The State of Colorado: Profile

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the state population was 5,024,748 on July 1, 2009, an increase of about 16.8% since the 2000 U.S. Census. Denver is the capital city of Colorado.

The US government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the total state product in 2007 was $236 billion. Per capita personal income in 2007 was $41,192, ranking Colorado eleventh in the nation. The state's economy broadened from its mid-19th century roots in mining when irrigated agriculture developed, and by the late 19th century, raising livestock had become important. Early industry was based on the extraction and processing of minerals and agricultural products.

The federal government is also a major economic force in the state with many important federal facilities including NORAD, United States Air Force Academy and Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs; NOAA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder;

The State of Colorado builds on America’s strength’s as a place to do business:

High quality of living

Colorado is prominent for its scenery of mountains, plainslands, rivers, and a western area of desert. The Rocky Mountains of Colorado have 50 or more peaks with elevations of 14,000 feet or higher above sea level - far more than any other state. Colorado has the highest average elevation of any of the 50 states.

Colorado also has a reputation for being a state of active and athletic people. According to several studies, Coloradans have the lowest rates of obesity of any state in the US.

Colorado is the least populous state with a franchise in each of the major professional sports leagues. The state is able to support the teams because it contains a large metropolitan area with a higher population than any other city within 550 miles (885 km). Therefore, many of the residents in the surrounding states support the teams in Denver,

Colorado's historic focus on low taxes, coupled with Metro Denver's high household incomes, keeps the region's cost of living near the national average for living costs.

Denver ranks just above the national average for cost of living, but well below many other major metropolitan areas as well as both coasts.

Attractive business climate

Colorado has a flat 4.63% income tax, regardless of income level. Unlike most states, which calculate taxes based on federal adjusted gross income, Colorado taxes are based on taxable income - income after federal exemptions and federal itemized (or standard) deductions. Colorado's state sales tax is 2.9% on retail sales: lowest in the nation except for states with none. When state revenues exceed state constitutional limits, full-year Colorado residents can claim a sales tax refund on their individual state income tax return. Many counties and cities charge their own rates in addition to the base state rate. There are also certain county and special district taxes that may apply.

Highly educated workforce

Just over 35 percent of Colorado's residents have a bachelor's degree or higher which gives the state the country's second-most educated workforce behind Massachusetts.

Colorado is a magnet for technical and scientific workers who are interested in career opportunities in our region's dynamic industries like aerospace, bioscience, energy, and information technology.

Energy is readily available

Colorado has significant energy resources. According to the Energy Information Administration, Colorado hosts seven of the Nation’s 100 largest natural gas fields and two of its 100 largest oil fields. Conventional and unconventional natural gas output from several Colorado basins typically account for more than 5 percent of annual U.S. natural gas production. Substantial deposits of bituminous, subbituminous, and lignite coal are also found in the state. Colorado's high Rocky Mountain ridges and eastern plains offer wind power potential, and geologic activity in the mountain areas provides potential for geothermal power development. Much of the state is sunny and could produce solar power. Major rivers flowing from the Rocky Mountains offer hydroelectric power resources. Corn grown in the flat eastern part of the state offers potential resources for ethanol production. Notably, Colorado’s oil shale deposits hold an estimated 1 trillion barrels (160 km3) of oil – nearly as much oil as the entire world’s proven oil reserves.


Located on the 105th meridian, Metro Denver's central location at the exact midpoint between Tokyo and Frankfurt positions the region favorably to serve growing world markets.
Metro Denver is only 346 miles west of the geographic center of the continental United States, offering an excellent location for doing business with the entire nation, especially the fast-growing western and southwestern regions.
The Mountain Time Zone location allows efficient communication with both coasts as well as with Europe, South America, and Asia in the same business day
Denver is the largest U.S. city to offer one-bounce satellite uplinks that provide real-time connections to six out of seven continents in one business day.

Springboard to America and Global access

Denver International Airport (DIA), one of the world's most modern and efficient airports, is owned and operated by the City and County of Denver. Located 23 miles northeast of downtown Denver, DIA is the primary airport serving the Metro Denver region and Colorado.

The $4.2 billion facility encompasses 53 square miles, making DIA twice the size of Manhattan Island. Opened in 1995, DIA is the only major airport built in the U.S. in the past 25 years.
The number of passengers traveling through DIA increased from 49,863,352 passengers in 2007 to a record 51.2 million in 2008, currently ranking the airport as the fifth-busiest in North America and the 10th-busiest in the world based on total passenger counts.

At DIA, 16 commercial carriers provide nonstop service to more than 140 domestic and international destinations. Specifically, DIA offers nonstop service to 19 international locations including destinations in Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Central America.
Los Angeles is the number one destination from DIA.
Southwest Airlines flys to all major American ICT cities including Austin, San Jose, San Diego.
DIA’s strategic location allows a traveler to depart for either coast and still have business meetings, upon arrival, on the same day.

Foreign Direct Investment

The top five countries with foreign investment in Colorado are the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Germany. Foreign affiliates in Colorado operate 865 businesses employing 76,000 people.
Metro Denver is home to 32 Foreign Consulates. Six of these consular missions are staffed by career diplomats from the countries of Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Japan, Guatemala, and Peru.

Alternative to California and Silicon Valley

California's economy--once wondrously diverse with aerospace, high-tech, agriculture and international trade--has run aground. Burdened by taxes and ever-growing regulation, the state is routinely rated by executives as having among the worst business climates in the nation. No surprise, then, that California's jobs engine has sputtered, and it may be heading toward 15% unemployment. Colorado has been a direct beneficiary of the flight of businesses, wealth and talent from California.
Employment in high-tech fields has stagnated while there have been huge setbacks in the construction, manufacturing, warehousing and agricultural sectors.

Driven away by strict regulations, businesses take their jobs outside California even in relatively good times. Indeed, according to a recent Milken Institute report, between 2000 and 2007 California lost nearly 400,000 manufacturing jobs.