Welcome to the Wild West, and one of the most scenic Mountain States, Colorado. Full of outdoor and winter activities, and with a rich history of self-governance and new development, Colorado is a unique and beautiful place to live.
This list of the safest cities in Colorado will help you decide if you’re up for the adventure of relocating while still feeling secure. Compare your needs and wants for yourself and your family with the potential earnings, safety, and housing costs included in all of our selections.
The Centennial state has something for everyone—with a dry climate that offers hot summers and snowy winters, it’s every outdoor lover’s dream.
Is Colorado a Good State to Live in – About Colorado
Colorado is located in the Western United States, and it borders New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah. It’s one of the most beautiful states in America, with the Rocky Mountains taking up most of the western part of this state, and it currently has 5,758,736 residents.
Upon discovery, Spanish explorers decided to name the territory after the Colorado river that passed through the site. Because of its red, muddy hue, the river was called “colored red.” Colorado’s nickname is the Centennial State because it officially became a state when the U.S. turned one hundred years old.
The Quality of Life and Cost of Living in Colorado
As one of the faster-growing states in America, the cost of living for Colorado is rising. Currently, the median household income sits at $72,331, and the per capita earnings are around $38,226. Around 9% of residents live in poverty.
Colorado has a bit of a reputation when it comes to safety. Its crime rate is 2,972 per 100,000 residents, and only 15 states have a higher crime rate. As such, knowing which city to move to can make a huge difference in your experience of this beautiful American treasure.
The Safest Cities in Colorado for 2021
The City of Lamar is the county seat of Prowers County, Colorado. It’s a Home Rule Municipality, which means it’s self-governing, and it currently has 7,655 residents.
The city received its name in honor of Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar II, a slaveholder and the Secretary of the Interior. He was notorious for passionately opposing African-American voting rights, and throughout its history, Lamar has been affected by floods, fires, and the Dust Bowl, which derailed its population growth.
Today, Lamar is one of the safest cities in Colorado. Its crime rate is 1,076 per 100,000 residents, and in 2019, the police reported 82 property crimes and zero violent offenses.
Despite the low crime rate, the quality of life in Lamar is not the highest, with more than 18% of the town’s residents living in poverty. The median household income is way above the Colorado average at $40,826, but per capita earnings are just $21,861.
The median gross rent is about $500 lower than the state average, at $732, and the median house price is $105,500.
The second town on our list of the safest cities to live in Colorado is Dacono. The City of Dacono belongs to Weld County, and it’s another home rule municipality, officially incorporated in 1908. It currently has 6,034 people and is the home of the Colorado National Speedway.
This unique name is actually made up out of the names of three different women and was coined by C.L. Baum, who was a local coal mine operator. The first two letters were taken from his wife’s name, Daisy. The second two came from Cora Van Voorhies, and Nora Brooks, two friend’s of his wife.
Those searching for safe, affordable places to live in Colorado should perhaps avoid Dacono because of its high cost of living. The median house price is $305,600, and the median gross rent sits at $1,165.
The average income is $67,292 and it has a per capita income of $26,855. Only 6.5% of residents live in poverty, and the crime rate in Dacono is 1, 218 per 100,000 residents. In 2019, law enforcement reported 69 property and only five violent crimes.
Carbondale belongs to the Garfield County of Colorado, and it’s part of the Glenwood Springs Micropolitan Area. Carbondale is one of the best cities in Colorado and is located in the Roaring Fork Valley. The National Geographic Adventure Magazine listed Carbondale in the top 10 adventure towns in the United States for its extensive biking, fly-fishing, skiing, and kayaking.
Carbondale has 6,898 residents, and the median household income of Carbondale residents is above the Colorado average, with $81,012. The per capita earnings are $36,553, and around 8.6% of people live in poverty, which is below the state average.
Carbondale is one of the towns with a higher cost of living in Colorado. The median house cost in Carbondale is $567,800, and the median gross rent is above the average for Colorado, at $1,747.
The crime rate in Carbondale is way below the average for the state, with 1,239 offenses per 100,000 residents, and in 2019, the police filed reports for 77 property crimes and nine violent offenses.
