09.21.19

County’s diversity increasing

“Boulder County’s so white.” It’s a common narrative, often uttered in criticizing the lack of diversity in the area. It has a ring of truth to it: 78% of Boulder County residents are non-Hispanic white, more than Colorado (69%) and the U.S. (62%).

But diversity has been increasing over time in Boulder County. The Latinx population has doubled as a percentage of total population since 1990, from 7% then to 14% in 2017, while the Anglo majority shrunk from 90% to 78% over that time. The Asian population has grown, too, from 2% to 5% in those 17 years.

Boulder County is home to many pockets of diversity, from its well-known Nepalese community, to thriving contingents of Brazilians, West Africans, and Hmong people.

While it’s fair to criticize Boulder County for being a less diverse place overall, clinging to the refrain of “Boulder County’s so white” renders the people of color invisible, said Guillermo Estrada- Rivera, Cultural Brokers Resilience Program Coordinator for the Boulder County Office of Resilience and Recovery.

“We need to break that narrative,” he said.

by Chris Barge