DENVER — Census Bureau data released Thursday shows El Paso County is leading the state in population growth.
The county saw an increase in population of 12,526 from 2016 to 2017. Weld County welcomed an additional 10,390 residents while Denver saw an increase of 9,844.
Colorado grew by nearly 80,000 residents.
Despite the influx of people in and around Colorado Springs, Denver remains the largest populated county in the state at 704,621, but El Paso is not far behind at 699,232.
Counties in Colorado with the largest growth continued to be along the Front Range, representing 85 percent of the growth in the state.
Mesa County in the western part of the state got 1,822 new residents from 2016 to 2017. Pueblo grew by about 1,600.
But not every new resident of a county had a choice in the matter. The fastest growing county in the state – and second in the nation — was Crowley at 10.6 percent, which was primarily due to the movement of inmates to a private prison in the southeast Colorado county.
The largest growing county in the U.S. was Maricopa County, Arizona – home to Phoenix with an increase of 73,650 – close to the entire state of Colorado’s increase of 77,049. S
Six of the top 10 largest gaining counties were in Texas. The remaining four counties on the list were in Arizona, Nevada, California and Washington.
Net migration represents 60 percent of the population change in the state with the remaining 40 percent from natural increase.