What is the cost of living in Colorado?
From housing to utilities and transport, this article dives into the cost of living in Colorado.
In Colorado, the cost of living for a single person is approximately $2,061, while for a family of four, it is closer to $3,726.
Average house prices fluctuate across the state; the average home costs just over $571,000 in Denver and just over $1 million in Boulder.
If you own your home or are renting in Colorado, you can expect to pay an average of $330 in utility bills across gas, electric, water, and internet.
Transportation costs can add up quickly if you need to go far in Colorado or travel out of state; a single adult can expect to pay over $5,000 per year on transport costs.
Colorado has a flat rate of income tax at 4.4 percent.
What's the average cost of living in Colorado?
Colorado is one of the fastest-growing states in the US in terms of population. The cost of living there is very much situationally dependent, with factors like exact location, career, and household size having a significant impact. It can be expensive.
According to Uncover Colorado, a single person can expect an average monthly living cost of $2,061 (equating to around $24,732 annually), while a family of four can expect an average monthly living cost of $3,726 (equating to about $44,700 annually).
How much does housing cost in Colorado?
Suppose you're planning to rent a one-bedroom or two-bedroom property in Colorado. In that case, you'll find the average rental cost in the state to be between $1,225 and $1,923 monthly, dependent on property size and specific location.
If you're hoping to purchase a property — or simply looking for a broader view of the housing market so that you can determine which places might offer more affordable rates of rent — we've outlined the average property purchase cost in Colorado's 20 most heavily populated cities:
|Area of Colorado||Average home cost|
In addition, understanding these costs in relation to the average salary in Colorado is crucial for realistic budgeting.
How much are utility costs in Colorado?
In Colorado, you can expect to pay over $300 per month for your utility bills.
The table below breaks down the average utility costs across your water, gas, electricity, and cable bills:
|Utility||Average bill amount in Colorado per month|
|Cable and internet||$71|
How much do groceries cost in Colorado?
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the estimated grocery bill for an average family of four in Colorado is $1,366 per month.
When shopping, you'll find prices are much the same as elsewhere in the United States.
|Food item||Average cost in Denver||Average cost in Colorado Springs||Average cost in Fort Collins|
|Milk (1 liter)||$1.02||$1.06||$1.05|
|Apples (2 lb)||$4.77||$3.71||$4.09|
|Potatoes (2 lb)||$2.55||$1.48||$1.87|
|2l of coca-cola||$2.99||$2.88||$2.36|
*Prices are correct as of October 2023
How much does transportation cost in Colorado?
Colorado is a large state, occupying around the same landmass as New Zealand.
Transportation costs can add up quickly if you need to go far in Colorado or travel out of state.
MIT's Living Wage Calculator provides some useful annual estimates for different household sizes:
|Scenario||Annual transportation expenditure|
|One adult, no children||$5,316|
|One adult, one child||$9,561|
|One adult, two children||$11,691|
|Two adults (one working), no children||$9,561|
|Two adults (one working), one child||$11,691|
|Two adults (one working), two children||$14,058|
|Two adults (two working), no children||$9,561|
|Two adults (two working), one child||$11,691|
|Two adults (two working), two children||$14,058|
How much does healthcare cost in Colorado?
Healthcare costs in Colorado will vary depending on the type of health insurance you have and what your plan covers, your exact location, your age, and the state of your health. MIT estimates:
|Scenario||Annual healthcare expenditure|
|One adult, no children||$2,964|
|One adult, one child||$9,385|
|One adult, two children||$9,395|
|Two adults (one working), no children||$6,754|
|Two adults (one working), one child||$9,395|
|Two adults (one working), two children||$9,321|
|Two adults (two working), no children||$6,754|
|Two adults (two working), one child||$9,395|
|Two adults (two working), two children||$9,321|
How much does childcare cost in Colorado?
Childcare costs can have a huge impact on your cost of living. The Economic Policy Institute found that the average annual cost of infant care in Colorado is $15,325 - $1,277 a month. This is 9.8 percent more than the average rent in the state.
For older children, costs are slightly lower. The average cost for child care for a 4-year-old is $12,390 or $1,032 per month.
The table below breaks down the estimated cost of annual childcare expenses based on different family scenarios using data from MIT:
|Scenario||Annual childcare expenditure|
|One adult, no children||$0|
|One adult, one child||$12,000|
|One adult, two children||$24,001|
|Two adults (one working), no children||$36,001|
|Two adults (one working), one child||$0|
|Two adults (one working), two children||$0|
|Two adults (two working), no children||$0|
|Two adults (two working), one child||$12,000|
|Two adults (two working), two children||$24,001|
|Two adults (two working), three children||$36,001|
How much will I pay in taxes in Colorado?
Every US taxpayer has to abide by state tax laws and federal tax laws. For example, in Colorado, state income tax is charged at a flat rate of 4.4 percent across the board rather than a progressive rate. This figure used to be 4.55 percent but was reduced from the 2022 tax year onwards.
On top of this, you'll also need to account for your federal income tax, for which the IRS currently enforces seven different rate brackets:
|Federal income tax rate||Single Person/Registered Domestic Partner (Filing Separately)||Married Person/Registered Domestic Partner (Filing Jointly)/Qualifying Widower||Head of Household|
|10 percent||$0 to $11,000||$0 to $22,000||$0 to $15,700|
|12 percent||$11,001 to $44,725||$22,001 to $89,450||$15,701 to $59,850|
|22 percent||$44,726 to $95,375||$89,451 to $190,750||$59,851 to $95,350|
|24 percent||$95,376 to $182,100||$190,751 to $364,200||$95,351 to $182,100|
|32 percent||$182,101 to $231,250||$364,201 to $462,500||$182,101 to $231,250|
|35 percent||$231,251 to $578,125||$462,501 to $693,750||$231,251 to $578,100|
|37 percent||$578,126 or more (Single Person/Registered Domestic Partner)||$346,876 or more (Married Person/Registered Domestic Partner Filing Separately)||$693,751 or more||$578,101 or more|
Colorado also taxes corporate income at 4.4 percent. There is then a 2.9 percent state sales tax statewide and local sales tax rates ranging up to 8.3 percent (with an average combined sales tax rate of 7.78 percent) to account for.
How can I manage my cost of living in Colorado?
If you want to get a better handle on your finances, a financial advisor can help you better manage your money. They will work with you to create a plan based on your unique circumstances.
You can find a financial advisor perfectly suited to meet your unique needs with Unbiased. Answer a few questions, our match flow will find an SEC-regulated financial advisor for you. Get started here.
How much does it cost to live in Colorado?
These numbers will help you confirm whether or not Colorado matches up to your financial needs and goals, as well as your lifestyle needs and goals.
You are the best place to tell yourself whether you can live comfortably in Colorado, in your specific economic situation, and with your particular money personality.
For further guidance on managing your finances, we're here to help. Connect with an Unbiased advisor today.
Senior Content Writer
Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.