With plenty of sunny days per year, the stunning Rocky Mountains, and legal marijuana, Colorado has plenty to offer residents and visitors. But it’s a big state, 8th largest overall, with a lot of variation in its cities, both in their character and their surroundings. So, which Colorado cities are the best to live in? Have a look at our top five picks.
Our choice for the Rocky Mountain state’s best city to live in is Louisville, a city of around 20,000 in Boulder County. Consistently ranked among the finest communities in the country, Louisville is a pleasant suburb with an ice rink and two of the oldest bars in the state.
Colorado’s #2 most livable city is Lafayette, another cozy Boulder County community with a colorful history and origins as a late 1900’s mining boom town. Today, Lafayette has left mining behind and residents enjoy a median household income above the national average.
Yet another Boulder County city, Longmont, is third in the ranking. With a population close to 95,000, Longmont is larger than the cities preceding it, yet shares a number of characteristics with its neighbors, including a high median household income, and fresh, clean mountain air. Longmont is notable for its booming craft brewing industry, with at least ten microbreweries operating in the city.
Colorado’s largest city, Denver, is #4 on our list. The Mile High City is one of just ten U.S. cities with five major sports teams.
Rounding out Colorado’s top 5 is Parker of Douglas County, located in the southeastern limits of the Denver Metropolitan Area. Parker is a great city for nature and outdoor recreation enthusiasts, with many paved trails suitable for hiking, cross-country skiing, and cycling.
Best Cities to Live in Colorado
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We ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment (number of establishments, median earnings); housing (owner-occupied housing with a mortgage, monthly housing costs); quality of life (work commute, poverty levels); education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health (obesity ratios).