February 24, 2011 | Digital Journal | Original Article

Colorado Latinos Play Key Role in State Population Growth

In-depth analysis shows Latino presence throughout state

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Latinos in the state of Colorado contributed significantly to the state's overall growth during the last ten years, according to a National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund analysis of newly released Census 2010 data.

Between 2000 and 2010, while the state's overall population grew 17% from 4.3 million to five million, the Latino share of that population increased 41%, from 735,601 to one million.  Latinos are the state's second-largest population group, and represent 21% of its residents.

Many of Colorado's ten largest cities have significant Latino populations, including Denver (31.8%) and Pueblo (49.8%), and the state's ten largest cities are home to more than half (55%) of Colorado's Latino population.  Latinos are also a major presence in the state's top ten counties, with 83% of Colorado Latinos residing in Denver County, Pueblo County and Adams County, among others.

"As the Latino population in Colorado continues to grow, we must work to ensure that Colorado's Latino community is fairly represented in business, employment and education and politics," said Denver City Councilmember and NALEO Board Member Paul Lopez. "We are paying close attention to those who draw new district lines to ensure full and fair representation of Latinos to elect the leaders of their choice."

The Census 2010 data also reveal that nearly one-third (31%) of all Coloradans under 18 are Latino.

"As we've seen from these data, Latinos are driving the growth in student population in our state.  Young Latinos are part of our future economic well-being," said Pueblo Board of Education President and NALEO Educational Fund Board Member Stephanie Garcia.  "We must make sure our state's policies advance the economic and civic progress of Latinos order to ensure the future prosperity and well-being of everyone in our state."