Meet the New Colorado: Smarter, Younger and Wealthier, According to Census Data
Colorado has the second most educated population in the United States, according to an exclusive Axios Denver analysis of new census figures.
- An estimated 42% of state residents had a bachelor’s degree or higher during the 2016-2020 survey period, up from 38% in the previous five years.
- Only Massachusetts ranks higher at 45%; the United States as a whole is 33%.
Why is this important: New five-year American Community Survey figures released last week cover a period of significant growth for Colorado that has reshaped the state’s population and politics.
The big picture: The data puts numbers on anecdotal trends we’ve all experienced and indicates that the state’s economic situation has improved, according to our analysis of numbers from 2016-20 versus 2011-15.
- Median income rose 8% in the state to about $75,000, essentially on par with national trends, and median family income jumped 12% to $81,628.
- The poverty rate fell from 8.5% to 6.1%.
- The availability of housing and rental accommodation has declined, and the average value of owner-occupied homes has risen from $247,800 to $369,000.
What they say : “If we think back to those years…these were great boom years for Colorado. So where we see improvements in education in incomes, it’s all consistent with what we’ve seen,” the statement said. State demographer Elizabeth Garner in an interview.
Between the lines: The American Community Survey is separate from the annual US Census and adds new detail to what we learned from the numbers released last year.
- Because it only includes 2020 in a five-year sample, it’s not a great source of data on how the pandemic has changed the state.
Enlarge: Compared to the nation as a whole, Colorado is:
- Younger with a median age of 36.9 compared to 38.2 in the United States
- More mobile with 4% having left a different state in the past year.
- Better connected with 95% of households having a computer and 90% broadband internet.
- Largest in terms of percentage of veterans at 8.4%.
- Wealthier with higher median income and lower poverty rates.
The plot: Even before the pandemic, the proportion of people working from home increased and jobs in health care, social services and education expanded, the data shows.
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