Atmosphere

Growing Pains

March 2011

1910 Population Increase (over previous decade) 48% // The metal mining industry peaks by the turn of the century, but the gold-seekers keep coming in hope of jobs and wealth.

1920 Population Increase 17.6% // The mining and agricultural eras end, but railroads help the economy stay afloat.

1930 Population Increase 10.2% // While the rest of the country is booming, Colorado lags behind. Demand is high for agricultural products, coal, and steel, but profits from these industries fall.

1940 Population Increase 8.4% // During the Dust Bowl, the Eastern Plains loses more than 10 percent of its population.

1950 Population Increase 18% // Nonfarm jobs more than double because of WWII defense industries.

1960 Population Increase 32.4% // Colorado adds 900,000 residents as many of the military families stationed in Colorado during the war stay as civilians.

1970 Population Increase 25.8% // Major federal employers come during the ’60s, including what would become the Forest Service. Oh, and the skiing industry takes off.

1980 Population Increase 30.9% // The baby boomer generation joins the workplace, and Colorado doubles the size of its workforce in 20 years. (The growth is almost twice that of the national average.)

1990 Population Increase 14% // In the second half of the ’80s, more people move out of Colorado than in, as the economy slows down due to busts in the oil and gas industries.

2000 Population Increase 30.6% // The boom years. The slowdown of the ’80s lowers the cost of doing business in Colorado, meaning more new business crops up. To boot, the advanced technology and construction sectors surge.

2010 Population Increase 16.9% // Colorado is hit early with a job slowdown—only about 30,000 jobs are created in the entire decade. But at least we still have skiing.