I’ve lived in Colorado for a little over thirty years. I moved to Colorado after coming off active Army duty (the first time) in 1989, because I wanted to live in the Mountain West, and the Denver area presented the best opportunity to find a job. I don’t regret that move; I never have. There’s a lot I still love about Colorado. I love the mountains, the plains, the hunting, fishing, the outdoor opportunities; I love the 300+ days of sunshine a year. There are many things I still love about Colorado.
This isn’t one of those things. Excerpt:
In the last 20 years, Colorado’s population has increased by a little more than 1.5 million people. As of 2019, the state had 5.7 million residents.
“I think we’re probably going to get to 5.8 million [people] for 2020,” said Elizabeth Garner, Colorado’s state demographer.
Population growth slowed during the 2008 recession.
Since 2010, however, Colorado has welcomed about 700,000 new residents. On average, the state is growing anywhere from 70,000 to 80,000 people each year.
That said, it experienced a bit of a slow-down in 2019, when the population increased by about 67,000 over the prior year.
“Compared to the year before where we increased by about 80,000 — it’s about 13,000 fewer people in terms of total growth we’ve seen over that time period,” said Garner.
Much of the growth has been concentrated along the Interstate 25 corridor.
“Which is also where we’re creating all of the jobs. So it makes sense where we’re seeing the job growth and population growth,” Garner said.
According to state data, in the last two decades, most newcomers moved to the Front Range (about 91%) and nearly 8% decided to call the Western Slope, home.
For the record, I live an eastern suburb of Denver, which sits at the foot of the Front Range.
To be perfectly candid, Colorado has gone frickin’ nuts. There always was a bean-and-granola set here, mostly in Boulder and some of the nuttier mountain communities like Aspen and Vail. But the Denver/Boulder Axis is taking over the state, and the results are becoming more and more uncomfortable.
Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. have long planned to retire elsewhere – and by elsewhere, I mean Alaska – but we may not wait now until we’re ready to retire. Our kids that live in Colorado are growing restive as well, as they were raised to appreciate the blessings of liberty, which an increasingly left-leaning state government ever seeks to restrict.
Plenty of folks have told me I should stay, that I should fight for my state. But part of the fight is knowing when you’re licked. I think we’ve lost Colorado. Thirty years ago, Colorado was South Wyoming. Now it’s East California. And that’s a shame. But it’s increasingly looking like it’s time to vote with our feet.