State of Colorado Flag Seal Nickname(s): The Centennial State Motto(s): Nil sine numine (Nothing without providence) Capital
(and largest city)
Denver Largest metro area Denver-Aurora-Broomfield MSA Area Ranked 8th in the U.S. - Total 104,094 sq mi
- Width 380 miles (612 km) - Length 280 miles (451 km) - % water 0.36% - Latitude 37°N to 41°N - Longitude 102°03'W to 109°03'W Population Ranked 22nd in the U.S. - Total (2010) 5,029,196 - Density 48.31/sq mi (18.64/km2)
Ranked 37th in the U.S.
- Median income $56,993 (13th) Elevation - Highest point Mount Elbert
14,440 ft (4401.2 m)
- Mean 6,800 ft (2070 m) - Lowest point Arikaree River
3,316 ft (1011 m)
Before statehood Territory of Colorado Admission to Union August 1, 1876 (38th State) Governor John Hickenlooper (D) Lieutenant Governor Joseph A. Garcia (D) Legislature General Assembly - Upper house Senate - Lower house House of Representatives U.S. Senators 2 – Mark Udall (D)
3 – Michael Bennet (D)
U.S. House delegation 4 Republicans and 3 Democrats (list) Time zone MST=UTC-07, MDT=UTC-06 Abbreviations CO Colo. US-CO Website colorado.gov
Colorado (pronounced i//) is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. Colorado is part of the Western United States and the Mountain States.
The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the red colored (Spanish: colorado) silt the river carried from the mountains. On August 1, 1876, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation admitting Colorado as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it was admitted to the Union as the 38th state in 1876, the centennial year of the United States Declaration of Independence.
Colorado is bordered by the northwest state of Wyoming to the north, the midwest states of Nebraska and Kansas to the northeast and east, on the south by New Mexico and a small portion of the southern state of Oklahoma, and on the west by Utah. The four states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at one common point known as the Four Corners, which is known as the heart of the American Southwest. Colorado is one of only three U.S. states with no natural borders, the others being neighboring Wyoming and Utah.
Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, forests, high plains, mesas, canyons, plateaus, rivers, and desert lands. The 2010 United States Census tallied the state population at 5,029,196 as of April 1, 2010, an increase of 16.92% since the 2000 United States Census. Denver is the capital and the most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are properly known as "Coloradans", although the archaic term "Coloradoan" is still used.
The borders of Colorado were originally defined to be lines of latitude and longitude, making its shape a latitude-longitude* quadrangle which stretches from 37°N to 41°N latitude and from 102°03'W to 109°03'W longitude (25°W to 32°W from the Washington Meridian). Colorado, Wyoming and Utah are the only states which have boundaries defined solely by lines of latitude and longitude. When placing the border markers for the Territory of Colorado, minor surveying errors resulted in several small kinks, most notably along the border with the Territory of Utah. Once agreed upon by the federal, state, and territorial governments, those surveyors' benchmarks, became the legal boundaries for the Colorado Territory, kinks and all.
The summit of Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet (4,401 m) in elevation in Lake County is the highest point of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. Colorado is the only U.S. state that lies entirely above 1,000 meters (3,281 ft) elevation. The point where the Arikaree River flows out of Yuma County, Colorado, and into Cheyenne County, Kansas, is the lowest point in Colorado at 3,317 feet (1,011 m) elevation. This point holds the distinction of being the highest low elevation point of any state.
A little over one third of the area of Colorado is flat and rolling land. East of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains of the High Plains, the section of the Great Plains within Colorado at elevations ranging from roughly 3,350 to 7,360 feet (1,020 to 2,240 m). The midwest plains states of Kansas and Nebraska border Colorado to the east and northeast. The Colorado plains are usually thought of as prairies, but actually they have many patches of deciduous forests, buttes, and canyons, much like the high plains in New Mexico as well. Eastern Colorado is presently mainly covered in farmland, along with small farming villages and towns. Precipitation is fair, averaging from 15 to 25 inches (380 to 630 mm) annually. The summers in the plains are normally hot and dry, while the winters are often quite cold, snowy, and icy. Corn, wheat, hay, soybeans, and oats are all typical crops, and most of the villages and towns in this region boast both a water tower and a grain elevator. As well as the farming of crops, Eastern Colorado has a good deal of livestock raising, such as at cattle ranches and hog farms and irrigation water is available from the South Platte, the Arkansas River, and a few other streams, and also from subterranean sources, including artesian wells. However, heavy use of ground water from wells for irrigation has caused underground water reserves to decline.
Most of Colorado's population resides along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in the Front Range Urban Corridor between Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Pueblo, Colorado. This region is partially protected from prevailing storms that blow in from the Pacific Ocean region by the high Rockies in the middle of Colorado. The only other significant population centers are at Grand Junction and Durango in far western Colorado.
To the west of Great Plains of Colorado rises the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. Notable peaks of the Rocky Mountains include Longs Peak, Mount Evans, Pikes Peak, and the Spanish Peaks near Walsenburg, in southern Colorado. This area drains to the east and the southeast, ultimately either via the Mississippi River or the Rio Grande into the Gulf of Mexico.
The Continental Divide extends along the crest of the Rocky Mountains. The area of Colorado to the west of the Continental Divide is called the Western Slope of Colorado. Drainage water west of the Continental Divide flows to the southwest via the Green River and the Colorado River into the Gulf of California.
Within the interior of the Rocky Mountains are several large so-called "parks" or high broad basins. In the north, on the east side of the Continental Divide is the North Park of Colorado. The North Park is drained by the North Platte River, which flows north into Wyoming and Nebraska. Just to the south of North Park, but on the western side of the Continental Divide, is the Middle Park of Colorado, which is drained by the Colorado River. The South Park of Colorado is the region of the headwaters of the South Platte River.
In southmost Colorado is the large San Luis Valley, where the headwaters of the Rio Grande are located. The valley sits between the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and San Juan Mountains, and consists of large desert lands that eventually run into the mountains. The Rio Grande drains due south into New Mexico, Mexico, and Texas. Across the Sangre de Cristo Range to the east of the San Luis Valley lies the Wet Mountain Valley. These basins, particularly the San Luis Valley, lie along the Rio Grande Rift, a major geological formation of the Rocky Mountains, and its branches.
The Rocky Mountains within Colorado contain about 54 peaks that are 14,000 feet (4,267 m) or higher in elevation above sea level, known as fourteeners. These mountains are largely covered with trees such as conifers and aspens up to the tree line, at an elevation of about 12,140 feet (3,700 m) in southern Colorado to about 10,500 feet (3,200 m) in northern Colorado. Above this only alpine vegetation grows. Only small parts of the Colorado Rockies are snow-covered year round. Much of the alpine snow melts by mid-August with the exception of a few snowcapped peaks and a few small glaciers. The Colorado Mineral Belt, stretching from the San Juan Mountains in the southwest to Boulder and Central City on the front range, contains most of the historic gold- and silver-mining districts of Colorado.
The 30 highest major summits of the Rocky Mountains of North America all lie within the state. Colorado is home to four national parks, six national monuments, two national recreation areas, two national historic sites, three national historic trails, a national scenic trail, 11 national forests, two national grasslands, 41 national wilderness areas, two national conservation areas, eight national wildlife refuges, 44 state parks, a state forest, 323 state wildlife areas, and numerous other scenic, historic, and recreational attractions.
The Western Slope of Colorado is drained by the Colorado River and its tributaries (primarily the Green River and the San Juan River), or by evaporation in its arid areas. Prominent in the southwestern area of the Western Slope are the high San Juan Mountains, a rugged mountain range, and to the west of the San Juan Mountains, the Colorado Plateau, a high arid region that borders Southern Utah. The city of Grand Junction, Colorado, is the largest city on the Western Slope, Grand Junction and Durango are the only major centers of radio and television broadcasting, newspapers, and higher education on the Western Slope. The Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Western State College in Gunnison, and Fort Lewis College in Durango are the only four-year colleges in Colorado west of the Continental Divide.
