Whether you're just starting to consider relocating for another state or you've already planned the logistics of your interstate move, uprooting your life and settling down somewhere new can be as stressful as it is exciting. To help you decide where to move and get to know your know state, our Where To Move in 2021 guide explores the unique attributes of some of the most popular states people move to, including cost of living, climate and geography, employment, and cultural attractions.
1. Fast facts
Find out where the over 238,000 Americans who moved to Colorado in 2018 relocated from.
We've collected data on house prices, household income, and cost of living for Denver.
Compare the Centennial State's average temperature and precipitation against the national average.
Discover the best cities in the state for jobs and top industries in Colorado.
Learn about Colorado's unique food and drink, arts and culture, outdoor activities, and sports.
|Total population: 5,758,736
Median age: 37.1
Largest city: Denver
Just under 239,153 Americans migrated to Colorado in 2018. Where do people come from?
2. Cost of Living in Colorado
*Cost of living data is not available at the state level. In this article, cost of living data is based on the largest city in the state.
House prices in Denver are about 38% above the national average.
The median household income is also higher than the national average, at just over $68,500 annually (compared to $65,712). Despite a significantly lower cost for basic utilities, the overall cost of living is almost 7% higher than the national average.
Here's how the cost of living in Denver breaks down:
Cost of Living
|Denver, CO||United States||Difference|
|Basic utilties (based on 915 sq ft apartment)||$80.99||$162.98||-101.2%|
|Food (per person, monthly)||$304.85||$323.75||-6.2%|
2. Colorado Climate and Geography
Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado has the highest average elevation of any state, with over 50 peaks that reach or exceed 14,000 feet. In the western reaches of the Centennial State, the Colorado Plateau—formed by the Colorado River—is characterized by high plateaus and deep canyons.
Thanks to its inland location and rapid elevation changes, Colorado experiences a varied climate—some areas of the state see 300 days of sunshine per year, but temperatures can vary widely from day to night, as well as over short distances.
- Mount Elbert: The highest peak in the state, reaching 14,431 feet tall.
- Colorado River: The Colorado River (responsible for creating the Grand Canyon) originates in Colorado and continues south.
- Western Continental Divide: The Western Continental Divide also passes through Colorado on its way south.
4. Employment in Colorado
Forbes ranks Colorado as the 9th best state in the country for businesses, with 1.9% job growth.
Three cities made WalletHub’s list of the best cities for jobs—all in the top 75—with Colorado Springs leading in the #9 position.
- THE GOOD: Colorado Springs has the highest employment growth in the country. Its economy is heavily influenced by the military thanks to a significant number of defense corporations and bases in the area, including NORAD and the US Air Force Academy.
- THE BAD: The cost of doing business in Colorado is 8.1% higher than the national average.
Here’s how all three cities rank:
Top industries in Colorado include:
- Aerospace and defense
- Information technology
Major employers and corporations with headquarters in Colorado include:
- Progressive Insurance
- Lockheed Martin
- Gray Line Worldwide
- RE/MAX International
- Western Union
5. Colorado Culture and Entertainment
Food and drink
Colorado is a haven for lovers of craft brew, with 217 craft breweries to sample. Only Washington and California have more. Also worth trying in the Centennial State: upgrading to a bison burger, green chili on anything, Palisade peaches (hailing from Palisade, the Peach Capital of Colorado, boasting a 182-day growing season), and for the bravest among us, rocky mountain oysters.
Arts and culture
Art, film, and theater buffs will be more than occupied in the Centennial State. Fans of live music can’t miss Red Rocks Amphitheater—this natural stone formation near Morrison, CO, just 15 miles out of Denver, provides ideal acoustics for live performances. Shows are put on often in a range of genres from opera to rock. The Telluride Film Festival, Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder, and Aspen Music Festival are also worth a visit.
Colorado is the 5th most active state in the country, and it’s no wonder thanks to the huge range in geography. Check out:
- Colorado’s many national parks, including Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, and Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Mount Evans Scenic Byway, located near the mining town of Idaho Springs, is the highest paved road in North America.
- Relax in natural hot springs, such as Strawberry Parks.
- Go whitewater rafting down the Arkansas River
- Hike the Colorado Trail—it spans over 500 miles of the state, with trails for both beginner and seasoned hikers
- Hit the slopes—ski season starts in November and can last as long as the 4th of July
The Colorado Rockies (MLB), Denver Nuggets (NBA), Colorado Avalanche (NHL) and Denver Broncos (NFL) will keep pro sports fans occupied throughout the year.