Straight out of a scenic landscapes’ textbook with its stunning forests, deserts, rivers and plateaus. Colorado is blessed with over 300 days of sunshine and easy access to planned adventures right in nature’s lap. Just one of those things that make for a very healthy and happy population. This lifestyle, combined with the exciting career opportunities make the state a very desirable place of residence for many.
Colorado is the 8th most extensive and the 21st most populous state. It is also called the ‘Centennial State’, because it entered statehood a hundred years after the Declaration of Independence. The culture of Colorado looks very attractive with its cuisine, arts and film sectors. If you have been considering moving to Colorado, here is a list of the largest cities in Colorado for you to consider and pick from.
Top 10 Largest Cities In Colorado
Also See: Moving To Colorado – Relocation Guide
1. Colorado Springs
The city of Colorado Springs is nothing short of a true delight, with its beautiful backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, the vast training grounds and gorgeous parks that offer excellent recreation for the populace. The city is the largest by area in the state of Colorado, covering about 195.36 square miles (505.98 km2), and the second largest in terms of population, with an estimated 478,221 residents as of 2019.
The economy of this place is run by the military, the high-tech industry and the tourism sectors primarily. The cost-of-living index of Colorado Springs is 104.5, which means that it is not much higher than the national average of 100.
Some of the locally popular food in Colorado Springs are the Rocky Mountain Oysters, the Colorado style pizza, Trout entrée and a few more which can make the city somewhat addictive for its visitors and residents. The quality of life in this city is rather high, and that is not just a pun on the city’s elevation. The weather is always great and it is known to have that coveted ‘small-town feel with big city facilities’ thing going on for it. Colorado Springs can be quite the enjoyable place to live in given a little bit of preparation with finances and future planning.
- Median Home Value: $363,972
- Median Rent: $1200
- Median Household Income: $64,712
The second largest city in the state is also known as the ‘City of Lights’, a name that derives from a tiny piece of history that this was the first city to use electric lights on its streets. The city spreads over 159.70 square miles (413.62 km2) and houses 325,078 residents, as estimated in 2019.
The major employers in Aurora are Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora Public Schools, the community college and others. As for the private sector, the employers are the Children’s Hospital, Raytheon Company, Amazon and others. The cost-of-living index of Aurora is 117.2, which places it noticeably above the national average of 100.
Some of the favourite pastimes of the people here are sailing, golfing, softball and theatre. The laid-back atmosphere mixes well with the art exhibits and outdoor activities, which can be enjoyed with some of the delectable local food.
- Median Home Value: $404,305
- Median Rent: $1,500
- Median Household Income: $65,100
Denver is the capital city of Colorado and it is one of the prime examples of how sophisticated combining urban life with the way of nature can be. It is the third-largest city in Colorado, with an area of 154.92 square miles (401.24 km2), as well as the most populous city in the state with 600,158 residents as of 2019. The cost-of-living index is 128.7, as would be expected of a ‘power city’.
Owing to its prevalence in the world economic network, Denver has been ranked as a ‘Beta World City’ by the Globalisation and World Cities Research Network. Denver has the enviable economic advantage of being the largest city within 500 miles (800 km), which makes it the natural choice for the storage and distribution of goods for the nearby states. This also means a strong government presence in the form of federal agencies as well as companies based on US Defence and space projects. Some of the prominent companies in the city are AIMCO, Lumen Technologies, United Airlines and a few other major corporations.
When people are not hustling at their jobs in Denver, they like to go for picnics at the park or roam around Larimer Square. And it is never a bad idea to feast your eyes on the beautiful scenery at the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. Going shopping in LoDo and ending the day with one of the local beers is also an excellent plan for residents and visitors alike.
- Median Home Value: $560,000
- Median Rent: $1,600
- Median Household Income: $68,592
4. Fort Collins
Fort Collins is a city that carries a strong suburban atmosphere and has many craft beer enthusiasts among its residents. It is 90 km from Denver and situated on the Cache La Poudre River, and covers an area of 58.45 square miles (151.38 km2). It is also the 4th most populous city with an estimated population of 170,243 as of 2019.