Grand Junction is located along Interstate 70, the only major highway of Western Colorado. Grand Junction is also along the major railroad of the Western Slope, the Union Pacific, which also provides the tracks for Amtrak's California Zephyr passenger train, which crosses the Rocky Mountains between Denver and Grand Junction via a route on which there are no continuous highways.
To the southeast of Grand Junction is the Grand Mesa, said to be the world's largest flat-topped mountain. Other towns of the Western Slope include Glenwood Springs with its resort hot springs, and the ski resorts of Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs, and Telluride.
The northwestern corner of Colorado is a sparsely-populated region, and it contains part of the noted Dinosaur National Monument, which is not only a paleontological area, but is also a scenic area of high, rocky hills, canyons, and streambeads. Here, the Green River briefly crosses over into Colorado.
From west to east, the land of Colorado consists of desert lands and desert plateaus, then alpine mountains with National Forests, then some scattered desert land in the southern mountain areas in the state, and then the relatively-flat grasslands and scattered forests of the Great Plains. The famous Pikes Peak is located just west of Colorado Springs. Its isolated peak is visible from nearly the Kansas border on clear days, and also far to the north and the south. The desert lands in Colorado are located in and around areas such as, the Royal Gorge, Pueblo, Canon City, Florence, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, San Luis Valley, Cortez, Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument, Ute Mountain, Delta, Grand Junction, Colorado National Monument, Roan Plateau, and other areas surrounding the Uncompahgre Plateau and Uncompahgre National Forest.
Colorado is one of four states in the United States that share a common geographic point the Four Corners, together with Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. At this intersection, it is possible to stand in four states at once.
The climate of Colorado is quite complex compared to most of the United States. Unlike in other states, southern Colorado is not necessarily warmer than northern Colorado. Most of Colorado is made up of mountains, foothills, high plains, and desert lands. Mountains and surrounding valleys greatly affect local climate. As a general rule, with an increase in elevation comes a decrease in temperature and an increase in precipitation. Northeast, east, and southeast Colorado are mostly the high plains, while Northern Colorado is a mix of high plains, foothills, and mountains. Northwest and west Colorado are predominantly mountainous, with some desert lands mixed in. Southwest and southern Colorado are a complex mixture of desert and mountain areas.
The climate of the Eastern Plains is semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSk) with low humidity and moderate precipitation, usually from 15 to 25 inches (380 to 630 mm) annually. The area is known for its abundant sunshine and cool clear nights, which give this area a great average diurnal temperature range. In summer, this area can have many days above 95 °F (35 °C) and sometimes 100 °F (38 °C),. Although 105 °F (41 °C) is the maximum in the front range cities above 5,000 ft (1,500 m), front range cities sitting just below 5,000 ft (1,500 m) have reached 112 °F (44 °C),. In the plains, the winter extremes can be from 0 °F (-18 °C) to −10 °F (−23 °C). About 75% of the precipitation falls within the growing season, from April to September, but this area is very prone to droughts. Most of the precipitation comes from thunderstorms, which are often severe, and from major snowstorms that occur most often in the early spring, late autumn, and winter. Otherwise, winters tend to be mostly dry and cold. In much of the region, March and April are the snowiest months. April and May are normally the rainiest months, while April is the wettest month overall. The Front Range cities closer to the mountains tend to be warmer in the winter due to chinook winds which warm the area, sometimes bringing temperatures of 70 °F (21 °C) or higher in the winter,. The average July temperature is 55 °F (13 °C) in the morning and close to 90 °F (32 °C) in the afternoon. The average January temperature is 18 °F (−8 °C) in the morning and 45 °F (7 °C) in the afternoon, although variation between consecutive days can be 40 °F (22 °C).
West of the plains and foothills
West of the plains and foothills, the weather of Colorado is much less uniform. Even places a few miles apart can experience entirely different weather depending on the topography of the area. Most valleys have a semi-arid climate, which becomes an alpine climate at higher elevations. Humid microclimates also exist in some areas. Generally, the wettest season in western Colorado is winter while June is the driest month. This is the opposite of precipitation patterns in the east. The mountains have cool summers with many days of high temperatures around 60 °F (16 °C) to 70 °F (21 °C), although frequent thunderstorms can cause sudden drops in temperature. Summer nights are cool or even cold at the highest elevations, which sometimes get snow even in the middle of the summer. The winters bring abundant, powdery snowfall to the mountains with plenty of sunshine in between major storms. The western slope has high summer temperatures similar to those found on the plains, while the winters tend to be slightly cooler due to the lack of warming winds common to the plains and Front Range. Other areas in the west have their own unique climate.
Extreme weather is a common occurrence in Colorado. Thunderstorms are common east of the Continental divide in the spring and summer, and Colorado is one of the leading states in deaths due to lightning. Hail is a common sight in the mountains east of the divide and in the northwest part of the state. The Eastern Plains have some of the biggest hail storms in North America. Also the Eastern Plains are part of Tornado Alley and produce some of the deadliest U.S. tornadoes. Some damaging tornadoes in the Eastern Plains include the 1990 Limon F3 tornado and the 2008 Windsor EF3 tornado, which devastated the town. The plains are also susceptible to floods, which are caused both by thunderstorms and by the rapid melting of snow in the mountains during warm weather. Denver's record in 1921 for the number of consecutive days above 90 °F (32 °C) was broken during the summer of 2008. The new record of 24 consecutive days surpassed the previous record by almost a week. Much of Colorado is a relatively dry state averaging only 17 inches (430 mm) of rain per year statewide and rarely experiences a time when some portion of the state is not in some degree of drought. The lack of precipitation contributes to the severity of wildfires in the state such as the Hayman Fire, one of the largest wildfires in American history, and the Fourmile Canyon Fire of 2010, the most destructive wildfire in Colorado's recorded history.
However, there are some of the mountainous regions of Colorado which receive a huge amount of moisture via winter snowfalls. The spring melts of these snows often cause great waterflows in such rivers as the Yampa River, the Grand River, the Colorado River, the Rio Grande, the Arkansas River, Cherry Creek, the North Platte River, and the South Platte River. Water flowing out of the Colorado Rocky Mountains is a very significant source of water for the farms, towns, and cities of fellow southwest states of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, as well as midwest like Nebraska and Kansas, and also southern states like Oklahoma and Texas. A significant amount of water is also diverted for use in California; occasionally (formerly naturally and consistently) the flow of water reaches northern Mexico.
Monthly normal high and low temperatures for various Colorado cities (°F) City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Alamosa 35/−2 40/6 51/17 60/24 70/33 79/41 83/47 80/46 73/37 62/25 47/12 36/1 Colorado Springs 43/18 45/20 52/26 60/33 69/43 79/51 85/57 82/56 75/47 63/36 51/25 42/18 Denver 44/19 46/21 54/27 61/35 71/44 82/53 89/59 86/58 78/49 65/37 52/26 43/18 Grand Junction 38/18 46/25 57/32 66/39 76/48 88/57 94/64 90/62 81/53 67/41 51/29 39/19 Pueblo 47/14 51/18 60/26 68/34 77/44 88/53 93/59 90/58 82/48 70/34 57/23 46/14
On August 22, 2011, a 5.3 magnitude earthquake occurred nine miles WSW of the city of Trinidad. No casualties and only small damage was reported. It was the second largest earthquake in Colorado since a magnitude 5.7 earthquake was recorded in 1973.
