Denver’s Population Boom // Yes or No?
THE MORE THE MERRIER
Denver was considered number one on the list of best cities in the United States, according to US News & World Report, which makes sense since the weather, the culture, and the mountains can easily seduce anyone seeking a new place to call home. It’s easy to arrive, and even easier to stay.
As of late, people have been noticing that housing prices are increasing and traffic is slowly clogging the highways at ungodly hours, all due to an increase in population. In comparison to last year, Denver brought in 102,000 new faces according to The Denver Post. People see this as a place of opportunity and growth; therefore, they want to live here.
Versatility is a key thing that makes Denver attractive. One can go to work downtown then easily hop into the family Subaru and be among the wild calling of the mountains, all in just minutes. Colorado boasts a variety of trails, and those looking for a nature day getaway can travel to Colorado’s natural gem, Rocky Mountain National Park, in just under two hours.
Denver can’t be compared to large metropolises such as New York City, where everything is under one confound urban bubble and the nearest natural landmark is hours away: That’s what makes this city sexy.
The increase in population has also brought an increase in job growth and a larger economy. Announced earlier this month, the financial honchos of Goldman Sachs will be moving into the city and just last year, Japanese retail company, Uniqlo opened one of their only Midwest stores. Big corporations are seeing the potential in Denver, something that wouldn’t necessarily happen in stale, small town USA.
Colorado natives who thought living in Colorado was similar to living in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska are in for a surprise. The skyline is expanding, the options for Thai food are getting better, and social circles are increasing in diversity. Denver wasn’t meant to stay little forever, so why not allow it to expand and compete with other large cities?
Native Coloradans are slowly being labeled as snobby because of constant complaining of Californians and Texans moving here. Parents have always preached the importance of sharing. So why not share this city to those who want to move here and allow Denver to thrive? Share the wealth—like it or not, the city is expanding.
WE ARE DROWNING
Sharing may be caring, but there’s a point at which sharing becomes oversharing.
The Denver Post published a growth chart in July 2016 that showed Denver’s population grew by nearly 100,000 residents since July 2015—two-thirds of which were migrants to the Mile High City. Between hosting the state capitol and boasting some of the best universities in the region, there’s no denying that Denver is an attractive destination for migrants, but residents are starting to drown in the waves of newcomers.
The massive rate of immigrants—currently the seventh highest in the country—means that Denver’s boundaries are continuing to expand and it’s impossible to turn a corner without running into a construction site. New apartment buildings are popping up left and right, and the increasing demand also calls for increasing rent prices. Apartment List, Inc.’s rental data shows that average monthly one bedroom rent prices in the city of Denver have risen from $1,090 in Aug. 2015 to $1,350 as of Jan. 1, 2017.
The increase in population also means an increase in both private and public transportation, as well as industrial jobs, which is consistently pushing Denver up on the list of most polluted cities in the country, according to The Denver Post. Colorado has in the past had a reputation for its clean air and natural majesty, but those migrating to Denver have a greater chance of being met with a cloud of smog than the fresh smell of pine and clean mountain air.
The opposition to Denver’s growing population is not necessarily a rejection of the diversifying community. Rather, the opposition is to the inability to expand the economy at the same rate that the population is increasing. It’s getting incredibly difficult for Colorado natives to live in Denver, which is why natives complain about the number of Californians and Texans taking over the area.
If the migration continues to grow at the rate it’s going, there might not be any natives left to complain about the state of the city—they’ll all be pushed out to make room for those who can afford to live here.