Demographics of Boulder, Colorado


Boulder is a city located in Boulder County, Colorado, United States. As of 2020, the population of Boulder was 107,125 people. Boulder is the 11th most populous city in Colorado and the 228th most populous city in the United States.

Boulder has grown significantly in recent decades, with its population increasing by over 20% since 2000. The city has a relatively young population, with a median age of 29.1 years old. Boulder also has a highly educated population, with over 70% of adults having a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The city of Boulder has a predominantly White population, but is becoming increasingly diverse. The largest ethnic/racial groups are as follows:

  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino – 83.6%
  • Asian alone – 5.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino – 9.2%
  • Two or more races – 3.5%
  • Black or African American alone – 1.2%

This article will provide an in-depth look at the demographics of Boulder, including population trends, age distribution, racial diversity, education levels, household income, and more.

Population Growth and Density

As of 2020, Boulder had an estimated population of 107,125 people. This represents a 22.8% increase from 2000, when the population was 87,543 people.

Boulder has a population density of 4,140 people per square mile. This makes Boulder a relatively dense city compared to both Colorado and national averages. Colorado has a population density of 56 people per square mile, while the entire United States has a density of 92 people per square mile.

The City of Boulder occupies approximately 25.7 square miles of land area. While Boulder is continuing to grow, the growth is regulated by an urban growth boundary established in 1959. This limits the amount of annexation and geographic expansion of the city.

Age Distribution

Boulder has a relatively young population compared to state and national averages. Here is the age distribution of Boulder residents:

  • Under 18 years: 13.6%
  • 18 to 24 years: 15.5%
  • 25 to 44 years: 37.7%
  • 45 to 64 years: 22.7%
  • 65 years and over: 10.5%

The median age in Boulder is 29.1 years old. This is significantly lower than the median ages for Colorado (36.7) and the United States (38.1) overall.

The large segment of young adults aged 18 to 24 (15.5%) is largely due to the presence of the University of Colorado Boulder, which has over 30,000 undergraduate students.

The 25 to 44 age group makes up the largest percentage of the population (37.7%). This group encompasses young professionals and families living in Boulder.

Racial Diversity

Boulder is predominantly White, but has been growing more racially diverse in recent years. Here is the racial/ethnic breakdown of Boulder residents:

  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 83.6%
  • Asian alone: 5.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 9.2%
  • Two or more races: 3.5%
  • Black or African American alone: 1.2%
  • American Indian/Alaska Native alone: 0.5%
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander alone: 0.1%

The Hispanic/Latino population of Boulder has increased significantly, up from 5.4% in 2000 to 9.2% in 2020. The Asian population has also grown from 4.0% to 5.3% during the same time period.

While still a small portion of the population, Boulder has seen rapid growth in its multiracial population (two or more races). This group has increased from 1.4% in 2000 to 3.5% in 2020.

Education Levels

Boulder residents are extremely highly educated compared to broader Colorado and US averages.

Here is the educational attainment for Boulder residents aged 25 and older:

  • Less than high school: 2.6%
  • High school graduate: 7.6%
  • Some college/Associate’s: 19.5%
  • Bachelor’s degree: 36.1%
  • Graduate/Professional degree: 34.2%

A whopping 70.3% of Boulder adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher. This compares to 32.9% for Colorado and just 25.4% for the entire United States.

The most common fields of study for Boulder residents are:

  • Science and Engineering: 22%
  • Business: 13%
  • Social Sciences: 10%
  • Arts and Humanities: 9%

Many Boulder residents have backgrounds in science, math, engineering and technology. This is largely fueled by innovative tech companies and the University of Colorado’s strengths in these areas.

Household Income

Boulder residents have high household incomes compared to state and national averages. Here are the household income distribution numbers:

  • Less than $25,000: 14.6%
  • $25,000-$49,999: 12.2%
  • $50,000-$99,999: 22.8%
  • $100,000-$199,999: 30.3%
  • $200,000 or more: 20.1%

The median household income in Boulder is $88,981. This is significantly above medians for Colorado ($68,811) and the entire United States ($60,293).

Nearly 30% of Boulder households earn over $150,000 per year. High-paying jobs in technology, business services, education, and healthcare contribute to the affluence levels.

However, income inequality exists in Boulder. Over 14% of households still earn less than $25,000 per year. Affordable housing advocates claim Boulder has become unaffordable for many lower- and middle-income residents.

Marital Status

Here is the marital status breakdown for Boulder residents aged 15 and older:

  • Never married: 37.8%
  • Now married, excluding separated: 43.7%
  • Divorced or widowed: 11.1%
  • Separated: 1.7%

With a large student population and young professional workforce, over one-third of Boulder residents have never been married. Still, married individuals are also very common, representing nearly 44% of residents aged 15 and up.

Same-sex couples make up 2.8% of all households in Boulder. This rate is higher than the national average of 1.2%.

Households & Living Arrangements

There are 45,065 households in Boulder. Here is the breakdown by type:

  • Family households: 52.3%
  • Husband-wife family: 30.7%
  • Other family (single parent, etc.): 21.6%
  • Nonfamily households: 47.7%
  • Householder living alone: 31.1%
  • Households with individuals under 18: 19.8%
  • Households with individuals over 65: 10.3%

The most common household type is nonfamily, representing close to 48% of all households. This includes people living alone as well as roommates/housemates.