The region that is today the state of Colorado has been inhabited by Native Americans for more than 13 millennia. The Lindenmeier Site in Larimer County contains artifacts dating from approximately 11200 BCE to 3000 BCE. The eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains was a major migration route that was important to the spread of early peoples throughout the Americas. The Ancient Pueblo Peoples lived in the valleys and mesas of the Colorado Plateau. The Ute Nation inhabited the mountain valleys of the Southern Rocky Mountains and the Western Rocky Mountains. The Arapaho Nation and the Cheyenne Nation moved west to hunt across the High Plains.
The United States acquired a territorial claim to the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains with the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803. This U.S. claim conflicted with the claim of Spain to a huge region surrounding its colony of Santa Fé de Nuevo Méjico as its sovereign trading zone with native peoples. Zebulon Pike led a U.S. Army reconnaissance expedition into the disputed region in 1806. Colonel Pike and his men were arrested by Spanish cavalrymen in the San Luis Valley the following February, taken to Chihuahua, and then expelled from Mexico the following July.
The United States relinquished its claim to all land south and west of the Arkansas River and south of 42nd parallel north and west of the 100th meridian west as part of its purchase of Florida from Spain with the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. The treaty took effect February 22, 1821. Having settled its border with Spain, the United States admitted the southeastern portion of the Territory of Missouri to the Union as the state of Missouri on August 10, 1821. The remainder of the Missouri Territory, including what would become northeastern Colorado, became unorganized territory, and would remain so for 33 years over the question of slavery. After 11 years of war, Spain finally recognized the independence of Mexico with the Treaty of Córdoba signed on August 24, 1821. Mexico eventually ratified the Adams-Onís Treaty in 1831. The Texian Revolt of 1835–1836 fomented a dispute between the United States and Mexico which eventually erupted into the Mexican-American War in 1846. Mexico surrendered its northern territory to the United States with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the conclusion of the war in 1848.
Most American settlers traveling overland west to the Oregon Country, the new goldfields of California, or the new Mormon settlements of Deseret in the Salt Lake Valley, avoided the rugged Southern Rocky Mountains, and instead followed the North Platte River and Sweetwater River to South Pass, the lowest crossing of the Continental Divide between the Southern Rocky Mountains and the Central Rocky Mountains. In 1849, the Mormons of the Salt Lake Valley organized the extralegal State of Deseret, claiming the entire Great Basin and all lands drained by the Green, Grand, and Colorado rivers. The federal government of the United States flatly refused to recognize the new Mormon government, because it was theocratic and sanctioned plural marriage. Instead, the Compromise of 1850 divided the Mexican Cession and the northwestern claims of Texas into a new state and two new territories, the state of California, the Territory of New Mexico, and the Territory of Utah. On April 9, 1851, Mexican American settlers from the area of Taos settled the village of San Luis, then in the New Mexico Territory, later to become Colorado's first permanent Euro-American settlement.
In 1854, Senator Stephen A. Douglas persuaded the U.S. Congress to divide the unorganized territory east of the Continental Divide into two new organized territories, the Territory of Kansas and the Territory of Nebraska, and an unorganized southern region known as the Indian territory. Each new territory was to decide the fate of slavery within its boundaries, but this compromise merely served to fuel animosity between free soil and pro-slavery factions.
Gold was discovered along the South Platte River then in western Kansas Territory in July 1858, precipitating the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. The placer gold deposits along the rivers and streams of the region rapidly played out, but prospectors soon discovered far more valuable seams of hard rock gold in the nearby mountains.
The gold seekers organized the Provisional Government of the Territory of Jefferson on August 24, 1859, but this new territory failed to secure approval from the Congress of the United States embroiled in the debate over slavery. The election of Abraham Lincoln for the President of the United States on November 6, 1860, led to the secession of nine southern slave states and the threat of civil war among the states. Seeking to augment the political power of the Union states, the Republican Party dominated Congress quickly admitted the eastern portion of the Territory of Kansas into the Union as the free State of Kansas on January 29, 1861, leaving the western portion of the Kansas Territory, and its gold-mining areas, as unorganized territory.
Thirty days later on February 28, 1861, outgoing U.S. President James Buchanan signed an Act of Congress organizing the free Territory of Colorado. The original boundaries of Colorado remain unchanged today. The name Colorado was chosen because it was commonly believed that the Colorado River originated in the territory. In 1776, Spanish priest Silvestre Vélez de Escalante recorded that Native Americans in the area knew the river as el Rio Colorado for the red-brown silt that the river carried from the mountains. In 1859, a U.S. Army topographic expedition led by Captain John Macomb located the confluence of the Green River with the Grand River in what is now Canyonlands National Park in Utah. The Macomb party designated the confluence as the source of the Colorado River.
On April 12, 1861, South Carolina artillery opened fire on Fort Sumter to start the American Civil War. While many gold seekers held sympathies for the Confederacy, the vast majority remained fiercely loyal to the Union cause. In 1862, a force of Texas cavalry invaded the Territory of New Mexico and captured Santa Fe on March 10. The object of this Western Campaign was to seize or disrupt the gold fields of Colorado and California and to seize ports on the Pacific Ocean for the Confederacy. A hastily organized force of Colorado volunteers force-marched from Denver City, Colorado Territory, to Glorieta Pass, New Mexico Territory, in an attempt to block the Texans. On March 28, the Coloradans and local New Mexico volunteers stopped the Texans at the Battle of Glorieta Pass, destroyed their cannon and supply wagons, and ran off 500 head of their horses and mules. The Texans were forced to retreat to Santa Fe. Having lost the supplies for their campaign and finding little support in New Mexico, the Texans abandoned Santa Fe and returned to San Antonio in defeat. The Confederacy made no further attempts to seize the Southwestern United States.
In 1864, Territorial Governor John Evans appointed the Reverend John Chivington as Colonel of the Colorado Volunteers with orders to protect white settlers from Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors who were accused of stealing cattle. Colonel Chivington ordered his men to attack a band of Cheyenne and Arapaho encamped along Sand Creek. Chivington reported that his troops killed more than 500 warriors. The militia returned to Denver City in triumph, but several officers reported that the so called battle was a blatant massacre of Indians at peace, that most of the dead were women and children, and that bodies of the dead had been mutilated and desecrated in hideous manner. Three U.S. Army inquiries condemned the action, and incoming President Andrew Johnson asked Governor Evans for his resignation, but none of the perpetrators was ever punished.
In the midst and aftermath of Civil War, many discouraged prospectors returned to their homes, but a determined few stayed on to develop mines, mills, farms, ranches, roads, and towns in the Territory. On September 14, 1864, James Huff discovered silver near Argentine Pass, the first of many silver strikes. In 1867, the Union Pacific Railroad laid its tracks west to Weir, now Julesburg, in the northeast corner of the Territory. The Union Pacific linked up with the Central Pacific Railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869, to form the First Transcontinental Railroad. The Denver Pacific Railway reached Denver in June of the following year, and the Kansas Pacific arrived two months later to forge the second line across the continent. In 1872, rich veins of silver were discovered in the San Juan Mountains on the Ute Indian reservation in southwestern Colorado. The Ute people were removed from the San Juans the following year.
The United States Congress passed an enabling act on March 3, 1875, specifying the requirements for the Territory of Colorado to become a state. On August 1, 1876 (28 days after the Centennial of the United States), U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state and earning it the moniker "Centennial State".
The discovery of a major silver lode near Leadville in 1878, triggered the Colorado Silver Boom. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 invigorated silver mining, and Colorado's last, but greatest, gold strike at Cripple Creek a few months later lured a new generation of gold seekers. Colorado women were granted the right to vote beginning on November 7, 1893, making Colorado the second state to grant universal suffrage and the first one by a popular vote (of Colorado men). The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1893 led to a staggering collapse of the mining and agricultural economy of Colorado, but the state slowly and steadily recovered.
