8.27.2015

Demographic Infographics

The State Demography Office has put together a series of infographics on population change, labor, and households for Colorado back to 1970.  (Infographics are short one-page graphs or charts accompanied by quick data, maps, etc.)  A quick glance at the infographics shows a significant population increase in Colorado since 2000.  Other infographics present pie charts and other graphs showing the state's age distribution; labor force statistics; and household growth as related to size, age, and household composition.  If you need quick facts on population in Colorado, these infographics are a helpful resource.  The website also offers the infographics in PDF form so they can be printed as posters, etc.

One of the State Demography Office's infographics.

8.25.2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Germans from Russia in Colorado

Between 1975 and 1978, Colorado State University undertook a study of the progress and achievements of Germans from Russia in Colorado.  According to the study,


The Germans from Russia are the second largest ethnic group in Colorado and one of the most important contributors to the historic development of the state. Arriving around the1880's, they became primarily the mainstay of the sugar beet growing and processing industries. Within two generations, they rose from field hands to fill leading positions in business, education, culture, and the political life of the state. Their remarkable advance from immigrant status to community leaders is one of the great American "success stories" of the twentieth century, and contemporary descendants of these hardy pioneers take justifiable pride in their cultural legacy. 


The study included an oral history project, a library collection, lectures and presentations, and "scores of surveys, reports and papers" on the subject.  The above link connects to the final report of the three-year study, available from our library.  We also have a more detailed year-end report from 1976 that offers a lengthy bibliography on resources about the Germans from Russia.

8.24.2015

Hire for Colorado

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is working to reduce the number of unemployed and underemployed persons in Colorado.  Although the number of unemployed has been reduced with the upturn in the economy following the recession, many are still underemployed in Colorado, according to a new website sponsored by the Department.  HireforColorado.com is a website for both employers and job seekers to find out information on putting Colorado to work.  "If you are a jobseeker, here you will find information and resources to help you find your next job. Employers - sign our employer pledge, post jobs and learn about tax credit opportunities," proclaims the website.  Not just a jobs listing site, Hire for Colorado also discusses information on expanding training opportunities for decreasing underemployment; revising hiring practices to get better pools of applicants; and how unemployed persons can "get back in the game" after six months or more of unemployment.  If you are seeking a job or looking to fill a position with the best qualified candidate, check out this website today.

8.20.2015

More Information on the Animas River Spill

The State of Colorado has set up several new information sites where you can find out what is happening with the Animas River/Gold King Mine release.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a new webpage which includes up-to-date information on public meetings, water sampling and data, frequently asked questions, health recommendations, and GIS data.  Further, the Gold King Mine Release Unified Command Joint Information Center has started a blog that has current information on the status of the spill and any associated health risks.  Blog posts answer such questions as how the spill affects wildlife, and whether you can eat the fish caught in the Animas River. Check out these two resources for the most current information on the situation.


Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

8.18.2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Tuberculosis in Colorado

This week we use our digital documents to travel back to 1957, when the Colorado Department of Health issued a report entitled Recent Levels of Known Tuberculosis in ColoradoAt the time of this report's publication, tuberculosis was well on the decline in Colorado -- in fact, according the report, "from 1950 to 1956, the reported number of new cases of tuberculosis, among Colorado residents, per 100,000 population decreased steeply, or from 119.7 to 67.5."  The rate of death from tuberculosis was 7.8 per 100,000 in 1956, down from 32.3 in 1945.  The report attributed this decline to "new treatment methods."  The report predicted a 1.5 per 100,000 death rate in ten years.

Today we don't think of tuberculosis very often -- 2013 data shows that Colorado is now down to 1.4 cases per 100,000 residents, a sharp decline even from the 1950s.  Yet tuberculosis, or consumption as it was known in the last century, once affected thousands and played a major role in populating our state.  Consumptives came to Colorado for the "climate cure," the dry air and high elevation that was considered curative of the respiratory disease.  Many tuberculars did indeed find relief from the illness here in Colorado, but medications would prove to do more for curing the disease than fresh air alone.  Much of the research on tuberculosis treatment in Colorado was done by Dr. Florence Rena Sabin, a highly respected medical researcher.  She studied tuberculosis data in Colorado in the 1940s (reported in the 1957 report) and found that incidences were higher in urban areas (having "greater opportunity for infection"); "Spanish-Americans" had the highest rates of tuberculosis among racial/ethnic groups; tuberculosis was more prevalent in males than in females; and areas of low socio-economic status had higher rates of tuberculosis.  The disease was also highest among those age 45 and older.

Although the 1957 report presents a statistical analysis and does not explain treatment methods, an article from the European Respiratory Journal explains that new medications were discovered in 1944 and 1952 that could, in combination, cure tuberculosis -- consistent with the rates of decline described in the 1957 report.

For information on tuberculosis today, see the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Annual Tuberculosis Surveillance ReportAlso here at the State Publications Library we have a number of resources that delve into the history of tuberculosis in Colorado.  Resources that cover this topic include:
  • Blazing the Tuberculosis Trail:  The Religio-Ethnic Role of Four Sanitoria in Early Denver by Jeanne E. Abrams, Colorado Historical Society, 1991.
  • Colorado Tuberculosis Annual Report published in the 1970s by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
  • Dr. Charles David Spivak:  A Jewish Immigrant and the American Tuberculosis Movement by Jeanne E. Abrams, University Press of Colorado, 2009.
  • A Medical Gentleman:  James J. Waring, M.D., by Patricia Paton, Colorado Historical Society, 1993.
  •  "Doctor Florence:  Colorado's Woman of the Decade," Colorado Heritage, Winter 1995.

    Tuberculosis treatment in the early 1900s centered on fresh air; patients spent their days on porches like this one at the Agnes Memorial Sanatorium in Denver.  Many private homes were also built with large porches for tuberculosis patients.  Photo courtesy Denver Public Library Western History Department.