El Paso County is so close to passing Denver in population, and other fun facts

Great news, dorks: The latest U.S. Census population estimates are here.

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Great news, dorks: The latest U.S. Census population estimates are here. They show that Denver is the first county in Colorado to pass 700,000 in population — but Denver is soon to be surpassed by El Paso County.

El Paso rising:

Census estimates show that Denver passed El Paso County in population in 2013 to become the largest county in Colorado. If current trends continue, El Paso will reclaim that spot next year.

Denver slowing:

Denver’s population growth has slowed down in the last two years, especially as land prices spike and developers look to neighboring counties — or even to other areas altogether. (El Paso’s growth also slowed in 2017, but not as drastically.)

The statewide picture:

Of course, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. These numbers show that Denver itself is slowing down, but the Denver metro area is still the powerhouse.

Denver is surrounded by fast-growing cities and counties, and the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area is now at about 2.9 million people, while the Colorado Springs metro is about 723,000.

El Paso, meanwhile, is far larger geographically, leaving plenty of space for Colorado Springs to grow.

We’ve mapped the state’s growth by county below. As in many states, several of the rural areas (in yellow) are shrinking or at near-zero growth. If you’ve got a demographic question for us to answer, please email me.