Colorado became the first western state to host a major political convention when the Democratic Party met in Denver in 1908. By the U.S. Census in 1930, the population of Colorado first exceeded one million residents. Colorado suffered greatly through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, but a major wave of immigration following World War II boosted Colorado's fortune. Tourism became a mainstay of the state economy, and high technology became an important economic engine. The United States Census Bureau estimated that the population of Colorado exceeded five million in 2009.
Three warships of the U.S. Navy have been named the USS Colorado. The first USS Colorado was named for the Colorado River. The later two ships were named in honor of the state, including the battleship USS Colorado which served in World War II in the Pacific beginning in 1941. At the time of the Attack on Pearl Harbor, this USS Colorado was located at the naval base in San Diego, Calif. and hence went unscathed.
Historical populations Census Pop. %± 1860 34,277 — 1870 39,864 16.3% 1880 194,327 387.5% 1890 413,249 112.7% 1900 539,700 30.6% 1910 799,024 48.0% 1920 939,629 17.6% 1930 1,035,791 10.2% 1940 1,123,296 8.4% 1950 1,325,089 18.0% 1960 1,753,947 32.4% 1970 2,207,259 25.8% 1980 2,889,964 30.9% 1990 3,294,394 14.0% 2000 4,301,262 30.6% 2010 5,029,196 16.9% Sources: 1910-2010
Colorado's most populous city, and capital, is Denver. The Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area with an estimated 2009 population of 3,110,436, is home to 61.90% of the state's residents.
As of 2005, Colorado has an estimated population of 4,665,177, which is an increase of 63,356, or 1.4%, from the prior year and an increase of 363,162, or 8.4%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 205,321 people (that is 353,091 births minus 147,770 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 159,957 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 112,217 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 47,740 people.
The largest increases are expected in the Front Range Urban Corridor, especially in the Denver metropolitan area. The state's fastest-growing counties are Douglas and Weld. The center of population of Colorado is located just north of the village of Critchell in Jefferson County.
Colorado has a high proportion of Hispanic, mostly Mexican-American, citizens in Metropolitan Denver, Colorado Springs, as well as the smaller cities of Greeley and Pueblo, and in many other smaller cities and towns all throughout the state. Colorado is well known for its strong Latino culture and presence. Southern, Southwestern, and Southeastern Colorado has a large number of Hispanos, the descendants of the early Mexican settlers of colonial Spanish origin. The 2000 United States Census found that 10.5% of people aged five and over in Colorado speak only Spanish at home, with the 2009 estimate being roughly 14%. Colorado also has a large immigration presence all throughout the state, which has led to Colorado cities being referred to as "Sanctuary Cities" for illegal immigrants as well. Colorado has the 5th highest percentage of undocumented people in the U.S., only behind Nevada, Arizona, California, and tied with Texas. An estimated 5.5-6.0% of the state's population is composed of illegal immigrants. Also, over 20% of the state's prisoners are undocumented inmates. Colorado, like New Mexico, is very rich in archaic Spanish idioms.
Colorado also has some African-American communities located in Denver, in the neighborhoods of Montbello, Green Valley Ranch, Park Hill, Five Points, Whittier, and many other East Denver areas. A decent amount of African Americans are also found in Colorado Springs on the east and southeast side of the city. The state has sizable numbers of Asian-Americans of Mongolian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Southeast Asian and Japanese descent. The highest population of Asian Americans can be found on the south and southeast side of Denver, as well as some on Denver's southwest side. The Denver metropolitan area is considered more liberal and diverse than much of the state when it comes to political issues and environmental concerns.
According to the 2000 Census, the largest ancestry groups in Colorado are German (22%) including of Swiss and Austrian nationalities, Mexican (18%), Irish (12%), and English (12%). Persons reporting German ancestry are especially numerous in the Front Range, the Rockies (west-central counties) and Eastern parts/High Plains. Denver, as well as all of Colorado, have numerous amount of predominately Latino neighborhoods and communities. Also, Denver and nearby areas on the Front Range has sizable German, Scandinavian, Italian, Slavic and Jewish American communities, partly a legacy of gold rushes in the late 19th century (1861–1889).
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Colorado had a population of 5,029,196. In terms of race and ethnicity, the state was 81.3% White (70.0% Non-Hispanic White Alone), 4.0% Black or African American, 1.1% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.8% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 7.2% from Some Other Race, and 3.4% from Two or More Races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race made up 20.7% of the population.
There were a total of 70,331 births in Colorado in 2006. (Birth Rate of 14.6). In 2007, non-Hispanic whites were involved in 59.1% of all the births. Some 14.06% of those births involved a non-Hispanic white person and someone of a different race, most often with a couple including one Hispanic. A birth where at least one Hispanic person was involved counted for 43% of the births in Colorado. As of the 2010 Census, Colorado has the seventh highest percentage of Hispanics (20.7%) in the U.S. behind New Mexico (46.3%), California (37.6%), Texas (37.6%), Arizona (29.6%), Nevada (26.5%), and Florida (22.5%). Per the 2000 census, the Hispanic population is estimated to be 918,899 or approximately 20% of the state total population. Colorado has the 4th largest population of Mexican-Americans behind California, Texas, and Arizona. In percentages, Colorado has the 6th highest percentage of Mexican-Americans behind New Mexico, California, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada.
Major religious affiliations of the people of Colorado are:
- Christian — 64%
- Jewish — 2%
- Muslim — 1%
- Other Religions — 5%
- Unaffiliated — 25%
The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 752,505; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 92,326 (133,727 year-end 2007) ; and Baptist with 85,083.
At 25%, Colorado also has an above-average proportion of citizens who claim no religion. The U.S. average is 17%.
Colorado also has a reputation for being a state of active and athletic people. According to several studies, Coloradans have the lowest rates of obesity of any state in the US. As of 2007 the 18% of the population was considered medically obese, and while the lowest in the nation, the percentage had increased from 17% from 2004. Colorado Governor Bill Ritter commented: “As an avid fisherman and bike rider, I know first-hand that Colorado provides a great environment for active, healthy lifestyles,” although he highlighted the need for continued education and support to slow the growth of obesity in the state.
Colorado is known for its Southwest and Rocky Mountain cuisine. Mexican restaurants are throughout the state.
Boulder, Colorado was named America’s Foodiest Town 2010 by Bon Appétit. Boulder, and Colorado in general, is home to a number of national food and beverage companies, top-tier restaurants and farmers' markets. Boulder, Colorado also has more Master Sommeliers per capita than any other city, including San Francisco and New York.
Colorado wines include award-winning varietals that have attracted favorable notice from outside the state. With wines made from traditional Vitis vinifera grapes along with wines made from cherries, peaches, plums and honey, Colorado wines have won top national and international awards for their quality. Colorado's grape growing regions contain the highest elevation vineyards in the United States, with most viticulture in the state practiced between 4,000 feet (1,219 m) and 7,000 feet (2,134 m) feet above sea level. The mountain climate ensures warm summer days and cool nights. Colorado is home to two designated American Viticultural Areas of the Grand Valley AVA and the West Elks AVA, where most of the vineyards in the state are located. However, an increasing number of wineries are located along the Front Range.
CNBC's list of "Top States for Business for 2010" has recognized Colorado as the third best state in the nation, falling short to only Texas and Virginia.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the total state product in 2010 was $257.6 billion. Per capita personal income in 2010 was $51 940, ranking Colorado 11th in the nation. The state's economy broadened from its mid-19th century roots in mining when irrigated agriculture developed, and by the late 19th century, raising livestock had become important. Early industry was based on the extraction and processing of minerals and agricultural products. Current agricultural products are cattle, wheat, dairy products, corn, and hay.
