Commerce City is a municipality located in Adams County, Colorado. The city population has been steadily increasing since the 2010 census with over 35% growth and now numbers 62,418 people. Commerce City’s population is 18th in Colorado. It borders Denver and Aurora, and it is located north of them. Commerce City has a mixed residential-industrial community known for its oil refinery. The 2020 United States Census recorded a total area of 23,295 acres for the city.
Commerce City was incorporated as a town in 1952. Before that time, the area, which for many years was devoted to agricultural matters including wheat fields and dairies, started seeing industry in the late 1920s. A refinery was established in 1930 and grain elevators were built shortly after. Rocky Mountain Arsenal was founded east of the growing community in 1942.
Today, Commerce City is one of the fastest-growing cities in Colorado for a number of reasons. The city has close proximity to Denver International Airport and major sports venues like Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, home to the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer. Parts of the downtown area are undergoing major revitalization.
Residents of the area voted in July 1952 to incorporate Commerce Town, which comprised neighborhoods such as Rose Hill and southern Adams City. The city annexed part of Derby in 1962, increasing its population by four times since then. Consequently, it gained the status of a city. In April 2007, the citizens of Commerce City voted 2:1 to keep their city’s name.
The 2000 census notes that there were 20,991 people, 6,668 households, and 4,974 families residing in the city. The population density at the time was 812.2 people per square mile (313.6/km2) under the age of 18, 11.5% from ages 18 to 24, 30.6% from ages 25 to 44, 18.1% from ages 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 109.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.1 males.
The 2000 census indicated that the racial makeup of the city at the time was 74.15% White, 3.39% African American, 1.23% Native American, 2.46% Asian, 13.15% from other races, and 5.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 46.8% of the population.
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is located near Commerce City and is one of the largest urban nature preserves in America. The refuge features wildlife ranging from bison, owls and mule deer to bald eagles. It spans over 15,000 acres and is one of the few remaining prairies in existence. The area also includes the Buffalo Run Golf Course, a picturesque, 18-hole championship course with mountain and prairie views. Buffalo Run features easy access to the Sand Creek Regional Greenway, a 14-mile trail and natural area that offers “wilderness in the city” running from Commerce City through Denver and Aurora.
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