New Castle’s growth three times as fast as any other county locale |

New Castle’s growth three times as fast as any other county locale

Population growth in New Castle continued to explode in 2003, swelling by nearly 10 percent and outpacing all other Garfield County towns threefold.The updated population growth data, which the Colorado Demography Office just released, shows that New Castle’s population at the end of 2003 was 2,825 and was rapidly approaching 3,000. According to the demography chart, New Castle added 221 new residents, or 9.7 percent, in 2003. Rifle saw the second-fastest growth in the county, expanding its population by 192 people, a 2.7 percent increase. The smallest percent growth happened in Glenwood Springs, which upped its population by just 1.3 percent in 2003, or 105 people. The latest numbers show the city had 8,406 residents at the end of 2003. Despite New Castle’s apparent allure, growth in Garfield County as a whole slowed for the third straight year in 2003, the chart shows. While the county did grow, it only saw a 2 percent jump in 2003, down from 2.7 percent in 2002 and 4.3 percent in 2001. According to the chart, Garfield County’s population was up to 48,396 at the end of 2003. Just one of the five counties that surround Garfield County shared the downward trend in the county’s population growth: Rio Blanco County was actually one of the few counties in the state to lose population in 2003. According to the chart, Rio Blanco’s population declined by a half percent in 2003. Population growth increased in 2003 for each of Garfield’s other neighbors – Eagle, Mesa, Pitkin and Routt counties. Douglas County and the Denver-Greeley corridor saw the largest increases last year.Although seniors continue to move to the state, layoffs in the high-tech industry have made the state a less desirable destination for job-seekers.Jefferson County, once one of the fastest-growing counties, lost 0.3 percent of its population, dropping it to 529,479. El Paso County was up 1.2 percent to 547,566 and Denver rose 0.9 percent to 566,173.Douglas County grew 5.6 percent to 223,471. In the Denver-Greeley corridor, Weld County rose 3.5 percent to 211,272, Adams was up 2.1 percent to 380,273 and Broomfield 3.4 percent to 42,169.Cheyenne County on the eastern plains was the biggest loser, declining 4.5 percent to 2,052. Baca, in the southeastern corner of the state, dropped 4.0 percent to 4,223.The Associated Press contributed to this report.Contact Greg Mass: 945-8515, ext. 511gmasse@postindependent.comPopulation growth in Garfield County from 2002 to 2003Garfield County: +2.1 percentCarbondale: +2.3 percentNew Castle: +9.7 percentParachute: +1.8 percentRifle/Rifle Metro: +2.7 percentSilt: +2.6 percentUnincorporated area: +1.2 percent

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