The federal government is also a major economic force in the state with many important federal facilities including NORAD, United States Air Force Academy and Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs; NOAA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder; U.S. Geological Survey and other government agencies at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood; the Denver Mint, Buckley Air Force Base, and 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver; and a federal Supermax Prison and other federal prisons near Cañon City. In addition to these and other federal agencies, Colorado has abundant National Forest land and four National Parks that contribute to federal ownership of 24,615,788 acres (99,617 km2) of land in Colorado, or 37% of the total area of the state. In the second half of the 20th century, the industrial and service sectors have expanded greatly. The state's economy is diversified and is notable for its concentration of scientific research and high-technology industries. Other industries include food processing, transportation equipment, machinery, chemical products, the extraction of metals such as gold (see Gold mining in Colorado), silver, and molybdenum. Colorado now also has the largest annual production of beer of any state. Denver is an important financial center.
A number of nationally known brand names have originated in Colorado factories and laboratories. From Denver came the forerunner of telecommunications giant Qwest in 1879, Samsonite luggage in 1910, Gates belts and hoses in 1911, and Russell Stover Candies in 1923. Kuner canned vegetables began in Brighton in 1864. From Golden came Coors beer in 1873, CoorsTek industrial ceramics in 1920, and Jolly Rancher candy in 1949. CF&I railroad rails, wire, nails and pipe debuted in Pueblo in 1892. Holly Sugar was first milled from beets in Holly in 1905, and later moved its headquarters to Colorado Springs. The present-day Swift packed meat of Greeley evolved from Monfort of Colorado, Inc., established in 1930. Estes model rockets were launched in Penrose in 1958. Fort Collins has been the home of Woodward Governor Company's motor controllers (governors) since 1870, and Waterpik dental water jets and showerheads since 1962. Celestial Seasonings herbal teas have been made in Boulder since 1969. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory made its first candy in Durango in 1981.
Colorado has a flat 4.63% income tax, regardless of income level. Unlike most states, which calculate taxes based on federal adjusted gross income, Colorado taxes are based on taxable income – income after federal exemptions and federal itemized (or standard) deductions. Colorado's state sales tax is 2.9% on retail sales. When state revenues exceed state constitutional limits, full-year Colorado residents can claim a sales tax refund on their individual state income tax return. Many counties and cities charge their own rates in addition to the base state rate. There are also certain county and special district taxes that may apply.
Real estate and personal business property are taxable in Colorado. The state's senior property tax exemption was temporarily suspended by the Colorado Legislature in 2003. The tax break is scheduled to return for assessment year 2006, payable in 2007.
As of September 2010, the state's unemployment rate is 8.2%.
Major philanthropic organizations based in Colorado, including the Daniels Fund, the Anschutz Family Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation, the El Pomar Foundation and the Boettcher Foundation, grant approximately $400 million each year from approximately $7 billion of assets.
Colorado has significant hydrocarbon resources. According to the Energy Information Administration, Colorado hosts seven of the Nation’s 100 largest natural gas fields and two of its 100 largest oil fields. Conventional and unconventional natural gas output from several Colorado basins typically account for more than 5 percent of annual U.S. natural gas production. Colorado’s oil shale deposits hold an estimated 1 trillion barrels (160 km3) of oil – nearly as much oil as the entire world’s proven oil reserves; the economic viability of the oil shale, however, has not been demonstrated. Substantial deposits of bituminous, subbituminous, and lignite coal are found in the state. Kimberlite volcanic pipes have been found in Colorado; the Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine operated for several years, recovering gem quality diamonds.
Colorado's high Rocky Mountain ridges and eastern plains offer wind power potential, and geologic activity in the mountain areas provides potential for geothermal power development. Much of the state is sunny and could produce solar power. Major rivers flowing from the Rocky Mountains offer hydroelectric power resources. Corn grown in the flat eastern part of the state offers potential resources for ethanol production.
Colorado transportation system connects its cities, residents, and visitors through a diverse and well regulated modes.
Colorado's primary method of transportation is its highway system. Interstate 25 is the primary North/South highway in the state, connecting Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Fort Collins, and Greeley, and Interstate 70 is the primary East/West route connecting Denver with the mountain communities and Grand Junction. The state is home to a network of US highways and state highways that provide access to much of the state, while smaller communities are only accessibly through county roads.
Denver International Airport is the fifth busiest airport in the world and handles the bulk of non-military air traffic in and out of Colorado. Rail traffic is important for industrial use, but typical Colorado residents to not use rail transportation outside of the light rail mass transit system in the Denver Metropolitan Area, which is operated the Regional Transportation District. Other public transportation services offer both intra-city and inter-city bus service.
Government and politics
Gubernatorial election results Year Republican Democratic 2010 11.3% 199,034 51.0% 912,005 2006 40.16% 625,886 56.98% 888,096 2002 62.62% 884,584 33.65% 475,373 1998 49.06% 648,202 48.43% 639,905 1994 38.70% 432,042 55.47% 619,205 1990 35.43% 358,403 61.89% 626,032
Just like all the states, Colorado's state constitution provides for three branches of government: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches. The Governor heads the state's executive branch. The Colorado Supreme Court is the highest judicial court in the state. The state legislative body is the Colorado General Assembly, which is made up of two houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The House has 65 members and the Senate has 35. Currently, the House is controlled by the Republican Party by a one vote majority and the Senate is controlled by the Democratic Party. The 2005 Colorado General Assembly was the first to be controlled by the Democrats in forty years. The incumbent governor is Democrat John Hickenlooper.
Most Coloradans are originally native to other states (nearly 60% according to the 2000 census), and this is illustrated by the fact that the state did not have a native-born governor from 1975 (when John David Vanderhoof left office) until 2007, when Bill Ritter took office; his election the previous year marked the first electoral victory for a native-born Coloradan in a gubernatorial race since 1958 (Vanderhoof had ascended from the Lieutenant Governorship when John Arthur Love was given a position in Richard Nixon's administration in 1973).
The state of Colorado is divided into 64 counties. Counties are important units of government in Colorado since the state has no secondary civil subdivisions such as townships. Two of these counties, the City and County of Denver and the City and County of Broomfield, have consolidated city and county governments.
Nine Colorado counties have a population in excess of 250,000 each, while eight Colorado counties have a population of less than 2,500 each. The ten most populous Colorado counties are located in the Front Range Urban Corridor.
The 25 Most Populous Colorado Counties 2010
Pop Rank County 2010 Census 2000 Census Pop Change 1 El Paso County 622,263 516,929 +20.38% 2 Denver City and County 600,158 554,636 +8.21% 3 Arapahoe County 572,003 487,967 +17.22% 4 Jefferson County 534,543 527,056 +1.42% 5 Adams County 441,603 363,857 +21.37% 6 Larimer County 299,630 251,494 +19.14% 7 Boulder County 294,567 291,288 +1.13% 8 Douglas County 285,465 175,766 +62.41% 9 Weld County 252,825 180,936 +39.73% 10 Pueblo County 159,063 141,472 +12.43% 11 Mesa County 146,723 116,255 +26.21% 12 Garfield County 56,389 43,791 +28.77% 13 Broomfield City and County 55,889 NA NA 14 Eagle County 52,197 41,659 +25.30% 15 La Plata County 51,334 43,941 +16.82% 16 Fremont County 46,824 46,145 +1.47% 17 Montrose County 41,276 33,432 +23.46% 18 Delta County 30,952 27,834 +11.20% 19 Morgan County 28,159 27,171 +3.64% 20 Summit County 27,994 23,548 +18.88% 21 Montezuma County 25,535 23,830 +7.15% 22 Routt County 23,509 19,690 +19.40% 23 Teller County 23,350 20,555 +13.60% 24 Elbert County 23,086 19,872 +16.17% 25 Logan County 22,709 20,504 +10.75%
The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has defined one Combined Statistical Area (CSA), seven Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), and seven Micropolitan Statistical Areas (μSAs) in the state of Colorado.
