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Colorado

Colorado is a state in the United States encompassing most of the Southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. Colorado is part of the Western United States, the Southwestern United States, and the Mountain States. Colorado is the 8th most extensive and the 21st most populous of the 50 United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Colorado was 5,540,545 on July 1, 2016, an increase of 10.17% since the 2010 United States Census.

The state was named for the Colorado River, which Spanish travelers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy (Spanish: colorado) silt the river carried from the mountains. The Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, and on August 1, 1876, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the “Centennial State” because it became a state in the same year as the centennial of the United States Declaration of Independence.

Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the north, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, Utah to the west, and Arizona to the southwest at the Four Corners. Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, forests, high plains, mesas, canyons, plateaus, rivers, and desert lands.
Denver is the capital and the most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are properly known as “Coloradans”, although the term “Coloradoan” has been used archaically and lives on in the title of Fort Collins’ newspaper, the Coloradoan.

Colorado is notable for its diverse geography, ranging from alpine mountains, arid plains and deserts with huge sand dunes, deep canyons, sandstone and granite rock formations, rivers, lakes, and lush forests. The borders of Colorado were originally defined to be lines of latitude and longitude, making its shape a latitude-longitude quadrangle which stretches from 37°N to 41°N latitude and from 102°03’W to 109°03’W longitude (25°W to 32°W from the Washington Meridian). Colorado, Wyoming and Utah are the only states which have boundaries defined solely by lines of latitude and longitude.

The climate of Colorado is more complex than states outside of the Mountain States region. Unlike most other states, southern Colorado is not always warmer than northern Colorado. Most of Colorado is made up of mountains, foothills, high plains, and desert lands. Mountains and surrounding valleys greatly affect local climate.

As a general rule, with an increase in elevation comes a decrease in temperature and an increase in precipitation. Northeast, east, and southeast Colorado are mostly the high plains, while Northern Colorado is a mix of high plains, foothills, and mountains. Northwest and west Colorado are predominantly mountainous, with some desert lands mixed in. Southwest and southern Colorado are a complex mixture of desert and mountain areas.

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