Are you someone whose heart melts at the sight of sketches of landscapes, forests and canyons. Sprinkle that with rivers, desert lands and plateaus? Well then you know that moving to Colorado will bring you this cocktail of nature that’s nothing short of a dream to live in.
Interesting factoid here, Colorado is called the ‘Centennial State’ because it became a state 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Colorado can offer a lot in terms of what you can expect from it. So, if the idea of living here intrigues you, you have come to the right place. Keep reading on to understand every factor involved in moving to Colorado.
What Should I Know Before Moving To Colorado?
Colorado is in the western part of the United States and is home to a major chunk of the southern part of Rocky Mountains. It is the 8th largest state in terms of size and 21st in terms of population. That’s not bad for a country with 50 states. For the sake of a clearer picture, the population of Colorado is estimated to be 5,758,736 in 2019. The rise in population has been projected to have been 14.5% since the 2010 census.
Colorado is a masterful blend of the culture – both leisurely as well as trendy. It houses five major professional sports leagues. Then, it is also the only state that is open to cannabis tourism for the medicinal, industrial and recreational use of it. Colorado also has award-winning grapes used to make wine, otherwise known as varietals. These wines have brought Colorado national and international acclaim. Imagine having them at your get-togethers or your dates.
As far as cuisine is concerned, Colorado serves many platters of delight. The Centennial State is known for its rustic fusion food, also known as the cuisine of Southwestern United States and the Rocky mountains food. In case you didn’t know, that pertains to food of British Columbia, Canada; Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Montana in the United States. You must definitely try the bison and the prairie oysters.
The funny thing about Colorado is that because of its very diverse terrain, all your nature adventures can happen within the state itself, saving you tons of money. You certainly must’ve heard of the famous Rocky Mountain National Park, but there’s also the fantastic Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park which sometimes goes under the radar. Oh and let’s not forget the majestic Glenwood Caverns or the gorgeous Manitou Springs. Be it mountains, desert lands, ski slopes, plains, or lakes and reservoirs, Colorado has it all!
Crime Rate in Colorado
There’s no getting away from crime. But fortunately some states are safer than others. With Colorado, the violent crime rate stands at 3.81 per 1,000 residents, which fortunately is marginally lower than the national median of 4. However, the number of Property Crimes that take place in the state is 25.91 per 1,000 residents, which is higher than the US national median of 21. It all boils down to the city and neighborhood you live in.
Weather in Colorado
Considering the geography of Colorado, the climate of the state is understandably more complex than others in the US. The kind of weather you will experience depends upon the place you will be living in.
To understand the weather from a bird’s eye view, most of the state is dry with just 430 millimetres of rainfall per year, state wide. This leads to some part of Colorado always being in some stage of a drought.
However, in stark contrast to that, the mountainous regions receive a good amount of rainfall, especially in the winter. The water flowing from the Rocky Mountains is an important source for the farms and cities of New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and other south-western states.
The climatic situation is somewhat different in the Eastern plains. Summers here can go up to temperatures of 95 to 100 F (35 to 38 C). The humidity is low and the rainfall average. In winters, mornings can be 18 F (-8 C) and afternoons 48 F (9 C). These are the average January temperatures but March happens to be the snowiest here.
At other times, days are warm and nights are cold and clear. But coming to the front-range foothills, the weather easily changes in locations which are just a few miles away from each other. While it’s mostly semi-arid like the Eastern plains, at higher elevations, the climate is more alpine.
Is Colorado Expensive To Live In?
The cost of living in a state or a city is the most important thing to consider if you are considering moving there. While it’s not money that gives you the full experience of a place, the lack of it can prove to be a major obstruction to the view. But if you are considering moving to Colorado, luckily for you, the cost of living here is lesser than the US average.
Let’s start talking with taxes. Colorado has a flat income tax rate at 4.63%, which means that you will be paying the same income tax, irrespective of your income bracket.
Cost Of Living in Colorado
While it is true that Colorado has been getting more and more popular over the years, the cost of living has remained pretty affordable here. A salary of $6,000 to $8,000 per month should ensure you a comfortable life in the state.
As per ‘Hashtag Colorado Life’, a single person can spend between $340 to $400 in a month on food, which includes eating out. The national average is $320, so the cost of your food in Colorado is not very far from that. For a more accurate assessment, know that as per numbeo.com, a loaf of bread costs $2.30 and a dozen eggs would cost $2.75. A litre of milk would be $0.80 and 1kg of bananas is $1.83.
Last but not the least, you certainly have to assess the cost of healthcare in Colorado if you wish to live there. Colorado residents may have to pay $370 for a major healthcare plan. The prices and premiums may vary.
Buying A House
The median price of houses in Colorado is $430,000. The prices have been coming down a bit recently, but they are bound to be expensive if you choose to live in cities like Aspen, Denver, Boulder etc, cities, which half of the United States would love to live in. Colorado also happens to have a wealth of places like Costilla County, Saguache and a lot of rural towns that haven’t really experienced the real estate boom and the price of the houses would be on the lower scale.
Renting A House
The average cost of renting a 2-bedroom house in Colorado is $1,300. This is one of the few states where renting a house is cheaper than buying one, at least as far as 87% of its counties go. One thing to note is that in Colorado, you might not have a real estate agent to negotiate the rent for you with the landlord. You might be on your own. Other than that, this state is a budget renter’s dream.
Next to consider are the utility expenses. Something that might entice you towards moving to Colorado is that it is known to fall in the top 10 states with the least expensive utilities category. Compared to the US national average of approximately $398.24, here in Colorado, you would only have to spare $348.43 for your utilities.