The most populous of the 14 Core Based Statistical Areas in Colorado is the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. This area had a population of 2,543,482 at the 2010 United States Census, an increase of 17.88% since the 2000 United States Census.
The more extensive Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO Combined Statistical Area had a population of 3,090,874 at the 2010 United States Census, an increase of +17.52% since the 2000 United States Census.
The most populous extended metropolitan region in Rocky Mountain Region is the Front Range Urban Corridor along the northeast face of the Southern Rocky Mountains. This region with Denver at its center had a population of 4,333,742 at the 2010 United States Census, an increase of +17.50% since the 2000 United States Census.
Colorado municipalities operate under one of five types of municipal governing authority. Colorado has one town with a territorial charter, 160 statutory towns, 12 statutory cities, 96 home rule municipalities (61 cities and 35 towns), and 2 consolidated city and county governments.
The 25 Most Populous Colorado Municipalities 2010
Pop Rank Municipality 2010 Census 2000 Census Pop Change 1 City and County of Denver 600,158 554,636 +8.21% 2 City of Colorado Springs 416,427 360,890 +15.39% 3 City of Aurora 325,078 276,393 +17.61% 4 City of Fort Collins 143,986 118,652 +21.35% 5 City of Lakewood 142,980 144,126 −0.80% 6 City of Thornton 118,772 82,384 +44.17% 7 City of Pueblo 106,595 102,121 +4.38% 8 City of Arvada 106,433 102,153 +4.19% 9 City of Westminster 106,114 100,940 +5.13% 10 City of Centennial 100,377 0 NA 11 City of Boulder 97,385 94,673 +2.86% 12 City of Greeley 92,889 76,930 +20.74% 13 City of Longmont 86,270 71,093 +21.35% 14 City of Loveland 66,859 50,608 +32.11% 15 City of Grand Junction 58,566 41,986 +39.49% 16 City and County of Broomfield 55,889 38,272 +46.03% 17 Town of Castle Rock 48,231 20,224 +138.48% 18 City of Commerce City 45,913 20,991 +118.73% 19 Town of Parker 45,297 23,558 +92.28% 20 City of Littleton 41,737 40,340 +3.46% 21 City of Northglenn 35,789 31,575 +13.35% 22 City of Brighton 33,352 20,905 +59.54% 23 City of Englewood 30,255 31,727 −4.64% 24 City of Wheat Ridge 30,166 32,913 −8.35% 25 City of Fountain 25,846 15,197 +70.07%
The City and County of Denver and the City of Aurora both levy an Occupational Privilege Tax (OPT or Head Tax) on employers and employees.
- If any employee performs work in the city limits and is paid over US$500.00 for that work in a single month, the employee and employer are both liable for the OPT regardless of where the main business office is located or headquartered.
- In Denver, the employer is liable for US$4.00 per employee per month and the employee is liable for US$5.75 per month.
- In Aurora, both employer and employees are liable for US$2.00 per month.
- It is the employer's responsibility to withhold, remit, and file the OPT returns. If an employer does not comply, they can be held liable for both portions of the OPT as well as penalties and interest.
The 15 Most Populous Census Designated Places in Colorado 2010
Pop Rank Census Designated Place 2010 Census 2000 Census Pop Change 1 Highlands Ranch 96,713 70,931 +36.35% 2 Security-Widefield 32,882 29,845 +10.18% 3 Ken Caryl 32,438 30,887 +5.02% 4 Dakota Ridge 32,005 NA NA 5 Pueblo West 29,637 16,899 +75.38% 6 Columbine 24,280 24,095 +0.77% 7 Clifton 19,889 17,345 +14.67% 8 Sherrelwood 18,287 17,657 +3.57% 9 Cimarron Hills 16,161 15,194 +6.36% 10 Welby 14,846 12,973 +14.44% 11 Fort Carson 13,813 10,566 +30.73% 12 Black Forest 13,116 13,247 −0.99% 13 Berkley 11,207 10,743 +4.32% 14 Cherry Creek 11,120 NA NA 15 The Pinery 10,517 7,253 +45.00%
The state of Colorado has more than 3,000 districts with taxing authority. These districts may provide schools, law enforcement, fire protection, water, sewage, drainage, irrigation, transportation, recreation, infrastructure, cultural facilities, business support, redevelopment, or other services.
Some of these districts have authority to levy sales tax and well as property tax and use fees. This has led to a hodgepodge of sales tax and property tax rates in Colorado. There are some street intersections in Colorado with a different sales tax rate on each corner, sometimes substantially different.
Some of the more notable Colorado districts are:
- The Regional Transportation District (RTD), which affects the counties of Denver, Boulder, Jefferson, and portions of Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, and Douglas Counties
- The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a special regional tax district with physical boundaries contiguous with county boundaries of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties
- It is a 0.1% retail sales and use tax (one penny on every $10).
- According to the Colorado statute, the SCFD distributes the money to local organizations on an annual basis. These organizations must provide for the enlightenment and entertainment of the public through the production, presentation, exhibition, advancement or preservation of art, music, theater, dance, zoology, botany, natural history or cultural history.
- As directed by statute, SCFD recipient organizations are currently divided into three "tiers" among which receipts are allocated by percentage.
- Tier I includes regional organizations: the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Zoo, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. It receives 65.5%.
- Tier II currently includes 26 regional organizations. Tier II receives 21%.
- Tier III has over 280 local organizations such as small theaters, orchestras, art centers, and natural history, cultural history, and community groups. Tier III organizations apply for funding to the county cultural councils via a grant process. This tier receives 13.5%.
- An 11-member board of directors oversees the distributions in accordance with the Colorado Revised Statutes. Seven board members are appointed by county commissioners (in Denver, the Denver City Council) and four members are appointed by the Governor of Colorado.
- The Football Stadium District (FD or FTBL), approved by the voters to pay for and help build the Denver Broncos' stadium INVESCO Field at Mile High
- Local Improvement Districts (LID) within designated areas of southeast Jefferson and Boulder counties
- Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) taxes at varying rates in Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Gunnison County
Presidential elections results Year Republican Democratic 2008 44.71% 1,073,584 53.66% 1,288,568 2004 51.69% 1,101,255 47.02% 1,001,732 2000 50.75% 883,745 42.39% 738,227 1996 45.80% 691,848 44.43% 671,152 1992 35.87% 562,850 40.13% 629,681 1988 53.06% 728,177 45.28% 621,453
Colorado is considered a swing state in both state and federal elections. Coloradans have elected 17 Democrats and 12 Republicans to the governorship in the last 100 years. In presidential politics, Colorado supported Democrats Bill Clinton in 1992 and Barack Obama in 2008, and supported Republicans Robert J. Dole in 1996 and George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. The presidential outcome in 2008 was the second closest to the national popular vote, after Virginia.
Colorado politics has the contrast of conservative cities such as Colorado Springs and liberal cities such as Boulder. Democrats are strongest in metropolitan Denver, the college towns of Fort Collins and Boulder, southern Colorado (including Pueblo), and a few western ski resort counties. The Republicans are strongest in the Eastern Plains, Colorado Springs, Greeley, and far Western Colorado near Grand Junction.
