Denver Population 2017
In 2016, Denver's population was estimated at 682,545, making it the 22nd most populous city in the country, and the most populous city within a 500-mile radius.
Denver is a rapidly growing area. According to the Census Bureau, it ranks 11th on the list of cities in the country with the greatest addition of residents, adding nearly 15,000 people between 2011 and 2012. The state of Colorado is the second fastest growing state in the US, driven in large part by growth in the Denver metro area.
While the 2016 population is estimated at over 680,000, the metropolitan area is much larger. The 10-county Denver-Aurora-Broomfield Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has a population of 2.8 million, making it the 21st most populous MSA in the country. The 12-county Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area, meanwhile, had a population of 3.15 million in 2013.
Denver has a population density of 4,044 people per square mile (1,561/square kilometer).
According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Denver was:
- White: 68.9% (non-Hispanic: 52.2%)
- Black or African American: 10.2%
- Asian: 3.4%
- Native American: 1.4%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.1%
- Other race: 9.2%
- Two or more races: 4.1%
- Hispanic or Latino of any race: 31.8% (Mexican Americans account for 24.9% of Denver's total population.)
The most common ancestry groups in Denver are Mexican (31.2%), German (14.6%), Irish (9.7%), English (8.9%) and Italian (4.0%). 23.5% of Denver's population speaks Spanish at home.
21.5% of Denver's population is under 18, while 10.7% are 18-24, 36.1% are 25-44, 20% are 45-64 and 10.4% are 65 or older, with a median average of 37 years.
Denver City was founded in 1858 as a mining town during the peak of a Gold Rush in the area. Earlier in the year, gold prospectors arrived from Kansas and established Montana City along the South Platte River, which later became the city of Denver. This first settlement was abandoned by 1859 in favor of Auraria and nearby St. Charles City.
General William Larimer, a land speculator, staked a claim on the bluff overlooking the river across the creek from Auraria in 1858, naming the town site Denver City in an attempt to curry favor with Kansas Territorial Governor James W. Denver, although he didn't realize the governor had already resigned. Parcels of land were sold to miners and merchants, and Denver City became a frontier town with an economy centered on livestock, saloons and gambling.
By 1861, the Colorado Territory was created, followed by Arapahoe County and the incorporation of Denver City a week later. Denver City became the Territorial Capital 6 years later, and its name was shortened to Denver given its importance.
Denver was finally linked to the rest of the country by railway in 1870, and its population grew as millionaires and those in poverty both made the city their home. Between 1870 and 1880, the population grew 648.7%, followed by almost 200% growth in the next decade. While its growth has slowed, it has continued to grow in both importance and size through the 20th and 21st century.
Denver Population Growth
Denver has led Colorado in population growth for four years in a row, according to the Census Bureau. Denver is both the fastest growing city and county in the state, with a growth rate of 2.42% from 2011 to 2012.
The city-county's growth is attributed to ongoing development of areas like Stapleton, the buildout of the area's few remaining greenfield areas and a great deal of densification in the urban area. Denver is now the fastest growing city in the United States overall, and also first among large metro areas for population gain in the 25-34-year age group.
A 2013 economic forecast for metro Denver shows net migration in 2013 of close to 17,000, with an employment growth rate of 2.0%. Denver will continue to remain an attractive area to new residents through migration, and it's estimated the city will reach 700,000 and beyond by 2020.
The wider metro area is projected to reach 4.1 million by 2040, according to projections from the state demographer.