population

Developers are struggling to build enough houses and apartments to keep up with the population boom in the Mountain West, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data released last week.

For the first time in seven years, rural America’s population is growing.

The annual U.S. Department of Agriculture report “Rural America at a Glance” found the increase — only 0.08 percent — mainly in scenic rural areas like the Rocky Mountains, more densely populated rural areas and rural communities that are within about an hour’s drive of a major city. Essentially, places where people still have access to urban amenities or can go hiking, biking, fishing or skiing.

Larry Johnson / Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0

Over the past decade or so, the Mountain West has seen rapid population growth, but there are parts of the region that are slowing down.

Elizabeth Garner, the State Demographer for Colorado, said that for a while the Mountain West has had the advantage of lower costs and more space. But since 2015, Colorado’s growth rate has been declining, which means that “we’re still increasing, just by not as many,” said Garner.

Larry Lamsa / Wikimedia Commons

Federal and state agencies are struggling to pay for much needed maintenance and conservation on public lands so they’re turning to things like park fees and hunting permits to raise the cash.

Photo by Sierra Coon / Canyonlands National Park

Many are calling it far-fetched, but a mountain west entrepreneur is reviving a proposal to draw water from Utah's Green River and funnel it to Colorado's growing and drought-prone Front Range. The pipeline would move billions of gallons of water across hundreds of miles from Utah through Wyoming and down into Colorado.

Carol M. Highsmith / Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Carol M. Highsmith [LC-DIG-highsm-11937]

Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River is a new book from David Owen, a staff writer with the New Yorker magazine and author of more than a dozen books.  His latest takes him on a journey across the west following the Colorado River: the dams, reservoirs and pipelines that help quench the thirst of seven states and parts of Mexico. 

Colorado Springs Ranks High in Birthplace Diversity

Mar 1, 2017
Daniel Hoherd / FLICKR (Creative Commons)

Colorado Springs ranks 11th in the country for birthplace diversity according to a recent study. That means many of its residents weren't born here. 

John Suthers State of the City 2016 / Colorado Springs

UPDATE: 2/16/17. The Senate Finance committee passed SB-153 on a 4-1 vote. The bill now heads to the full Senate.

Original post 2/14/17:

A proposal to study whether it's viable to create passenger rail from southern Colorado to Fort Collins has cleared its first hurdle at the state legislature.

Steve Wilson / Flickr - Creative Commons

This post has been updated, first on Sat 1/28/17 to expand the story.  Last updated Thursday 2/2/17 to reflect that the bill has been introduced at the statehouse.
 

The state's Southwest Chief Commission, which has been working since 2014 to find ways to preserve and expand a long-distance Amtrak route that runs through southern Colorado, is setting its sights on passenger rail along the Interstate 25 corridor and Colorado's Front Range. 

Census Data Shows Colorado's Continued Growth

Jan 10, 2017
Daniel Hoherd / FLICKR (Creative Commons)

New US Census Bureau data shows Colorado's population continues to grow steadily. 

Eighty-four-year-old Joyce Reiche has a two-bedroom home close to downtown Eagle, Colorado, on the Western Slope. Like many, she's trying to plan for the next phase of life.

"The things I used to like to do I can't do any more, like hike, cross-country ski, go up to the mountains, and do things like that," Reiche said. "I mainly stay home, but I'm content at home."

Colorado's population is not only growing, it's also getting older. Many of the state's counties are poised to see huge increases in the number of people over the age of 65 in the next 25 years.

Andrea Chalfin

"Colorful Colorado" may one day be referred to as "Crowded Colorado" given the number of people expected to move to the Centennial State by 2040. All that growth will take a toll on the state's infrastructure as well as water and other natural resources.