Mexican population continues growth in Colo.

DENVER — Residents of Mexican descent are becoming a larger part of Colorado’s booming Hispanic population and their numbers are increasing where the state is seeing some of its biggest growth, including the Western Slope, according to census data released today.

Hispanics of any race account for about one-fifth of the state’s total population of about 5 million, the Census Bureau said in February. But the new data shows that nearly three in four Hispanics in Colorado have Mexican heritage.

Census officials say Colorado is 20.7 percent Hispanic and that 15.1 percent identified themselves as Mexican. In 2000, that percentage was 10.5 percent.

The census data out Thursday also provides new state demographic information, including housing occupancy rates, the percentage of married people, household size and the state’s median age. Since 2000, Colorado aged by almost two years. The median age is now 36.1, compared to 34.3 a decade ago.

“I think it definitely reflects the aging of the baby boomers,” said Elizabeth Garner, the state’s demographer.

The population of Mexican descent continued to grow in the Denver area, going from 21.8 percent in 2000 to 24.9 percent, an increase of about 28,700 people. Other areas saw an even bigger increase, including Garfield County on the Western Slope. Hispanics there account for 28.3 percent of the county population, compared to 16.7 percent in 2000. And a big factor in that were Mexicans, who are now 23.2 percent of the county’s population, an increase of about almost 10 percentage points since 2000.



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