The City of Thornton is a Home Rule Municipality in Adams and Weld counties in the U.S. state of Colorado, located in the northeast quadrant of the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. Thornton is 10 miles (16km) north/northeast of downtown Denver. The United States Census Bureau reported the city's growing population at 118,772 on April 1, 2010, a 44.2% increase from the 2000 Census population of 82,384. Thornton is the sixth most populous city in the state of Colorado and the 213th most populous city in the United States. Thornton consisted solely of farmland until 1953 when Sam Hoffman purchased a lot off Washington Street about seven miles (11km) north of Denver. The town he laid out was the first fully planned community in Adams County, and the first to offer full municipal services from a single tax levy, including recreation services and free trash pickup. Thornton was named in honor of Former Colorado GovernorDan Thornton.