Weld County has added more new residents than any other county in the state since the April 2020 census, according to new data released by the US Census Bureau.
The county added approximately 11,055 residents, growing it from a population of 328,981 to 340,036, as of July 1, 2021, a growth rate of 3.4%.
The Census Bureau estimates county populations each year, based on the latest census, previous estimates, and demographic analysis.
Douglas County ranked second in the state in residents added, with 11,012 new residents, increasing the population from 357,978 to 368,990, an increase of 3.1%.
Looking at estimates for the one-year period from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021, Weld and Douglas reversed positions, with Douglas County adding 8,888 residents over that 12-month period and Weld County adding adding 8,678.
El Paso County ranked No. 3 statewide in population added since the census, with 7,472 new residents boosting the population from 730,395 to 737,867, up 1%.
Larimer County ranked No. 4 statewide, adding 3,467 residents, increasing the population from 359,066 to 362,533, an increase of 1%.
Boulder County actually lost population according to the estimate, dropping 1,215 residents from 330,758 to 329,543, down 0.4%.
Broomfield County added 1,213 residents, increasing the population from 74,112 to 75,325, up 1.6%.
Rich Werner, president and CEO of Upstate Colorado, a regional economic development organization based in Greeley, said the latest population gains reflect a trend that has existed for the past decade.
Weld County communities offer more affordable housing options than many parts of the Denver area, Werner noted, with industry growth adding to the appeal.
“When you have an area of northern Colorado tied to the Denver metro area and you see robust industry growth, along with additional affordability [housing] options and a variety of communities to live in, you find that supports that growth,” he said. “It’s always been a question of housing stock and affordability that lends itself, as well as the commuting habits of the workforce.”
The Census Bureau identified net migration as the primary driver of Larimer County’s year-over-year population growth, while Weld County showed robust natural change of 1,993 and net migration of 6,730.
But negative net migration has been cited as the key driver of Boulder County’s population loss since July 1, 2020, with 1,413 residents leaving the county, only slightly offset by natural change or births versus deaths. .
This could be a reflection of the high housing costs in Boulder County. The median sale price of single-family homes for the city of Boulder, for example, approached $1.6 million in February, with Longmont at $600,000. The median February sale price on the Greeley-Evans market was just $434,850.
“We saw this happen in Longmont years ago, where the growth of Longmont was really about the affordability issue of people who worked in Boulder but couldn’t afford to live there and so moved to Longmont. “, Werner said. “And now we’re seeing the same thing as our population growth increases, as our industries continue to grow, we’re seeing an increased interest in living close to the workplace.”
Nationally, five of the top 10 counties in 2021 were in Texas, with Collin, Fort Bend, Williamson, Denton and Montgomery counties gaining a combined population of 145,663.
Los Angeles County, California has seen the largest population loss of any county, losing 159,621 residents in 2021.
Seventy-one percent of counties (2,218) experienced positive net international migration.
Four counties crossed the 100,000 population threshold in 2021: Cleveland County, North Carolina (100,359); Lancaster County, South Carolina (100,336); Bastrop County, Texas (102,058); and Grant County, Washington (100,297).
Los Angeles County, California (9,829,544) and Cook County, Illinois (5,173,146) had over 5 million residents in 2021, making them the two most populous counties from the country.