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{{About|the U.S. state of Colorado|the river|Colorado River|the physiographic region|Colorado Plateau|other uses}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{pp-protected|small=yes}}{{Use mdy dates|date=February 2018}}

Where the Columbines Grow" and "Rocky Mountain HighHTTP://ARCHIVE.9NEWS.COM/NEWS/LOCAL/STORY.ASPX?STORYID=66238&CATID=222 URL-STATUS=DEAD TITLE=LAWMAKERS NAME 'ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH' SECOND STATE SONG | 9NEWS.COM DATE=MARCH 13, 2007, April 1, 2016, | Formerly = Colorado Territory| seat = Denver| LargestCity = capitalDenver metropolitan area>Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO MSAJared Polis (D)}}Dianne Primavera (D)}}Colorado General Assembly>General AssemblyColorado Senate>Senate Colorado House of Representatives>House of RepresentativesMichael Bennet (D)Cory Gardner (Republican Party (United States)>R)| Representative = 4 Democrats3 Republicans| postal_code = CO| area_rank = 8th| area_total_km2 = 269,837| area_total_sq_mi = 104,094| area_land_km2 = 268,875| area_land_sq_mi = 103,718| area_water_km2 = 962| area_water_sq_mi = 376| area_water_percent = 0.36%| population_rank = 21st| 2010Pop = 5,695,564 (2018)| population_demonym = Coloradan| population_density_rank = 37th| 2010Density = 19.9 | 2010DensityUS = 52.0 ACCESSDATE=DECEMBER 9, 2016, | IncomeRank = 12th| AdmittanceOrder = 38th| AdmittanceDate = August 1, 1876Mountain Time Zone>Mountain| utc_offset1 = -07:00| timezone1_DST = MDT| utc_offset1_DST = -06:00| Latitude = 37°N to 41°N| Longitude = 102°02'48"W to 109°02'48"W| length_km = 610| length_mi = 380| width_km = 450| width_mi = 280Mount ElbertHTTP://EGSC.USGS.GOV/ISB/PUBS/BOOKLETS/ELVADIST/ELVADIST.HTML PUBLISHER=UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY ACCESSDATE=OCTOBER 21, 2011 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20111015012701/HTTP://EGSC.USGS.GOV/ISB/PUBS/BOOKLETS/ELVADIST/ELVADIST.HTML DF=MDY, 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. in Lake County| elevation_max_m = 4401.2| elevation_max_ft = 14,440| elevation_m = 2070| elevation_ft = 6,800| elevation_min_point = Arikaree River at the Kansas border| elevation_min_m = 1011| elevation_min_ft = 3,317| iso_code = US-CO| website =}}

{{maplink|frame=yes|frame-width=265|frame-height=225|zoom=5|type=line|stroke-width=3|text=Interactive map showing border of Colorado (click to zoom)}}Colorado ({{IPAc-en|audio=ColoradanColorado.ogg|ˌ|k|ɒ|l|ə|ˈ|r|æ|d|oʊ|,_|-|ˈ|r|ɑː|d|oʊ}}, other variants)WEB,weblink Colorado – Definition,, August 13, 2010, June 5, 2011, WEB,weblink Colorado –,, LLC, August 17, 2013, AV MEDIA, Kyle, Clark,weblink What's the right way to pronounce 'Colorado?', KUSA (TV), KUSA-TV, TV news magazine segment, June 27, 2018, August 4, 2018, Contributor: Rich Sandoval, linguist at Metropolitan State University of Denver, [Sandoval] found five pronunciations., is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U.S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census.The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the (wikt:ruddy|ruddy) silt the river carried from the mountains. The Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, and on August 1, 1876, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state one century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence.Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, Utah to the west, and touches Arizona to the southwest at the Four Corners. Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, forests, high plains, mesas, canyons, plateaus, rivers and desert lands. Colorado is part of the western and southwestern United States, and is one of the Mountain States.Denver is the capital and most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are known as Coloradans, although the antiquated term "Coloradoan" is occasionally used.WEB,weblink Creative Services, February 5, 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 19, 2015, NEWS, Quillen, Ed,weblink Coloradoan or Coloradan, Denver Post, March 18, 2007, July 30, 2010,


Colorado is notable for its diverse geography, which includes alpine mountains, high plains, deserts with huge sand dunes, and deep canyons. In 1861, the United States Congress defined the boundaries of the new Territory of Colorado exclusively by lines of latitude and longitude, stretching from 37°N to 41°N latitude, and from 102°02'48"W to 109°02'48"W longitude (25°W to 32°W from the Washington Meridian).WEB,weblink An Act to provide a temporary Government for the Territory of Colorado, PDF, Thirty-sixth United States Congress, February 28, 1861, November 15, 2018, After {{age|1861|02|28}} years of government surveys, the borders of Colorado are now officially defined by 697 boundary markers and 697 straight boundary lines.WEB, Fascinating Maps, Colorado is NOT a perfect rectangle,weblink November 15, 2018,weblink June 17, 2019, dead, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah are the only states that have their borders defined solely by straight boundary lines with no natural features.WEB, The Big Think, Inc., Colorado is a rectangle? Think again.,weblink November 15, 2018, The southwest corner of Colorado is the Four Corners Monument at 36°59'56"N, 109°2'43"W.WEB, Shared Solution: Four Corners,weblink NGS Survey Monument Data Sheet, United States National Geodetic Survey, May 7, 2003, The official Four Corners Monument is located at 36°59'56.31591″N, 109°2'42.62064"W, a short distance east of the 37°N, 109°02'48"W location Congress originally designated. This border separating Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah is the only place in the United States where four states meet.File:Elkmts.JPG|thumb|left|The Elk Mountains near Aspen, Colorado showing the Maroon BellsMaroon BellsFile:Tenmile.JPG|thumb|Ten Mile Range and Dillon Reservoir near Breckenridge, ColoradoBreckenridge, Colorado


{{See also|Mountain peaks of Colorado}}The summit of Mount Elbert at {{convert|4401.2|m|order=flip}} elevation in Lake County is the highest point in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains of North America.NGS, KL0637, Mount Elbert, October 20, 2011, Colorado is the only U.S. state that lies entirely above 1,000 meters 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 {{convert|1011|m|order=flip}} elevation. This point, which holds the distinction of being the highest low elevation point of any state,WEB, U.S. Geological Survey, Elevations and Distances,weblink September 8, 2006, dead,weblink" title="">weblink January 16, 2008, mdy-all, is higher than the high elevation points of 18 states and the District of Columbia.(File:Picketwire Canyon.jpg|thumb|A view of the arid high plains in Southeastern Colorado)File:Calhanpm.JPG|thumb|left|The Calhan Paint MinesCalhan Paint Mines


A little less than half 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 Nebraska at elevations ranging from roughly {{convert|3350|to|7500|ft|m}}.WEB,weblink Colorado County Highpoints, February 27, 2012, The Colorado plains are mostly prairies but also include deciduous forests, buttes, and canyons. Precipitation averages {{convert|15|to|25|in|mm}} annually.WEB,weblink Climate of Colorado, Doesken, Nolan J., Pielke, Roger A., Sr., Roger A. Pielke, Bliss, Odilia A.P., January 2003, Colorado Climate Center – Department of Atmospheric Science – Colorado State University, January 25, 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 9, 2009, mdy-all, Eastern Colorado is presently mainly farmland and rangeland, along with small farming villages and towns. Corn, wheat, hay, soybeans, and oats are all typical crops. Most villages and towns in this region boast both a water tower and a grain elevator. Irrigation water is available from both surface and subterranean sources. Surface water sources include the South Platte, the Arkansas River, and a few other streams. Subterranean water is generally accessed through artesian wells. Heavy usage of these wells for irrigation purposes caused underground water reserves to decline in the region. Eastern Colorado also hosts a considerable amount and range of livestock, such as cattle ranches and hog farms.

Front Range

File:Condiv.JPG|thumb|Front RangeFront RangeRoughly 70% 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 "Front Range" includes Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Loveland, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Greeley, and other townships and municipalities in between. On the other side of the Rockies, the significant population centers in Western Colorado (which is not considered the "Front Range") are the cities of Grand Junction, Durango, and Montrose.

Continental Divide

File:Continental-Divide Monarch-Pass 2012-10-28.JPG|thumb|left|Continental Divide at Monarch PassMonarch PassThe Continental Divide of the Americas 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. West of the Continental Divide, water flows to the southwest via the Colorado River and the Green River into the Gulf of California.Within the interior of the Rocky Mountains are several large parks which are 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.

