Someone once said of Yosemite Valley: “The beauty of this place will be its demise.” The same may soon prove true for the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado.
Most van lines won’t be coming out with their 2017 migration numbers for another month, but this Denver Post analysis of 2016 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau paints an unsure picture of the Mile High’s future growth. And it may be an emerging trend in where people are moving to and from.
The Post interviews several people to get an idea of why the number of people leaving Colorado is on the rise. An increase in traffic, rising costs of living, unsatisfactory employment opportunities and even a changing political climate are among the recurring themes. The recent legalization of marijuana is another cited issue for at least one man trying to raise his family in Denver. (Are you listening, Oregon?)
It shouldn’t be too hard to see the dynamic at work here. A place like Colorado has all the makings of a great setting for a new life. Slowly, then quickly, the word gets around about how wonderful (and cheap, and peaceful and friendly etc.) this place is, and soon it’s not only popular, but trendy to move there.
With such a set of circumstances, it almost seems inevitable that you’d end up with what Colorado, specifically Denver, is now experiencing. More people means more traffic; an increased demand for housing pushes up home costs and rent levels; and a larger workforce leads to a shift toward lower wages across the employment landscape.
So what about states that have been at the top of the immigration charts in recent years? Last year we talked about the red-hot housing market in Portland, Oregon. At the time, there seemed to be no slow-down in sight. But how much air can you blow into a balloon before it bursts?
The numbers we get from the van lines next month might give us a clue.