- True natives, however, could soon be outnumbered in their own state as Colorado just secured the spot of the third fas
test growing state in the United States in 2015, according to the Green Rush Daily. This growth may not be new, however. The Denver Office of Economic Development found that the metro area’s population of 2.7 million people has grown at a rate above the national rate in every decade since 1930 and is expected to increase by approximately 50 percent from 2.7 million to 3.9 million by 2030.
The reasons for moving to to the Centennial State are numerous and varied, but some Colorado natives believe the economy plays a large role. Silas Carter, a first year at the University of Denver and a Colorado native, believes the expanding economy and job opportunities are appealing to transplants.
“We have a lot of expanding tech industries and business opportunities and all around development,” Carter said.
Some believe the legalization of marijuana in Colorado has contributed to both the economy and the allure for new residents. The Washington Post reported that legal marijuana was a $700 million industry for the state in 2014.
“Just from having lived here, ever since marijuana was legalized, I feel like there has been a big influx of people moving here, especially because it’s one of the only places where it’s legal to do it recreationally,” said Denver native and DU freshman Michael Young.
However, the economy and marijuana legalization may not be the only
attractions Colorado has to offer to people
rom around the country. Nearly 300 days of sunshine each year support a healthy lifestyle that has secured the state’s ranking as one of Health Magazine’s top 10 healthiest states in the country every year.
“I think we have a lot to offer considering the Rocky Mountains and skiing,” said DU freshman and Denver native Alejandro Chavez.
“I think Colorado is considered a very outdoorsy state and I think that draws a lot of people in,” Carter said. “We have a lot to offer. We have mountains. We have amazing outdoor opportunities.”
While the influx of new Coloradans poses dilemmas for state infrastructure and employers, it can even impact the average citizen on a day-to-day basis. The largest complaint natives hold about their new neighbors? Most say it’s the traffic they’ve brought with them.
“Traffic is definitely a big minus right now,” Chavez said. His supposed 20-minute drive to his hometown of Lakewood, CO can take anywhere from 40 minutes to upwards of an hour with added cars on the road.
“The transit systems are not able to keep up with all the extra people,” Young said. “It’s a luster at times. It’s a cluster all the time.”
It’s no secret that Colorado will have to adjust to it’s booming popularity to meet the demands of transplants while keeping natives happy. The national economic downturn has left people from around the
United States looking westward for new job opportunities and lifestyles, creating a battle for Colorful Colorado between the natives and those who “got here as fast as they could.”