Population Growth Before 1900
A key concept throughout these Activities (and those of the "After 1900" set below) is that Colorado’s population has gone through periods of rapid growth and periods of stagnation or decline because of its traditional boom-bust economy. In Activity PE-1, students look at the earliest town development in the state, after the Gold Rush. Activity PE-2 shows the explosive growth of the 1880s and contrasts it to the period of stagnation of the 1890s that followed the 1893 Silver Panic.
Download the "Population Growth Before 1900" Conceptual Overview (with answer key) for more information.
Population Growth After 1900
In Activity PL-1, students note the rapid population growth in the Eastern Plains from 1900 to 1920. The maps that students view in Activity PL-2 show a major depopulation of the Eastern Plains. Many farmers had not successfully adapted to the semiarid Plains environment, which illustrates the geographic concept of human-environment interaction. Activitities PL-3a and 3b look at the post- World War 2 changes in Colorado's population, including the boom in population after 1990.
Download the "Population Growth After 1900" Conceptual Overview (with answer key) for more information.
We invite your suggestions to improve the activities. The project’s coordinators, Phil Klein and Dave Diggs of the University of Northern Colorado’s Department of Geography, GIS, and Sustainability welcome your comments at: firstname.lastname@example.org