Douglas County, state growth scrutinized

State demographer talks trends in Castle Rock presentation

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State Demographer Elizabeth Garner stopped by Castle Rock on Aug. 1 to discuss growth trends throughout the state, and in the local area. She also provided information on the upcoming 2020 census. Here's some takeaways from her presentation.

State population growth slowing

Last year, Castle Rock was the 14th fastest-growing community in the country, for communities with a population of 50,000 or larger. The town was growing an average of three families a day, said Town Manager Dave Corliss.

On a state and a national level, Garner said the population growth rate is slowing down, although Colorado is still experiencing growth. Birth rates are declining while death rates are holding steady.

And while Colorado is growing, other states have experienced tremendous growth in population, she said. Last year Colorado's population increased by nearly 80,000 people. By comparison, Texas grew by 759,000 people last year, Garner said.

“Yet what do we hear in the media all the time,” Garner asked people in the crowd. “'Unprecedented growth.'”

Where, by location and demographic, is growth happening?

Garner said growth in the state is largely concentrated in certain areas, particularly along the Front Range and along the Interstate 25 corridor.

Douglas County, along with neighboring El Paso and Arapahoe counties, saw some of the largest changes in population between 2010 and 2018. Meanwhile, counties in each corner of the state saw a decrease in population.

“Douglas County is in the midst of all of this growth,” she said.

Populations are also aging, Garner said. The 74- to 84-year-old age group is the fastest growing in Colorado. She said it is important for communities to monitor changing demographics, as a person's age often affects their lifestyle, which in turn affects their consumer habits and how much property tax they pay.

“Fifty-year-olds is our peak population in Douglas County,” she said. “These folks every year are marching toward that 65-year line.”

What to know about the 2020 census

The census, which occurs once every 10 years, is a count of all people living in the United States. Census Day is April 1, 2020. Results determine the number of seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives and the distribution of $13.1 billion in federal funds within Colorado annually.

People can complete the census online, by phone or in paper form. Data collection for the 2020 census will begin in March 2020 and last through August. Households will receive a postcard with instructions for completing the census in March. More information is available at demography.dola.colorado.gov.

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