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7. Douglas County, CO
Douglas County, CO
Towns include:  Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Parker
Job growth (2000-2007): 46.63%

Situated 45 miles between the state's two largest cities, Denver and Colorado Springs, "Dougco" has shifted from its ranching roots to urban life. The population has sharply increased since 2001, making it one of the state's fastest-growing metropolitan areas.

The county's largest employer is its public school district, along with telecom firms such as EchoStar Communications and Avaya and engineering firm CH2M Hill. Health care, professional services and hotel and food services are also strong. The county's state parks and open spaces are prized by the community. --L.M.

NEXT: Lee County, FL

Last updated July 28 2008: 10:24 AM ET
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