Is Colorado a Good Place To Live? Pros and Cons of Living in Colorado

Is Colorado a Good Place To Live? Pros and Cons of Living in Colorado
Colorado is a state in the Western United States best known for being home to the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Plateau and the Great Plains. Colorado is the largest state in the country and with a population of 5.7 million as of 2018, the 21st most populated state in the United States. Colorado received the nickname, ‘The Centennial State’ because it became a state 100 years after the Declaration of Independence. Denver is the capital city of Colorado and its most populated city. Colorado is also one of the Mountain States of the United States.

Is Colorado a good place to live? Colorado has a stunning landscape comprising of mountains, forests, canyons, rivers and plateaus. The state is great for an outdoor lifestyle or simply an active one. The people are friendly and also quite young. The state is a great place to start a family.

As an expat moving to Colorado, you will appreciate the degree of the population’s diversity. A small percentage of the Colorado population was actually born in Colorado. The state has great neighborhoods in most of its cities and also great remote living areas if you prefer to live far from the large metropolitan areas. Summer and winter is a tale of polar opposites with harsh weather during both. The cost of living in Colorado is quite high. On the other hand, you will surely enjoy Denver if you are a sports fan. Read on to find out more about the Centennial State.

Is Colorado a good place to live?

Colorado truly deserves credit for being one of the best states in the country in which to live. This is especially true for those who love the great outdoors. With most of Colorado being 10,000 feet above sea level and holding numerous wildlife protection areas, most of the habitable places are in low lying parts of the state. Still, there are great neighborhoods in the state. When categorized by factors such as safety, access to amenities, cleanliness and school districts, the best neighborhoods in Colorado are Holly Hills, Superior, Highlands Ranch, Cherry Creek, Lone Tree, Boulder, Louisville, Parker and Castle Rock. The worst neighborhoods in Colorado are Pueblo, Vail, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, Sterling, Grand Junction, Denver, Colorado Springs, Alamosa and Greeley.

The crime rate in Denver is quite low. The overall crime rate in Colorado is below the national average. However, crime in the state has been on the uptake for the past few years and you should get insurance for all your valuable possessions just in case. Violent crime in Colorado is also below the national mean at a rate of 368 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Property crime in Colorado is the main form of crime with a rate of 2,701 crimes per 100,000 residents.

Colorado has a better than average public education system. The state has the normal American grade K -12 system with independent school districts managing the public school system. The school districts, though independent, are overseen by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) which is the administrative arm of the Colorado State Board of Education. The CDE is headed by the Commissioner of Education who is appointed by the State Board of Education. Some of the best elementary and intermediate educational institutions in the state include Peak to Peak Charter School, Challenge School, and the Vanguard School Elementary. Colorado also has dozens of universities and colleges offering degree programs. Noteworthy higher learning institutions in Colorado include Colorado State University, Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Colorado and the University of Denver.

Colorado’s highway system handles the bulk of its transportation needs. Both US and State highways offer access to all major points in the state. The I-25 highway offers Colorado a North-South connection while the I-70 cuts across the state from East to West. There is also a mass transit bus service in Denver which is part of the RTD Bus & Rail transit system. Amtrak also has a presence in Colorado and operates two passenger rail lines namely the California Zephyr and Southwest Chief. Union Pacific and BNSF both have immense freight operations in Colorado. Denver International Airport is the main airport in the state.

The social life of Colorado is as varied as they come. However, professional sports are the main social connector in the state. Colorado also includes many microbreweries and vineyards so drinking wine and beer are very common. You will find many theatres and film festivals in Colorado. There are also numerous restaurants offering Southwest and Rocky Mountain cuisine in the state.

Pros and Cons of Living in Colorado

Pros

  1. You have four seasons of outdoor sports in Colorado. You can never be bored with so many outdoor activities happening throughout the year.
  2. The weather in Colorado is better than in most other states even considering the high altitude.
  3. Colorado is one of the finest skiing destinations on the planet. There are about 26 active ski resorts in the state.
  4. Colorado has one of the highest-rated health care systems in the country. The state places a lot of emphasis on health and the statistics prove it.
  5. You will wake up to great views regardless of where you live in Colorado.
  6. You are within a day’s trip from most places when you live in Colorado. If you wake up early you can even visit Yellowstone National Park.
  7. Legalized marijuana is a huge pro if you use marijuana for recreational or medicinal reasons.
  8. Unemployment in Colorado is very low. You can find plenty of job opportunities across most of the state depending on your qualifications.
  9. Liberal and conservative elements in the state are roughly equal hence the moniker ‘Swing State.’
  10. Colorado has a surprisingly thriving food scene.

Cons

  1. The cost of living in Colorado is significantly above the national average.
  2. Traffic in major Colorado cities especially during rush hour can be devastating.
  3. If you live in a city in Colorado as an expat, do not expect to receive a warm welcome unlike in the rural parts of the state.
  4. Colorado is a drinking state. The state’s microbreweries have received nationwide credit for their beer quality.
  5. The real estate market in Colorado, especially in Denver, is alarmingly expensive.
  6. Colorado has one of the highest ratios of men to women so dating as a young man in the state includes fending off serious competition regularly.
  7. The roads can get deadly during winter as Colorado state authorities generally do not salt the roads.
  8. You should move to Colorado if you are prone to altitude sickness. In fact, Colorado has 75% of the country’s landmass above 10,000 feet.
  9. Colorado is not a state for those who like to spend time in the water. Most water bodies in the state are cold and used for fishing and boating.


