Census Results are Important

Every 10 years the census counts everyone living in the United States. Results of the census are important because they are used to draw political districts, inform community and business decisions and determine how billions of dollars of federal funding are distributed.

Project Overview

The Census Bureau released the first set of data from the 2020 Census in April 2021. Here are some of the key results:

National Population: The resident population of the United States on April 1, 2020 was 331,449,281, which is an increase of 7.4% since the 2010 count.

  • Colorado’s population count was 5,773,714 (a 14.8% increase since 2010 – almost twice as fast as the US as a whole)
  • The most populous state was California (39,538,223); the least populous was Wyoming (576,851).
  • The state that gained the most numerically since the 2010 Census was Texas (up 3,999,944 to 29,145,505).
  • The fastest-growing state since the 2010 Census was Utah (up 18.4% to 3,271,616).
  • Puerto Rico's resident population was 3,285,874, down 11.8% from 3,725,789 in the 2010 Census.

Apportionment: Colorado will gain a seat in the House of Representatives

  • Four other states will also gain one seat, including Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon. Texas will gain two seats.
  • Seven states will lose a seat, including California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Next Steps: Data needed for redistricting will be available around August. The city will have a particular interest in reviewing the population count for the City of Boulder that will be released later this year.

What is the census?

Every ten years, the Census Bureau counts the entire population of the United States at the location where each person usually lives as required by the Constitution.

Why is the census important?

The City of Boulder aims for an accurate and complete census because the results:

  • Determine how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives;
  • Are used to draw political districts;
  • Affect the distribution of over $13.1 billion in federal funds each year to be spent on vital programs, including:
    • Senior services
    • Public libraries
    • Health services
    • Road improvements
    • Public housing
    • Community colleges
    • Tuition assistance programs
    • School lunch
    • Title 1 grants for education
  • City planners use census data to improve neighborhoods; and
  • Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores that create jobs.

Is the census safe?

Is the census safe?All data is protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Records are confidential for 72 years by law. All Census Bureau employees swear a lifetime oath to protect respondent information.

The U.S. Census Bureau will never share a respondent's personal information with other government agencies. the penalty for wrongful disclosure is up to five years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000.

Data is only released in statistical format and cannot be used against you by any government agency or court. No individual records are released.

Boulder Census 2010

Boulder experienced the lowest rate of growth since pre-WWII

In the last decade, Boulder's population grew by 2.9 percent, from 94,673 residents to 97,385. This is the second lowest rate of growth since the 1890s. The only decade with a lower rate was the 1920s.

The number of school-age children in Boulder decreased slightly

The number of school-age children (ages 5-17) in Boulder has a cyclical pattern, and has averaged around 9,600 people since 1980. The data indicates this pattern will continue, as people aged 0 to 8 increased in Boulder from 2000 to 2010, and all will be school aged in 2020.

Boulder’s racial diversity has not changed

Boulder remains similar in racial diversity as in 2000, while the nation became more diverse. Eighty-eight percent of Boulder’s population is White, with a 0.3 percent decrease from 2000, while the nation saw a percentage decrease of nearly 3 percent. Both the U.S. and Boulder’s population has more Asians, Pacific Islanders, and persons of two or more races. Boulder has a lower percentage of African American residents and a higher percentage of American Indians when compared to the nation. The number of persons of Hispanic origin rose by 8.3 percent in Boulder, while the national increase was 43 percent.

Non-family and single households continue to rise

Consistent with national and regional trends, the number of family households in Boulder has decreased since 2000, while the numbers of non-family and single person households have increased.

Boulder’s average household size continued to drop

Consistent with nationwide and regional trends, the number of persons per household in Boulder has decreased almost continuously since 1970. Since 2000, the number of persons per household in Boulder decreased at a slightly higher rate (from 2.2 to 2.16) than the national average (from 2.59 to 2.58). Since 1970, Boulder has housed, on average, fewer people per household than the region or the nation.

Baby Boomers are staying

Boulder’s 55-59 year old population grew by 53 percent and 60-64 year old population grew by 80 percent, reflecting the aging of the baby boom generation. As the map below shows, this age group increased in north and central Boulder. These age groups make up almost 10 percent of Boulder’s population. The 15-24 age range increased, reflecting the increase in University enrollments over the last 10 years.

More people are living in group quarters

There are more people living in non-institutionalized group quarters (e.g., student housing) in Boulder. The number of institutionalized persons 65 years and older has declined from 586 in 2000 to 419 in 2010, indicating that less of the senior population is living in skilled nursing homes.

North Boulder added the most housing units in the last decade

The census tracts in North Boulder added the most housing units, followed by the census tract that includes the Bear Creek apartments at Williams Village. Central and east Boulder also added units.

Boulder’s vacancy rate doubled

The number of vacant housing units doubled since 2000. The 2010 vacancy rate is 5.01 percent, rising from 2.8 percent in 2000; however, Boulder’s vacancy rate is still significantly lower than the average for Colorado (10.8 percent) and the United States (11.4 percent). Of the vacant units, the majority were for rent or for sale. Housing units vacant due to seasonal, occasional, or recreational use decreased from 2000.