Region’s Population Continues to Surge
BizWest reported last week about the latest Northern Colorado population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. BizWest did a nice job with a story by Lucas High titled Timnath leads region in population growth. That was followed by an opinion piece by BizWest Co-Publisher Chris Wood titled Publisher’s notebook: Boulder loses, Weld surges in population.
Some of the smaller communities saw the highest percentage increases. From July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018, Timnath grew by 21.52 percent and nearby neighbor Severance grew by 16.82 percent.
In contrast, Fort Collins’ population was up 1.65 percent and Boulder had negative growth of -0.5 percent, its second year in a row of decline.
Other cities and towns are listed in the article and are worth a read.
In recent years, issues like homelessness, housing affordability, tight labor markets and congestion on North I-25 have been dominant, supplanting the ‘growth vs. no growth’ debate of the past. Of course, some of these issues are related to population growth and government policies to manage it such as housing costs.
As Mr. Wood notes, the area will continue to grow, especially the places that offer relatively more affordable housing. The alternative model is to make housing and business development so costly that people and companies leave.
That’s great news to some who hate population growth and personally benefit from seeing their own home prices go up when housing supply is restricted.
It’s good to keep in mind, however, that there are consequences to all of this. Make it too expensive and difficult, eventually there can be adverse impacts on the underlying employment and tax base and the quality of life amenities they buy.
As I said, both articles are worth a read.