In , rich veins of silver were discovered in the San Juan Mountains on the Ute Indian reservation in southwestern Colorado. The Ute people were removed from the San Juans the following year. The United States Congress passed an enabling act on March 3, , specifying the requirements for the Territory of Colorado to become a state. Grant signed a proclamation admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state and earning it the moniker "Centennial State". The discovery of a major silver lode near Leadville in triggered the Colorado Silver Boom.

The Sherman Silver Purchase Act of invigorated silver mining, and Colorado's last, but greatest, gold strike at Cripple Creek a few months later lured a new generation of gold seekers. Colorado women were granted the right to vote on November 7, , making Colorado the second state to grant universal suffrage and the first one by a popular vote of Colorado men.

The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in led to a staggering collapse of the mining and agricultural economy of Colorado, but the state slowly and steadily recovered. Between the s and s, Denver's floriculture industry developed into a major industry in Colorado. Colorado became the first western state to host a major political convention when the Democratic Party met in Denver in By the U. Census in , the population of Colorado first exceeded one million residents. Colorado suffered greatly through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl of the s, but a major wave of immigration following World War II boosted Colorado's fortune.

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Tourism became a mainstay of the state economy, and high technology became an important economic engine. The United States Census Bureau estimated that the population of Colorado exceeded five million in Three warships of the U. Navy have been named the USS Colorado.

On September 11, , a plutonium fire occurred at the Rocky Flats Plant , which resulted in the significant plutonium contamination of surrounding populated areas. The Greater Denver Metropolitan Area , with an estimated population of 3,,, is considered the largest metropolitan area within the state and is found within the larger Front Range Urban Corridor , home to around 5,, people. The largest increases are expected in the Front Range Urban Corridor , especially in the Denver metropolitan area.

The state's fastest-growing counties are Douglas and Weld. According to the United States Census , Colorado had a population of 5,, Racial composition of the state's population was:. People of Hispanic and Latino American of any race made heritage made up Colorado has a high proportion of Hispanic , mostly Mexican-American , citizens in Metropolitan Denver, Colorado Springs, as well as the smaller cities of Greeley and Pueblo, and elsewhere.

Southern, Southwestern, and Southeastern Colorado has a large number of Hispanos , the descendants of the early Mexican settlers of colonial Spanish origin. In , the Census Bureau reported Colorado's population as 8. Colorado also has some large African-American communities located in Denver, in the neighborhoods of Montbello, Five Points, Whittier, and many other East Denver areas. A relatively large population of African Americans are also found in Colorado Springs on the east and southeast side of the city. The highest population of Asian Americans can be found on the south and southeast side of Denver, as well as some on Denver's southwest side.

The Denver metropolitan area is considered more liberal and diverse than much of the state when it comes to political issues and environmental concerns. There were a total of 70, births in Colorado in Birth rate of In , non-Hispanic whites were involved in Note: Births in table don't add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number. In , Colorado recorded the second-lowest fertility rate in the United States outside of New England, after Oregon , at 1. Spanish is the second-most spoken language in Colorado, after English.

The largest denominations by number of adherents in were the Catholic Church with ,; non-denominational Evangelical Protestants with ,; and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with , According to several studies, Coloradans have the lowest rates of obesity of any state in the US. A number of historic military forts, railways with trains still operating, mining ghost towns have been utilized and transformed for historical accuracy in well known films.

There are also a number of scenic highways and mountain passes that helped to feature the open road in films such as Vanishing Point , Bingo and Starman.

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Colorado is known for its Southwest and Rocky Mountain cuisine. Mexican restaurants are prominent throughout the state. Aspen also has a reputation as the culinary capital of the Rocky Mountain region. Denver is known for steak, but now has a diverse culinary scene with many restaurants. Colorado wines include award-winning varietals that have attracted favorable notice from outside the state.

The mountain climate ensures warm summer days and cool nights.

