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Colorado among fastest growing states

10:03 PM, Dec 30, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - If actions speak louder than words, then a lot of people paid Colorado a compliment by moving here.

The state's population grew at about double the national rate over the past few years at a rate of 4.76 percent, according to data released Monday by the US Census Bureau.

North Dakota is on top, thanks to an oil drilling boom, and Colorado is hanging in with some of the state's biggest business competitors: Texas and Utah.

Colorado grew by more than 239,000 people since 2010.

And why not?

Colorado has pretty mountains and a strong economy to lure people.

"Anywhere between 55 and 60 percent comes from job change, so job growth," State Demographer Elizabeth Garner said.

Garner says the churn of people moving in and out is good for the state because it brings a fresh supply of new minds.

And those people grow the economy, making more jobs.

But there are growing pains.

All those new people bring cars with them, putting traffic on the road. They need water to drink, schools to put their kids into and most importantly, places to live.

This population boom is a huge part of the reason we see real estate prices soaring in Colorado.

Look within Colorado and you see this is a Front Range story.

Weld County is growing quickly because of its own oil boom, but the biggest influx of people is in the greater Denver area and Colorado Springs.

Garner says the growth will stay at this pace for the coming decades, though higher rents and house prices could slow things.

"We've got one of the highest housing prices that doesn't have a coast," Garner said. "So as our housing prices go up, fewer people might come to the state because they'll see opportunities in other areas."

But even that won't stop the growth altogether.

Colorado remains an attractive place, one that will need to prepare for more people.

"If you plan well then typically you don't feel it as harshly," Garner said. "I think policy makers, decision makers are going to be put to the test: how do we do this well?"

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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