Weld County Growth Outpaces Much Of The Nation’s Metro Areas
Weld County was the fourth fastest growing metro area in the nation between 2015 and 2016 according to new data from the U.S. Census bureau. The ranks are based on percentage change, rather than the number of people that the population grew by. For Weld, the population grew by 3.5 percent -- to a total of 294,932 people.
“A large share of [Weld’s increase] came from migration, rather than natural increase - the birth rate minus the death rate,” said state demographer Elizabeth Garner. “That migration from other areas, including the Western Slope and other Front Range counties is primarily because of access to housing.”
El Paso County saw the largest growth in the state at almost 14,000 people, followed by Denver County at about 13,000 people. Weld came in third.
“Last year Weld County was also ranked fairly high at 3.2 percent, which was sixth in the country, so it’s not that unusual for the Weld area,” Garner said.
Front Range commuters are finding cheaper housing in Weld County, but that’s pricing out many longtime residents. The state’s overall lack of entry level housing, $250,000 or less for a single family home, has exacerbated the housing crunch.
Garner expects the growth to continue in the short term, but not in the coming decades.
“I think we’re going to start to see a lot of it start to slow down, because we’re starting to see slower growth for the U.S. as a whole,” she said. “And we have to remember that Colorado is a piece of the entire U.S.”
She said other western states -- like Utah, Oregon and Washington -- are all growing faster than Colorado.