Colorado is America’s eighth-largest state, and it’s 21st most populous. With vast areas of outstanding natural beauty, the Centennial State is generally near the top of the list when people are looking to make a healthy change in their lives. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Here we take a look at some of the pros and cons of living in Colorado.
The Advantages of Living in Colorado
1.) Outstanding natural beauty. Perhaps the most striking thing about Colorado is the variety and beauty of the natural environments you can find. Colorado contains most of the southern Rocky Mountains, some of the Colorado Plateau, the western edge of the Great Plains, and deserts and sand dunes to the south. 37% of the state is national parks, and it attracted 85.2 million tourists in 2018.
2.) A healthy economy. The state’s economy is widely diversified, meaning there are lots of opportunities in different industries. It’s notable for the concentration of government facilities conducting scientific research. In fact, the government is one of the biggest employers in the state. Other industries include food processing, transportation equipment, machinery, chemical products, and metal mining. Colorado can also boast of having the most significant annual production of beer of any state.
3.) The median income is good. Median household income is around $70,000 a year, while the median individual salary is at $52,000. Those figures put Colorado in 11th place in the US, which is pretty amazing considering you can enjoy the beauty of the surroundings and earn a decent wage without living in a never-ending urban sprawl.
4.) Pro sports are a big deal. The Broncos in football represent Colorado, the Nuggets in Basketball, the Rockies in Baseball, and the Rapids in soccer. If you’re into watching major league sport, then Denver is the place for you.
5) Liberal in nature. Colorado is a swing state, so whatever your politics, you can find an area that you feel comfortable in. Generally speaking, it is a liberal-leaning state, which is most evident in its legalization of marijuana for medical, industrial, and recreational use.
6.) The quality of medical care. According to the US Department for Health, Colorado is a top-ten ranking state for healthcare quality, which means it’s not only beautiful but takes good care of its citizens.
7.) A varied climate. The variety of topography in the state means there’s something for everyone, and since the whole state is very high above sea level, there is no humidity in the air, unlike many other states in the US.
8.) Healthy living. Colorado is reportedly the least obese state in the US, and according to a United Health Foundation report in 2017, ranked third overall in terms of the wellbeing of its residents.
The Disadvantages of Living in Colorado
1.) It’s an expensive place to live in. The cost of living is higher than it is in most other states, and population growth and a booming economy have resulted in a spike in house and rental prices. Ski resorts have also bumped up prices in local communities, affecting residents who depend on the tourism industry.
2.) It’s becoming overcrowded. The very same booming economy and healthy outdoor living have meant Colorado’s popularity is on the increase. Some long-time residents have complained of overcrowding and traffic congestion. Unfortunately, a one-hour drive can become a six-hour nightmare, as rush hour seems to be a permanent thing unless you travel at night.
3.) New residents are unwelcome. As a result of the first two items on this ‘cons’ list, new residents are not always received well by locals in Denver and other metropolitan areas. Many residents blame new arrivals for the unavailability of housing and its high cost. In rural areas, you’re likely to be more accepted, as long as you contribute in some way.
4.) The housing market. The major problem in Colorado is related to the speed at which house prices are on the rise when compared to the rate of inflation. There might be a lot of work, but wages don’t match the cost of an entry-level house anymore.
5.) Lawless driving. It seems the people of Colorado are speed demons. Their highway speed limit of 75mph is not often respected, and if you are the unfortunate soul in the fast lane respecting the speed limit and someone comes up behind you, you can expect to receive a certain level of abuse.
6.) Earthquakes. Colorado does experience fairly frequent, low-level earthquakes. They are generally between 2 and 5 on the Richter scale, and don’t often cause much damage, but still, it might be something to consider when thinking about moving to the state.