If you love beautiful scenery, staying active and a cold environment, the Centennial State is definitely the place for you!
Of course you don’t have to love all of these things to enjoy living in the state. But, Colorado’s mountains, green fields and gorgeous, colorful seasons are enough to entice anyone to move here.
Things to Know Before Moving to Colorado
With its beautiful and dramatic landscape, it’s no wonder why so many people visit Colorado all year long. The local mountain towns are perfect for any skiers, snowboarders, hikers and mountain bikers.
For a more relaxed experience, a day drive through the state’s landscape is another great way to see Colorado. Stop by one of the many national parks to see where the dinosaurs once roamed. Incredible snow-covered mountains and rolling streams and rivers are also sure to make an appearance.
A surprising fact about Colorado is the dog policy, as the state is known for being an extremely “dog-friendly” state. This means that dogs are generally welcome at parks, concerts, stores, cafes, banks and even some business offices. Having your furry friend accompany you around town is a huge draw for many animal lovers.
Another interesting aspect of this state is the legalization of marijuana. Back in 2012, Coloradans voted to allow the personal use of marijuana for adults. It is regulated in a similar way to alcohol. On January 1, 2014, the first recreational marijuana stores opened their doors to all legal pot-smokers in the state.
If you’re moving to Colorado, make sure you aren’t a litterbug. One of the reasons the state is so beautiful is because its residents take great pride in keeping it that way. No true Coloradans litter, and it is very common to see others picking up any trash that they see.
Most towns in Colorado are considered slow pace. This is especially true in the monotone towns. Since the pace is relaxed, it is commonplace to greet both neighbors and strangers passing by.
If you are a friendly and outgoing person, Colorado will definitely be the place for you!
According to the United States Census Bureau, the estimated population of Colorado as of July 1, 2016 was 5,540,545. This is a 10.17 percent increase from the 2010 census.
The state capital of Denver is the most populated city in Colorado. It was established on December 3, 1850, and the estimated population is around 650,000.
Next up is Colorado Springs located in El Paso County. This city was incorporated on June 19, 1886. The estimated population is 440,000.
The third most populated city in Colorado is Aurora. Incorporated on May 5, 1903, Aurora has an estimated 345,000 people.
The climate in Colorado is unique. Unlike most places, the southern parts of Colorado aren’t always warmer than the northern parts. Additionally, most of the state is made up of mountains and valleys, which can affect climate. Fortunately for those planning a move to Colorado, the most extreme weather usually takes place in the least populated parts of the state.
In the spring and summer, thunderstorms commonly occur east of the Continental Divide. These storms usually pass quickly. The Eastern Plains area boasts some of the biggest hailstorms in North America, and they are also part of Tornado Alley.
Colorado has very low humidity, which makes the winters milder than you may expect. Colorado has over 300 days of sunshine a year, and it is very rare for Coloradans to go longer than a week without seeing the sun.
Since the humidity levels are low, the summer weather doesn’t get too unbearable. This is due to the altitude of the state, which sits exactly one mile above sea level. The temperature in Colorado during summer is usually around 86 degrees.
Having a car is favorable for navigating around Colorado. The one thing to keep in mind with driving is the cost of gas. A gallon of gas is around $2.76 in Colorado, which is about 5% higher than the rest of the country.
If you would prefer to save money on transportation, there is a public transit system. Located in Denver, a monthly local pass will cost you around $80 or $140 for the express service. If you are planning to travel outside of the Denver area, the regional pass will cost you around $180.
The primary method of transportation in Colorado is the highway system. I-25 runs north and south in the state, and I-70 runs east and west. The Colorado highways provide access to the main areas across the state. Like most places, the smaller areas are connected by county roads.
Housing Market in Colorado
Real estate pricing
Since the recession, it seems that most Colorado homes have regained their value. The average cost of a home in Colorado is around $335,100.
According to Zillow, the cost of homes here have gone up 9.9 percent in the past year. In addition, they predict this cost will increase 4 percent more in the next year.
When most people think of Colorado, they envision mountain homes and ski cabins. But that’s not always the case. After the housing market took a dip during the recession, owning a home in Colorado is much more cost-efficient these days.