Is Colorado a good place to work?

In 2010, Colorado was ranked as the third best state to do business. Many companies have begun and are headquartered within the cities of Colorado. The average annual household income in Colorado is about $70,000 which is the 8th highest in the nation. The average per capita income in Colorado as of 2017 was about $37,000 per annum which is also above the national average income per capita.

Colorado is a great state in which to work for several reasons. The state has an unemployment rate of about 3.5%. Moreover, the income tax rate in Colorado is a flat 4.63% notwithstanding the income level. Colorado state taxes are calculated based on taxable income as opposed to gross income. Taxable income in this regard means gross income minus federal exemptions or deductions. If that isn’t enough if state tax revenues exceed the constitutional limit, full-time Colorado residents can request a tax refund.

The GDP of Colorado as of 2016 was about $320 Billion making it the 18th largest state economy in the country. The federal government is a prominent component of the Colorado economy with vital federal facilities in the state such as NORAD, United States Air Force Academy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder and the U.S. Geological Survey among others. National Forests and Parks are a significant part of the state’s tourism sector. Other large industries include finance, manufacturing, transport & logistics and mining. Colorado is also the largest producer of beer in the country.

As far as individual employers go, the largest employers in Colorado are Denver International Airport, University of Colorado-Boulder, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Colorado State University, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Western Union, Denver Health, Children’s Hospital Colorado and Century Link.

Is Colorado a good place to buy a house?

As stated earlier, Colorado has one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country. The average home price in Colorado is $385,000 with 62.4% of the homes being owned. With such high home prices, it is no surprise that most homes in Colorado are owned via a mortgage.

Those that cannot afford a mortgage rent their properties. The average monthly rent in Colorado is $1150. You will find great apartments for rent in the cities of Colorado. The closer you get to a city the higher the rent.

House prices and rents in Colorado will depend on a myriad of factors. Security is the foremost among them. Safer will be more expensive. Most people do not want to live in high altitude so in Colorado, the higher you go the cheaper the price of real estate. Another factor is the community you live in. Racial communities are also prevalent in Colorado.

The best neighborhoods in Colorado are Holly Hills, Superior, Highlands Ranch, Cherry Creek, Lone Tree, Boulder, Louisville, Parker and Castle Rock. The worst neighborhoods in Colorado are Pueblo, Vail, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, Sterling, Grand Junction, Denver, Colorado Springs, Alamosa and Greeley.

The average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Colorado is $1050 per month. The average cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment is $1295 per month. The average cost of renting a three-bedroom apartment is $1510. The average cost of renting a four-bedroom apartment is $1,860. The average cost of renting a five-bedroom apartment is $2,020.

The mean price of a one-bedroom house in Colorado is $325,500. The mean price of a two-bedroom house is $386,200. The mean price of a three-bedroom price is $431,530. The mean price of a four-bedroom house is $456,440. The mean price for a five-bedroom property is $478,450.

Is Colorado a good place to retire?

Colorado received credit from WalletHub as the 3rd best state in which to retire. Colorado is a good place to retire for several reasons.

One of the reasons is that Colorado is a place of great natural beauty. There are a lot of outdoor activities which is great for retirees who have spent their lives working indoors. Another great reason is the low tax rate which can help retirees save and stretch their retirement funds. The third reason why Colorado is great for retirees is because of their healthcare system. Colorado has one of the best healthcare systems in the country.

The best neighborhoods in Colorado are Holly Hills, Superior, Highlands Ranch, Cherry Creek, Lone Tree, Boulder, Louisville, Parker and Castle Rock. The worst neighborhoods in Colorado are Pueblo, Vail, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, Sterling, Grand Junction, Denver, Colorado Springs, Alamosa and Greeley.

The average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in a retirement property in Colorado is $1100 per month. The average cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment is $1360 per month. The average cost of renting a three-bedroom apartment is $1585. The average cost of renting a four-bedroom apartment is $1,920. The average cost of renting a five-bedroom apartment is $2,020.

The mean price of one-bedroom retirement property in Colorado is $331,250. The mean price of a two-bedroom house is $393,400. The mean price of a three-bedroom price is $437,500. The mean price of a four-bedroom house is $466,900. The mean price for a five-bedroom property is $485,400.

Is Colorado a good place to visit?

Colorado is a great place to visit especially for an expat who loves outdoor adventures. However, due to the nature of such adventures, travel insurance is recommended in case of any injuries.

The foremost landmarks and attractions in Colorado include:

Rocky Mountains National Park

Rocky Mountains National Park consists of over 415 square miles of mountain terrain that includes walking forests, rivers and lakes. You can hike along numerous extensive trails across the park, go fishing and camp in select locations.

Mesa Verde National Park

The Mesa Verde National Park has Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings from ancient times and features an exhilarating climb up the cliffs. The park also has a museum and the famous Petroglyph Point trail where you can view ancient writings on the park’s cave walls.

Aspen

There is a reason the famous ski resort town has featured in so many movies. The town has protected wilderness and scenic mountains offering great opportunities for outdoor recreation. Activities at the resort town include zip lining, snowshoe tours and horseback riding.

Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs is a mountain town that is most famous for its natural hot springs. The town is located in the Rocky Mountains and is engulfed by the mighty White River Forest. A visit to Glenwood Caverns Park is an exhilarating experience.

Marta Kovachek
About Marta Kovachek 86 Articles
Marta is a true digital nomad, traveling across the USA for the last 10 years and sharing her expertise with a wide range of readers. Read more articles by Marta Kovachek

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