Sunday, December 26, 2010


An old adage you often hear in real estate is "location, location, location."  But perhaps a more contemporary way to look at it is to say "demographics, demographics, demographics."

As 2010 Census data begins to circulate, we always find some interesting trends and developments.  Take, for example, the snapshot of education among the adult population in different Colorado school districts.

Statewide, 35.5% of the state's adult population had a college degree in 2010, which is fantastic on a national level and ranks Colorado among the top ten states for college graduates. 

In Douglas County, however, the number is even more impressive - an amazing 53.4%.  And that sets the stage for one of the most stable and desirable housing markets in the state.

In Aurora, by contrast, only 18.8% of the adult population has a college degree, and here you have seen more value losses and a higher number of foreclosures. 

Denver presents an interesting study, as within the city you have a super-educated affulent class (15.3% with graduate degrees and 39.2% with bachelor's degrees), and a struggling underclass (7.5% of adults with less than a 9th grade education and 16.7% of the population without a high school diploma).

In the new economy (higher unemployment, increased competition), the emphasis on skills and education figures to widen the socio-economic gap between well-educated and under-educated communities. 

The good news is that, in Colorado, nearly 89% of the adult population has a high school diploma.  That puts us on good footing going forward, but it will be critically important to maintain those high numbers and for policymakers to keep higher education accessible and affordable.