What’s the cost of living in Colorado?
If you’re considering moving to Alaska, you’ll need to know what your money will buy. From housing to utilities and transport, take a look at the true cost of living.
Colorado is one of the most popular US states to visit, with many choosing to settle down and relocate there once they've seen the special location first-hand. From community to adventures in the mountains, a lot might appeal to you about this state. But does it align with your wider financial plan?
This article should give you a clear understanding of how much it costs, on average, to live in Colorado. From the smaller factors like transportation and childcare right through to the larger ones, like taxes and housing, explore the details below.
What's the Average Cost of Living in Colorado overall?
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).
Housing Costs 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|
Utility costs in Colorado
|Utility||Average bill amount in Colorado|
|Cable and internet||Costs can start from $20 monthly|
Groceries and Food Costs in Colorado
There's no big headline news for this cost-of-living factor. So, when you're 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 Aurora||Average cost in Fort Collins|
|Apples (10.5 oz)||$1.56||$1.72||$1.13||$1.92|
|A potato (7 oz)||$0.58||$0.49||$0.33||$0.50|
|A head of lettuce||$0.39||$0.43||$0.60||$0.40|
Transportation Costs 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|
Healthcare Costs 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|
Childcare Costs in Colorado
MIT estimates the following costs:
|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 much money do you need to live comfortably 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 regarding the financial facts and figures, we're here to help. Connect with an Unbiased advisor today for clarity concerning tomorrow.
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.