The average price of a single-family home has reached almost $400,000, which is almost a 10.7 percent jump from a year earlier. The price of condos are around $245,000 which is up 13.7 percent from a year ago.
Since purchasing a home can be extremely costly in Colorado, renting may be more your style. The cost of rent here is higher than the U.S. average, but not the most expensive in the country.
The average studio apartment in Colorado costs around $1,039 a month to rent. This is $22 cheaper than the average studio in the country. For a one bedroom apartment, rent will cost you about $1,147. Two bedrooms rent for around $1,396 a month.
Safety and Crime
The crime rate in Colorado recently increased by 3.4 percent. In 2016, the crime rate in Colorado was 11 times higher than the 0.3 percent average increase of the 30 largest cities in the country.
According to reports, the most dramatic increase in crime rates was motor vehicle thefts, which increased 22 percent from 2015.
Financial Living in Colorado
In 2015, the median household income in Colorado was around $63,909. This rate is about $8,134 higher than the U.S. average.
In addition, the average family income in 2015 was listed at $78,384, which is almost $10,124 higher than the national average.
Cost of Living
If you are moving to a larger city in Colorado, you’ll want to make sure you can maintain your standard cost of living. The living wage calculator in Denver County for one adult was $12.24 an hour.
The personal income tax in Colorado is 4.63% of your federal taxable income, regardless of income level. The sales tax here is 2.9% on retail sales, but some counties can add their own taxes to this amount. Luckily, not all of them choose to do this.
Good news for health nuts! Coloradans are considered to have the lowest obesity rate in the U.S. In fact, the residents of Colorado have an average estimated life expectancy of 80.21 years, which is the longest of any state in the country!
For when you do need to visit the doctor or hospital, this cost may be higher than you’re used to. According to Castlight Health, the average price for a primary care visit is $134 in Denver, Colorado. This price can range from $120 to $205 depending on the area and insurance.
Colorado Job Market
There is an outstanding business environment in Colorado. In fact, many large companies such as Progressive Insurance and Lockheed Martin have set up shop here.
In general, job candidates in Colorado are very talented and educated, and the operating costs are low.
The job market in Colorado is very competitive between employers who are regularly looking for qualified applicants. They entice potential employers with high salaries, great benefits and bonuses.
And, the unemployment rate in Colorado is lower than the national average! This is all great news for people looking for work in Colorado.
There is a significant amount of hydrocarbon resources located in Colorado. In fact, Colorado hosts seven of the country’s largest natural gas fields, and two of the largest oil fields. The oil shale deposits here, forming a staggering 1 trillion barrels of oil. This is almost the same amount of oil we have in the entire world’s oil reserves.
Another popular industry in Colorado is uranium. The uranium industry has seen some ups and downs over the years, but it does continue to this day. Behind Wyoming and New Mexico, Colorado has the third largest uranium reserves.
After adopting the 64th state amendment in 2013, Colorado became the first state in the country to legalize the medicinal, industrial and recreational use of marijuana. The marijuana industry in Colorado generated $996 million in sales in 2015.
Any adult in Colorado can have up to one pouch of pot on them at any time. This is also true for out of state visitors. If you are looking to purchase some marijuana from a dispensary, Denver is the place to go. These stores are required to close by 7pm each night.
Food and Culture
If you consider yourself a foodie, you’re in luck in Colorado! The most common cuisine in the state is influenced by the Southwest and the Rocky Mountains.
Boulder, Colorado was named the “Foodiest Town in America” by Bon Appetit in 2010. It is home to a number of national food chains, luxury restaurants and farmer’s markets. As for Aspen, Colorado, the Food & Wine Classic is held here every June. In addition, Aspen is known as the culinary capital of the Rocky Mountain region.
Attractions in Colorado
People in Colorado love to keep active. With that said, there is always something to do and see in this state.
