Metro Denver has a population of nearly 2.9 million people, and has a growth rate that has consistently outpaced the national rate every decade since the 1930s. The region grew steadily in the past 10 years. And by 2020, Metro Denver's population is anticipated to increase to more than 3.2 million.
To proactively plan for the region's growth, the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) created Metro Vision 2035, a long-range strategy that addresses land use planning, development, and transportation while preserving Metro Denver's unparalleled quality of life. Metro Vision concentrates development in a defined 750-square-mile urban growth boundary and identifies guidelines for nearly 70 high density, mixed use developments in the region, many around transit centers.
A large portion of Metro Denver's population growth is due to in-migration of highly educated workers from other states. Net migration represented one-third of the region's total population change between 2002 and 2012. Metro Denver is estimated to have net-migration of 15,400 residents in 2012. The top states for in-migration are California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida.
Metro Denver also ranks first among large U.S. metros for total population gain in the 25- to 34-year age group between 2008 and 2010.
Northern Colorado's 2012 population is 572,967, with roughly 54 percent of the population located in Larimer County and 46 percent located in Weld County. Between 2002 and 2012, Northern Colorado average annual population growth (2.1 percent) was significantly faster than growth reported statewide (1.4).