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Delta County's population starts to turn around

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About 20 elected officials, local government staff and planning commission members attended a presentation by Elizabeth Garner of the state demographer's office last week.

Delta County's population experienced a decline from 2010 to 2016, "but we are starting to see a turnaround" to that trend now, Garner said. She reported that in 2016, Delta County's population was 30,417 and of that number 13,419 lived in the unincorporated area of the county.

Delta County's health services sector was by far the fastest growing sector of the economy, adding 188 workers from 2015 to 2016.

Garner noted the uneven economic progress in Colorado. For example, she said that since 2010, fully 95 percent of Colorado's economic growth has occurred in counties along the Front Range.

Colorado's current population is pegged at 5.5 million. Colorado is the seventh fastest growing state in the nation.

Garner defined some issues that public policy officials should be planning for. They included the fact that housing is becoming an issue across the state.

Other matters of policy concern included the fact that some parts of the state are in economic decline while others are booming; that local economies will transition because of the national decline in the retail sector; that the population is aging; and that income growth is slowing.

Other topics discussed at the two-hour-long session held at Orchard City Town Hall were preparation for Census 2020, county housing unit data, and state and national trends in population and economy.

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