Did you know Colorado is the second fastest growing US state?

The influx of people from different regions, backgrounds, and ages (especially hungry millennials) is creating a unique population here. Maybe that’s why more than 20 fast casual restaurant groups have gotten their start or chose to headquarter in Colorado.

In a previous post, we talked about Colorado being the ideal spot for market research, and today we give you a few more details in this graphic to prove it.

Click the image to enlarge.

food and drink demographics colorado image


Colorado demographics are ideal for food and drink consumer research

A Young Population

In 2015, Denver ranked 3rd in attracting Millennials from elsewhere. Millennials will move for work or for love, but good restaurants are a must.

  1. Dallas
  2. Chicago
  3. Denver

Colorado millennials make up 28.7% where Baby Boomers represent 24.9%.

Growing And Changing

Colorado has close to 5. 5 million residents and is the second fastest growing state. Colorado saw an increase of 100,000 new residents between July 2014 and July 2015.

In 2014, former Californians filed the most Colorado State tax returns, followed by people from Texas, Florida, Illinois, and Arizona. The influx of new residents is creating a diverse population.


All in a days work

2,800,700 Coloradans participate in the labor force. The state has the 12th highest median household income in the country: $61,303.

Food industry

Colorado food service industry will employ approximately  268,400 workers in 2016.

Colorado jobs by sector in 2014

  • Agriculture: 4%
  • Construction: 15%
  • Manufacturing: 11%
  • Retail: 23%
  • Management: 3%
  • Health: 23%
  • Food: 17%
  • Education: 5%

Minimum wage

  • Colorado: $8.31 / hour
  • National: $7.25 / hour

Unemployment rate as of May 2016

  • Colorado: 3.4%
  • National: 4.7%


Go hit the books

In Colorado, 38.3% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree giving the state the second highest collegiate attainment rate nationwide. The state has over 125 colleges including the notable Colorado School of Mines and U.S. Air Force Academy.

Education level of adults age 25-64 in Colorado as of 2012

  • High school diploma: 90%
  • Associates degree: 47%
  • Bachelors degree: 38%
  • Masters degree: 13%

Eat Out Culture

With annual restaurant sales exceeding $11.6 billion, it’s no wonder many chain restaurants (20+) are based or got their start in Colorado. These are just a few…

  • Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill
  • Red Robin
  • Tokyo Joe’s
  • Boston Market
  • Quiznos


  • bizjournals.com/denver/news/2015/06/25/colorado-millennials-outnumber-baby-boomers-for.htm
  • census.gov/quickfacts247wallst.com/special-report/2015/09/23/the-most-and-least-educated-states/
  • coloradorestaurant.com/newsroom/industry-statistics
  • denverpost.com/2016/04/14/colorado-has-more-people-on-the-move-than-any-other-state/
  • governing.com/topics/urban/gov-generational-population-data-maps-by-state.html

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