New information from the U.S. Census Bureau shows El Paso County has grown the most in the past year, followed by Weld, Denver and Douglas counties. Census numbers are up 12,500 in El Paso County. There are 10-thousand more people in Weld and just under 10,000 new people in Denver. Douglas County's census figure was up 75-hundred people. All but nine Colorado counties had population gains last year.
Here is the news release from the Colorado State Demography Office:
DENV=ER, CO – March 22, 2018 - New Census Bureau data shows that El Paso County (home to Colorado Springs) has the largest county increase in the state of 12,526 followed by Weld + 10,390, Denver + 9,844, Douglas + 7,577 and Arapahoe + 6,103.
The largest growing county in the U.S. was Maricopa County, Arizona – home to Phoenix with an increase of 73,650 – close to the entire state of Colorado’s increase of 77,049. Six of the top 10 largest gaining counties were in Texas. The remaining four counties on the list were in Arizona, Nevada, California and Washington.
Denver remains the largest populated county in the state at 704,621 but El Paso is not far behind at 699,232. There were gains in all but nine Colorado counties. This marks a significant change from 2011 when 36 counties experienced population declines.
The fastest growing county in the state was Crowley at 10.6% which also ranked second fastest in the nation. The growth in Crowley was primarily due to the movement prisoners from the Kit Carson Correctional Center which was closed to the Corrections Corporation of American facility in Crowley and Bent Counties. Therefore it makes sense that Kit Carson County experienced the largest decline of population in the state (-470) and percentage (-6.2%). The percentage loss ranked second largest in the U.S.
Counties in Colorado with the largest growth continued to be along the Front Range, representing eighty-five percent of the growth in the state. Counties with the fastest growth were primarily smaller rural counties except for Weld. Weld County was the 14th fastest growing county in the U.S. for counties over 100,000 in population. The Greeley Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), same as the Weld geography was the 3rd fastest growing MSA in the US at 3.5%.
Net migration represents 60% of the population change in the state with the remaining 40% from natural increase (births-deaths). In many counties net migration is the only source of growth and in 14 counties it is the source of decline. Most counties have positive natural increase (more births than deaths) but 8 counties are experiencing natural declines.