091,297 85.6
Spanish 565,060 11.82
German 25,645 0.54
French 16,045 0.34
Chinese 14,380 0.3
Amharic 8,735 0.18
Kru, Ibo, Yoruba 3,715 0.08
Nepali 3,615 0.08
Portuguese 3,360 0.07

This chart shows the top 10 non-English languages that are spoken at home in Colorado. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Colorado Economy

HighSchoolGraduate 90
BachelorsDegree 38
Disabled 7
NoHealthInsurance 12
LaborForceTotal 68
LaborForceFemale 63
FoodServiceSales 13,617,654
HealthCareRevenue 29,488,161
ManufacturerShipments 50,447,098
MerchantWholesalesSales 77,034,971
RetailSales 67,815,200
RetailSalesPerCapita 13,073
MeanWorkTravelTime 25
MedianHouseholdIncome 59,448
PerCapitaIncome 31,674
PovertyPercentage 12

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Colorado for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 4.7% and the labor force participation rate is 68.4%.

Colorado Business

NonemployerEstablishments 468,729
AllFirms 547,352
MenOwnedFirms 284,554
WomenOwnedFirms 194,508
MinorityOwnedFirms 85,849
NonminorityOwnedFirms 442,365
VeteranOwnedFirms 51,722
NonveteranOwn 469,524

Colorado Housing

HousingUnits 2,309,228
HousingUnits 2,212,898
OwnerOccupiedRate 65
OwnerOccupiedMedianValue 239,400
MonthlyOwnerCostsMortage 1,608
MonthlyOwnerCostsNoMortage 417
MedianGrossRent 969
BuildingPermits 31,871
Households 1,998,314
PersonsPerHousehold 3
SameHouseOneYearAgo 81
NonEnglishAtHome 17
Data Sources
  1. Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  2. Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts