Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright
Yes, there is something really Candian about it, it's almost entirely white and has next to none of the historical inner city racially segregated blight problems that most American cities have. It is over 50% white with only 10% African American while most major American metros are 20%+
Depending on the source, Denver demographics are roughly:
Native American: 2%
Non-Hispanic white: ~40% to <50%
Denver's racial profile is very typical of western US cities. It is not almost entirely white, I would argue, and does not feel that way at all--it might compared to a Baltimore or NYC but it's definitely not like a Seattle or Portland in this regard.
To compare, some African-American populations of western cities:
Los Angeles: 10.5%
Las Vegas: 11%
It was an oil town as you pointed out and like most western cities it had a small manufacturing base compared to midwestern and eastern cities. The decline of manufacturing that contributed to significant blight across the midwest and east was not strictly a matter of race, though I understand racial politics majorly exacerbated the outcomes. Denver did have some blighted African-American neighborhoods with crumbling brick row-homes/projects and such, like Five Points, Cole and Clayton.
Denver is indeed a mecca of millennials and feels very much like a Portland in that respect--only it feels a bit younger than Portland and far more oriented toward having fun for lack of a better way of putting it. Having spent a lot of time in both cities in recent years, I would say culturally Portland is much slower-paced and a little more serious/uptight, whereas Denver's youth culture is very high energy and hedonistic. You can really see this difference in the nightlife--Denver is a capital of EDM and has more Austin-like live music shows of all varieties, for example, and Portland is more centered on dive bars and has better options for lesser-known music genres like noise, agit-rock, proto-metal, etc.