These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Colorado For 2018


We used science and data to determine which places in the Centennial State are the cream of the crop.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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Where are the best places in the state of Colorado?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Centennial State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Colorado.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 71 places in Colorado, we came up with this list of the best places:

  1. Louisville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Parker (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Erie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Superior (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Castle Rock (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Windsor (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Castle Pines (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Vail (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Broomfield (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Eagle (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Well, it looks like you should check out Louisville if you’re thinking of moving to Colorado — it’s the best the Centennial State has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Colorado.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Colorado reading, check out:

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Colorado

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Denver with a population of 663,303 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 71 cities, 101 towns, and 184 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Colorado

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Colorado across a number of criteria from one to 71, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Colorado”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Colorado.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Louisville at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Louisville, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 19,972
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $440,300 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (15th best)
More on Louisville: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Little Louisville, a city just outside of Boulder, has it made. It has the 15th lowest unemployment rate, and crime is far below average for Colorado. Residents here have great jobs, and the home price proves it’s a highly desirable location in the state, for those who can afford the high cost of living.

More good news: Louisville’s population has actually ticked down over the years, so you get to keep more for yourself. Maybe the secret is out now?

Parker, CO

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 48,442
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $330,800 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (13th best)
More on Parker: Real Estate| Data| Photos

If you want to live in the Denver area, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Town of Parker your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here. The population has doubled in the last 15 years, and is showing no signs up letting up.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy. Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Parker as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Parker.

Erie, CO

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 20,801
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $379,800 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (8th best)
More on Erie: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Things can’t get much better than in the town of Erie. The crime is the 2nd lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Erie make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.

While all of the other Denver suburbs to make the top of this list are on its south side, Erie is the only one that’s considered a northern suburb of Denver.

Erie also benefits from an active arts community.

Superior, CO

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 12,928
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $456,400 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (17th best)
More on Superior: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Superior is right next door to Louisville. The only real glaring differences between the two: Superior residents are far wealthier, but the crime is much higher. And unlike Louisville, people are flocking to Superior in droves, as the population has increased almost 40% since 2000.

Castle Rock, CO

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 53,789
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 10)
Median Home Value: $328,700 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (12th best)
More on Castle Rock: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Well, I guess technically 3.9% of Castle Rock residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 12th closest of any city in Colorado.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Castle Rock also ranked well for crime (15th) and median income ($93,153).

Windsor, CO

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 21,154
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $327,000 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (17th best)
More on Windsor: Real Estate| Data| Photos

The Town of Windsor might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Windsor isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $327,000 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Colorado.

If Windsor can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (4.3% is the 17th highest in the state.

Castle Pines, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,389
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $505,200 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (9th best)
More on Castle Pines: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there’s low crime and everyone is rich? That’s the case with Castle Pines, a small community a short drive south of Highlands Ranch.

Castle Pines was only incorporated eight years ago, in 2007, and things are already looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 9th lowest in Colorado and the median income comes in at $140,764.

Vail, CO

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 5,363
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 17)
Median Home Value: $556,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.4% (2nd best)
More on Vail: Real Estate| Data| Photos

In Vail, everyone loves to call Vail home! The median home value is the 1st highest in Colorado.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 2nd lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Centennial State.

Broomfield, CO

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 62,449
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $328,200 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (20th best)
More on Broomfield: Real Estate| Data| Photos

In Broomfield, everyone loves to call Broomfield home! The median home value is the 20th highest in Colorado.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 20th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Centennial State.

Broomfield should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

Eagle, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 6,603
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $416,300 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.1% (3rd best)
More on Eagle: Real Estate| Data| Photos

The tiny town of Eagle may not remain tiny forever. The word has been out for a long, long time about how special this place is. In fact, the population of 6,603 is double from what it was just 15 years ago.

The residents are heavily involved in making their community even more awesome, and as many Coloradoans know, Eagle is a great central spot for excursions that make Colorado one of the best states in the nation for outdoor sports.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Colorado

If you’re looking at areas in Colorado with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Louisville made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.

Best Towns To Live In Colorado

  1. Bow Mar (Pop. 1,047)
  2. Niwot (Pop. 4,588)
  3. Acres Green (Pop. 2,926)
  4. Meridian (Pop. 3,327)
  5. Columbine Valley (Pop. 1,190)
  6. Castle Pines Village (Pop. 4,518)
  7. Pine Brook Hill (Pop. 1,091)
  8. Frisco (Pop. 2,909)
  9. Inverness (Pop. 1,189)
  10. Lyons (Pop. 2,027)

Best Small Towns To Live In Colorado

  1. Sawpit (Pop. 31)
  2. Saddle Ridge (Pop. 63)
  3. Morgan Heights (Pop. 360)
  4. Bark Ranch (Pop. 224)
  5. Woody Creek (Pop. 272)
  6. Valmont (Pop. 55)
  7. Rock Creek Park (Pop. 57)
  8. Tall Timber (Pop. 173)
  9. Sunshine (Pop. 177)
  10. Crisman (Pop. 402)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Colorado according to the data:

  1. Pueblo (Pop. 108,385)
  2. Sheridan (Pop. 5,965)
  3. Federal Heights (Pop. 12,173)

For more Colorado reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Colorado

