Denver City was founded in November 1858 as a mining town during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush in western Kansas Territory. This was the first settlement in what was later to become the city of Denver, named after Kansas Territorial Governor James W. Denver. The site faded quickly, however, and by the summer of 1859 it was abandoned in favor of Auraria (named after the gold mining town of Auraria, Georgia), and St. Charles City.
Denver is ranked as a Beta- world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Beta level cities are cities that link moderate economic regions into the world economy. Examples of beta cities are Riyadh and Geneva.
With a 2015 estimated population of 682,545, Denver ranks as the 19th-most populous U.S. city, and with a 2.8% increase in 2015, the city is also the fastest growing major city in the United States. The 10-county Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated 2015 population of 2,814,330 and ranked as the 19th most populous U.S. metropolitan statistical area. The 12-city Denver-Aurora, CO Combined Statistical Area had an estimated 2015 population of 3,418,876, which ranks as the 16th most populous U.S. metropolitan area. Denver is the most populous city of the 18-county Front Range Urban Corridor, an oblong urban region stretching across two states with an estimated 2015 population of 4,757,713. The Front Range Urban Corridor includes Cheyenne. Denver is the most populous city within a 500-mile (800 km) radius in the Mountain West and the second-most populous city in the Southwestern United States after Phoenix, Arizona. In 2016, Denver was named the best place to live in the USA by U.S. News & World Report.