The state of Colorado is represented by its two United States Senators:
- United States Senate Class 2 – Mark Emery Udall (Democratic) 2009–
- United States Senate Class 3 – Michael Farrand Bennet (Democratic) 2009–
- Colorado's 1st congressional district - Diana Louise DeGette (Democratic) 1997-
- Colorado's 2nd congressional district - Jared Schutz Polis (Democratic) 2009-
- Colorado's 3rd congressional district - Scott Tipton (Republican) 2011–
- Colorado's 4th congressional district - Cory Gardner (Republican) 2011–
- Colorado's 5th congressional district - Douglas L. "Doug" Lamborn (Republican) 2007-
- Colorado's 6th congressional district - Michael "Mike" Coffman (Republican) 2009-
- Colorado's 7th congressional district - Edwin George "Ed" Perlmutter (Democratic) 2007-
Colleges and universities in Colorado:
- Air Reserve Personnel Center
- Buckley Air Force Base
- Fort Carson (U.S. Army)
- Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site
- Peterson Air Force Base
- Cheyenne Mountain Directorate
- Pueblo Chemical Depot (U.S. Army)
- Schriever Air Force Base
- United States Air Force Academy
Units of the National Park System in Colorado:
- Arapaho National Recreation Area
- Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
- Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
- Colorado National Monument
- Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
- Curecanti National Recreation Area
- Dinosaur National Monument
- Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
- Hovenweep National Monument
- Mesa Verde National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Old Spanish National Historic Trail
- Pony Express National Historic Trail
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
- Santa Fe National Historic Trail
- Yucca House National Monument
Colorado is the least populous state with a franchise in each of the major professional sports leagues.
Professional sports teams
Professional Sports Clubs based in Colorado
Club Home First game Sport League Denver Broncos Denver September 9, 1960 Football National Football League Denver Barbarians Denver Spring 1967 Rugby Union Rugby Super League Denver Nuggets Denver September 27, 1967 Basketball National Basketball Association Colorado Springs Sky Sox Colorado Springs June 18, 1988 Baseball Minor League Baseball (AAA) Colorado Rockies Denver April 5, 1993 Baseball Major League Baseball Colorado Avalanche Denver October 6, 1995 Ice hockey National Hockey League Colorado Rapids Commerce City April 13, 1996 Soccer Major League Soccer Colorado Mammoth Denver January 3, 2003 Lacrosse National Lacrosse League Colorado Eagles Loveland October 17, 2003 Ice hockey ECHL Denver Outlaws Denver May 20, 2006 Lacrosse Major League Lacrosse
NCAA Division I athletic programs in Colorado
Team School City Conference Air Force Falcons United States Air Force Academy Colorado Springs Mountain West Colorado Buffaloes University of Colorado at Boulder Boulder Pac 12 Colorado College Tigers Colorado College Colorado Springs WCHA Colorado State Rams Colorado State University Fort Collins Mountain West Denver Pioneers University of Denver Denver WCHA and Sun Belt Northern Colorado Bears University of Northern Colorado Greeley Big Sky
Colorado State symbols The Flag of Colorado. Animate insignia Bird(s) Lark Bunting
Fish Greenback Cutthroat Trout
Oncorhynchus clarki somias
Flower(s) Rocky Mountain Columbine
Grass Blue Grama Grass
Insect Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly
Mammal(s) Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
Reptile Western Painted Turtle
Chrysemys picta bellii
Tree Colorado Blue Spruce
Inanimate insignia Dance Square Dance Fossil Stegosaurus Gemstone Aquamarine Mineral Rhodochrosite Rock Yule Marble Soil Seitz Song(s) Where the Columbines Grow
Rocky Mountain High
Tartan Colorado State Tartan Route marker(s) State Quarter Released in 2006 Lists of United States state insignia
- Outline of Colorado
- Index of Colorado-related articles
- List of federal lands in Colorado
- List of people from Colorado
- List of places in Colorado
- Mountain peaks of Colorado
- List of National Register of Historic Places in Colorado
- Southern Rocky Mountains
- U.S. state
- ^ a b "Mount Elbert". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=KL0637. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
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- ^ a b Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
- ^ The summit of Mount Elbert is the highest point of the Rocky Mountains of North America.
- ^ "Colorado - Definition". Merriam-webster.com. 2010-08-13. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/colorado?show=0&t=1307303426. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ Writers Style Guide, Colorado State University. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
- ^ Quillen, Ed (2007-03-18). "Coloradoan or Coloradan". Denverpost.com. http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_5447358. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- ^ a b Forty-third United States Congress (March 3, 1875). "An Act to Enable the People of Colorado to Form a Constitution and State Government, and for the Admission of the Said State into the Union on an Equal Footing with the Original States" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2008-05-07. http://web.archive.org/web/20080507151300/http://www.i2i.org/Publications/ColoradoConstitution/cnenable.htm. Retrieved April 14, 2008.
- ^ "Rectangular States and Kinky Borders". Maa.org. 2007-08-30. http://www.maa.org/mathtourist/mathtourist_08_30_07.html. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
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- ^ a b Doesken, Nolan J.; Roger A. Pielke, Sr., Odilia A.P. Bliss (January 2003). "Climate of Colorado". Colorado Climate Center – Department of Atmospheric Science – Colorado State University. http://ccc.atmos.colostate.edu/climateofcolorado.php. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
- ^ U.S. Forest Service. "Rocky Mountain Region 14ers". http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/recreation/14ers/. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
- ^ "Pikes Peak, Colorado". Peakbagger.com. http://www.peakbagger.com/peak.aspx?pid=5689. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
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- ^  Weather. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- ^ 
- ^ Slater, Jane (May 28, 2008). "Thursday's Tornado State's 4th Costliest Disaster". KMGH. http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/16408116/detail.html.
- ^ "Denver's Consecutive 90 Degree Streaks". National Weather Service. http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/?n=consec90. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
- ^ "A History of Drought" (PDF). http://ccc.atmos.colostate.edu/pdfs/ahistoryofdrought.pdf. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- ^ "Record Highest Temperatures by State" (PDF). National Climatic Data Center. January 1, 2004. http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/pub/data/special/maxtemps.pdf. Retrieved January 11, 2007.
- ^ "Record Lowest Temperatures by State" (PDF). National Climatic Data Center. January 1, 2004. http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/pub/data/special/mintemps.pdf. Retrieved January 11, 2007.
- ^ UStravelweather.com[dead link]
- ^ http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Maps/US2/36.38.-106.-104.php
- ^ "Largest Colorado quake since 1973 shakes homes". USA Today. August 23, 2011. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-08-23/Largest-Colorado-quake-since-1973-shakes-homes/50102314/1?csp=34news&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+usatoday-NewsTopStories+%28News+-+Top+Stories%29. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
- ^ "Genocide Wiped Out Native American Population ", Discovery News, September 20, 2010.
- ^ Gehling, Richard (2006). "The Pike's Peak Gold Rush". Richard Gehling. Archived from the original on 2008-06-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20080628172253/http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Falls/2000/index.html. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
- ^ "An Act to provide a temporary Government for the Territory of Colorado" (PDF). Thirty-sixth United States Congress. February 28, 1861. http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/territory.pdf. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
- ^ Early explorers identified the Gunnison River in Colorado as the headwaters of the Colorado River. The Grand River in Colorado was later tentively identified as the primary headwaters of the river. Finally in 1916, E.C. LaRue, the Chief Hydrologist of the United States Geological Survey, identified the Green River in southwestern Wyoming as the proper headwaters of the actual, overall Colorado River.
- ^ State of Colorado – Division of Information Technologies. "State Names and Nicknames". http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/history/symbemb.htm#Name. Retrieved November 15, 2006.
- ^ Report of the exploring expedition from Santa Fé, New Mexico, to the junction of the Grand and Green Rivers of the great Colorado of the West, in 1859: under the command of Capt. J. N. Macomb, Corps of topographical engineers, Volume 1 @ archive.org
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- ^ "Population growth - Colorado counties". Epodunk.com. http://www.epodunk.com/top10/countyPop/coPop6.html. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ "Population and Population Centers by State – 2000". United States Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/cenpop/statecenters.txt. Retrieved December 4, 2008.
