It doesn't take long for a "transplant" to realize that being a Colorado "native" is a pretty big deal for some people. The term "native" can be seen on t-shirts and bumper stickers in nearly every gift shop across the Centennial State, typically referring to those born in Colorado. In recent years, it can seem as if people able to make this claim are growing few and far between. Here's a look at whether or not that's actually true based on how many Coloradans were actually born in Colorado.
According to 2018 data provided by Census.gov, approximately 2,388,284 of Colorado's 5,695,564 residents were born in Colorado. While that's only 42 percent, this compares to 42.9 percent in 2014 and around 42.2 percent in 2010. In other words, data shows that this split has remained relatively consistent throughout the most recent decade.
Looking farther back, a New York Times piece showed that this 42 percent chunk of Colorado-born Coloradans has been relatively consistent since 1980. Colorado-born Coloradans peaked in the 60s at 49 percent and was much lower at the start of the century, when around 29 percent of the people living in Colorado had been born in the state.
Of course, the percentage of Colorado-born Coloradans can vary greatly by county. For example, in El Paso County – home to Colorado Springs – just 19.7 percent of residents were born in-state. This contrasts greatly with southwestern Conejos County where 74 percent of residents were born in-state. Twenty-eight percent of Denver County residents are from Colorado.
So there you have it – while most of Colorado's residents weren't born in Colorado, the share of Colorado-born residents has remained relatively consistent over time. The release of 2020 data will likely provide more insight into whether or not this has changed during most recent years.