Since 1980, the population of Colorado has more than doubled. During this time more than 1,250 square miles of open space, natural habitat, and agricultural land has been turned into shopping malls, streets, housing, and other urban development. It has also strained wildlife and infrastructure as cities, roads, and highways are becoming more crowded. The same is true for parks, neighborhoods, and schools. If the growth continues, it is estimated that Colorado will add another 1.8 million residents by 2050.
Rasmussen Reports surveyed over 1,000 “likely to vote” Coloradans to gauge their feelings on the matter. Overwhelmingly, the answers showed they want to limit population growth. In recent years 92% feel that the state has become more crowded. 90% desire a future where far fewer people move to the state. 59% prefer a complete stop to population growth or even a decline in the population.
Other highlights of the survey include:
- 61% of citizens said Colorado has developed too much
- 76% said that it would be more negative if trends continue and the cities of Colorado Springs, Denver, and Fort Collins joined together in a “megacity”
- 81% expect traffic to become worse if the growth trend continues
- 76% feel the limited water in rivers and streams should be used to support wildlife rather than residents
- 63% believe that development should be restricted to make it more difficult for people to move to Colorado
It is impossible to say if the projected population growth will be positive or negative for the state. It is also uncertain if anything will be done to prevent rapid growth. The current residents would like it to stop. Preservation of the mountains, rivers, forests, and canyons should be a priority, but what are the tradeoffs?