About the State

About Colorado


Population: 5,189,458 (2012)

Colorado is the 8th largest and 22nd most populous state. Although its population is 70% non-Hispanic whites, over 40% of all births are to Latinos. This, along with a population growth rate twice the national rate, has meant that Colorado’s demographics are changing rapidly.

Industry & Economy

Named a “Top State for Business,” Colorado’s economy is driven by a diverse set of industries. Historically, manufacturing, mining, and agriculture have been the state’s largest sectors, but tourism (the state attracts over 60 million tourists a year), energy, real estate, and technology have become staples among Colorado’s business landscape as well. With abundant national forest and park land, and the numerous federal facilities and military centers, the federal government is also a major economic force in the state.

Education & Income (2012): Colorado USA
High School Graduates 89.9% 85.7%
College Graduates 36.7% 28.5%
Median Home Value $236,800 $181,400
Median Household Income $58,244 $53,046
Living in Poverty 12.9% 14.9%

Health & Health Care in Colorado

Colorado has a reputation for being the fittest state in the nation, but the data shows that there is still much room for improvement. In addition to an increasing obesity rate, the rates of smoking, binge drinking, and not exercising all hover just below 20%.  Many Coloradans also struggle to access coverage and care. Over 80% of the uninsured cited cost as a reason for lacking coverage, and nearly half of those did not seek care when they needed it because they were uninsured. 15% of Coloradans reported being unable to get an appointment when they needed one.

Health Issues:
In fair or poor health 13.1%
Overweight or obese 55.8%
Life Expectancy – Men 77.6 years
Life Expectancy – Women 81.7 years
Coverage & Access Issues:
Uninsured 14.3%
Underinsured 13.9%
EBNE* Children 18.8%
No usual source of care 16.9%

 *EBNE stands for Eligible But Not Enrolled. EBNE children are those who are eligible for either Medicaid or Colorado’s Child Health Plan Plus (both of which provide free or low-cost health insurance), but are not enrolled in either. Reasons for not enrolling may be because of a lack of information, lack of ability to navigate the system, or by choice.


The region that now makes up the states of Colorado was inhabited by Native Americans for more than 13,000 years, and served as a major migration route. Through various negotiations, trades and battles, the land switched ownership numerous times during the early 19th century. Colorado officially joined the Union as the 38th State under President Ulysses S. Grant on August 1, 1876.

Around the same time, silver was discovered in Leadville and gold in Cripple Creek, bringing a rush of new settlers. Colorado continued to grow steadily until the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Post-World War II, Colorado experienced a wave of immigration and populations began to rise again.

Because of the highly-varied geography of the state, Colorado has unique diversity among its many communities, ranging from small mountain towns to bustling front range cities. This has made for a distinctive political atmosphere, as well, with roughly equal numbers of Democrat, Republican, and Independent voters.


Data Sources