The town of Fruita has seen steady growth since it was established in the late 1800s, but over the last 20 years, the population has exploded.

What A Difference A Hundred Years Makes

Fruita was incorporated in 1884 and at the turn of the century had a population of just 126 residents. Within 10 years, the population was nearly 1,000, a growth of nearly 600%. By 1920, the population was nearly 1200 and it would remain between 1,000 and 2,000 for the next 60 years.

Like much of western Colorado, Fruita began to see substantial growth in the 1980s. From around 2800 in 1980, Fruita's population ballooned to over 4,000 people by 1990 and by 2000 had grown to more than 6,000. Over the next 10 years, Fruita's population nearly doubled to over 12,000 but has seen much slower growth over the past 10 years.

Fruita's Early Days

In the early days, Fruita was known for its fruit. Today it's better known for things like mountain biking, hiking and rafting, and festivals like Mike the Headless Chicken Days and Fruita Fall Festival.

If we go back to the really early days, we would have to say the first residents of Fruita were dinosaurs as we know many skeletal remains of the prehistoric beasts have been found in the area. Fruita's Dinosaur Journey Museum is a fascinating place.

In many ways, I think Fruita is a great small town. They have a good selection of dining options, a great downtown, some wonderful small-town events like the farmers market and the concerts in the park, and of course, the big festivals. It really is a perfect size but will it stay that way? Only time will tell.

See How Much Fruita's Population Has Grown Over the Years

How big is Fruita, Colorado? Here is a look at how this western Colorado has grown through the years.

See How Much Grand Junction's Population Has Grown Over the Years

Grand Junction is the largest city between Denver and Salt Lake City with a population of just under 64,000. Over the years, Grand Junction has steadily increased in size. While its growth has slowed in recent years, the population has more than doubled since 1990. The following graphics show how Grand Junction has grown over the last 130 years.