Living in Colorado
With over 5 million residents, Colorado’s excellent quality of life helps attract people from all over the world. A combination of stunning scenery, recreational opportunities, moderate climate, world-class arts and culture, safe streets, and excellent health care and schools make Colorado an ideal place to call home.
- Three of the best small towns to live in the US are in Colorado: Castle Rock, Centennial and Boulder (Money Magazine, 2014)
- Louisville ranked #2 in Money magazine’s 2014 ‘Best Places to Live’ list. Parker and Firestone also ranked in the Top 50 nationwide.
- The Harris Poll’s most popular places to live feature ranked Colorado the 5th most popular state (2013)
- Denver was ranked the 5th best city to live, and Colorado Springs was ranked the 36th best city to live in by Bloomberg Business Week (2013)
- Denver is ranked the 4th fittest city (American College of Sports Medicine, 2014)
Colorado has some of the most wonderful weather you can ask for. If you want to ski in the morning and play golf in the afternoon, it’s the place for you. Low humidity keeps the summers nice and warm without being uncomfortable and over 300 sunny days a year make anyone who loves getting outdoors happy. Elevation changes make for a quick drive up the mountains when you need some cool weather even in the middle of the summer. Most homes do not need air conditioning and winters are nice and manageable even on snowy days. The state is well equipped to clear roads quickly when the snow falls.
Arts & Culture
Colorado is a national leader in funding for the arts. There is broad public and private support of the arts and cultural resources. Museums such as the Denver Arts Museum, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Clyfford Still Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art Denver are beautiful places to visit and enjoy the classic and modern visual arts. The Denver Performing Arts Complex is the second largest arts campus of its kind in the nation. It is also the home to Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Opera Colorado, Denver Center Theater Company and the Colorado Ballet.
Recreation and Sports
Colorado is known for its natural beauty and abundance of recreational opportunities. There are ten national parks that provide great outdoor recreational opportunities. Colorado has 42 state parks that offer boating, hiking, swimming, snowmobiling, camping, picnicking, fishing, biking and hunting. Skiing is the most popular recreational activity in the state with your choice of 26 world class ski resorts.
If you are more interested in observing others take on physical challenges instead of participating yourself, you can always watch one of the numerous professional sports teams Colorado is home to. Seven professional sports teams call Colorado their home: Colorado Avalanche (NHL), Colorado Mammoth – Lacrosse (NLL), Colorado Rapids (MLS), Colorado Rockies (MLB), Denver Broncos (NFL), Denver Nuggets (NBA), Denver Outlaws – Lacrosse (MLL).
Industry and Education
Colorado leads the nation in advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, defense, and creative industries such as design, film and media. The state ranks second in the nation for private sector aerospace employment and has four military commands: Air Force Space Command, Army Space Command, NORAD and US NORTH COMM and three space-related Air Force bases. Colorado is also considered the “Wall Street of the West” with one of the few areas outside of the Northeast with a substantial financial services industry in three key market segments: banking and finance, investments, and insurance. Colorado also ranks 2nd in the nation in the number of citizens with a bachelor’s degree. Colorado has 178 school districts with an enrollment of over 877,000 students. The state also has the highest percentage of high school graduates achieving ACT and SAT scores in the top 20th percentile for each test. There are over 470 institutes of higher education in the state as well.
Cost of Living
According to the Council for Community and Economic Research, Colorado’s average cost of living is 30% below east and west coast cities. The income tax rate in Colorado is a flat 4.63%, regardless of what your income level is. Colorado taxes are based on taxable income instead of adjusted gross income as is what is common in most states. State sales tax is 2.9% on retail sales and full-year Colorado residents can claim a sales tax refund on their individual state income tax returns.