First glimpse at 2020 Census data shows Colorado grew nearly twice as fast as U.S. as a whole since 2010, will gain an eighth Congressional seat

Written by: Sarah Hughes
Date Posted: April 30, 2021

2020 Census data released Monday confirmed what many of us have witnessed firsthand during the past decade: Colorado’s population grew significantly since 2010, and it increased much more quickly than in most other places across the nation. Only five states—Utah, Idaho, Texas, North Dakota and Nevada—saw faster growth than Colorado between 2010 and 2020. Our state’s population climbed to nearly 5.8 million people in 2020, up more than 14 percent since 2010. In comparison, the nation’s population grew by 7.4 percent, the second-slowest population growth on record.  

Colorado’s population grew enough to earn the state an eighth seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, which means more representation in Washington, D.C. for Colorado kids and families. Although it was widely predicted that our state would receive an additional Congressional seat after the 2020 population count, it was by no means guaranteed, making last year’s get-out-the-count efforts critical. A newly formed independent redistricting committee will determine the boundaries for Colorado’s eight Congressional districts later this year.  

Although the data released this week show how Colorado’s overall population has grown in the past decade, they don’t tell us anything about the accuracy of the 2020 Census and whether certain populations were undercounted or overcounted. Concerns about accuracy were amplified in 2020, since the count began in most communities just as the pandemic was taking hold, and many Census Bureau operations had to be delayed or modified significantly as a result. Recent decennial censuses have undercounted young children under age 5 at higher rates than any other age group—a troubling trend with implications for federal funding for programs that help support kids and their families. Some advocates are also concerned that the 2020 Census may have significantly undercounted people who are Hispanic or Latino, based on which states gained or lost Congressional seats as a result of the 2020 count 

Stay tuned to KidsFlash for further updates on the 2020 Census and what it tells us about Colorado in the months to come.  

Sarah Hughes

About Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes is Vice President of Research Initiatives for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. In this role, she leads the organization’s research and data analysis efforts, including the development and publication of the annual KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report, and provides research and data support to inform and advance the Children’s Campaign’s policy agenda. She also co-chairs the organization’s internal Equity Team. Prior to joining the Children’s Campaign, Sarah worked in communications and spent several years working and volunteering with kids in various capacities.