Southern region

File:Mt Herard sand.JPG|thumb|left|The tallest dunes in North America at Great Sand Dunes National ParkGreat Sand Dunes National ParkIn 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.(File:ChicoClosedBasin.jpg|thumb|right|The high desert lands that make up the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado)


To the west of the 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.File:SANJUANMTNS.JPG|thumb|Peaks of the San Juan MountainsSan Juan MountainsThe Rocky Mountains within Colorado contain 53 peaks that are {{convert|14000|ft|m|0|sp=us}} or higher in elevation above sea level, known as fourteeners.WEB, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region 14ers,weblink November 6, 2009, These mountains are largely covered with trees such as conifers and aspens up to the tree line, at an elevation of about {{convert|12000|ft|m|0|sp=us}} in southern Colorado to about {{convert|10500|ft|m|0|sp=us}} in northern Colorado. Above this tree line 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 snow-capped 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. Mount Elbert is the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains. The 30 highest major summits of the Rocky Mountains of North America all lie within the state.File:BlackCanyon.JPG|thumb|Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park near Montrose ]]File:East rim arch.jpg|thumb|left|Rim Arch in the Black Ridge Canyons WildernessBlack Ridge Canyons WildernessFile:Redcanyon.JPG|thumb|left|Sandstone cliffs along the Colorado River north of Wolcott ]]File:Lake CO.JPG|thumb|Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs ]]

Colorado Western Slope

(File:Grand Valley, Colorado.jpg|thumb|left|The Grand Valley in Western Colorado, a large valley made up of high desert terrain. The city of Grand Junction is located in the heart of the valley)The Western Slope area of Colorado includes the western face of the Rocky Mountains and all of the state to the western border. This area includes several terrains and climates from alpine mountains to arid deserts. The Western Slope includes many ski resort towns in the Rocky Mountains and towns west of the mountains. It is less populous than the Front Range but includes a large number of national parks and monuments.From west to east, the land of Colorado consists of desert lands, desert plateaus, alpine mountains, National Forests, relatively flat grasslands, scattered forests, buttes, and canyons in the western edge 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.PEAKBAGGER, 5689, Pikes Peak, Colorado, October 10, 2009, 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 rocky hills, canyons, arid desert, and streambeds. Here, the Green River briefly crosses over into Colorado. Desert lands in Colorado are located in and around areas such as the 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, and other areas surrounding the Uncompahgre Plateau and Uncompahgre National Forest.The Western Slope of Colorado is drained by the Colorado River and its tributaries (primarily the Gunnison River, Green River, and the San Juan River), or by evaporation in its arid areas. The Colorado River flows through Glenwood Canyon, and then through an arid valley made up of desert from Rifle to Parachute, through the desert canyon of De Beque Canyon, and into the arid desert of Grand Valley, where the city of Grand Junction is located. Also prominent in or near the southern portion of the Western Slope are the Grand Mesa, which lies to the southeast of Grand Junction; 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.(File:Colorado National Monument (4939640266).jpg|thumb|right|The Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction. The monument is made up of high desert canyons and sandstone rock formations.)File:Four Corners Monument (1).jpg|thumb|The Four Corners Monument, with Ute MountainUte MountainGrand Junction, Colorado is the largest city on the Western Slope. Grand Junction and Durango are the only major centers of television broadcasting west of the Continental Divide in Colorado, though most mountain resort communities publish daily newspapers. Grand Junction is located along Interstate 70, the only major highway in Western Colorado. Grand Junction is also along the major railroad of the Western Slope, the Union Pacific. This railroad 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.The Western Slope includes multiple notable destinations in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, including Glenwood Springs, with its resort hot springs, and the ski resorts of Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs, and Telluride.Higher education in and near the Western Slope can be found at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Fort Lewis College in Durango, and Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs.The Four Corners Monument in the southwest corner of Colorado marks the common boundary of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah; the only such place in the United States.{{See also|Colorado cities and towns|List of counties in Colorado|Colorado municipalities|Colorado rivers|Four Corners Monument}}{{clear}}


File:Colorado Köppen.svg|thumb|Köppen climate types of Colorado]]The climate of Colorado is more complex than states outside of the Mountain States region. Unlike most other states, southern Colorado is not always 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.

Eastern Plains

The climate of the Eastern Plains is semiarid (Köppen climate classification: BSk) with low humidity and moderate precipitation, usually from {{convert|15|to|25|in|abbr=off|mm|sp=us}} annually. The area is known for its abundant sunshine and cool, clear nights, which give this area a great average diurnal temperature range. The difference between the highs of the days and the lows of the nights can be considerable as warmth dissipates to space during clear nights, the heat radiation not being trapped by clouds. The Front Range urban corridor, where most of the population of Colorado resides, lies in a pronounced precipitation shadow as a result of being on the lee side of the Rocky Mountains.REPORT, Hansen, Wallace R., Chronic, John, Matelock, John, 1979, first published 1978, Climatography of the Front Range Urban Corridor and vicinity, Colorado, Geological Survey Professional Paper 1019, USG Printing Office, Washington, DC,weblink March 21, 2016, In summer, this area can have many days above 95 Â°F (35 Â°C) and often 100 Â°F (38 Â°C).WEB,weblink Climate Of Colorado,, April 1, 2016, On the plains, the winter lows usually range from 25 to −10 Â°F (−4 to −23 Â°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 can be severe, and from major snowstorms that occur in the winter and early spring. Otherwise, winters tend to be mostly dry and cold.WEB,weblink Denver, Colorado Travel Weather Averages, Weatherbase, July 10, 2013, In much of the region, March is the snowiest month. 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 Â°F (21 Â°C) or higher in the winter. The average July temperature is 55 Â°F (13 Â°C) in the morning and 90 Â°F (32 Â°C) in the afternoon. The average January temperature is 18 Â°F (−8 Â°C) in the morning and 48 Â°F (9 Â°C) in the afternoon, although variation between consecutive days can be 40 Â°F (20 Â°C).

Front range foothills

Just west of the plains and into the foothills, there are a wide variety of climate types. Locations merely a few miles apart can experience entirely different weather depending on the topography. Most valleys have a semi-arid climate not unlike the eastern plains, which transitions to an alpine climate at the highest elevations. Microclimates also exist in local areas that run nearly the entire spectrum of climates, including subtropical highland (Cfb/Cwb), humid subtropical (Cfa), humid continental (Dfa/Dfb), Mediterranean (Csa/Csb) and subarctic (Dfc).WEB,weblink Relocating to Greenhorn Valley, February 9, 2017,weblink" title="">weblink May 25, 2017, dead,

Extreme weather

(File:October Snow in Colorado.jpg|thumb|Snow highlights the rugged mountains, as well as the urban and agricultural landscapes of the Colorado plains.)Extreme weather changes are common in Colorado, although the majority of extreme weather occurs in the least populated areas of the state. Thunderstorms are common east of the Continental Divide in the spring and summer, yet are usually brief. Hail is a common sight in the mountains east of the divide and in the northeast part of the state. The Eastern Plains have had some of the biggest hail storms in North America. Notable examples are the severe hailstorms that hit Denver on July 11, 1990WEB,weblink Historic Denver Hailstorm Was Called Worst In American History, July 11, 2014, and May 8, 2017, the latter being the costliest ever in the state.WEB,weblink Hailstorm that hammered west metro Denver May 8 is costliest ever for Colorado, May 23, 2017, The Eastern Plains are part of the extreme western portion of Tornado Alley; some damaging tornadoes in the Eastern Plains include the 1990 Limon F3 tornado and the 2008 Windsor EF3 tornado, which devastated the small town.WEB
, Slater
, Jane
, Thursday's Tornado State's 4th Costliest Disaster
, May 28, 2008
, January 25, 2009
,weblink" title="">weblink
, June 4, 2008
, dead
, mdy-all
The plains are also susceptible to occasional floods, which are caused both by thunderstorms and by the rapid melting of snow in the mountains during warm weather. Notable examples include the 1965 Denver Flood,WEB,weblink The 1965 Flood: How Denver's Greatest Disaster Changed the City, Alan, Prendergast, April 29, 2015, the Big Thompson River flooding of 1976 and the 2013 Colorado floods. Hot weather is common during summers in Denver. The city's record in 1901 for the number of consecutive days above 90 Â°F (32 Â°C) was broken during the summer of 2008. The new record of 24 consecutive days surpassed the previous record by almost a week.WEB
, Denver's Consecutive 90 Degree Streaks
, National Weather Service
, October 10, 2009
Much of Colorado is very dry, with the state averaging only {{convert|17|in|mm|abbr=off|sp=us}} of precipitation per year statewide. The state rarely experiences a time when some portion is not in some degree of drought.WEB,weblink A History of Drought, PDF, July 30, 2010, The lack of precipitation contributes to the severity of wildfires in the state, such as the Hayman Fire of 2002, one of the largest wildfires in American history, and the Fourmile Canyon Fire of 2010, which until the Waldo Canyon Fire and High Park Fire of June 2012, and the Black Forest Fire of June 2013, was the most destructive wildfire in Colorado's recorded history.(File:Overlook of Yampa River.jpg|thumb|The Yampa River, from a high overlook)However, some of the mountainous regions of Colorado receive a huge amount of moisture from winter snowfalls. The spring melts of these snows often cause great waterflows in the Yampa River, the Colorado River, the Rio Grande, the Arkansas River, 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 the southwest states of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada, as well as the Midwest, such as Nebraska and Kansas, and the southern states of 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.


