Census: Denver ranked 19th; Castle Rock highest-ranked Colorado city for growth

Denver remained in the top-20 cities for population in the U.S. but declined compared to 2020, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Denver was ranked the 19th in resident population for incorporated places of 50,000 or more people with 713,252 people as of July 1, 2022. It was a slight increase from the 2021 population of 711,323. However, it was down almost 1% from the 2020 population of 717,556.

More than half of the nation’s 15 fastest-growing cities were in the south, according to the bureau’s Vintage 2022 Population Estimates. Six of the nine fastest-growing cities were in Texas.

Castle Rock was the highest-ranked Colorado city for population growth. Its population increased by 3,539, or 4.6%, to 80,191, ranking it 18th in the annual estimate of resident population change for incorporated areas of 50,000 people or more.

Other Colorado cities with population growth of 1% and rank:

Commerce City, 2.6%, 57th;Grand Junction, 1.8%, 111th;Boulder, 1.4%, 142nd;Parker, 1.2%, 169th;Loveland, 1.1%, 179th; and,Broomfield 1%, 195th.

No other Colorado cities had greater than 1% growth.

Arvada declined 1.6% in population (2,010), the largest loss among Colorado’s cities, ranking 769th of 798 cities in the report.

Western small towns saw the largest growth (0.5%) from 2021 to 2022. Approximately 40% (129.6 million) of the nation’s population lived in cities with populations of 50,000 or more – 798 cities, or 4.1% of cities. Approximately 75% of incorporated areas had fewer than 5,000 people and approximately 33% had fewer than 500 in the analysis of 19,500 incorporated areas.

The report also provided annual estimates of housing units by county for each state. Chaffee County had a 3.2% annual increase in housing units (348) in 2021 and a 4.2% annual increase in 2022 (471), the largest in the state last year.

Weld County had a 4.1% annual increase in housing units (4,938) in 2021, the highest in the state that year, and a 3.3% annual increase (4,086) in 2022.

Twenty seven of Colorado’s 64 counties had an increase of 1% or less in housing units in 2021 and 2022.

In an attempt to improve Colorado's housing inventory and affordability, the General Assembly attempted to pass a bill allowing local governments to create and enforce rent control. After passing out of the House by a 40-24 vote, it failed to pass out of the Senate Committee on Local Government and Housing.

A report by the Common Sense Institute estimates Colorado faces a housing deficit of between 25,077 and 116,907 units.

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