If you love to hit the slopes, you’ll love living in Colorado. Maybe the access to so much nature and so many outdoor activities is why Colorado is the seventh healthiest state in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Good health and lovely landscapes may be why so many people are flocking to Colorado.
To better understand if living in the Centennial State is the right fit for you, keep reading to learn more about the cost of living in Colorado.
What’s the Average Cost of Living in Colorado?
Average Cost of Living in Colorado: $53,374 per year
Take a closer look at your budget before you decide to move to Colorado. MERIC data gathered in 2022 found that Colorado took the 34th spot in a cost-of-living ranking from lowest (Mississippi) to highest (Hawaii). The neighboring state of New Mexico (No. 19) would be a better fit for those looking to save on living expenses. Kansas (No. 3), to the east, is an even bigger bargain. What does the Colorado cost of living look like? According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis , the average total personal consumption cost in Colorado is $53,374 per year. This is what the average spending looks like across a variety of categories.
Average Annual Per-Capita Cost in Colorado
Housing and Utilities
Food and Beverages (non-restaurant)
Gas and Energy Goods
All Other Personal Expenditures
Housing Costs in Colorado
Average Housing Costs in Colorado: $1,282 to $2,309 per month
Colorado is home to more than 2.5 million housing units, which means you’ll have plenty of options. The big question is, can you afford rent or a mortgage in Colorado? Zillow reported Colorado’s typical home as $529,219 in February 2023.
How much you’ll pay for housing will depend on if you’re renting or buying and how large your rental is. Here’s what those prices look like according to 2021 census data:
Because prices can vary so much throughout the state, take a look at the typical home price in some of Colorado’s major cities, sourced from Zillow in January 2023:
Typical Home Price
Utility Costs in Colorado
Average Utility Costs in Colorado: $331 per month
It can get bone-chilling in Colorado, so you need to budget enough to keep the heat pumping in the winter. Here’s what the average utility spending looks like.
Average Colorado Bill
Cable & Internet
Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Sales, Revenue, and Average Price, 2021; Inspirecleanenergy.com; DoxoInsights, U.S. Cable & Internet Market Size and Household Spending Report 2022; and Rentcafe.com, What Is the Average Water Bill?
Groceries & Food
Average Grocery & Food Costs in Colorado: $342 per person, per month
We all need to eat, so it’s fair to wonder how much you should expect to spend on food in Colorado.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates Colorado’s average annual non-restaurant food cost per person to be $4,098, or about $342 per month. For a family of four, the grocery bill could be about $1,366 per month.
Where you live will play a role in how much you spend on food. The Council for Community and Economic Research, ranks food costs in major cities. These are the rankings for grocery costs for 2022, from lowest to highest.
Grocery Items Index
Average Transportation Costs in Colorado: $5,316 to $15,073 per year
Daily commutes, weekend ski trips with the family, and getting from place to place all cost money. How much you’ll spend on transportation in Colorado depends greatly on how many working adults are in your family and how many children you have.
Average Health Care Costs in Colorado: $7,364 per person, per year
Colorado residents spend an average of $7,364 a year on health care, according to the 2021 Bureau of Economic Analysis Personal Consumption Expenditures by State report.
Of course that average can vary, depending on individuals’ coverage and needs.
Average Child Care Costs in Colorado: $1,000 to $1,446 or more per child, per month
Child care can really eat up your budget, no matter where you live. The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program helps families who need child care so they can work, search for employment, or go through employment training in order to become self-sufficient.
These are the average child care costs you can expect to encounter in Texas, according to 2021 data from costofchildcare.org .
Type of Child Care
Average Cost Per Month, Per Child
Home-based Family Child Care
Tax Rate in Colorado: 4.40%
No matter what state we live in, we all follow the same format when it comes to federal income taxes. When it comes to state income taxes, all states have different state income tax rates (if any) and varying ways of calculating how much is owed.
Once you’re done paying the bills, hopefully you’ll have some spending money left over to enjoy some Colorado pleasures.
If, as the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates, personal expenditures total $30,385 a year, this is where some of that spending may be going (costs are accurate as of March 2023):
• If you want to practice rock climbing safely indoors before heading outside, check out the Boulder Rock Club, a popular local rock climbing gym: $25 day pass or $81 monthly membership
• The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs offers a wide variety of family fun: $25 for a gondola ride to the top of the mountain; $45 for a gondola ride and cave tours.
• For a fun and educational family day in Denver, stop by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science: Youth tickets are $17.95, adult tickets are $22.95, and senior tickets are $19.95.
How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Colorado?
How obtainable it is to live comfortably in a specific state will depend greatly on your family size and other factors. That said, don’t expect to get off easy in Colorado.
Colorado took the 43rd spot in U.S. News & World Report’s Affordability Rankings , which compare the average cost of living in each state with the average household income. Colorado fared much better in the previously mentioned MERIC study, where the state ranked 34th.
What City Has the Lowest Cost of Living in Colorado?
Looking for an affordable place to live in Colorado? Take some time getting to know the two major cities with lower cost of living from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index for 2022.
The most affordable major city in Colorado is Pueblo, with a cost-of-living index of just 97.2. Enjoy strolls on the stunning Riverwalk and take a break to enjoy one of the many local cafes or breweries.
With a cost-of-living index of 105.0, Colorado Springs is the third most affordable city in Colorado. This city is a nature lover’s dream and there is no shortage of hiking opportunities to help you blow off steam after work. On the weekends, enjoy some family time at the local zoo, museums, and parks. Colorado Springs is home to more than 60 attractions, so there’s no shortage of fun to be had!
Nature lovers will appreciate all the hiking, skiing, rafting, and biking Colorado affords. The cost of living in Colorado may be relatively steep, but it’s easy to see why you might want to move there and enjoy all that fresh mountain air.
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