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About the State Demography Office

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Roles and Responsibilities | Population Data and Programs | Data Available | Uses of the Data | Other Services Available

Roles and Responsibilities

The State Demography Office is the primary state agency for population and demographic information. Its data are used by state agencies to forecast demand for facilities and services. These data are also used by local governments and non-profit organizations in the state to anticipate growth or decline and to plan and develop programs and community resources. The office’s location in the Department of Local Affairs insures that its data and information is developed in ways that account for local input and needs. The office makes the data publicly available on their website, answers requests for economic and demographic data and provides training workshops on accessing and using the data.

Population Data and Programs

Census: The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a complete survey of the population every ten years (ending in zero). The office represents state and local needs and concerns relating to the conduct of the decennial census. In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau collects social and economic characteristics of the population in part to determine the needs for federal grant programs. The State Demography Office processes these data and makes them available to the public on our website. Local governments use this information to better understand their communities and identify areas of need. In order to achieve the best census possible, the State Demography Office works with the Census Bureau and local governments in updating maps of all streets, and inventories of all housing units.

Estimates: The office prepares annual estimates of the total population for Colorado counties, municipalities and special districts that provide park and recreation services. The estimates are based on data indicative of population change: births, deaths, migration, new housing units, jobs, school enrollment and Medicare enrollment. Local governments assist in the process by providing and reviewing data since Conservation Trust Fund allocations are tied to the population estimates.

Forecasts: The office prepares population forecasts for the counties and regions of the state by age and gender and ethnicity/race (state only) to the year 2050. Population change is tied to understandings of both economic and demographic change. An economic forecast establishes the demand for labor while our demographic cohort-survival model indicates supply of labor provided by existing populations. The difference between the demand and the labor supply sets the foundation for the net migration of population and households.

The economic forecast is prepared by analyzing and forecasting economic base or market “drivers” for the state and its counties. National and regional conditions are studied as well as local attitudes toward growth to determine the market potential for specific drivers. The final economic forecast includes local, regional and national perspectives.

The demographic forecast survives the current population from one year to the next by age and gender. Deaths are forecast according to age and gender specific death rates. Women of child-bearing age give birth to children according to age-specific fertility rates. Demographic migration for groups such as students, military, prisoners and retirees are also included. Characteristics of the population that are fundamental to understanding the relationship between the economy and the population include commuting, labor force participation rates, and multiple job holding rates.

The integration of the economic and demographic forecast balances labor demand (economic) with the labor supply (demographic) and sets the foundation for economic migration from either job growth or decline.

GIS Data and Maps: The Office collects boundaries from municipalities and special districts via the Conservation Trust Fund program which are integrated into a GIS for our annual population estimates program. We also manage state participation in census geographic programs.

Thematic and reference maps are available on our website; custom maps are available by request.

Data Dissemination: The State Demography Office is committed to increasing data accessibility for the public. This includes informing state agencies, local governments and the news media of new demographic developments and assisting them in understanding and interpreting demographic data and information.

Data Available

Population: Past, Present and Future

Components of Change


The Economy


Geographic Areas and Maps

Economic Characteristics of the Population

Social Characteristics of the Population

Uses of the Data

In Land Use and Other Resource Use Planning

Economic Development Analyses

In Workforce Development Analyses

In Population Surveys and Analyses

In Health Services Planning

In Housing Needs Assessments

In Community Service Needs Assessments (public, private and non-profit)

Other Services Available