Population explosion cooling slightly in Colorado, according to new report

Our Colorado: Forecast shows population cooling
Posted at 2:41 PM, May 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-08 19:42:30-04

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DENVER — There’s new research from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business that indicates the population explosion in Colorado is beginning to cool down ever so slightly.

The Leeds School of Business recently published its 53rd annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook.

Although Our Colorado is still gaining way more people than it's losing, the growth is slowing.

"I'm not surprised by the cooling right now," said Dr. Kishore Kulkarni, professor of economics at Metro State University of Denver.

New numbers from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business show net migration, meaning the number of people moving in versus out, hit an all-time high in 2015 at just under 68,000 people.

Those numbers have declined; net migration is forecast to hit just over 60,000 new people in 2018.

Kulkarni says in economics there are pull factors and push factors. The pull factors in Colorado are good transportation, good schools, mountains, outdoor rec and weed. But, marijuana is no longer the novelty it was five years ago.

"More and more states are learning about our marijuana tax," Kulkarni said. "And they're finding ways to legalize marijuana."

The push factors are external. Things happening in states people are moving from.

"California, for example, has state budget issues and people are losing jobs there," Kulkarni said.

Job growth is trending down here, too. Colorado added 56,000 jobs in 2017. In 2018, it's projected to add just 47,000 jobs.

Experts say housing prices are starting to keep people away from Colorado, as well. The median home price is Denver is now more than $500,000.