Greeley, Fort Collins ranked among nation’s 10 fastest-growing metro areas

The U.S. Census Bureau released new population-growth figures on Thursday and, not surprisingly, Northern Colorado continues to soar relative to the rest of the nation.

Despite the downturn in the oil and gas industry beginning during the period, the Greeley metropolitan statistical area — defined as Weld County — still managed to rank sixth in population growth among the nation’s 381 MSAs from 2014 to 2015. And the Fort Collins metro area — defined as Larimer County — wasn’t far behind, ranking 10th.

The latest figures measured growth from July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2015.

Weld County grew by 8,795 people during the period, climbing 3.2 percent, to a population of 285,174. By comparison, The Villages, Fla., led the nation with 4.3 percent growth. It was followed by the Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, S.C.-N.C. MSA with 3.5 percent growth. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., was third at 3.3 percent, followed by Midland and Odessa, Texas, both at 3.3 percent.

Following the Greeley MSA was Austin-Round Rock, Texas, (3.0), Bend-Redmond, Ore. (2.9), and Punta Gorda, Fla. (2.8) before the Fort Collins MSA in 10th at 2.7 percent.

The Fort Collins MSA, or Larimer County, grew by 8,920 people to 333,577.

The Boulder MSA, or Boulder County, grew by 5,508 people to a total of 319,372 for 1.8 percent growth that ranked it 49th nationally.

The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood MSA, which includes Broomfield County, ranked 31st nationally, growing 2.1 percent to 2,814,330 people.

While Broomfield County doesn’t by itself factor into the MSA rankings, it did rank sixth nationally among the 100 fastest-growing individual counties with more than 10,000 people. Broomfield grew by 3,190 people, or 5.16 percent, to a total of 65,065. Its growth rate trailed only McKenzie County, N.D. (16.65 percent), Williams County, N.D. (9.85), Mountrail County, N.D. (5.97), Stark County, N.D. (5.46), and Hays County, Texas (5.21)

Broomfield was the fastest-growing county in Colorado, followed by Mineral, Weld, Denver, Sedgwick and Larimer. Boulder County came in 15th.

For the four-county region of Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer and Weld counties, the cumulative population grew by 26,413 people to hit 1,003,188.

Statewide, six Colorado counties were among the nation’s 100 fastest-growing, with those having populations of 10,000-plus. In addition to Broomfield, Weld came in tied for 38th at 3.2 percent, Denver tied for 56th at 2.8 percent, Larimer tied for 65th along with Summit at 2.7 percent and Douglas tied for 96th at 2.4 percent.

Nationally, Colorado ranked second only to North Dakota by percentage growth at 1.9 percent. The state added 100,986 people to get to 5,456,574.

But Texas by far added the most people overall, roughly 490,000. The metro areas of Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio together added more than 400,000.