Throughout the late 1800s, Colorado was a gold mine…literally. People traveled to the Centennial State from far and wide in search of precious metals deep beneath the crust of the earth. Then, as suddenly as this gold rush started, the mines dried up. As a result, the prospectors in these high-altitude towns started to move out very quickly, decimating the economy of towns that were booming with prosperity just months before.

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Today, these towns can often be found completely abandoned, take Tomboy Ghost Town or Crystal Ghost Town for example. They’re full of decaying shacks and wooden structures without a soul in sight. This begs the question – are other Colorado towns in the process of suffering the same fate?

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While the population in several of Colorado’s larger cities like Denver and Colorado Springs seems to be booming, other smaller towns around the state have been experiencing a population decline. Here are the 7 places experiencing the fastest population decline over a four-year period according to the latest information from the U.S. Census (2014).

7. Del Norte – 3.38% decline

Within 4 years, Del Norte went from 1,686 residents to 1,629 residents.

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6. Fraser – 4.82% decline

Within four years, Fraser went from 1,224 residents to 1,165 residents.

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5. Walsenburg – 5.61% decline

Within 4 years, Walsenburg went from 3,068 residents to 2,896 residents.

4. Burlington – 5.64% decline

Within 4 years, Burlington went from 4,254 residents to 4,014 residents.

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3. Craig – 6.53% decline

In 4 years, Craig went from 9,464 residents to 8,846 residents.

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2. Las Animas – 8.8% decline

In 4 years, Las Animas went from 2,410 residents to 2,198 residents.

1. Trinidad – 9.93% decline

In 4 years, Trinidad went from 9,096 residents to 8,193 residents.

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*Due to minor fluctuations in population vastly affecting the growth rate of smaller towns from year to year, we’ve included towns and cities of at least 1,000 residents.

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