The highest official ambient air temperature ever recorded in Colorado was {{convert|115|°F|°C}} on July 20, 2019, at John Martin Dam. The lowest official air temperature was {{convert|-61|°F|°C}} on February 1, 1985, at Maybell.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, November 17, 2001, Record Highest Temperatures by State, PDF, National Climatic Data Center, January 1, 2004, January 11, 2007, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, November 17, 2001, Record Lowest Temperatures by State, PDF, National Climatic Data Center, January 1, 2004, January 11, 2007, {| class="wikitable" "text-align:center; font-size:90%; margin: 1em auto;"|! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000; height:17px;"| City! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000;"| Jan! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000;"| Feb! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000;"| Mar! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000;"| Apr! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000;"| May! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000;"| Jun! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000;"| Jul! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000;"| Aug! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000;"| Sep! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000;"| Oct! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000;"| Nov! style="background:#e5afaa; color:#000;"| Dec! style="background:#f8f3ca; color:#000; height:16px; text-align:left;"| Alamosa 34/−22/−19 40/64/−14 50/1710/−8 59/2415/−4 69/3321/1 79/4126/5 82/4728/8 80/4627/8 73/4023/4 62/2517/−4 47/128/−11 35/12/−17! style="background:#c5dfe1; color:#000; height:16px; text-align:left;"| Colorado Springs 43/186/−8 45/207/−7 52/2611/−3 60/3316/1 69/4321/6 79/5126/11 85/5729/14 82/5628/13 75/4724/8 63/3617/2 51/2511/−4 42/186/−8! style="background:#f8f3ca; color:#000; height:16px; text-align:left;"| Denver 49/209/−7 49/219/−6 56/2913/−2 64/3518/2 73/4623/8 84/5429/12 92/6133/16 89/6032/16 81/5027/10 68/3720/3 55/2613/−3 47/188/−8! style="background:#c5dfe1; color:#000; height:16px; text-align:left;"| Grand Junction 38/173/−8 45/247/−4 57/3114/-1 65/3818/3 76/4724/8 88/5631/13 93/6334/17 90/6132/16 80/5227/11 66/4019/4 51/2811/−2 39/194/−7! style="background:#f8f3ca; color:#000; height:16px; text-align:left;"| Pueblo 47/148/−10 51/1711/−8 59/2615/−3 67/3419/1 77/4425/7 87/5331/12 93/5934/15 90/5832/14 82/4828/9 69/3421/1 56/2313/−5 46/148/−10


Despite its mountainous terrain, Colorado is relatively quiet seismically. The U.S. National Earthquake Information Center is located in Golden.On August 22, 2011, a 5.3 magnitude earthquake occurred {{convert|9|mi|km}} west-southwest of the city of Trinidad.weblink {{webarchive|url=|date=January 17, 2013}} There were no casualties and only a small amount of damage was reported. It was the second-largest earthquake in Colorado's history. A magnitude 5.7 earthquake was recorded in 1973.NEWS,weblink Largest Colorado quake since 1973 shakes homes, August 23, 2011, USA Today, August 23, 2011, In early morning hours of August 24, 2018, four minor earthquakes rattled the state of Colorado ranging from magnitude 2.9 to 4.3.NEWS,weblink Four earthquakes rumble Colorado overnight {{!, OutThere Colorado|date=2018-08-24|work=OutThere Colorado|access-date=2018-09-10|language=en-US}}Colorado has recorded 525 earthquakes since 1973, a majority of which range 2 to 3.5 on the Richter scale.NEWS,weblink 3 earthquakes reported overnight in Colorado,, LIZ FORSTER, Colorado Springs Gazette, September 10, 2018, en,


File:Mesa-Verde---Cliff-Palace-in 1891 - edit1.jpg|thumb|Ruins of Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park as photographed by Gustaf NordenskiöldGustaf Nordenskiöld(File:Great Kiva at Chimney Rock Colorado.JPG|thumb|Great Kiva at Chimney Rock in the San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado. It is said to have been built by the Ancient Pueblo peoples.)The region that is today the state of Colorado has been inhabited by Native Americans for more than 13,000 years. The Lindenmeier Site in Larimer County contains artifacts dating from approximately 11200 BC to 3000 BC. 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."Genocide Wiped Out Native American Population ", Discovery News, September 20, 2010. The Ute Nation inhabited the mountain valleys of the Southern Rocky Mountains and the Western Rocky Mountains, even as far east as the Front Range of present day. The Apache and the Comanche also inhabited Eastern and Southeastern parts of the state. At times, the Arapaho Nation and the Cheyenne Nation moved west to hunt across the High Plains.File:La conquista del Colorado.jpg|thumb|left|The Spanish discovering Colorado in 1540, by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau. García López de Cárdenas can be seen overlooking the Grand CanyonGrand CanyonThe Spanish Empire claimed Colorado as part of its New Mexico province prior to U.S. involvement in the region. The U.S. acquired a territorial claim to the eastern Rocky Mountains with the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803. This U.S. claim conflicted with the claim by Spain to the upper Arkansas River Basin as the exclusive trading zone of its colony of Santa Fé de Nuevo México. In 1806, Zebulon Pike led a U.S. Army reconnaissance expedition into the disputed region. Colonel Pike and his men were arrested by Spanish cavalrymen in the San Luis Valley the following February, taken to Chihuahua, and expelled from Mexico the following July.The U.S. 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 U.S. admitted the southeastern portion of the Territory of Missouri to the Union as the state of Missouri on August 10, 1821. The remainder of Missouri Territory, including what would become northeastern Colorado, became unorganized territory, and remained 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 1835–36 fomented a dispute between the U.S. and Mexico which eventually erupted into the Mexican–American War in 1846. Mexico surrendered its northern territory to the U.S. with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the conclusion of the war in 1848.File:Mexican Cession in Mexican View.PNG|thumb|Map of the Mexican Cession, with the white representing the territory the United States received from Mexico (plus land ceded to the Republic of Texas) after the Mexican–American WarMexican–American WarMost American settlers traveling overland west to the Oregon Country, the new goldfields of California, or the new Mormon settlements of the State 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 (Wyoming), 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 rivers Green, Grand, and Colorado. The federal government of the U.S. 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.File:Anasazi Heritage Center.jpg|thumb|The Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores ]]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.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.

Territory act

File:1860 colorado territory map.png|thumb|left|The territories of New Mexico, Utah, Kansas, and Nebraska before the creation of the Territory of ColoradoTerritory of ColoradoThirty 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 except for government survey amendments. The name Colorado was chosen because it was commonly believed that the Colorado River originated in the territory.Early explorers identified the Gunnison River in Colorado as the headwaters of the Colorado River. The Grand River in Colorado was later tentatively 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. In 1776, Spanish priest Silvestre Vélez de Escalante recorded that Native Americans in the area knew the river as (:es:Rio Colorado|el Rio Colorado) for the red-brown silt that the river carried from the mountains.WEB, Multiple Property Documentation Form, National-Register-of-Historic,weblink, 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.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 @ 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 dispersed 500 of their horses and mules.BOOK, Blood & treasure : Confederate Empire in the Southwest, Frazier, Donald Shaw, 1995, Texas A & M University Press, 0585303304, 1st, College Station, 45732362, 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 hideously mutilated and desecrated. 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. This event is now known as the Sand Creek massacre.File:Mount of the Holy Cross.jpeg|thumb|Mount of the Holy Cross, photographed by William Henry JacksonWilliam Henry JacksonIn the midst and aftermath of Civil War, many discouraged prospectors returned to their homes, but a few stayed and developed mines, mills, farms, ranches, roads, and towns in Colorado 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 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.


