Report: Archuleta County expected to grow by 83 percent over next 25 years


By Bente Birkeland

Rocky Mountain Community Radio

and Burt Hubbard,

Rocky Mountain PBS News

“Colorful Colorado” may one day need to be referred to as “Crowded Colorado” given the number of people expected to move here during the next 25 years.

Archuleta County is expected to grow by 83 percent by the year 2040.

El Paso County still will be the state’s most populous county in 2040, with Denver remaining in second place. But Weld County’s population is expected to double to half-a-million.

A Rocky Mountain PBS News analysis of data from the state demographer and the U.S. Census Bureau shows seven of the 10 fastest growing counties will be on the Western Slope, including Archuleta, Eagle, Garfield and Routt counties. The numbers show an estimated 7.8 million people will call Colorado home by 2040, an increase of about 2.3 million. All that growth will take a toll on the state’s infrastructure, as well as water and other natural resources.

The population projections from the state demographer also show:

Almost half of the state’s growth, 1.1 million people, will take place in the seven-county Denver metro area, whose population will soar to 4.1 million by 2040. Denver will remain the second largest county, barely edging out Arapahoe County. Both will have more than 850,000 residents within 25 years.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.