Colorado

Colorado flag

Capital: Denver

State abbreviation/Postal code: Colo./CO

Governor: John Hickenlooper, D (to Jan. 2015)

Lieut. Governor: Joseph A. Garcia, D (to Jan. 2015)

Senators: Mark Udall, D (to Jan. 2015); Michael Farrand Bennet, D (to Jan. 2017)

U.S. Representatives: 7

Historical biographies of Congressional members

Secy. of State: Scott Gessler, R (to Jan. 2015)

Treasurer: Walker Stapleton, R (to Jan. 2015)

Atty. General: John W. Suthers, R (to Jan. 2015)

Organized as territory: Feb. 28, 1861

Entered Union (rank): Aug. 1, 1876 (38)

Present constitution adopted: 1876

Motto: Nil sine Numine (Nothing without Providence)

State symbols:

flowerRocky Mountain columbine (1899)
treeColorado blue spruce (1939)
birdlark bunting (1931)
animalRocky Mountain bighorn sheep (1961)
gemstoneaquamarine (1971)
colorsblue and white (1911)
song“Where the Columbines Grow” (1915)
fossilstegosaurus (1991)

Nickname: Centennial State

Origin of name: From the Spanish, “ruddy” or “red”

10 largest cities (2010): Denver, 600,158; Colorado Springs, 416,427; Aurora, 325,078; Fort Collins, 143,986; Lakewood, 142,980; Thornton, 118,772; Westminster, 106,114; Arvada, 106,433 Pueblo, 106,595; Centennial, 100,377

Land area: 103,717 sq mi. (268,627 sq km)

Geographic center: In Park Co., 30 mi. NW of Pikes Peak

Number of counties: 64

Largest county by population and area: El Paso 622,263 (2010); Las Animas, 4,773 sq mi.

State forests: 1 (71,000 ac.)

State parks: 44 (160,000 ac.)

Residents: Coloradan, Coloradoan

2010 resident population: 5,029,196

2010 resident census population (rank): 5,029,196 (22). Male: 2,520,662; Female: 2,508,534. White: 4,089,202 (81.3%); Black: 201,737 (4.0%); American Indian: 56,010 (1.1%); Asian: 139,028 (2.8%); Other race: 364,140 (7.2%); Two or more races: 172,456 (3.4%); Hispanic/Latino: 1,038,687 (20.7%). 2010 population 18 and over: 3,803,587; 65 and over: 549,625; median age: 35.7.

See additional census data

Area codes

Tourism office

First visited by Spanish explorers in the 1500s, the territory was claimed for Spain by Juan de Ulibarri in 1706. The U.S. obtained eastern Colorado as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the central portion in 1845 with the admission of Texas as a state, and the western part in 1848 as a result of the Mexican War.

Colorado has the highest mean elevation of any state, with more than 1,000 Rocky Mountain peaks over 10,000 ft high and 54 towering above 14,000 ft. Pikes Peak, the most famous of these mountains, was discovered by U.S. Army lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike in 1806.

Once primarily a mining and agricultural state, Colorado's economy is now driven by the service industries, including medical providers and other business and professional services. Colorado's economy also has a strong manufacturing base. The primary manufactures are food products, printing and publishing, machinery, and electrical instruments. The state is also a communications and transportation hub for the Rocky Mountain region.

The farm industry, which is primarily concentrated in livestock, is also an important element of the state's economy. The primary crops in Colorado are corn, hay, and wheat.

Breathtaking scenery and world-class skiing make Colorado a prime tourist destination. The main tourist attractions in the state include Rocky Mountain National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, Mesa Verde National Park, the Great Sand Dunes and Dinosaur National Monuments, Colorado National Monument, and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument.

On July 20, 2012, 24-year-old James Holmes entered the Century 16 Theater in Aurora, Colo.during the midnight screening of The Dark Night Rises, armed with an assault rifle and opened fire, killing 12 and injuring 58.

See more on Colorado:
Encyclopedia: Colorado
Encyclopedia: Geography
Encyclopedia: Economy
Encyclopedia: Government
Encyclopedia: History
Monthly Temperature Extremes

All U.S. States: Geography & Climate
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Record Highest Temperatures
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All U.S. States: Population & Economy
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National Public Radio Stations


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