Family households still make up over half of the total. Traditional married couples with children families account for 30.7% of family households. Female-headed single parent families are also common, representing 11.3% of households.

Due to the large college population, only 19.8% of households have individuals under 18. Households with seniors over 65 are also less common at just 10.3%.

The average household size in Boulder is 2.28 people. This is lower than national (2.63) and state (2.56) averages. The presence of single person and unrelated roommate households contributes to the lower average size.


There are 49,289 housing units in Boulder, the majority of which are occupied. Here is an overview of housing characteristics:

  • Total housing units: 49,289
  • Occupied housing units: 45,065 (91.5% occupancy)
  • Owner-occupied: 52.5%
  • Renter-occupied: 47.5%
  • Single family detached homes: 52.3%
  • Apartments in multi-unit buildings: 41.7%
  • Mobile homes: 0.8%
  • Median home value: $612,300
  • Median gross rent: $1,474

Boulder has a very high home value and rent compared to broader averages. The median home value of $612,300 is over 1.5 times higher than the Colorado median of $385,000. Median gross rent is $400 per month higher than the state average of $1,067.

The housing stock is split nearly evenly between ownership properties and renter-occupied units. Single family detached homes make up over half of units, while apartments in larger buildings represent two-fifths of the housing stock.

Employment and Economy

Boulder has a strong and thriving economy anchored by the high-tech sector, healthcare, education, and small businesses. Here are some key employment stats about Boulder residents:

  • In civilian labor force: 74.8%
  • Employed: 96.7% of civilians
  • Unemployed: 3.3% of civilians
  • Most common occupations:
    • Management, business, science, and arts: 60.4%
    • Sales and office: 22.7%
    • Service: 11.7%
    • Natural resources, construction, maintenance: 4.5%
    • Production and transportation: 0.7%

The unemployment rate is very low at just 3.3%. The most common industry is by far management, business, science, and arts occupations. This broad category encompasses everything from high-tech jobs to healthcare.

Top private sector employers headquartered in Boulder include:

  • IBM
  • Google
  • Oracle
  • Qualcomm
  • Amgen
  • Twitter
  • Stripe
  • Pluralsight

Major public sector employers include:

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder)
  • Boulder Valley School District
  • City of Boulder
  • Boulder County
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Startups, small businesses, education, and government play vital roles in Boulder’s diverse economy. The city also has a thriving visitor and tourism industry.

Transportation and Commuting Patterns

Boulder has a relatively high rate of alternative transportation commuters:

  • Drove alone to work: 50.3%
  • Carpooled: 7.3%
  • Public transportation: 9.3%
  • Walked: 14.7%
  • Bicycled: 12.5%
  • Worked at home: 5.1%

Half of commuters drive alone to work, which is slightly below the national average of 76%. But usage of public transit and active modes like walking and biking are extremely high for a mid-sized city.

The average one-way commute time is 21.7 minutes. This low commute time is facilitated by compact development patterns and alternative modes reducing traffic.

Over 7% of households in Boulder do not even own a car, much higher than the 0.5% national average. This reflects Boulder’s bike-friendly and walkable neighborhoods.

Growth Projections

The City of Boulder is expected to continue growing in the coming decades, but at a slower and managed pace. Here are population projections from the Colorado State Demography Office:

  • 2025: 113,810
  • 2030: 116,401
  • 2035: 118,246
  • 2040: 119,703
  • 2045: 120,696

The Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan has policies directing growth toward infill development and annexation areas. Open space preservation will limit geographic expansion.

Population growth rates are expected to slow from over 1% annually today to 0.3% by 2045. Boulder’s population will likely stabilize around 120,000 residents. Maintaining Boulder’s quality of life and community character will be key considerations amidst future growth.


In summary, Boulder is a thriving small city recognized for its natural beauty, outdoor lifestyle, and innovation economy. The city has experienced rapid population growth in recent decades leading to housing affordability challenges. Looking ahead, Boulder aims to manage future growth in a sustainable manner.

The demographics of Boulder reveal an educated, affluent, and non-traditional population. The city has opportunities to enhance diversity and inclusion. Providing affordable housing and mobility options will also be key priorities. Boulder’s people are its greatest asset, driving progress and creating an exceptional community.

Check Our Blogs

No posts


Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Contact Us.

Get Solutions For All Fencing Services

Every day from

9:00 — 5:00

Call to ask any question

+1(720) 605-7318


  • From Downtown Boulder: Head northwest on Pearl Street toward 28th Street. Turn left onto 28th Street and drive for 2 miles. Make a right onto Valmont Road and continue for 1 mile. Turn left onto 33rd Street, and 1950 33rd St will be on your left.
  • From Denver International Airport (DEN): Take Pena Boulevard to I-70 W, then merge onto I-25 N. Take exit 217A onto US-36 W toward Boulder. After 20 miles, take Foothills Parkway exit, merge onto Foothills Parkway, and drive 2 miles. Turn right on Valmont Road, then left on 33rd Street. 1950 33rd St will be on your left.
  • From University of Colorado Boulder: Head southeast on University Avenue, which becomes Baseline Road. Turn right onto 30th Street and drive for 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Valmont Road and continue for 1 mile. Finally, turn right onto 33rd Street, and 1950 33rd St will be on your left.