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Although the 2020 Census was perhaps the most chaotic in our nation’s history, the initial results are finally in, and Coloradans are bound to be pleased—if you like more political influence and transplants, that is.
According to U.S. Census Bureau Data released this week, Colorado’s population grew by 744,518 from 2010 to 2020, meaning the Centennial State is now home to 5,773,714 people. That represents a 15 percent increase in residents over the past decade.
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It’s also more than double the national growth rate of seven percent over the same span; the U.S. population sat at 331.45 million last year, according to the data.
The census is used for far more than simply proving how popular a place is. For example, it helps the federal government determine how it will allocate funding between the states; Colorado estimates that it receives more than $13 billion in federal funds annually based on decennial statistics.
Even more notable this year: The census helps the federal government reapportion the disbursement of congressional seats, which are based on the proportion of the population each state holds. Because of its notable population increase over the past 10 years, Colorado will gain an eighth Congressional District and, therefore, an eighth elected official in the U.S. House of Representatives come 2023.
“This is proof that the census is important! Thank you to everyone who filled it out. We gained an 8thCongressional District so Colorado can be better represented and [we can have] a better understanding of where Coloradoans live,” Polis said in a Facebook post. “It will help us get the funding we need for emergency services, transportation, healthcare, school funding and more.”
Plus, the additional congressional district adds even more intrigue to Colorado’s revamped redistricting process.
Note: Although the census is only conducted every 10 years, population estimates take place every summer.
Colorado isn’t alone in gaining power on Capitol Hill. Based on the recent data, Texas, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon will also gain an additional seat. Those added reps will come at the expense of California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Illinois, and Michigan, all of which will lose a seat based on their population tallies.
In the Rocky Mountain region, Utah experienced an even higher growth rate than Colorado—the Beehive State actually earned the title as the fastest-growing state in the union—at 18.4 percent, though its population is still less than half of the Centennial State’s.
Wyoming, meanwhile, was determined to be the least-populous state. Its 576,851 residents would be outnumbered by Colorado’s growth total between 2010 and 2020.
Curious Coloradans can expect even further insight later this summer, when county, city, and town population totals from the 2020 Census will be released. That data will also include demographic components of population change by county and metropolitan.