File:Georgetown loop 1899.jpg|thumb|The Georgetown Loop of the Colorado Central Railroad as photographed by William Henry JacksonWilliam Henry JacksonThe United States Congress passed an enabling act on March 3, 1875, specifying the requirements for the Territory of Colorado to become a state.WEB,weblink 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, Forty-third United States Congress, Forty-third United States Congress, March 3, 1875, November 15, 2018, On August 1, 1876 (four weeks 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".WEB,weblink Proclamation of the Admission of Colorado to the Union, php, President of the United States of America, August 1, 1876, The American Presidency Project, November 15, 2018, 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 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. Between the 1880s and 1930s, Denver's floriculture industry developed into a major industry in Colorado.Shu Liu and Linda M. Meyer, Carnations and the Floriculture Industry: Documenting the Cultivation and Marketing of Flowers in Colorado, 2007BOOK, A History – Colorado Flower Growers and its People, Kingman, Dick, Colorado Greenhouse Growers Association, Inc., 1986,weblink This period became known locally as the Carnation Gold Rush.NEWS,weblink Neighbors want historic designation for NW Denver home, Rebchook, John, October 15, 2015, 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.On September 11, 1957, a plutonium fire occurred at the Rocky Flats Plant, which resulted in the significant plutonium contamination of surrounding populated areas.WEB, Iversen, Kristen,weblink Under The 'Nuclear Shadow' Of Colorado's Rocky Flats, NPR, June 12, 2012, {{Clear}}


(File:Colorado population map.png|thumb|upright=1.6|Colorado population density map){{US Census population|1860= 34277|1870= 39864|1880= 194327|1890= 413249|1900= 539700|1910= 799024|1920= 939629|1930= 1035791|1940= 1123296|1950= 1325089|1960= 1753947|1970= 2207259|1980= 2889964|1990= 3294394|2000= 4301262|2010= 5029196|estimate= 5695564|estyear= 2018|align-fn=centerTITLE=RESIDENT POPULATION DATA – 2010 CENSUS ACCESSDATE=DECEMBER 31, 2018 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20131019160532/HTTP://2010.CENSUS.GOV/2010CENSUS/DATA/APPORTIONMENT-POP-TEXT.PHP DF=MDY, 2018 estimateHTTPS://WWW.CENSUS.GOV/QUICKFACTS/FACT/TABLE/CO,US/PST045218>TITLE=QUICKFACTS COLORADO; UNITED STATESWEBSITE=2018 POPULATION ESTIMATESUNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU, POPULATION DIVISION>DATE=FEBRUARY 9, 2019, February 9, 2019, }}The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, a 13.25% increase since the 2010 United States Census. Colorado's most populous city and capital, is Denver. The Greater Denver Metropolitan Area, with an estimated 2017 population of 3,515,374, is considered the largest metropolitan area within the state and is found within the larger Front Range Urban Corridor, home to around 5,000,000 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.WEB,weblink Population growth – Colorado counties,, June 5, 2011, The center of population of Colorado is located just north of the village of Critchell in Jefferson County.WEB, Population and Population Centers by State – 2000, United States Census Bureau, December 4, 2008,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 8, 2013, mdy, According to the 2010 United States Census, Colorado had a population of 5,029,196. Racial composition of the state's population was: {| class="wikitable sortable collapsible" style="font-size: 90%;"|+ Colorado racial breakdown of population! Racial composition !! 1970 !! 1990WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, July 25, 2008, Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals By Race, 1790 to 1990, and By Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, For The United States, Regions, Divisions, and States, Campbell, Gibson, Kay, Jung, September 2002, U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, April 17, 2012, !! 2000WEB,weblink Population of Colorado – Census 2010 and 2000 Interactive Map, Demographics, Statistics, Quick Facts,, April 1, 2016, !! 2010WEB, 2010 Census Data,weblink 2010 Census Data – 2010 Census,, April 1, 2016, White American>White (includes White Hispanics) {{nts|95.7}}% {{nts|88.2}}% {{nts|82.8}}% {{nts|81.3}}%African American>Black {{nts|3.0}}% {{nts|4.0}}% {{nts|3.8}}% {{nts|4.0}}%Asian American>Asian {{nts|0.5}}% {{nts|1.8}}% {{nts|2.2}}% {{nts|2.8}}%Native Americans in the United States>Native {{nts|0.4}}% {{nts|0.8}}% {{nts|1.0}}% {{nts|1.1}}%Native Hawaiian andPacific Islander>other Pacific Islander {{ntsh|0.0001}}– {{ntsh|0.0001}}– {{nts|0.1}}% {{nts|0.1}}%Race and ethnicity in the United States Census>Other race {{nts|0.4}}% {{nts|5.1}}% {{nts|7.2}}% {{nts|7.2}}%Multiracial American>Two or more races {{ntsh|0.0002}}– {{ntsh|0.0002}}– {{nts|2.8}}% {{nts|3.4}}%People of Hispanic and Latino American (of any race made) heritage made up 20.7% of the population.WEB,weblink PDF, Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 : 2010 Demographic Profile Data,, April 1, 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink March 5, 2014, mdy, 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.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 elsewhere. Southern, Southwestern, and Southeastern Colorado has a large number of Hispanos, the descendants of the early Mexican settlers of colonial Spanish origin. In 1940, the Census Bureau reported Colorado's population as 8.2% Hispanic and 90.3% non-Hispanic white.WEB, Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals By Race, 1790 to 1990, and By Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, For The United States, Regions, Divisions, and States, U.S. Census Bureau,weblink January 3, 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 24, 2014, mdy, The Hispanic population of Colorado has continued to grow quickly over the past decades. By 2012, Hispanics made up 21% of Colorado's population, and Non-Hispanic Whites made up 69%.WEB,weblink Colorado QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau,, April 1, 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 19, 2016, Spoken English in Colorado has many Spanish idioms.WEB,weblink talking about Colorado in "nada",, June 30, 2007, July 30, 2010, Colorado also has some large African-American communities located in Denver, in the neighborhoods of Montbello, Five Points, Whittier, and many other East Denver areas. A relatively large population 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.There were a total of 70,331 births in Colorado in 2006. (Birth rate of 14.6 per thousand.) In 2007, non-Hispanic whites were involved in 59.1% of all the births.WEB,weblink National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 57, Number 12, (March 18, 2009), PDF, July 30, 2010, 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.WEB,weblink Department of Public Health and Environment |,, April 1, 2016, 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 5th-largest population of Mexican-Americans, behind California, Texas, Arizona, and Illinois. In percentages, Colorado has the 6th-highest percentage of Mexican-Americans, behind New Mexico, California, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada.WEB,weblink People of Colorado statistics,, June 15, 2007, April 1, 2016,

Birth data

In 2011, 46% of Colorado's population younger than the age of one were minorities, meaning that they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white.WEB,weblink PDF, Losing ground,, April 1, 2016, NEWS,weblink Americans under age 1 now mostly minorities, but not in Ohio: Statistical Snapshot, Exner, Rich, June 3, 2012, The Plain Dealer, Note: Births in table don't add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.{| class="wikitable"|+ Live Births by Single Race/Ethnicity of Mother! Race! 2013WEB,weblink Births: Final Data for 2013 Volume 64, Number 1, National Vital Statistics Reports, January 15, 2015, August 8, 2017, ! 2014WEB,weblink Births: Final Data for 2014 Volume 64, Number 12, National Vital Statistics Reports, December 23, 2015, August 8, 2017, ! 2015WEB,weblink Births: Final Data for 2015 Volume 66, Number 1, National Vital Statistics Reports, January 5, 2017, August 8, 2017, ! 2016WEB, Nvsr67_01.pdf, National Vital Statistics Reports,weblink, ! 201weblinkWhite Americans>White:| 57,491 (88.4%)| 58,117 (88.3%)| 58,756 (88.2%)| ...| ... Non-Hispanic whites>Non-Hispanic White| 39,872 (61.3%)| 40,629 (61.7%)| 40,878 (61.4%)| 39,617 (59.5%)| 37,516 (58.3%)African Americans>Black| 3,760 (5.8%)| 3,926 (6.0%)| 4,049 (6.1%)| 3,004 (4.5%)| 3,110 (4.8%)Asian Americans>Asian| 2,863 (4.4%)| 3,010 (4.6%)| 2,973 (4.5%)| 2,617 (3.9%)| 2,611 (4.1%)Native Americans in the United States>American Indian| 793 (1.2%)| 777 (1.2%)| 803 (1.2%)| 412 (0.6%)| 421 (0.7%)Pacific Islands Americans>Pacific Islander| ...| ...| ...| 145 (0.2%)| 145 (0.2%)Hispanic and Latino Americans>Hispanic (of any race)| 17,821 (27.4%)| 17,665 (26.8%)| 18,139 (27.2%)| 18,513 (27.8%)| 18,125 (28.2%)| Total Colorado| 65,007 (100%)| 65,830 (100%)| 66,581 (100%)| 66,613 (100%)| 64,382 (100%)
  • Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one Hispanic group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
In 2017, Colorado recorded the second-lowest fertility rate in the United States outside of New England, after Oregon, at 1.63 children per woman. Significant, contributing factors to the decline in pregnancies were the Title X Family Planning Program and an Intrauterine device grant from Warren Buffett's family.NEWS, Seaman, Jessica, 22 March 2019, Colorado teen pregnancies dropped 20 percent near these clinics. Now their funding is at risk,weblink The Denver Post, 21 May 2019, By increasing access to long-term birth control such as intrauterine devices, Colorado has reduced teen pregnancies by about 20 percent in zip codes near clinics that receive federal funding…Statewide, the birth rate for...ages 15 and 19 dropped 59 [%] 2017, NEWS, Brown, Jennifer, 30 November 2017, IUD program leads to big decline in teen pregnancies, abortions in Colorado,weblink The Denver Post, 21 May 2019, The steep drop in teen pregnancies and abortions in Colorado since 2009 is mainly due to one thing: free, low-cost access to IUDs…Thanks to a grant from billionaire Warren Buffett’s family, Colorado spent $28 million,


Spanish is the second-most spoken language in Colorado, after English.WEB,weblink Languages - Colorado,, There is one Native Coloradan language still spoken in Colorado, Colorado River Numic (Ute).


