Colorado's capitol city of Denver is also its largest, with a population of 557,478, over 10% of the state's total population. It is followed by Colorado Springs (370,448), Aurora (290,418), Lakewood (142,474), Fort Collins (125,740), and Greeley (84,519).
Called the "City of the Plains" because of its location in the plains directly east of the Rocky Mountains, the Denver area is now the country's 20th largest metropolitan region. Its proximity to famous skiing, mountain biking, and lake sports make it a popular recreation destination. Art and culture enthusiast flock by the thousands each year to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival near Denver.
The Denver area boasts an average income of $40,939 per capita, 24% above the national average. Boulder's average income is even higher, at $43,640 per capita. Compared to the national average, an income growth rate of 21% in Denver and 27% in Boulder makes Denver a good place for commerce and job stability.
The area economy depends on several business sectors:
- Major job suppliers are the aerospace, telecommunications, and manufacturing industries. Denver has large governmental agency presence.
- The Denver area is a major transportation hub, with more than 30 million people passing through Denver every year.
- Air, rail, and truck transported goods pass through the metropolitan area daily.
Its elevation has given Denver its unofficial nickname, "The Mile-High City." The 15th step of the state capitol is exactly one mile (5,280 ft.) above sea level. Denver also has the advantage of being in the Mountain Time Zone, making it the largest city in the country to offer "one-bounce" satellite uplinks to 7 continents.
For more information on colleges and universities in Colorado, explore our Colorado state page.