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Denver metropolitan area

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Denver–Aurora–Centennial, CO
Metropolitan Statistical Area
Skyline of Downtown Denver
Skyline of Downtown Denver
Denver–Aurora–Greeley, CO CSA
Country United States
State Colorado
Largest city - Denver
Other principal cities
 • Total21,770 km2 (8,405 sq mi)
 • Total2,963,821
 • MSA$288.8 billion (2022)
Time zoneUTC−7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)

Denver is the central city of a conurbation region in the U.S. state of Colorado. The conurbation includes one continuous region consisting of the six central counties of Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson. The Denver region is part of the Front Range Urban Corridor and its metropolitan planning organization is the Denver Regional Council of Governments.

The United States Office of Management and Budget has delineated the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area consisting of ten Colorado counties: the City and County of Denver, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County, Adams County, Douglas County, the City and County of Broomfield, Elbert County, Park County, Clear Creek County, and Gilpin County.[2] The population, as of the 2020 Census, is 2,963,821, an increase of 16.5% since 2010.[3]

The Office of Management and Budget also delineated the more extensive 12-county Denver–Aurora, CO Combined Statistical Area comprising the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metropolitan Statistical Area, the Boulder, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the Greeley, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area.[2]

The central part of the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) includes Denver and three immediately adjacent counties: Jefferson County to the west, Adams County to the north and east, and Arapahoe County to the south and east. The continuously urbanized area extends northwest into the City and County of Broomfield, bordering Jefferson and Adams counties, and south into Douglas County, adjoining Arapahoe County. Also included in the federally defined MSA are four rural counties: Elbert County on the southeastern prairie and Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Park counties in the Rocky Mountains.


The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metropolitan Statistical Area comprises ten counties.[4] The sortable table below includes the following information:

  1. The official name of the county,[5]
  2. The county population as of April 1, 2020, as enumerated by the 2020 United States census
  3. The county population as of April 1, 2010, as enumerated by the 2010 United States Census,[6]
  4. The percent population change from April 1, 2010, to April 1, 2020.
The Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area

County 2010 Census 2020 Census Change
City and County of Denver 600,158 715,522 +19.22%
Arapahoe County 572,003 655,070 +14.52%
Jefferson County 534,543 582,910 +9.05%
Adams County 441,603 519,572 +17.66%
Douglas County 285,465 357,978 +25.40%
City and County of Broomfield 55,889 74,112 +32.61%
Elbert County 23,086 26,062 +12.89%
Park County 16,206 17,390 +7.31%
Clear Creek County 9,088 9,397 +3.40%
Gilpin County 5,441 5,808 +6.75%
Total 2,543,482 2,963,821 +16.53%

Metropolitan area cities and towns[edit]

Historical population
2022 (est.)2,985,8710.7%
data source:[7]

Places with over 100,000 inhabitants[edit]

Places with 10,000 to 100,000 inhabitants[edit]

Places with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants[edit]

Communities previously part of the Denver metro area[edit]

Regional cooperation[edit]

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG, pronounced Doctor Cog) is a regional planning and inter-governmental coordination organization in a nine-county region. The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) provides funding for scientific and cultural facilities in a seven-county region including:

In addition, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) provides mass transit, including a light rail system. In 2005 the RTD developed a twelve-year comprehensive plan, called "FasTracks", to build and operate rail transit lines and expand and improve bus service throughout the region.


The most prosperous parts of the area are in the south and the northwest, while the most industrialized areas are in the northeast, specifically in the northern part of Denver proper and extending to areas such as Commerce City in Adams County.[citation needed]

Changes in house prices for the area are publicly tracked on a regular basis using the Case–Shiller index; the statistic is published by Standard & Poor's and is also a component of S&P's 10-city composite index of the value of the residential real estate market. The Denver MSA is also home to one of the fastest growing tech scenes outside of Silicon Valley in the country.

Electricity is provided by Xcel Energy. Cable television is provided by Comcast.[8]


The following table shows sports teams in the Denver metropolitan area that average more than 12,000 fans per game:

Club Sport League Venue City Capacity Attendance Since Titles
Denver Broncos Football NFL Mile High Denver 76,125 76,939 1960 3 (1998, 1999, 2016)
Colorado Rockies Baseball MLB Coors Field Denver 50,398 31,334 1993 0
Colorado Avalanche Ice hockey NHL Ball Arena Denver 18,007 16,176 1995 3 (1996, 2001, 2022)
Colorado Rapids Soccer MLS Dick's Sporting Goods Park Commerce City 18,061 15,657 1996 1 (2010)
Denver Nuggets Basketball NBA Ball Arena Denver 19,115 14,700 1967 1 (2023)
Colorado Mammoth Box Lacrosse NLL Ball Arena Denver 18,007 14,077 2003 2 (2006, 2022)

Air quality[edit]

The center of the metropolitan area sits in a valley, the Denver Basin, and suffers from air pollution known colloquially as the brown cloud, building up if the air is stagnant as it often is in the winter. Severity of pollution in this area has varied enormously over the years. In the late 1980s the area was frequently in violation of multiple National Ambient Air Quality Standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) was formed in 1989 to create plans to address the problem. Through a variety of measures the area's air quality was improved and in 2002 the EPA designated the area in compliance with all federal health-based air quality standards. Denver was the first major city in the United States to reach compliance with all six of these standards after previously violating five of them.[9] Since then the EPA introduced a new standard for small particulates and made the existing ozone standard stricter. In 2003 the new ozone standard was frequently exceeded in the area and was occasionally exceeded as far away as Rocky Mountain National Park. The RAQC hopes to implement plans enabling the area to comply with the new standards by 2007.[citation needed]

Sister cities[edit]

Though Aurora, Brighton, Broomfield, Denver, Lakewood, and Longmont have their own individual sister city relationships, the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) as a whole has a sister city relationship with the Baghdad Governorate of Iraq.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Total Gross Domestic Product for Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO (MSA)". Federal Reserve Economic Data. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. ^ a b "OMB Bulletin No. 13-01: Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas" (PDF). Office of Management and Budget. February 28, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013 – via National Archives.
  3. ^ Star, Indianapolis. "Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metro Area Demographics and Housing 2020 Decennial Census". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2022-01-30.
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007" (CSV). 2007 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
  5. ^ "Colorado Counties as of May 1, 2011". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. May 1, 2011. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties of Colorado: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011". 2011 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. April 2012. Archived from the original (CSV) on November 14, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  7. ^ DIvision, US Census Bureau Systems Support. "Ranking Tables for Metropolitan Areas (PHC-T-3)". www.census.gov.
  8. ^ "About Provider - Comcast Corporation - Nationwide - National Broadband Map". National Broadband Map. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  9. ^ "?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 4, 2004.
  10. ^ "Bagdad–Denver region partnership". Denver Regional Council of Governments. Archived from the original on 18 June 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2010.

External links[edit]