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However, an increasing number of wineries are located along the Front Range. The area of northern Colorado near and between the cities of Denver, Boulder , and Fort Collins is known as the "Napa Valley of Beer" due to its high density of craft breweries. Colorado is open to cannabis marijuana tourism. Amendment 64, adopted by the voters in the general election, forces the Colorado state legislature to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing and sale of recreational marijuana and industrial hemp. On November 6, , voters amended the state constitution to protect "personal use" of marijuana for adults , establishing a framework to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

Colorado has five major professional sports leagues , all based in the Denver metropolitan area. Colorado is the least populous state with a franchise in each of the major professional sports leagues. Open , U.

Senior Open , U. The most popular college sports program is the University of Colorado Buffaloes, who used to play in the Big but now play in the Pac Early industry was based on the extraction and processing of minerals and agricultural products.

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Current agricultural products are cattle, wheat, dairy products , corn , and hay. The state's economy is diversified, and is notable for its concentration of scientific research and high-technology industries. Other industries include food processing , transportation equipment, machinery , chemical products , the extraction of metals such as gold see Gold mining in Colorado , silver, and molybdenum. Colorado now also has the largest annual production of beer of any state.

A number of nationally known brand names have originated in Colorado factories and laboratories. From Denver came the forerunner of telecommunications giant Qwest in , Samsonite luggage in , Gates belts and hoses in , and Russell Stover Candies in Kuner canned vegetables began in Brighton in Holly Sugar was first milled from beets in Holly in , and later moved its headquarters to Colorado Springs. Estes model rockets were launched in Penrose in Fort Collins has been the home of Woodward Governor Company 's motor controllers governors since , and Waterpik dental water jets and showerheads since Celestial Seasonings herbal teas have been made in Boulder since Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory made its first candy in Durango in Colorado has a flat 4.

Unlike most states, which calculate taxes based on federal adjusted gross income , Colorado taxes are based on taxable income —income after federal exemptions and federal itemized or standard deductions. When state revenues exceed state constitutional limits, according to Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights legislation, full-year Colorado residents can claim a sales tax refund on their individual state income tax return.

Many counties and cities charge their own rates, in addition to the base state rate. There are also certain county and special district taxes that may apply. Real estate and personal business property are taxable in Colorado. The state's senior property tax exemption was temporarily suspended by the Colorado Legislature in The tax break was scheduled to return for assessment year , payable in The West Virginia teachers' strike in inspired teachers in other states , including Colorado , to take similar action.

Colorado has significant hydrocarbon resources. According to the Energy Information Administration , Colorado hosts seven of the Nation's largest natural gas fields, and two of its largest oil fields.

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Conventional and unconventional natural gas output from several Colorado basins typically account for more than 5 percent of annual U. Uranium mining in Colorado goes back to , when pitchblende ore was taken from gold mines near Central City, Colorado. The Colorado uranium industry has seen booms and busts, but continues to this day.

Not counting byproduct uranium from phosphate, Colorado is considered to have the third-largest uranium reserves of any U. Uranium price increases from to prompted a number of companies to revive uranium mining in Colorado. Price drops and financing problems in late forced these companies to cancel or scale back uranium-mining project.

Currently, there are no uranium producing mines in Colorado. Colorado's high Rocky Mountain ridges and eastern plains offer wind power potential, and geologic activity in the mountain areas provides potential for geothermal power development. Much of the state is sunny, and could produce solar power. Major rivers flowing from the Rocky Mountains offer hydroelectric power resources.

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Corn grown in the flat eastern part of the state offers potential resources for ethanol production. Colorado's primary mode of transportation in terms of passengers is its highway system. I is the primary east—west corridor. The state is home to a network of US and Colorado highways that provide access to all principal areas of the state. Many smaller communities are only connected to this network via county roads.

Extensive public transportation bus services are offered both intra-city and inter-city—including the Denver metro area's extensive RTD services.

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Colorado's contribution to world railroad history was forged principally by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad which began in and wrote the book on mountain railroading. On September 11, , Anschutz sold the combined company to the Union Pacific Railroad , creating the largest railroad network in the United States. Colorado's freight railroad network consists of 2, miles of Class I trackage. It is integral to the U. In August , Colorado began to issue driver licenses to aliens not lawfully in the United States who lived in Colorado. Like the federal government and all other U.

The Governor of Colorado heads the state's executive branch.