File:USAFA Chapel from terrazzo.JPG|thumb|The Cadet Chapel at the United States Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs ]]Major religious affiliations of the people of Colorado are 64% Christian, of whom there are 44% Protestant, 16% Roman Catholic, 3% Mormon, and 1% Eastern Orthodox.WEB, Adkins, Amy,weblink Mississippi and Alabama Most Protestant States in U.S,, April 1, 2016, Other religious breakdowns are 1% Jewish, 1% Muslim, 1% Buddhist and 4% other. The religiously unaffiliated make up 29% of the population.WEB,weblink Religion in America: U.S. Religious Data, Demographics and Statistics | Pew Research Center,, April 1, 2016, The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Catholic Church with 811,630; non-denominational Evangelical Protestants with 229,981; and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 151,433.WEB,weblink The Association of Religion Data Archives | State Membership Report,, November 7, 2013, {{bar boxDATE=MAY 11, 2015, left1=Religion float=left|bars ={{bar percent|Protestant|purple|44}}{{bar percent|No Religion|black|29}}{{bar percent|Catholic|dodgerblue|16}}{{bar percent|Mormon|pink|3}}{{bar percent|Eastern Orthodox|yellow|1}}{{bar percent|Jewish|darkgreen|1}}{{bar percent|Muslim|blue|1}}{{bar percent|Buddhist|green|1}}{{bar percent|Other|grey|4}}}}{{clear}}


According to several studies, Coloradans have the lowest rates of obesity of any state in the US.WEB,weblink GIF, Percentage of Obese Adult Population,, April 1, 2016, {{As of|2007}}, 18% of the population was considered medically obese, and while the lowest in the nation, the percentage had increased from 17% in 2004.WEB,weblink Fattest States 2010: CalorieLab's Annual Obesity Map – State Obesity Rankings | CalorieLab – Health News & Information Blog, CalorieLab, June 28, 2010, June 5, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink July 13, 2012, dead, According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, residents of Colorado had a 2014 life expectancy of 80.21 years, the longest of any U.S. state.JOURNAL, Dwyer-Lindgren, Laura, May 8, 2017, Inequalities in Life Expectancy Among US Counties, 1980 to 2014,weblink Journal of the American Medical Association: Internal Medicine, 177, 7, 1003–1011, 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.0918, 28492829, 5543324, May 9, 2017,


File:HistoryColoradoCenter1.jpg|thumb|History Colorado CenterHistory Colorado Center(File:Denver Colorado Art.jpg|thumb|Street art in Denver)

Fine arts


A number of film productions have shot on location in Colorado, especially prominent Westerns like True Grit, The Searchers, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. A number of historic military forts, railways with trains still operating, mining ghost towns have been utilized and transformed for historical accuracy in well known films. There are also a number of scenic highways and mountain passes that helped to feature the open road in films such as Vanishing Point, Bingo and Starman. Some Colorado landmarks have been featured in films, such as The Stanley Hotel in Dumb and Dumber and The Shining and the Sculptured House in Sleeper. In 2015, Furious 7 was to film driving sequences on Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado. The TV Series, Good Luck Charlie was being filmed in Denver, Colorado. The Colorado Office of Film and Television has noted that over 400 films have been shot in Colorado.WEB, Cangialosi, Jason, Scenic Memorabilia: Colorado's Film Locations,weblink Yahoo! Movies, March 4, 2013, There are also a number of established film festivals in Colorado, including Aspen Shortsfest, Boulder International Film Festival, Castle Rock Film Festival, Denver Film Festival, Festivus Film Festival (ended in 2013), Mile High Horror Film Festival, Moondance International Film Festival, Mountainfilm in Telluride, Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival, and Telluride Film Festival.


Colorado is known for its Southwest and Rocky Mountain cuisine. Mexican restaurants are prominent throughout the state.Boulder, Colorado was named America's Foodiest Town 2010 by Bon Appétit.WEB, Knowlton, Andrew,weblink America's Foodiest Town 2010: Boulder, Colorado: In the Magazine,, June 5, 2011, 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.MAGAZINE,weblink Master Class: The Coloradans who've passed the Master Sommelier test that 97 percent fail, Jacob, Harkins, March 2011,weblink" title="">weblink March 15, 2011, Denver Magazine, The Food & Wine Classic is held annually each June in Aspen, Colorado. Aspen also has a reputation as the culinary capital of the Rocky Mountain region.NEWS, Arnold, Katie,weblink As Skiers Depart Aspen, Chowhounds Take Their Place, Aspen (Colo),, June 8, 2008, June 5, 2011, Denver is known for steak, but now has a diverse culinary scene with many restaurants.WEB,weblink Colorado Travel Guide,, June 5, 2011,

Wine and beer

Colorado wines include award-winning varietals that have attracted favorable notice from outside the state.NEWS, Jackenthal, Stefani,weblink Biking Colorado's Wine Country, Colorado,, October 5, 2008, June 5, 2011, 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.WEB,weblink The Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition,, November 24, 2010, June 5, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 1, 2011, Colorado's grape growing regions contain the highest elevation vineyards in the United States,WEB,weblink Wine Industry Feature Articles – Is Colorado the New Washington?,, June 5, 2011, with most viticulture in the state practiced between {{convert|4000|and|7000|ft|m|0}} 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,WEB,weblink PDF, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau : U.S. Department of the Treasury : Tables,, April 1, 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink March 19, 2015, mdy-all, where most of the vineyards in the state are located. However, an increasing number of wineries are located along the Front Range.WEB,weblink Colorado Wine Industry Development Board,, June 5, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 28, 2011, mdy-all, In 2018, Wine Enthusiast Magazine named Colorado's Grand Valley AVA in Mesa County, Colorado, as one of the Top Ten wine travel destinations in the world.WEB,weblink Grand Valley, Colorado - Top 10 Wine Getaways 2018 - Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Colorado is home to many nationally praised microbreweries,WEB, Colorado,, January 24, 2013,weblink including New Belgium Brewing Company, Odell Brewing Company, Great Divide Brewing Company, and Bristol Brewing Company. The area of northern Colorado near and between the cities of Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins is known as the "Napa Valley of Beer" due to its high density of craft breweries.WEB,weblink The Denver Beer Triangle,, June 18, 2013,

Marijuana and hemp

Colorado is open to cannabis (marijuana) tourism.NEWS, Land Water People Time (Cultural Guide),weblink A new Rocky Mountain high: Colorado open for cannabis tourism – The Santa Fe New Mexican: Travel, The Santa Fe New Mexican, February 11, 2014, April 1, 2016, With the adoption of their 64th state amendment in 2013, Colorado became the first state in the union to legalize the medicinal (2000), industrial (2013), and recreational (2014) use of marijuana. Colorado's marijuana industry sold $1.31 billion worth of marijuana in 2016 and $1.26 billion in the first three quarters of 2017.WEB,weblink Marijuana Sales Reports - Department of Revenue,, The state generated tax, fee, and license revenue of $194 million in 2016 on legal marijuana sales.WEB,weblink Marijuana Tax Data - Department of Revenue,, Colorado regulates hemp as any part of the plant with less than 0.3% THC.WEB,weblink Industrial Hemp | Department of Agriculture – Plants,, March 30, 2015, April 1, 2016, Amendment 64, adopted by the voters in the 2012 general election, forces the Colorado state legislature to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing and sale of recreational marijuana and industrial hemp.Amendment 64: (6).j On April 4, 2014, Senate Bill 14–184 addressing oversight of Colorado's industrial hemp program was first introduced, ultimately being signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper on May 31, 2014.WEB, Colorado Senate Bill 14-184,weblink October 13, 2014,

