Just how big is Colorado? How large is the state, and how many people live in it?

While this number changes each year, Colorado has grown a ton since our time as a territory in 1861 to the numbers we have reached in 2022. Let's take a look at how we got to where we are today.

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How Big is Colorado?

Colorado is America's 8th largest state in terms of size. The surface area of Colorado adds up to about 104,094 square miles (or 269,837 square kilometers) according to World Population Review.

While the Rocky Mountains make up a considerable amount of the land, Colorado's population averages out to be about 52 people for each square mile (19.9 per square kilometer). If Colorado was ranked just based on the people that live within its borders we would only be the 37th largest state by population density.

How Many People Lived in Colorado in 1861?

During Colorado's time as a territory, there was no official count taken from the area as part of the 1850 or the 1860 census. By 1861, the number of people in the territory was estimated at 25,371.

Colorado saw a 16% increase in population over the next ten years, and by 1871 the number of people living here was up to 39,864. Then the BOOM happens.

Between 1871 and 1880, Colorado's population exploded 387% to a total of 194,327 residents.

Colorado's Population Growth Through the Years

By 1900 the state's population was up to about 539,700. During many of the census counts of the 1900s, Colorado would grow by around 30% each time. This was true in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and so on. Colorado's population reached the 5 million mark by about 2012.

What is Colorado's Population in 2022?

The American Community Survey estimated that Colorado's population would hit 6 million by 2020. They were not far off. In 2022, the state's population sits at 5,961,083.

Now that we know how many people are in Colorado, where do they all live? Below we will look at Colorado's population county by county.

RANKER: Colorado's Counties Population from Lowest to Highest

MORE: The 25 Smallest Towns in Colorado Have Shockingly Low Populations

Which towns are the smallest in Colorado? Several towns scattered throughout the state are made up of only a few hundred people or less. Let's take a look at who gets the title of Smallest Town in Colorado.

MORE: What is Grand Junction Colorado's Elevation?

According to the Worldwide Elevation Map Finder, Grand Junction sits at 4,593 feet. That's a great starting point. What about various locations around the valley?

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