One reason for the lower cost of utilities in Colorado could be that they consume less energy than other states. Most homes do not have air conditioning. As shocking as it might sound, you would be pleasantly surprised to notice that you don’t even need it. The natural air is more than enough to get you through the day.
Colorado is also the 6th largest natural gas producing state and it consumes only a quarter of it. These factors, combined with the fact that the homes in Colorado use furnaces and gas cooktops to keep warm in winter, maintain the cost of gas at a low rate throughout the state at all times.
However, keep in mind that the water bills in Colorado can be very high as the state recently started emerging out of a 20-year drought. So, you might not want to leave the tap running while you brush your teeth.
Colorado Economy And Employment Opportunities
Let’s start by saying that the median household income that was recorded in Colorado stands at $69,117 approximately. The state had its economy initially rooted in the mining sector, which eventually spread out to include agriculture and livestock. Currently, Colorado holds a significant share of the agriculture industry in terms of cattle, wheat, dairy products, corn and hay.
The state also houses many important federal facilities like the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), United States Air Force Academy, National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to name a few. Not to mention the four National Parks and the swathes of forest land, which take up 37% of the total area of the state. This is a major contributor to the state’s economy – the federal incomes.
Despite such impressive statistics, this is not the limit of Colorado’s economic avenues. While it is concentrated in science and technology, it has also diversified into food processing, machinery, chemical products and extraction of metals. Also, the state produces the largest quantity of beer annually in the United States. It is only fair to note how much the state’s geography attracts tourists from all over the country. The tourism industry generates $22.3 billion, as estimated in 2018, in Colorado.
While the prevalent and above-mentioned industries must have painted an estimable picture of the jobs available in the state, you would be surprised to know that the fastest growing jobs in Colorado include that of an interpreter, miner, personal care assistant, aesthetician, cement mason, information security analyst and physician assistant. This goes to show the progress Colorado has made in other areas and proves that there is something for everyone here.
The state has one of the best education rates in the entire country, with at least 38% holding a Bachelor’s degree and 14% holding a graduate or a professional degree. Colorado is home to some top-tier universities like University of Denver, University of Northern Colorado, Regis University and many more.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative, which is an American plan to identify qualifiable markers in English and Mathematics from kindergarten to high school, was adopted by the Colorado State Board of Education in 2010.
All in all, your children are in the hands of a good state when it comes to their education, be it school or university. Because it is not just the presence of exemplary institutions but the scientific bent of mind of the state that greatly encourages the value and perseverance of education in one’s life.
Getting Around Colorado
The transportation in Colorado is not very complicated. Let’s break it down to get a clear idea of what it would be like to travel in this state.
Air travel of a state is understood to be seamless when it houses the domestically fifth busiest airport which also happens to be the twentieth busiest in the world by passenger traffic. Denver International Airport is the most important connecting airport in the western United States.
Two railway lines function in Colorado, both run by Amtrak. They are the California Zephyr and Southwest Chief. Colorado has an integral vein of the US’ freight railroad network, with significant contributions to the economy.
Colorado has extensive inter and intra city bus services, including the RTD services by the Denver metro area. For those who prefer this mode of travel, there are a wide range of comfortable options available. The scenic Royal Gorge Route Railroad and The Georgetown Loop Railroad are just a couple of the examples.
This is the primary mode of transportation in all of Colorado. Interstate 25 is the main highway connecting the north-south part of the state, while I-25 is responsible for the east-west connection. All the vital points of the state are connected by this extensive system of roads which also includes a lot of smaller communities connected by county roads.
Read Also: Colorado DMV Change of Address
Best Cities In Colorado
The capital of Colorado, dating back to the old west, this is easily the centre of all that is Colorado. A city known for its high urban sophistication meeting the adventurous spirit of many, Denver is located close to the Rocky Mountains and has an amazing dining and music scene, along with some world class breweries.
The cost of a house in Denver is typically $484,000. Renting a house in Denver could cost you anywhere between $1,200 to $2,400, depending upon the locality you pick. As per RentCafe, $1,631 per month is the average rent in this marvelous city.
See also: Moving to Denver CO
2. Colorado Springs
The city is located at an elevation of 6,035 ft on the Eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains. It is a popular tourist destination, with its many trails, parks and rock formations and one of the most famous American mountains – the Pikes peak. Nicknamed ‘Little London’, Colorado Springs is the second most populous city of Colorado.
The median cost of a house in Colorado Springs is $384,000 whereas the cost of renting one would be $900 to $1,500, depending upon the locality. Just so you know, the average rent here is believed to be approximately $1,273 per month.
Another city at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, in northern Colorado, Boulder is located at an elevation of 5430 ft (1655 m). This city is home to the campus of the University of Colorado and is a high ranker in arts, health, quality of life and overall well-being of individuals. This is considered to be one of the safest cities in the country and the median age of the population is 28.7.
A 2-bedroom house in Boulder could be between $200,00-$400,000. Renting a house here would be around $1,800.
Is Moving To Colorado A Good Idea?
The entire state can be a literal dream to live in, considering the sceneries offered, the educative environment and the rich culture. Move to Colorado sure has its fair share of pros. Living in a big city like Denver and having natural beauties in close proximity is one of them. The only tip we would like to give is that consider the weather of the exact place that you would be going to, as Colorado is very diverse in its climatic conditions from location to location. It would also help if you also objectively assess your income with the living expenses of the place.