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Louisville 19,972 4.2% $440,300
2 Parker 48,442 4.0% $330,800
3 Erie 20,801 2.9% $379,800
4 Superior 12,928 4.3% $456,400
5 Castle Rock 53,789 3.9% $328,700
6 Windsor 21,154 4.3% $327,000
7 Castle Pines 10,389 3.0% $505,200
8 Vail 5,363 1.4% $556,600
9 Broomfield 62,449 4.5% $328,200
10 Eagle 6,603 2.1% $416,300
11 Monument 6,346 5.1% $333,000
12 Lone Tree 12,808 4.3% $521,000
13 Boulder 105,420 6.1% $554,500
14 Littleton 45,072 5.0% $314,100
15 Lafayette 27,053 5.0% $310,400
16 Centennial 107,862 4.6% $339,300
17 Estes Park 6,230 2.7% $342,000
18 Wellington 7,409 2.2% $226,300
19 Golden 20,268 4.8% $423,600
20 Firestone 11,709 6.4% $271,500
21 Aspen 6,788 6.2% $483,000
22 Fort Collins 157,251 6.6% $285,400
23 Steamboat Springs 12,336 5.1% $481,200
24 Durango 17,817 5.4% $383,500
25 Gypsum 6,729 2.2% $300,600
26 Avon 6,444 0.6% $369,700
27 Salida 5,430 3.2% $252,900
28 Loveland 73,360 5.6% $237,200
29 Woodland Park 7,180 7.8% $273,700
30 Frederick 10,791 3.7% $261,500
31 Westminster 111,770 6.3% $249,900
32 Carbondale 6,571 4.5% $448,000
33 Arvada 113,532 5.3% $278,100
34 Milliken 6,157 2.5% $196,400
35 Longmont 90,719 6.9% $272,100
36 Brush 5,458 9.6% $130,000
37 Thornton 130,511 4.5% $236,100
38 Wheat Ridge 31,044 5.5% $278,700
39 Craig 8,913 4.8% $167,000
40 Fountain 27,817 8.3% $193,000
41 Manitou Springs 5,217 7.0% $295,700
42 Fort Morgan 11,346 6.3% $125,300
43 Lakewood 149,793 5.4% $273,200
44 Fruita 12,790 9.5% $201,500
45 Colorado Springs 448,759 7.5% $222,100
46 Denver 663,303 5.4% $292,700
47 Northglenn 38,128 6.3% $201,400
48 La Junta 6,978 8.2% $91,200
49 Berthoud 5,766 6.6% $252,900
50 Evans 20,767 4.7% $159,300
51 Fort Lupton 7,814 6.6% $165,000
52 Glenwood Springs 9,806 5.3% $327,000
53 Brighton 36,307 5.0% $214,000
54 Gunnison 6,086 11.9% $217,200
55 Cortez 8,683 6.6% $149,600
56 Englewood 32,523 7.6% $238,400
57 Rifle 9,488 10.9% $211,000
58 Lochbuie 5,367 4.1% $169,500
59 Greeley 98,975 8.3% $183,300
60 Edgewater 5,278 12.9% $252,900
61 Grand Junction 60,630 9.3% $204,700
62 Montrose 19,016 9.5% $182,300
63 Aurora 351,131 7.0% $206,300
64 Sterling 13,976 8.7% $107,000
65 Delta 8,813 8.7% $152,900
66 Lamar 7,662 12.4% $77,600
67 Trinidad 8,280 8.5% $127,500
68 Alamosa 9,671 9.7% $142,700
69 Pueblo 108,385 10.8% $116,800
70 Sheridan 5,965 10.0% $151,500
71 Federal Heights 12,173 5.6% $42,200

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11 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Colorado For 2018

  1. Maybe you should add one more metric to your criteria … Ask people in Stonegate (or Columbine, or Highlands Ranch, or …) would they rather live in Vail (or one of OUR awesome suburbs), or where they currently live.

    I’ll betcha …

  2. This isn’t science. This is data mining and running an algorithm. And congrats, your top 10, it is basically a list of places native Coloradans hate. You found the highest concentration of Chili’s and malls. Maybe out east that’s your idea of a good time, but not here. As a Denver native, there is nothing I love more than open space, not the horrid burbs of Highlands Ranch.

    1. I’m not from Colorado, but we’re thinking of moving. This list and the one of the worst 10 places in Colorado is of no help at all. Darren, I agree completely with your opening statement – this is NOT science. This is using a personal opinion to analyze data. It’s biased, and it’s absolutely not science. The data itself is scientific, but the analysis is pure opinion, there is no objectivity at all.

      Almost no one likes a high crime rate and almost everyone wants good schools, sure, but high housing prices and high population density? Who actually likes that? I want to move to Colorado for it’s landscape, not to cram myself into another city. I can do that here in Atlanta.

      1. Rachel,
        My wife and I moved here from D.C. in 2014. You’re right, the metrics are not going to give you a clear picture. By and large, it’s hard not to view the scenery as impressive almost anywhere in the state, especially if you’re coming from a coastal area at sea level. You’re giving up ocean for mountains and sunny blue skies. My suggestion is to look for an Air BnB deal that allows you to visit for one or two weeks so that you can explore, not only Denver, but both Front Range towns and those on the Western Slope. We love Denver, but we’ve visited Louisville, Lafayette, Nederland, Buena Vista, Ahlamosa, Palisade, Grand Junction, Parker, Golden, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, and others. There’s something wonderful in each, but it’s a big state, and you’ll want to see it for yourself.

    1. I agree. And how do consensus areas even count? Plus you must be wealthy to live in any of them. I grew up in Boulder and all the people who have moved in over the last decade or two have ruined it and the Front Range.

  3. Seriously? Your #1 (Stonegate) is a subdivision in your #9 (Parker). That’s how well thought out this piece is.

  4. Also … there is no “downtown” Columbine. Columbine is a sub-division in western Littleton. The “downtown” is a busy intersection of stores and restaurants.

  5. Acres Green isn’t a town…it’s a subdivision in unincorporated Douglas County. This article was clearly NOT written by anyone who lives in the state. Several other errors, too, as others have stated….

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