Clark's Cone of Silence

A unique look at economic development in the region

Monthly Rankings: Colorado's Top Five from December

As the Denver Broncos head to the Super Bowl next weekend, our spirits and pride are soaring high for Metro Denver. With a powerhouse of sports talent, young professional expertise, and a top business climate, we can’t help but feel grateful for the many aspects that make our region a top business locale.

And nothing makes us more satisfied than to see the where Metro Denver ranked at the national level. Here are our top-five favorite rankings from last month: 

  1. Forbes ranked Denver eighth among metro areas for its growth in young workers between 2007 and 2013, at a rate of 14.8 percent. The report noted that tech-heavy cities generally saw the biggest growth in the young population. Not only is our population flourishing with young workers, Colorado is the second-most highly educated state with 37 percent of residents with a bachelor’s degree of higher. With three top national universities—The University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado School of Mines, and Colorado State University—it’s easy to find talent for employers. Similarly, college graduates in search of work should look no further than Metro Denver, which was just ranked fourth as the best city in the nation for job seekers by consumer advocacy site NerdWallet.
  2. Colorado ranked eighth for the most inbound state in the U.S., according to a report released by Allied Van Lines. Our state’s inbound growth jumped up four spots from last year, with a net relocation gain on 339 families in 2013. With Colorado’s abundant supply of outdoor activities, educated population, nearly 300 days of sunshine, and great business climate, it’s no surprise why families are moving here to thrive.
  3. The Resource Rich Colorado report by the Colorado Energy Coalition ranked Colorado highly in several energy categories. Our great state ranked fifth in natural gas production, sixth in natural gas reserves, fifth in installed solar capacity, ninth in crude oil production, 10th in installed wind capacity, and second for the amount of square feet per capita that is LEED certified. Colorado’s energy industry maintains many competitive advantages including income tax, moderate business costs, and a diverse resource base, which continue to attract and retain businesses in the energy and natural resource sector. Colorado's cleantech industry also includes more than 20,000 workers employed by over 1,700 companies, which has created more than 5,000 clean tech jobs since 1997.
  4. Milken Institute’s ‘Best-Performing Cities Index for 2013’ named Boulder the ninth-best performing city and the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield MSA as the 15th-best MSA. Boulder jumped six spots from last year, and was called out for its tech powerhouse, with the second-highest output concentration in the nation. In addition the report highlighted that Boulder experienced broad-based employment gains and ranked 26 in five-year job growth. The Denver-Aurora-Broomfield MSA jumped 15 spots from last year’s index. The report stated that the metro area witnessed broad-based job growth in 2013, and that its high-tech GDP concentration exceeds the national average by 60 percent.
  5. Colorado ranked as the eighth-healthiest state in the nation by the United Health Foundation, up one spot from last year’s ranking. Colorado had the lowest rate of obesity in the country at 20.5 percent, the third-lowest rate of physical inactivity, and the sixth-lowest rate of diabetes. The state also scored high due to its low level of air pollution and number of preventable hospitalizations.

That’s a wrap for Colorado’s 2013 rankings! Not only do we love seeing our state at the top of these rankings every month, but they showcase our quality of life, strong workforce, and key industries that put Metro Denver and the state ahead of the curve for the New Year. We can’t wait to see what Colorado achieves next month - hopefully, it’s that we are bringing home the nation’s number one football team. Go Broncos!


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About Tom Clark

Tom has over 30 years of economic development experience at the state, regional, and local levels, spanning from Illinois to Colorado. He is known both for his quips and his candor. Often quoted in the local and national press on Metro Denver’s economy, his iPhone is his most valued possession next to his Les Paul guitar. He is also famous for writing parody songs, maintaining an orderly office, and funding the office swear jar. Tom says that if wasn’t an economic developer, his dream would be to work in a chocolate factory.

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About The Cone of Silence

Invented by Professor Cone from TV’s "Get Smart," the Cone of Silence was designed to protect the most secret of conversations by enshrouding its users within a transparent sound-proof shield. Unfortunately, from experience, we have also learned that it never works properly. This blog offers those outside our “Cone of Silence” a unique look at economic development in the region.

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