Fort Collins is frequently called one of the best places to live in the United States. It has an excellent education system in place and has its fair share of restaurants, live music venues and parks. The cost-of-living index is 118.3, so it is higher than the national average of 100.
The manufacturing and service-related industry primarily sustains the economy of Fort Collins. Other industries that are increasingly making their presence felt are that of agri-tech, bioscience and sustainable energy. Another important aspect of the Fort Collins economy that is also responsible for the type of residents the city attracts is Colorado State University and its research facilities. It’s what led to companies like Intel, Broadcom, Hewlett-Packard and others to set branches here.
When people want to meet up with their friends, downtown Fort Collins is where they are likely to go and you will find yourself biking a lot more than driving, in accordance with the culture of the city. You should take the bike to one of the local restaurants on your day off and then attend one of the live music concerts. That would be quite the perfect Fort Collins holiday.
- Median Home Value: $455,598
- Median Rent: $1600
- Median Household Income: $65,866
Pueblo is the ‘Steel City’ of Colorado and of the United States. Interestingly, it gets the name from being one of the largest steel producing cities in the country. The city covers an area of 55.67 square miles (144.18 km2) and has a population of 112,361 as estimated in 2019. Unlike the cities mentioned before, Pueblo has a relatively low cost-of-living with the index being 85.2. This means that the prices are not just lower than other cities in the state but also lower than the national average of 100.
The city’s top employers include Parkview Medical Centre, the school system, Walmart and Evraz Steel Hills among a few others. Pueblo once had the reputation of being a scruffy city of cowboys, Eldorado-seekers and others like Buffalo Bill as its claim to fame or rather, infamy. Today, it is known as a nice and sunny city along the Arkansas river.
Some of the things to do here include visiting the Union Avenue Historic District and the Arts Alliance Union. While you are at it, make it a point to not miss the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk. In the evening, you could go for a sunset gondola ride in the river and then proceed for a snack, preferably the chile pepper which is the unofficial mascot of the state.
- Median Home Value: $229,472
- Median Rent: $1100
- Median Household Income: $40,450
Lakewood is known for its urban atmosphere and open spaces. The state covers an area of 44.22 square miles (114.53 km2) and a population of 157,935 as of 2019. The city is located quite close to Denver and the Rocky Mountains, a setting to ensure you never get bored of the scenery. The cost-of-living index of Lakewood is 127.7, quite higher than the national average of 100.
The city’s economy is one of the most diverse in the state, with over 67% of the population above the age of 16 being in the labour force. People are employed mostly in the field of arts, business, science, transport, material moving, construction, sales and office work. The biggest employer in the city is the Denver Federal Centre. Other organizations producing significant employment are Jefferson County Public Schools, Terumo BCT and First Bank.
Here’s a fun fact – 35% of the city is made up of green spaces! Now isn’t that great for morning jogs and evening strolls, or even for your weekend picnics and just about everyday scenery? A lot of community events happen here and craft breweries are very popular in Lakewood too. You could also try catching a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Just imagining the mixture of that view with some music makes us excited. Life in Lakewood is certainly something to look forward to.
- Median Home Value: $498,074
- Median Rent: $2,000
- Median Household Income: $66,740
Arvada is a very family-friendly city and has an excellent education system in place. The residents and culture of the city is more conservative in comparison to the rest of the state, but the suburban nature of Arvada frequently ranks it in one of the best places to live. The cost-of-living index here is 128, so life in the city doesn’t come cheap.
Arvada is basically a stopover town to Denver and Boulder. This is the city that saw the first gold strike in America. On an off-day, take a tour of the historic district of Olde Town Arvada. Other attractions include the Rocky Flats and the Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge. Automobile enthusiasts will like the Cussler Museum which boasts of a rare automobile collection.
