DENVER (AP) – Colorado’s population grew by almost 17 percent in the last decade, an increase that has pushed the number of residents in the state to more than 5 million, according to U.S. Census figures released Tuesday.
The first set of 2010 Census figures shows Colorado ranked ninth in the county in percentage rate growth.
The data determined which states will lose or gain seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Colorado was among 32 states that did not gain or lose a seat.
States that gained seats include Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Utah. The biggest winner was Texas with four seats gained. New York and Ohio each lost two seats.
More detailed Census data will be released in the coming months.
Colorado’s population now stands at 5,029,196, an increase of 16.9 percent from 2000 when the population totaled 4.3 million. That year, Colorado gained a congressional seat after seeing a growth rate of 30.6 percent in the 1990s. The seat is the 7th Congressional District in suburban Denver currently held by Democrat Ed Perlmutter.
Elizabeth Garner, Colorado’s demographer, said the state’s growth rate this decade may have been affected by the economic slowdowns brought by the 2001 dot-com bust and the Great Recession. Other states that have seen big growth in the West, like Arizona and Nevada, have benefited from having a large retiree base. Arizona grew by 24.6 percent and Nevada by 35.1 percent, the highest in the country.
Still, Garner said Colorado’s growth this time around, although not as substantial as the 1990s, demonstrates it continues to be an attractive place to live.
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