What are the Key Facts of Colorado? Colorado Facts - Answers

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What are the Key Facts of Colorado?

Map of Colorado
Map of Colorado State which lies in the western part of the United States



State Capital


Largest City



39°00′N 105°30′W


The Centennial State, Colo

Postal Abbreviation



104,094 sq. mi (269,837 sq. km)

Highest Point

Mount Elbert in Lake County, 14,440 ft (4,401.2 m)

Neighboring States

Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma,New Mexico, Utah, Arizona

Number of Counties



5,695,564 (2,018)

Date of Entering the Union

August 1, 1876

State Anthem

Where the Columbines Grow and Rocky Mountain High


Jared Polis (Democratic Party)

Lieutenant Governor

Dianne Primavera (Democratic Party)

U.S. Senators

Michael Bennet (Democratic Party), Cory Gardner (Republicans)

U.S. House Delegation

4 Democrats, 3 Republicans

GDP (Millions of Dollars)




Time Zones

UTC-07:00 (Mountain), Summer (DST) UTC-06:00 (MDT)

Where is Colorado?

Colorado (38th state of the US) is located in the western part of the United States of America. It shares its border with Utah to the west, New Mexico to the south, Oklahoma to the southeast, Kansas to the east, Nebraska to the northeast, and Wyoming to the north. This state also touches Arizona at the Four Corners to the southwest.

What is the Geography of Colorado?

Colorado is spread across a total area of 104,094 sq. mi (269,837 sq. km), out of which 103,642 sq. mi (268,431 sq. km) is land area and 452 sq. mi (1,170 sq. km) is water area. The water area is just 0.4%. In terms of length and width, Colorado is 380 mi (612 km) long and 280 mi (451 km) wide.

Most of the southern Rocky Mountains are located within Colorado. The other major terrains of the state are Colorado Plateau (in the northeast) and the Great Plains (on the western edge). The mean elevation of the state is 6,800 ft (2,073 m) above sea level, which is the highest mean elevation among the 50 states of the US.

While Mt. Elbert on the Rocky Mountains is the highest elevation point at 14,440 ft (4,401 m) above sea level, the lowest elevation point is the Arkansas River at 3,315 ft (1,010 m) above sea level. There are 54 mountain peaks in Colorado that have heights over 14,000 ft (4,267 m). The major mountains in the state are Mount Elbert, Mount Massive, Mount Harvard, Blanca Peak, La Plata Peak, Uncompahgre Peak, etc.

While Colorado River, Arkansas River, Rio Grande, and South Platte River are the major rivers in Colorado, the major lakes are Grand Lake, John Martin Reservoir, and Blue Mesa Reservoir is the major rivers. Though Colorado is situated in the Rocky Mountain region, the landscape is not at all mountainous. The flatlands are located in the eastern 2/5th of the state.

The northern Americas Great Plains from the Rocky Mountains slopes eastwards and extends from Canada to the south. It covers the eastern parts. The Colorado Plateau is situated in the western region of the state. This region consists of high plateaus along with deep and rugged canyons.

What is the Climate of Colorado?

Colorado has a vast geographical variation including high elevation, midlatitude, and continental interior geography, resulting in a climate that is cool, dry, and invigorating.

The average annual temperature of the state is 43.5 °F (6.4 °C). This temperature is around 13.7 degrees below the global average. The temperature variation among seasons as well as day-and-night is large. The average annual rainfall level in Colorado is 17 inches (432 mm). This is also significantly lower than the 38 inches (965 mm) global average of rainfall.

The climatic variation takes place in Colorado with respect to the region. There are three geographical regions: Eastern Colorado, Mountains, and Western Colorado.

In the Eastern Colorado region, the climate remains comparatively uniform with low relative humidity, infrequent rain/snow, abundant sunshine, and significantly large temperature change (both seasonal and daily). The maximum temperature during summer remains around 95 °F (35 °C). The extremes during winter are usually between 0 °F (-18 °C) and -15 °F (-26 °C). The average annual level of rainfall is around 10-20 inches (254-508 mm). Mid-May-to-early-August is prone to tornadoes.

