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In the United States, the City and County of Denver is the combined metropolis and county that serves as the state's capital and most populated city, as well as its largest city. The population was 715,522 at the time of the 2020 United States Census, representing a 19.22 percent growth over the 2010 United States Census. Denver is the 19th most populous city in the United States and the sixth most populated state capital, with a population of 1.3 million people. Located in Colorado's Front Range Urban Corridor, Denver is the major city of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area and the first city along Colorado's Front Range.

Denver is located in the South Platte River Valley, on the western edge of the High Plains, just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, on the western edge of the High Plains and on the western edge of the Rocky Mountains. In the eastern part of the city, just east of the junction of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River, and roughly 12 miles (19 kilometres) east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, lies the Denver downtown area. Denver takes its name from James W. Denver, a former governor of the Kansas Territory who lived in the area. The city is known as the Mile High City because it lies precisely one mile (5280 feet or 1609.344 metres) above sea level, according to its official elevation. It is immediately via Denver Union Station that the 105th meridian west of Greenwich, which serves as the longitudinal reference for the Mountain Time Zone, travels.

By the Globalization and Global Cities Research Network's standards, Denver is a Beta world city. With a population of 2,963,821 people according to the 2020 United States Census, the 10-county Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area is the 19th most populated metropolitan statistical area in the United States by population. With a population of 3,623,560 people as of the 2020 United States Census, the 12-county Denver-Aurora, CO Combined Statistical Area ranked 17th in terms of population in the United States. At the time of the 2020 United States Census, Denver was the most populous city in the 18-county Front Range Metropolitan Corridor, an oblong urban area that stretches over two states and had a population of 5,055,344 people. Within a 560-mile (900-kilometer) radius, the Denver metropolitan area is the most populated metropolitan region in the United States, and it is the second most populous city in the Mountain West, behind Phoenix, Arizona. United States News and World Report ranked Denver the greatest location to live in the United States in 2016.