Why Colorado Won't Get Another Congressional Seat for at Least Another Decade

December 2010

The population of the United States is growing, according to the latest U.S. Census figures, surpassing 300 million people, up by about 27 million residents in the last decade. But within a historical context, the 9.7 percent growth rate since 2000 is actually quite slow, notes the Christian Science Monitor. Just one decade in the history of census taking was slower: 1930-1940, the days of the Great Depression. 

Colorado, on the other hand, has seen a comparative boom, with its population adding hundreds of thousands of people and rising to more than five million residents, up 16.9 percent from 2000 (via the Denver Business Journal). Though the state was the ninth-fastest growing in the nation, the increase is not enough to warrant any additional seats in Congress, points out The Denver Post, adding that few are surprised. Overall, the state's growth, while impressive, has slowed since the 1990s, when more than one million newcomers arrived. Census figures showing population shifts in the state, bringing political implications in terms of voter registrations and representation, have yet to be released. However, other data indicate that Denver, long a Democratic bastion, is growing fast.

The numbers also hold meaning for business, says Maclyn Clouse, a professor of finance at the University of Denver: "It tells the business world this is a state that's still growing, still attracting new residents who want to be here instead of somewhere else, and business investment and jobs are likely to follow. I think the news that Colorado is an attractive place to live and do business has gotten out a little bit."