- ^ Fred Elbel, CAIR (2005-05-19). "Crime and illegal aliens in Colorado - CAIR - Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform". Cairco.org. http://www.cairco.org/issues/issues_crime_colorado.html. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ "Language Map Data Center". Mla.org. 2007-07-17. http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=8&mode=state_tops&order=r. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- ^ "talking about Colorado in "nada"". Elcastellano.org. 2007-06-30. http://www.elcastellano.org/palabra.php?id=946. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- ^ US. "Map of Latitude: 39.500656 Longitude: -105.203628, by MapQuest". Mapquest.com. http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?searchtype=address&formtype=address&latlongtype=decimal&latitude=39.500656&longitude=-105.203628. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- ^ http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DP_DPDP1&prodType=table
- ^ "National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 57, Number 12, (3/18/2009)" (PDF). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_12.pdf. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- ^ CDPHE.state.co.us, COHID Birth Data Request
- ^ , Statemaster Colorado
- ^ "U.S. Religion Map and Religious Populations – U.S. Religious Landscape Study – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life". Religions.pewforum.org. http://religions.pewforum.org/maps. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- ^ "The Association of Religion Data Archives | Maps & Reports". Thearda.com. http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/state/08_2000.asp. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ http://calorielab.com/news/wp-images/post-images/fattest-states-2007-big.gif
- ^ "Fattest States 2010: CalorieLab's Annual Obesity Map - State Obesity Rankings | CalorieLab - Health News & Information Blog". CalorieLab. 2010-06-28. http://calorielab.com/news/2007/08/06/fattest-states-2007/. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ Knowlton, Andrew. "America's Foodiest Town 2010: Boulder, Colorado: In the Magazine". bonappetit.com. http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2010/10/americas_foodiest_town_2010_boulder. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ [dead link]
- ^ Arnold, Katie (2008-06-08). "As Skiers Depart Aspen, Chowhounds Take Their Place". Aspen (Colo): Travel.nytimes.com. http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/06/08/travel/08Choice.html. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ "Colorado Travel Guide". Travelandleisure.com. http://www.travelandleisure.com/guides/colorado. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ Jackenthal, Stefani (2008-10-05). "Biking Colorado’s Wine Country". Colorado: Travel.nytimes.com. http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/travel/05biking.html. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ "The Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition". Thejeffersoncup.com. 2010-11-24. http://www.thejeffersoncup.com. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ "Wine Industry Feature Articles - Is Colorado the New Washington?". Winesandvines.com. http://www.winesandvines.com/template.cfm?section=features&content=48734. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ http://www.ttb.gov/appellation/us_by_ava.pdf
- ^ "Colorado Wine Industry Development Board". Coloradowine.com. http://www.coloradowine.com/overview.html. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ America's Top States for Business 2010." CNBC Special Report (2010): 1. Web. 9 May 2011. <http://www.cnbc.com/id/37516043/>.
- ^ "GDP by State". Greyhill Advisors. http://greyhill.com/gdp-by-state. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
- ^ "References" (PDF). http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/spi/2009/pdf/spi0309.pdf. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- ^ Tony Frank (January 1997). "Colorado Land Ownership by County (acres)" (Excel). Colorado Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on January 16, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20060116094720/http%3A//www.ag.state.co.us/resource/colorado_land_ownership.html. Retrieved July 15, 2007. Colorado Department of Agriculture: Land Ownership[dead link]
- ^ "Colorado rides on Fat Tire to beer heights". Rockymountainnews.com. 2007-11-24. http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2007/nov/24/reuteman-colorado-rides-on-fat-tire-to-beer/. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ Colorado individual income tax return (2005) Revenue.state.co.us. Retrieved September 26, 2006.
- ^ U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (2005) online copy. Retrieved September 26, 2006.
- ^ Bls.gov; Local Area Unemployment Statistics
- ^ Coloradofunders.org[dead link]
- ^ http://www.cof.org/files/Documents/Government/StateGiving/CO.pdf
- ^ "EIA State Energy Profiles: Colorado". June 12, 2008. http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/state_energy_profiles.cfm?sid=CO. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- ^ "State of Residence in 2000 by State of Birth". US Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t38/index.html. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
- ^ "Colorado Counties". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. January 8, 2007. http://www.dola.state.co.us/dlg/local_governments/counties.html. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
- ^ a b c d e f The City and County of Broomfield, Colorado was created on November 15, 2001, from portions of Boulder County, Adams County, Jefferson County, and Weld County, Colorado.
- ^ The United States Office of Management and Budget defines a Combined Statistical Area (CSA) as an aggregate of adjacent Core Based Statistical Areas that are linked by commuting ties.
- ^ The United States Office of Management and Budget defines a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as a Core Based Statistical Area having at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.
- ^ The United States Office of Management and Budget defines a Micropolitan Statistical Area (μSA) as a Core Based Statistical Area having at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.
- ^ "OMB Bulletin No. 10-02: Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses". United States Office of Management and Budget. December 1, 2009. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/bulletins/b10-02.pdf. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
- ^ a b c "American Factfinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder2.census.gov/main.html. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
- ^ "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. http://www.dola.state.co.us/dlg/local_governments/municipalities.html. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
- ^ "Colorado Local Government by Type". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. February 27, 2007. http://www.dola.state.co.us/dlg/local_governments/lgtypes.html. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
- ^ The City of Centennial, Colorado was incorporated on February 7, 2001
- ^ Goodman, Josh. "Move Over Missouri, Iowa Is the New Bellwether State". Governing.com. http://ballotbox.governing.com/2008/11/move-over-missouri-iowa-is-the-bellwether-state.html. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
- ^ Governor Bill Ritter appointed Michael Bennet to serve the remaining two years of United States Senator Ken Salazar term of office which was left vacant on January 20, 2009, when new United States President Barack Obama appointed the Colorado Senator to serve in his Cabinet as United States Secretary of the Interior.
- ^ Managed by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Forest Service.
- ^ Managed by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.
- ^ Jointly managed by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Forest Service, and the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management.
- ^ a b The Western Collegiate Hockey Association is a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I ice hockey-only conference.
- Explore Colorado, A Naturalist's Handbook, The Denver Museum of Natural History and Westcliff Publishers, 1995, ISBN 1-56579-124-X for an excellent guide to the ecological regions of Colorado.
- The Archeology of Colorado, Revised Edition, E. Steve Cassells, Johnson Books, Boulder, Colorado, 1997, trade paperback, ISBN 1-55566-193-9.
- Chokecherry Places, Essays from the High Plains, Merrill Gilfillan, Johnson Press, Boulder, Colorado, trade paperback, ISBN 1-55566-227-7.
- The Tie That Binds, Kent Haruf, 1984, hardcover, ISBN 0-03-071979-8, a fictional account of farming in Colorado.
- Railroads of Colorado: Your Guide to Colorado's Historic Trains and Railway Sites, Claude Wiatrowski, Voyageur Press, 2002, hardcover, 160 pages, ISBN 0-89658-591-3
- Colorado state government website
- Colorado State and County Government Websites
- List of searchable databases produced by Colorado state agencies hosted by the American Library Association Government Documents Roundtable.
- Energy & Environmental Data for Colorado
- USGS Colorado state facts, real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Colorado
- United States Census Bureau
- USDA ERS Colorado state facts
- Colorado travel guide from Wikitravel
- Colorado County Evolution
- Ask Colorado
- 2000 Census of Population and Housing for Colorado
- Mountain and Desert Plants of Colorado and the Southwest,
- Climate of Colorado
- Colorado at the Open Directory Project
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