Medicinal use

On November 7, 2000, 54% of Colorado voters passed Amendment 20, which amends the Colorado State constitution to allow the medical use of marijuana.WEB
, Active State Medical Marijuana Programs – NORML
, June 4, 2008
, dead
,weblink" title="">weblink
, May 3, 2008
, A patient's medical use of marijuana, within the following limits, is lawful:
  • (I) No more than {{convert|2|oz}} of a usable form of marijuana; and
  • (II) No more than twelve marijuana plants, with six or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana.WEB,weblink Full Text of Colorado Amendment 20 – Medical Use of Marijuana 2000,, April 1, 2016,
Currently Colorado has listed "eight medical conditions for which patients can use marijuana—cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, muscle spasms, seizures, severe pain, severe nausea and cachexia, or dramatic weight loss and muscle atrophy."{{Citation |last=Young |first=Saundra |date=August 7, 2013 |title=Marijuana stops child's severe seizures |publisher=CNN |publication-place= |page= |url= |accessdate=January 1, 2014}} Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has allocated about half of the state's $13 million "Medical Marijuana Program Cash Fund"{{Citation |last= |first= |year=2014 |title=Colorado laws pertaining to Medical Marijuana |publisher=Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment |publication-place= |page= |url= |accessdate=January 1, 2014}} Several links are found, including .PDF documents to download. to medical research in the 2014 budget.{{Citation |last=Markus |first=Ben |date=November 26, 2013 |title=Colorado to spend millions researching medical marijuana benefits |publisher=Colorado Public Radio |publication-place= |page= |url= |accessdate=January 1, 2014}}

Recreational use

On November 6, 2012, voters amended the state constitution to protect "personal use" of marijuana for adults, establishing a framework to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.WEB,weblink ACLU Joins Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol – ACLU – Colorado,, April 1, 2016, The first recreational marijuana shops in Colorado, and by extension the United States, opened their doors on January 1, 2014.NEWS, Healy, Jack, Colorado Stores Throw Open Their Doors to Pot Buyers,weblink The New York Times, January 1, 2014,


File:Coors field 1.JPG|thumb|upright|The Colorado Rockies baseball club at Coors FieldCoors FieldFile:Denver invesco stadium 1.jpg|thumb|upright|Broncos Stadium at Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos and the Denver OutlawsDenver OutlawsFile:Pepsi Center.jpg|thumb|upright|Pepsi Center, home of the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado MammothColorado MammothFile:Dick's Park.jpg|thumb|upright|Dick's Sporting Goods Park, home of the Colorado RapidsColorado RapidsColorado has five major professional sports leagues, all based in the Denver metropolitan area. Colorado is the least populous state with a franchise in each of the major professional sports leagues.The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a major hillclimbing motor race held at the Pikes Peak Highway.The Cherry Hills Country Club has hosted several professional golf tournaments, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Women's Open, PGA Championship and BMW Championship.

Professional sports teams{|class"wikitable sortable"

!Team!Home!First game!Sport!League|Boulder County BombersBoulder, Colorado>Boulder{{dts|November 2011}}Roller derby>Roller Derby|Women's Flat Track Derby Association|Colorado Avalanche|Denver{{dts|October 6, 1995}}|Ice hockey|National Hockey League|Colorado EaglesLoveland, Colorado>Loveland{{dts|October 17, 2003}}|Ice hockey|American Hockey League|Colorado Mammoth|Denver{{dts|January 3, 2003}}|Lacrosse|National Lacrosse League|Colorado RapidsCommerce City, Colorado>Commerce City{{dts|April 13, 1996}}Association football>Soccer|Major League Soccer|Colorado Rockies|Denver{{dts|April 5, 1993}}|Baseball|Major League Baseball|Colorado Springs Switchbacks FCColorado Springs, Colorado>Colorado Springs{{dts|March 28, 2015}}|Soccer|USL Championship|Denver Barbarians|Denver{{dtsformat=hide}}Spring 1967|Rugby unionRugby union in the United States#Pacific Rugby Premiership and Atlantic Rugby Premiership (2014–present)>Pacific Rugby Premiership|Denver Broncos|Denver{{dts|September 9, 1960}}|American football|National Football League|Denver Nuggets|Denver{{dts|September 27, 1967}}|Basketball|National Basketball Association|Denver Outlaws|Denver{{dts|May 20, 2006}}|Lacrosse|Major League Lacrosse|Glendale RaptorsGlendale, Colorado>Glendale{{dtsformat=hide}}Fall 2006|Rugby union|Major League Rugby|Grand Junction RockiesGrand Junction, Colorado>Grand Junction{{dts|June 18, 2012}}|BaseballPioneer League (baseball)>Pioneer League (Rookie, Minor League Baseball)|Rocky Mountain RollergirlsDenver, Colorado>Denver{{dts|July 2005}}Roller derby>Roller Derby|Women's Flat Track Derby Association|Rocky Mountain VibesColorado Springs, Colorado>Colorado Springs{{dts|June 2019}}|BaseballPioneer League (baseball)>Pioneer League (Rookie, Minor League Baseball){{notelist|group=pro}}

College athletics

The following universities and colleges participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I. The most popular college sports program is the University of Colorado Buffaloes, who used to play in the Big-12 but now play in the Pac-12. They have won the 1957 and 1991 Orange Bowl, 1995 Fiesta Bowl, and 1996 Cotton Bowl Classic.{| class="sortable wikitable"|+NCAA Division I athletic programs in Colorado! Team !! School !! City !! ConferenceAir Force Falcons >United States Air Force Academy >Colorado Springs, Colorado>Colorado Springs Mountain WestSeveral Air Force teams participate in other conferences, or as independents, in sports that the MW does not sponsor: Colorado Buffaloes >University of Colorado Boulder >Boulder, Colorado>Boulder Pac-12Several Colorado teams participate in other conferences in sports that the Pac-12 does not sponsor: Colorado State Rams >Colorado State University >Fort Collins, Colorado>Fort Collins Mountain WestDenver Pioneers >University of Denver >Denver >Summit League>SummitSeveral Denver teams participate in other conferences in sports that The Summit League does not sponsor: Northern Colorado Bears >University of Northern Colorado >Greeley, Colorado>Greeley Big SkySeveral Northern Colorado teams participate in other conferences in sports that the Big Sky does not sponsor: {{clear}}{{clear}}


{{See also|Colorado locations by per capita income}}File:Denver CO DT WTC AMH 322.JPG|thumb|upright|right|Denver Energy Center lies in the Denver financial district along 17th Street, known as the Wall Street of the WestWall Street of the WestCNBC'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.WEB,weblink America's Top States for Business: Overall Rankings - 2010, CNBC, July 24, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 26, 2011, File:Corn production in Colorado.jpg|thumb|Corn growing in Larimer County ]]The total state product in 2015 was $318,600 million.WEB,weblink Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Department of Commerce, BEA, Bureau of Economic, Analysis,, April 24, 2018,weblink December 30, 2017, dead, mdy-all, Median Annual Household Income in 2016 was $70,666, 8th in the nation.NEWS,weblink Median Annual Household Income, 2017-09-22, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2018-10-11, en-US, Per capita personal income in 2010 was $51,940, ranking Colorado 11th in the nation.WEB,weblink References, PDF, July 30, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink April 12, 2010, dead, mdy-all, 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 (North American Aerospace Defense Command), United States Air Force Academy, Schriever Air Force Base located approximately 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Peterson Air Force Base, and Fort Carson, both located in Colorado Springs within El Paso County; NOAA, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder; U.S. Geological Survey and other government agencies at the Denver Federal Center near Lakewood; the Denver Mint, Buckley Air Force Base, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Byron G. Rogers Federal Building and United States Courthouse 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 {{convert|24615788|acre|km2|0}} of land in Colorado, or 37% of the total area of the state.WEB,weblink Colorado Land Ownership by County (acres), January 1997, Tony, Frank, Excel, Colorado Department of Agriculture, July 15, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink January 16, 2006, dead, 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.WEB,weblink Colorado rides on Fat Tire to beer heights,, November 24, 2007, June 5, 2011, 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 individual income tax return (2005) {{webarchive |url= |date=December 17, 2008 }}. Retrieved September 26, 2006.U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (2005) online copy. Retrieved September 26, 2006. Colorado's state sales tax is 2.9% on retail sales. When state revenues exceed state constitutional limits, according to Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights legislation, 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 was scheduled to return for assessment year 2006, payable in 2007.{{as of|2018|December|}}, the state's unemployment rate was 4.2%.WEB,weblink Local Area Unemployment Statistics Home Page,, February 4, 2019, The West Virginia teachers' strike in 2018 inspired teachers in other states, including Colorado, to take similar action.NEWS, Inspired by West Virginia Strike, Teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky Plan Walk Out,weblink KTLA, April 2, 2018,


Major philanthropic organizations based in Colorado include the Daniels Fund, the Anschutz Family Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation, the El Pomar Foundation, and the Boettcher Foundation grant each year from approximately $7 billionWEB,weblink Philanthropy in Colorado, Colorado Association of Funders,weblink" title="">weblink October 19, 2013, of assets.

