southeastern Colorado tier of counties that are along U.S. Highway 160. The loss is due in part to an aging population staying put while the younger members of the population move to the state’s larger population centers that offer more and better opportunities.
The rest of the counties in the state show net population gains. The 3rd Congressional District’s population grew to 706,186 and other districts in Colorado Springs, Boulder and Denver showed even faster growth. Colorado’s population increased by 16.9 percent to 5,029,196.
The state will be divided into seven districts, each with a headcount of approximately 718,457, and the 3rd district will expand its physical size to reach parity with the other districts.
A panel of 10 state legislators will redraw the new districts using a computer mapping program that will draw the districts that vary in size by only a few people. The committee will be taking comments from the public over the next three weeks in 10 public meetings with the closest meeting being held in Alamosa. The date hadn’t been released as of press time.
The panel hopes to have a bipartisan map drawn for legislative approval by April 14. In 2000 the redistricting process took three years and a court decision before it was ready. Legislative leaders hope to have the maps finalized before they end their yearly session on May 11.