In the mountainous regions, the level of rainfall, humidity, wind, and temperature varies as per elevation, especially in lower mountain valleys below 7,000 ft and above 14,000 ft. During summer afternoons, the temperature decreases consistently by 4-5 °F (-16 °C to -15 °C) per 1,000 ft (305 m). Most extreme cold weather is found the mountain valleys. Northwestern Colorado’s Yampa valley experiences a temperature as low as -61 °F (-52 °C) at Yampa valley and -60 °F (-51 °C) at Taylor Reservoir under extreme conditions.

Western Colorado region is located in the farther west of Colorado with slightly less extreme topography. The winter season here is colder but less variation in weather is found than that of the east of the mountains. Temperature easily drops to 0 °F (-18 °C) throughout this state. As you approach the Utah border, the temperature and rainfall become progressively warmer and lesser respectively.

What is the Economy of Colorado?

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that Colorado’s State GDP (adjusted for inflation) increased at the rate of 3.5%, 3.1%, 2.4%, and 4.4% in 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015 respectively. In terms of growth rate, the economy of this state had the 7th best performance in 2018. Total Gross Domestic Product for this state was US$ 371,749.6 million, US$ 350,004.4 million, US$ 329,368.3 million, and US$ 318,554.9 million in 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015 respectively. It was US$ 248,593.6 million in 2009.

The economy is mainly dependent upon scientific research, high-technology industries, food processing, tourism, mineral mining (mainly molybdenum and gold), chemical products, transportation equipment, and machinery.

The major export items of the state are Beef cuts (boneless, fresh/chilled), integrated circuits (excluding processors/controllers), medical/dental/veterinarian instruments, beef cuts (boneless, frozen), Aircraft including engines/parts, integrated circuits (processors/controllers), orthopedic appliances, etc. In 2018, the export value was US$8.3 billion, which grew by 3.3% in 2018 w.r.t. 2017.

The import value of Colorado in 2018 was US$ 13.520 billion, which grew by 4.4% in 2018 w.r.t 2017. The major imports were crude oil from petroleum and bituminous minerals, electronic integrated circuits, digital processing units, instruments & applications for medical/surgical/dental/veterinary, hearing aids, etc.

The unemployment rate in October 2019 was 2.6%, lower than the US rate of 3.6% in the same month. As per the 2018 American Community Survey’s 1-year estimate, the rate of poverty in the state was 9.6%.

What is the Transportation System of Colorado?

Colorado has an extensive transport system, based on roadways (highway and Surface Street,), railway, and airways. The major roadways are Interstate 25 (I-25), I-70, I-225, I-270, I-76, I-80, and U.S. Route 6/24/34/36/40/50/84/85/87/138/160/285/287/350/400/491/550. There are many state highways too.

T public sector mass transit system is mainly concentrated in Denver. It includes bus, light rail, commuter rail, and many more. Amtrak Passenger Railroad Routes include California Zephyr and Southwest Chief.

The major airports in this state are Denver International Airport (in Denver), City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (in Colorado Springs), Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (in Aspen), Grand Junction Regional Airport (in Grand Junction), etc.

Why Colorado is called the “Centennial State”?

This state is called the Centennial State because it became a part of the union in 1876, which the 100th year after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Other nicknames of the state are “The Silver State”, “The Lead State”, “The Buffalo Plains State”, “Switzerland of America”, and “The Highest State”.

What are the Popular Tourist Attractions in Colorado?

Rocky Mountain National Park, Vail and Nearby Mountain Towns, Mesa Verde National Park, Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak in Pike National Forest, Durango and the Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway, San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway and the Million Dollar Highway, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Mount Evans, Colorado National Monument, Dinosaur National Monument, Mountain Biking Trails near Fruita, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, etc.

Related Links:

Related Maps:
Map of USA Depicting Location of Colorado
Location of Colorado
Colorado County Map
Colorado County Map
Map of the United States

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