Natural resources

File:Grand Junction Trip 92007 131.JPG|thumb|An oil welloil wellColorado 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 {{convert|1|Toilbbl|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.WEB,weblink EIA State Energy Profiles: Colorado, June 12, 2008, June 24, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink May 16, 2008, dead, mdy-all,
Substantial deposits of bituminous, subbituminous, and lignite coal are found in the state.
Uranium mining in Colorado goes back to 1872, when pitchblende ore was taken from gold mines near Central City, Colorado. The Colorado uranium industry has seen booms and busts, but continues to this day. Not counting byproduct uranium from phosphate, Colorado is considered to have the third-largest uranium reserves of any U.S. state, behind Wyoming and New Mexico.Uranium price increases from 2001 to 2007 prompted a number of companies to revive uranium mining in Colorado. Price drops and financing problems in late 2008 forced these companies to cancel or scale back uranium-mining project. Currently, there are no uranium producing mines in Colorado.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.


(File:Colorado.JPG|thumb|left|A Colorado state welcome sign)Colorado's primary mode of transportation (in terms of passengers) is its highway system. Interstate 25 (I-25) is the primary north–south highway in the state, connecting Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Fort Collins, and extending north to Wyoming and south to New Mexico. I-70 is the primary east–west corridor. It connects Grand Junction and the mountain communities with Denver, and enters Utah and Kansas. The state is home to a network of US and Colorado highways that provide access to all principal areas of the state. Many smaller communities are only connected to this network via county roads.File:DIA.jpg|thumb|right|The main terminal of Denver International Airport evokes the peaks of the Front RangeFront RangeDenver International Airport (DIA) is the fifth-busiest domestic U.S. airport and twentieth busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic.WEB,weblink Archived copy, May 9, 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 19, 2012, DIA handles by far the largest volume of commercial air traffic in Colorado, and is the busiest U.S. hub airport between Chicago and the Pacific coast, making Denver the most important airport for connecting passenger traffic in the western United States.Extensive public transportation bus services are offered both intra-city and inter-city—including the Denver metro area's extensive RTD services. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) operates the popular RTD Bus & Rail transit system in the Denver Metropolitan Area. {{as of|2013|January|}} the RTD rail system had 170 light-rail vehicles, serving {{convert|47|mi|km}} of track.File:California Zephyr--Eastbound meets Westbound in Glenwood Canyon.jpg|thumb|left|The westbound and eastbound California Zephyrs meet in the Glenwood CanyonGlenwood Canyon Amtrak operates two passenger rail lines in Colorado, the California Zephyr and Southwest Chief. Colorado's contribution to world railroad history was forged principally by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad which began in 1870 and wrote the book on mountain railroading. In 1988 the "Rio Grande" acquired, but was merged into, the Southern Pacific Railroad by their joint owner Philip Anschutz. On September 11, 1996, Anschutz sold the combined company to the Union Pacific Railroad, creating the largest railroad network in the United States. The Anschutz sale was partly in response to the earlier merger of Burlington Northern and Santa Fe which formed the large Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), Union Pacific's principal competitor in western U.S. railroading. Both Union Pacific and BNSF have extensive freight operations in Colorado.Colorado's freight railroad network consists of 2,688 miles of Class I trackage. It is integral to the U.S. economy, being a critical artery for the movement of energy, agriculture, mining, and industrial commodities as well as general freight and manufactured products between the East and Midwest and the Pacific coast states.WEB,weblink Railroads and States,, July 10, 2013, dead,weblink June 6, 2013, mdy-all, {{clear}}In August 2014, Colorado began to issue driver licenses to aliens not lawfully in the United States who lived in Colorado.NEWS, Nicholson, Kieran, August 1, 2014, Immigrants here illegally begin receiving Colorado driver licenses,weblink Denver Post, August 1, 2014, In September 2014, KCNC reported that 524 non-citizens were issued Colorado driver licenses that are normally issued to U.S. citizens living in Colorado.NEWS, 524 Non-Citizens Received Regular Colorado Driver's Licenses, DMV Says,weblink KCNC, Denver, September 12, 2014, February 19, 2015,


{| class="wikitable floatright"! colspan = 6 | State Executive Officers!| Office! Name! Party| Governor| Jared Polis Democrat| Lieutenant Governor| Dianne Primavera Democrat| Secretary of State| Jena Griswold Democrat| Attorney General| Phil Weiser Democrat| TreasurerDave Young (Colorado politician)>Dave Young Democrat

State government

Like the federal government and all other U.S. states, Colorado's state constitution provides for three branches of government: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches.The Governor of Colorado heads the state's executive branch. The current governor is Jared Polis, a Democrat. Colorado's other statewide elected executive officers are the Lieutenant Governor of Colorado (elected on a ticket with the Governor), Secretary of State of Colorado, Colorado State Treasurer, and Attorney General of Colorado, all of whom serve four-year terms.The seven-member 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. {{as of|2018}}, the Democratic Party holds a 19 to 16 majority in the Senate and a 41 to 24 majority in the House.Most Coloradans are native to other states (nearly 60% according to the 2000 census),WEB
, State of Residence in 2000 by State of Birth
, United States Census Bureau, US Census Bureau
, October 10, 2009
,weblink 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). In the 2016 election, the Democratic party won the Colorado electoral college votes.


File:Map of Colorado counties, labelled.svg|thumb|An enlargeable map of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado]]The State of Colorado is divided into 64 counties.WEB, January 8, 2007,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, February 2, 2007, Colorado Counties, State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs, January 30, 2007, 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 all located in the Front Range Urban Corridor.{|class="wikitable sortable" style="margin: 1em auto;"|+The 15 Colorado counties with a population of at least 50,000!Rank!County!2017 Estimate!2010 Census!Change {{nts|1}}Den}}City and County of Denverinvert=on600158|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|2}}El Paso County, Colorado>El Paso Countyinvert=on622263|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|3}}Arapahoe County, Colorado>Arapahoe Countyinvert=on572003|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|4}}Jefferson County, Colorado>Jefferson Countyinvert=on534543|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|5}}Adams County, Colorado>Adams Countyinvert=on441603|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|6}}Larimer County, Colorado>Larimer Countyinvert=on299630|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|7}}Douglas County, Colorado>Douglas Countyinvert=on285465|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|8}}Boulder County, Colorado>Boulder Countyinvert=on294567|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|9}}Weld County, Colorado>Weld Countyinvert=on252825|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|10}}Pueblo County, Colorado>Pueblo Countyinvert=on159063|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|11}}Mesa County, Colorado>Mesa Countyinvert=on146723|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|12}}Bro}}City and County of Broomfieldinvert=on55889|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|13}}Garfield County, Colorado>Garfield Countyinvert=on56389|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|14}}La Plata County, Colorado>La Plata Countyinvert=on51334|date=February 9, 2019}} {{nts|15}}Eagle County, Colorado>Eagle Countyinvert=on52197|date=February 9, 2019}}

Metropolitan areas

File:Colorado census statistical areas.svg|thumb|Map of the 14 Core Based Statistical AreaCore Based Statistical AreaThe United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has defined one combined statistical area (CSA),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. seven Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs),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. and seven Micropolitan Statistical Areas (μSAs)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. in the state of Colorado.WEB,weblink 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, January 7, 2010, The most populous of the 14 Core Based Statistical Areas in Colorado is the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. This area had an estimated population of 2,888,227 on July 1, 2017, an increase of +13.55% since the 2010 United States Census.WEB,weblink American Factfinder, United States Census Bureau, February 9, 2019,weblink March 29, 2019, dead, mdy-all, The more extensive Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO Combined Statistical Area had an estimated population of 3,515,374 on July 1, 2017, an increase of +13.73% since the 2010 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 an estimated population of 4,495,181 on July 1, 2012, an increase of +3.73% since the 2010 United States Census.