There are also plenty of nature trails for hiking, cycling and the good old horseback riding. Arvada has a culture of festivals. A favourite would be ‘A Chocolate Affair’, where everyone goes on a treasure hunt of sorts for chocolates. There is the Harvest Festival that has parades and produce from the local agriculture. Then there’s also the Arvada Winterfest, which is a recent addition that brings together the residents in a celebration of diversity and talent. For the love of a small town and a close-knit community, you can choose to live in this city.
- Median Home Value: $516,365
- Median Rent: $2,000
- Median Household Income: $84,717
Ever been to a place and felt like you just belong there? Thornton is that kind of place. The city comes with a strong feeling of community that is extremely welcoming, and has the unique charm of making a person one of their own. Thornton is spread over an area of 37.95 square miles (98.29 km2) and has a population of 118,772 as of 2019. The city was originally farmland, which has been converted into swathes of recreation areas and golf courses.
The cost-of-living index of Thornton is 122.8, so yes, the place is more expensive than the national average of the United States which stands at 100. The city is a goldmine waiting to be unearthed and is experiencing growth at a rapid pace.
Thornton has not just been called one of the safest places in the United States, but it’s also the first city to offer free municipal services from a single tax and this includes trash pickup and leisure. The city makes having a work-life balance rather easy and even a priority. To add to that, the support extended by the other residents makes setting up a business here worth everything.
- Median Home Value: $442,202
- Median Rent: $1,500
- Median Household Income: $79,411
Westminster is a city in Adams County and is one of the better places to live in the country. Most residents here own their houses and you will be spoilt for choice by the quantity and quality of the cafes, restaurants and parks. The city also has a very good school system in place, to its credit. Westminster covers an area of 33.90 square miles (87.80 km2) and has a population of 113,166 as of 2019.
The cost-of-living index of Westminster is 123.3. The Ball Corporation, Maxar and St. Anthony’s North Hospital are the largest employers in the city. The economy of the city is based in technology, medicine, energy and other growing fields. On the other hand, when it comes to chilling out, the city takes its open spaces very seriously and actively takes measures to preserve them. At other times, the people go shopping at the Orchard Town Centre or downtown to catch a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. The town has mellower ways of spending its time than the rest of the country and it is perfect for people seeking the same.
- Median Home Value: $455,745
- Median Rent: $1500
- Median Household Income: $62,625
House of the award-winning Centennial Centre Park, the city is ranked in the list of safest places in the United States. The name of the city is a reflection on the nickname of Colorado as the ‘Centennial State’. Another interesting fact about Centennial is that it was the largest city to be incorporated in the country. The place has an area of 29.74 square miles (77.02 km2) and a population of 110,937 as of 2019. The cost-of-living index of Centennial is 134.5, making it higher than the national average of 100, but the corresponding quality of life is also that high.
Comcast, Arrow Electronics, United Healthcare, Nordstrom Bank are the largest employers in the city, followed by others. Blackjack Pizza is headquartered here. Not just that, but the international headquarters of Gamma Phi Beta sorority are also in Centennial. Looks like Centennial is living quite the millennial life, isn’t it? Speaking of which, life in Centennial is certainly desirable, for families and singles alike. After all, it comes with excellent job opportunities, a certain space and peace that comes with life in a city full of green spaces.
- Median Home Value: $540,425
- Median Rent: $1,300
- Median Household Income: $109,304
What Are The Four Largest Cities In Colorado?
The four largest cities by area go as per the order in which they have been listed above, which is – Colorado Springs, Aurora, Denver and Fort Collins. However, the largest cities by population are Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora and Fort Collins, in that order.
Most of the cities of Colorado have a cost-of-living that is quite higher than the national average. But most of them also have an income that is higher than the national average as well. So, when deciding which city to move to, take a pen and paper and decide which city suits you best, in terms of expenses and opportunities. Considering the nature of the cities and that of the state itself, you should find a place easily enough. And when you do that, you can start living a life that would be the envy of all your friends not living in Colorado.