Red Rocks Amphitheater
The Red Rocks Amphitheater is built into the side of a giant rock and has been labeled one of the most spectacular venues in the world. There are shows in the amphitheater almost every night in the summer. Colorodans flocks to check out the gorgeous sunset each night.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park also gets plenty of visitors each year. It is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. The mountains here are home to tons of wildlife and greenery.
There are over 100 peaks here that reach over 10,000 feet high. The highest in the park, Longs Peak, is 14,259 feet high. The park is a very popular spot for hiking, camping, horseback riding and rock climbing.
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is registered as a National Natural Landmark. This attraction boasts a unique landscape of rock towers that jut 300 feet out from the earth. There are over 15 miles of trails here that allow you to get up close and personal with nature.
Another well known spot in Colorado is Vail. Huge crowds flock to the city’s slopes each winter, but this spot will impress during any season. One of the top ski resorts in the state, Vail has an array of luxury hotels and restaurants. If you need a break from skiing, shopping at one of the event designer stores at the resort is always fun.
Universities and Schools
There are plenty of awesome universities and colleges in Colorado. Whether you’re looking for undergraduate or graduate programs, there is something for every student in Colorado.
University of Colorado Boulder
Founded in 1876 is the beautiful University of Colorado Boulder. This non-profit college has the urban-setting of a large town. There are about 35,000-39,000 students who enroll here each year.
Colorado State University
Located in Fort Collins is Colorado State University. It was founded in 1870 and each year about 35,000 to 39,000 students enroll. This school offers around 65 fields of study for a bachelor’s degree, and 55 fields for a master’s degrees.
The University of Denver
Stabled in 1864, The University of Denver is the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region. Each year around 5,600 undergraduates and 6,000 graduate students attend. The campus is decorated with historic buildings, with one dating back to 1890!
Colorado Sports Teams
If you’re a sports lover, moving to Colorado is a great choice! Not only are the people very passionate about activities like hiking and skiing, but they also love their teams!
There are five major sports teams in Colorado, all of which are located in Denver. These include:
- Denver Broncos (NFL)
- Colorado Rockies (MLB)
- Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
- Colorado Rapids (MLS)
- Denver Nuggets (NBA)
Coloradans are extremely healthy people and their active lifestyle reflects this. In fact, in 2014, Colorado was rated the second least obese state in the entire country!
There is always something to do to stay active in Colorado. Hiking, skiing, climbing and running are all great ways to keep in shape, while also taking in the gorgeous sites.
From November to around July 4th, ski season is in full swing in Colorado. Luckily the roads are regularly cleared each day, but you should always be prepared for an impromptu snowstorm in Colorado. Residents love to take advantage of the snowy climate by skiing the countless slopes the state has to offer.
Politics & Religion
Over the last 100 years, Colorado has elected 17 Democrats and 12 Republicans to the governorship. In fact, until President Barack Obama was elected, Colorado has historically voted Republican in every Presidential Election since 1964.
Colorado has had a Democratic governor for 22 of the past 30 years.
The majority of the people in Colorado identify as Christian, with 64% of the population identifying as Christian.
Broken down further, 44% are Protestants, 19% are Roman Catholic and 3% are Mormon. The Jewish religion makes up 2% of the population, and 1% are Muslim.
History of Colorado
Named after the Colorado River, the territory of Colorado was founded on February 28, 1861. In 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant admitted Colorado as the 38th state. Colorado is referred to as the “Centennial State” because it was established as a state 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The history in Colorado dates back over 13,000 years, when the state was inhibited by Native Americans. Artifacts have been found that date back to 11200 B.C. to 3000 B.C.
The Mesa Verde has an amazing four-story city carved into the cliffs that is said to be done by the Ancestral Pueblo people, sometime between 600 A.D. and 1300 A.D.
The Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument was home to the Guffey Volcano. It erupted millions of years ago, leaving behind historical fossils and petrified trees.
So, How Are You Getting to Colorado?
When relocating to a new state, things can certainly get stressful. Whether you are getting there by plane or car, you’ll want to make sure your personal belongings arrive safely as well.
Finding a reputable moving company will make your move quick and painless. Most moving companies offer solutions to your basic moving needs — but some go above and beyond to make moving a breeze!