The state of Colorado currently has 271 active incorporated municipalities, including 196 towns, 73 cities, and two consolidated city and county governments.WEB,weblink Active Colorado Municipalities, State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs, May 11, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 12, 2009, mdy, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, February 2, 2007, Colorado Local Government by Type, State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs, February 27, 2007, May 11, 2011, 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.{{wide image|2006-07-14-Denver Skyline Midnight.jpg|847px|The skyline of downtown Denver with Speer Boulevard in the foreground}}{|class="wikitable sortable" style="margin: 1em auto;"|+The 27 Colorado municipalities with a population of at least 25,000!Rank!Municipality!2017 Estimate!2010 Census!Change{{nts|1}}Denver>City and County of Denverinvert=on600158|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|2}}Colorado Springs, Colorado>City of Colorado Springsinvert=on416427|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|3}}Aurora, Colorado>City of Aurorainvert=on325078|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|4}}Fort Collins, Colorado>City of Fort Collinsinvert=on143986|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|5}}Lakewood, Colorado>City of Lakewoodinvert=on142980|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|6}}Thornton, Colorado>City of Thorntoninvert=on118772|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|7}}Arvada, Colorado>City of Arvadainvert=on106433|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|8}}Westminster, Colorado>City of Westminsterinvert=on106114|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|9}}Pueblo, Colorado>City of Puebloinvert=on106595|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|10}}Centennial, Colorado>City of Centennialinvert=on100377|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|11}}Boulder, Colorado>City of Boulderinvert=on97385|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|12}}Greeley, Colorado>City of Greeleyinvert=on92889|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|13}}Longmont, Colorado>City of Longmontinvert=on86270|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|14}}Loveland, Colorado>City of Lovelandinvert=on66859|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|15}}Broomfield, Colorado>City and County of Broomfieldinvert=on55889|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|16}}Grand Junction, Colorado>City of Grand Junctioninvert=on58566|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|17}}Castle Rock, Colorado>Town of Castle Rockinvert=on48231|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|18}}Commerce City, Colorado>City of Commerce Cityinvert=on45913|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|19}}Parker, Colorado>Town of Parkerinvert=on45297|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|20}}Littleton, Colorado>City of Littletoninvert=on41737|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|21}}Brighton, Colorado>City of Brightoninvert=on33352|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|22}}Northglenn, Colorado>City of Northglenninvert=on35789|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|23}}Englewood, Colorado>City of Englewoodinvert=on30255|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|24}}Wheat Ridge, Colorado>City of Wheat Ridgeinvert=on30166|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|25}}Fountain, Colorado>City of Fountaininvert=on25846|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|26}}Lafayette, Colorado>City of Lafayetteinvert=on24453|date=February 9, 2019}}{{nts|27}}Windsor, Colorado>Town of Windsorinvert=on18644|date=February 9, 2019}}

Unincorporated communities

{{see also|Places in Colorado}}In addition to its 271 municipalities, Colorado has 187 unincorporated Census Designated Places and many other small communities.{|class="wikitable sortable" style="margin: 1em auto;"|+The 16 Census Designated Places in Colorado with a population of at least 10,000!Rank!Census Designated Place!2010 Census!2000 Census!Change {{nts|1}}Highlands Ranch, Colorado>Highlands Ranchinvert=on96713date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|2}}Security-Widefield, Colorado>Security-Widefieldinvert=on32882date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|3}}Ken Caryl, Colorado>Ken Carylinvert=on32438date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|4}}Dakota Ridge, Colorado>Dakota Ridgeinvert=on32005date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|5}}Pueblo West, Colorado>Pueblo Westinvert=on29637date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|6}}Columbine, Colorado>Columbineinvert=on24280date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|7}}Clifton, Colorado>Cliftoninvert=on19889date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|8}}Sherrelwood, Colorado>Sherrelwoodinvert=on18287date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|9}}Cimarron Hills, Colorado>Cimarron Hillsinvert=on16161date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|10}}Welby, Colorado>Welbyinvert=on14846date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|11}}Fort Carson, Colorado>Fort Carsoninvert=on13813date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|12}}Black Forest, Colorado>Black Forestinvert=on13116date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|13}}Berkley, Colorado>Berkleyinvert=on11207date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|14}}Cherry Creek, Colorado>Cherry Creekinvert=on11120date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|15}}Pin}}The Pineryinvert=on10517date=October 21, 2012}} {{nts|16}}Edwards, Colorado>Edwardsinvert=on10266date=October 21, 2012}}

Special districts

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 Sports Authority Field at Mile High
  • Local Improvement Districts (LID) within designated areas of southeast Jefferson and Boulder counties
  • The Metropolitan Major League Baseball Stadium District, approved by voters to pay for and help build the Colorado Rockies' stadium Coors Field
  • Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) taxes at varying rates in Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Gunnison County


{{See also|Political party strength in Colorado|United States presidential elections in Colorado}}{| class=wikitable style="float:right; margin-left:1em"! colspan = 6 | Colorado registered voters {{as of|2016|April|1|lc=y|df=US}}WEB,weblink Total Registered Voters By Party Affiliation and Status As of Fri Apr 01 2016 03:07:45 GMT-0600 (MDT), ! colspan = 2 | Party! Number of Voters! Percentage{{party color|Independent Party (United States)}}Independent politician (United States)>Unaffiliated 1,315,973 36.51%{{party color|Democratic Party (United States)}}Colorado Democratic Party>Democratic 1,119,655 31.06%{{party color|Republican Party (United States)}}Colorado Republican Party>Republican 1,117,244 30.99%{{party color|Libertarian Party (United States)}}Libertarian Party of Colorado>Libertarian 32,450 0.9%{{party color|Green Party (United States)}}Green Party of Colorado>Green 9,916 0.28%{{party color|Constitution Party (United States)}}American Constitution Party (Colorado)>American Constitution 9,193 0.26% UNI 271 0.007%! colspan = 2 | Total! style="text-align:center;"| 3,604,702! style="text-align:center;"| 100%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 was considered a reliably Republican state during the post-World War II era, only voting for the Democratic candidate in 1948, 1964, and 1992. However, it became a competitive swing state by the turn of the century, and voted consecutively for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, as well as Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.Colorado politics has the contrast of conservative cities such as Colorado Springs and liberal cities such as Boulder and Denver. 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: Colorado is represented by seven Representatives to the United States House of Representatives:

Significant bills passed in Colorado

On the November 8, 1932 ballot, Colorado approved the repeal of alcohol prohibition more than a year before the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.In 2012, voters amended the state constitution protecting "personal use" of marijuana for adults, establishing a framework to regulate cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol. The first recreational marijuana shops in Colorado, and by extension the United States, opened their doors on January 1, 2014.On May 29, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 1124 immediately prohibiting law enforcement officials in Colorado from holding undocumented immigrants solely on the basis of a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.WEB,weblink Protect Colorado Residents From Federal Government Overreach {{!, Colorado General Assembly||access-date=2019-05-30}}


File:Cutler Hall.JPG|thumb|Colorado CollegeColorado CollegeFile:CSMCampus.jpg|thumb|Colorado School of MinesColorado School of MinesFile:CSU University Center for the Arts.jpg|thumb|Colorado State UniversityColorado State UniversityFile:Cadet chapel.jpg|thumb|The United States Air Force AcademyUnited States Air Force AcademyFile:Norlin Library - Colorado.jpg|thumb|The University of Colorado BoulderUniversity of Colorado BoulderFile:University of Denver campus pics 003.jpg|thumb|The University of DenverUniversity of DenverColleges and universities in Colorado: {{See also|List of colleges and universities in Colorado|Table of Colorado school districts|Table of Colorado charter schools}}{{clear}}

Military installations

File:Carsongate.JPG|thumb|Fort CarsonFort CarsonFile:PetersonAFB.jpg|thumb|Peterson Air Force BasePeterson Air Force BaseColorado is currently the home of seven major military bases and installations. Former Military installations and outposts include: {{clear}}

Protected areas

File:Lowry Pueblo ruins.jpg|thumb|Lowry Pueblo in Canyons of the Ancients National MonumentCanyons of the Ancients National MonumentFile:Coloradodunes.jpg|thumb|Great Sand Dunes National Park and PreserveGreat Sand Dunes National Park and PreserveFile:SpruceTreeHouseLong.jpg|thumb|Spruce Tree House in Mesa Verde National ParkMesa Verde National Park{{see also|List of the prehistoric life of Colorado}}Colorado is home to 4 national parks, 8 national monuments, 2 national recreation areas, 2 national historic sites, 3 national historic trails, a national scenic trail, 11 national forests, 2 national grasslands, 42 national wilderness areas, 2 national conservation areas, 8 national wildlife refuges, 44 state parks, 307 state wildlife areas, and numerous other scenic, historic, and recreational areas.Units of the National Park System in Colorado: {{See also|Colorado trails|Colorado scenic and historic byways}}{{clear}}

See also




Further reading

  • 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}}.
  • BOOK, Gunther, John, John Gunther, –But Scenery Is Not Enough, Inside U.S.A, 213–226, New York City, New York, London, Harper & Brothers, 1947, Inside U.S.A. (book),
  • 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}}
  • Study Finds Legal Marijuana Motivates Many Tourists to Visit Colorado, (n.d.). Retrieved fromweblink

External links

{{External links|date=April 2016}}{{sister project links|Colorado|voy=Colorado}}State government weblink" title="">Colorado Travel Map Federal government Other {{clear}}{{Navboxes|title = Topics related to ColoradoThe Centennial State|list ={{Colorado|expanded}}{{Colorado cities and mayors of 100,000 population}}{{Protected areas of Colorado}}{{Western United States}}{{New France}}{{New Spain}}{{United States political divisions}}|state=expanded}}{{coord|39|N|105.5|W|region:US-CO_type:adm1st_scale:3000000|format=dms|display=title}}{{Authority control}}

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