Suburban counties were fastest growing, census data shows

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Name Pop Chng
Basalt 2681 137.7%
Pitkin 124 134.0%
Castle Rock 20224 132.2%
Windsor 9896 95.5%
Eagle 3032 91.9%
C. Creek 1115 90.9%
Breckenrdg. 2408 87.4%
Silverthorne 3196 80.8%
De Beque 451 75.5%
Elizabeth 1434 75.3%
Grand Lake 447 72.6%
Estes Park 5413 70.0%
Telluride 2221 69.7%
Delta 6400 68.9%
Berthoud 4839 61.8%
Fruita 6478 60.1%
Lafayette 23197 59.5%
Silt 1740 58.9%
Fraser 910 58.3%
Granby 1525 57.9%
Fairplay 610 57.6%
Broomfield 38272 55.3%
Louisville 18937 53.2%
Parachute 1006 52.9%
Frisco 2443 52.6%
S. Plume 203 51.5%
Hot Sulphur 521 50.1%
Thornton 82384 49.7%
Brighton 20905 47.2%
Steamboat 9815 46.6%
Rifle 6784 46.3%
Naturita 635 46.3%
Greenwood 11035 45.4%
Dillon 802 45.0%
G. Junction 41986 44.6%
Yampa 443 39.7%
Montrose 12344 39.4%
Longmont 71093 37.9%
Palisade 2579 37.8%
Loveland 50608 35.5%
Kremmling 1578 35.3%
Fort Collins 118652 35.2%
Cedaredge 1854 34.3%
Westcliffe 417 33.7%
Pagosa Spgs 1591 31.8%
Fort Lupton 6787 31.6%
Golden 17159 30.8%
Hotchkiss 968 30.1%
C. Springs 360890 28.4%
Greeley 76930 27.1%
Ouray 813 26.2%
Oak Creek 849 26.2%
Snowmass 1822 25.7%
Winter Park 662 25.4%
Olathe 1573 24.5%
Aurora 276393 24.4%
Vail 4531 23.8%
Brush 5117 22.9%
Yuma 3285 20.8%
Littleton 40340 19.8%
Denver 554636 18.6%
Glenwd Spgs. 7736 17.9%
Aspen 5914 17.1%
Gunnison 5409 16.7%
Green Mtn. 773 16.6%
Salida 5504 16.2%
Northglenn 31575 16.1%
Arvada 102153 14.5%
Lakewood 144126 14.0%
Boulder 94673 13.6%
Craig 9189 13.6%
Hayden 1634 13.2%
Limon 2071 13.1%
Durango 13922 12.0%
Nucla 734 11.9%
Meeker 2242 6.9%
Paonia 1497 6.7%
Dinosaur 319 -1.5%

DENVER (AP) More Coloradans headed for suburbs carved from farm and ranch land, drawn by high-tech companies and affordable houses with a down-home feel, according to census data released Monday.

Colorado also grew more diverse in the past decade, the numbers showed. The Hispanic population grew 73 percent and the Asian population grew 68 percent.

In the first year that people could mark more than one race on their census forms, 2 percent, or 114,612 people, indicated they were biracial, and 122,187 people, or 3 percent indicated they were multiracial.

Douglas County, home to the sprawling planned community of Highlands Ranch, grew the fastest, posting a 191 percent increase in population. Rounding out the top three were neighboring Elbert and Park, both on the fringe of southern metropolitan Denver.

Douglas County spokeswoman Kristin French credited the boost to the county's location between Denver and Colorado Springs and the opening of a major office park that has drawn a variety of companies.
Steve Elsen, 35, of Highlands Ranch, said the main reason he and his wife left Denver for Douglas County was to start a family.

''There's nothing that's not in Highlands Ranch, from recreation, good schools, good day care, great churches,'' he said. ''The growth out here with the malls and activities has been so much that we rarely make it back into downtown.''

Population in three counties passed 500,000: Denver, Jefferson and El Paso counties, the figures showed. Five out of the 63 counties lost population.

Colorado's overall population totaled 4,311,882, up 31 percent, the Census Bureau reported.

The numbers are part of the bureau's once-a-decade survey. They will be used to redraw political boundaries and distribute federal money. Additional data will be released in phases to detail information such as age, gender, average income, education and housing issues.

Gov. Bill Owens said each person would bring in about $165 in federal funds each year in various aid programs such as Medicaid education and highway construction.

Colorado's population growth is tied to an economic shift from a reliance on natural resources, such as oil, to the growth of high-tech, telecommunications and service industries. Its scenic beauty is a bonus, attracting a growing number of Americans who emphasize the environment they live in as much as the jobs they hold.

''We have, over and over, heard stories of people who are in their 50s who've done very well in their business in Iowa or Minnesota or California. They travel to the state and say, 'Hey, I can move today, continue to moonlight or telecommute,''' state demographer Jim Westkott said. ''Some start new firms.''

John Singh gave up a truck driving business in Sacramento and moved to Colorado in 1994, where he and his wife opened an Indian grocery store in Aurora. ''There's too many people over there,'' he said.
Eagle and Summit also were in the top 10, with growth fueled by a second-home construction industry.

Archuleta County, home to the Wolf Creek ski area, ranked fifth, growing 85 percent to 9,898 people, although county commissioners were hoping to top 10,000.

With retirees and baby boomers arriving from as far as New York or Louisiana, more residents want to telecommute, Archuleta County Commissioner Gene Crabtree said.

Denver County, landlocked by a constitutional amendment, saw an 19 percent increase in population, which could be attributed to Denver International Airport, and the redevelopment of a former Air Force base.

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