Summit County Population Projections

Looking forward 15-20 years, it is almost certain that some amount of population growth will take place in Summit County. According to Jonathan Schechter, Executive Director of the Charture Institute, Summit County and similar resort communities (including Eagle, Pitkin, Routt, and San Miguel counties) are growing and continue to change more rapidly than the nation as a whole. As noted by Schechter, factors enabling more and more people to move to resort based communities include:
  • Improved technology and the increased ability for telecommuting
  • Broader, more diverse economic considerations (e.g. personal income generated from more diverse sources, including a growing percentage from investments)
  • Changes in transportation (i.e., the increased ease of air travel and freight)
  • America’s values and customs, which are becoming increasingly aligned with what resort communities have to offer (e.g., healthy environment, abundant recreational opportunities).
Although a certain amount of growth is inevitable, it is difficult to project how much growth will occur and how quickly it will occur. Population projections are approximations determined on the best information available at the time, and can be easily affected by factors that are constantly fluctuating. Factors that contribute to the variability of population projections include:
  • The assumptions that are used change (e.g., estimated occupancy rates, estimated number of persons per household, etc.)
  • The transient nature of the county’s permanent resident population
  • The large number of second homes and investment properties in the county
  • The implications of aging baby boomers potentially converting their second homes into permanent residences
  • Fluctuating economic conditions, which impact local employment opportunities and home values.
According to population projections prepared by the State Demographer, Summit County's population is expected to increase over the next 20 years, although at a lesser rate than experienced during previous decades. According to the State Demographer's projections for population growth from 2010 to 2015, the county's population is expected to grow 9.6% (2,674 residents), with an average annual growth rate of approximately 1.9%. Looking forward to the year 2030, the State Demographer projects that Summit County's permanent resident population will grow by 56% (15,708 residents) between 2010 and 2030, with an average annual growth rate of approximately 2.8% per year.
Summit County - Projected Permanent Resident Population Growth
Time Frame/Years
Percent Change
New Residents Added
Projected Ending Population
2010 - 2015
2,674 30,668
2015 - 2020
4,553 35,221
2020 - 2025
4,481 39,702
2025 - 2030
4,000 43,702

Source: U.S. Census Bureau and state demographer.

2010 - 2030 Permanent Resident Population Growth Trends Summary

Below is a breakdown of population growth rates that summarizes the projected population changes that could occur between 2010 and 2030. These numbers are based on population projections prepared by the State Demographer since the 2010 U.S. Census:

  • 15,708 new permanent residents in 20 years (2010 - 2030)
  • 785 new permanent residents per year
  • 65 new permanent residents per month
  • Approximately two new permanent residents per day