4. Manitou Springs
Manitou Springs is a city in El Paso County of Colorado, and even though it’s a smaller place, Manitou Springs is very attractive for tourists that spend their days in small shops, pubs, and beautiful parks. Besides being one of the Colorado tourist attractions, this city is also a great place to live and is home to 5,390 residents.
The natural mineral springs are what originally attracted General William Jackson Palmer and Dr. William Abraham Bell to create a community in the area. They founded the town in 1872, which was meant to be a “scenic health resort,” and due to its popularity, the city was incorporated just four years later.
The Manitou Springs, Colorado crime rate is only 1,429 per 100,000 people, and in 2019, residents reported 72 property and five violent crimes.
The per capita earnings of the residents of Manitou Springs are above the Colorado average at $44,051, and the median household income in the city is $62,270. Less than 7% of people live in poverty, and rent is affordable and below the state average. The median gross rent is $943, and the median home price is $386,100.
The City of Louisville belongs to Boulder County and is a Home Rule Municipality with 20,816 residents. Several publications listed Louisville among the best places to live in Colorado and even the United States.
The original town of Louisville was the location of the Welch Mine, which was the first coal mine in the area. The mine started operating in 1877, and at that time, Louisville was called the Northern Coalfield. Its current name was given by Louis Nawatny, a local landowner who wanted to name the town after himself, and its incorporation came in 1882.
In the 1950s, the mine became uneconomical, and the area transitioned into a suburban housing region. As one of the safest cities in Colorado, Louisville has a crime rate of 1,472 per 100,000 residents, and in 2019, the police reported a total of 301 property and 16 violent crimes.
With a low crime rate and promising average earnings, Louisville is a great place to raise a family. The median household income is $103,017, and the per capita earnings are $53,237, with less than 6% of residents living in poverty.
Properties in Louisville are pricier than most other cities and towns in Colorado. The median gross rent is $1,607, and the median house price sits at $596,600.
6. Castle Rock
Castle Rock is the county seat of Douglas County. It’s a Home Rule Municipality and the most populous municipality in the county. Castle Rock is part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metro Area as well as the Front Range Urban Corridor, and it currently has 68,484 residents.
Castle Rock received its name after the tower-shaped butte which lies in the center of the town. During the 1800s and early 1900s, Castle Rock was among the Colorado towns famous for their rhyolite quarrying industry, which significantly contributed to the growing population.
The town has a high living standard, with a median household income of $109,700 and per capita earnings of $44,250. Less than 4% live in poverty, which is over two times lower than the state average. The median house price in Castle Rock is high at $467,200, and the median gross rent is more expensive than in most other towns at $1,536.
As one of the safest places in Colorado, Castle Rock has a crime rate of 1,496 per 100,000 residents. There were 962 property crimes in the city in 2019, and 30 violent offenses.
Parker is another Home Rule Municipality, and it belongs to Douglas County. Just 20 miles southeast of Denver, it’s part of the Denver Metro Area and is by every definition a commuter town, with 57,706 residents.
The town officially received its name in 1882, after the Parker brothers. The brothers were the biggest landowners in the area who brought the railroad to the town by selling their right-of-way for $1. As one of the best towns in Colorado, it didn’t become a municipality until 1981.
Parker is full of beautiful historic buildings, and if you ever visit the town, you should go to the Twenty Mille post office, Parker Cemetery, and the Tallman–Newlin Cabin.
Parker has a high living standard. The median household income there is $110,934, and the per capita earnings sit at $44,527. Only 3.3% of residents live in poverty, and the median gross rent in Parker is $1,610, and the median house price is $479,600.
With a crime rate of only 1,544 per 100,000 residents, Parker is among the best places to live in Colorado. In 2019, law enforcement reported 826 property and 55 violent crimes.
8. Woodland Park
The City of Woodland Park belongs to Teller County and is another Home Rule Municipality and commuter town of the Colorado Springs Metro Area.
The city gained its name after the number of forests and trees in the area. Its official incorporation came in 1891 when Woodland Park only had about 12 residents. The first ordinance of the town was to establish the morals and decency act, which included the banning of alcohol, inappropriate attire, obscene language, and gambling.
Woodland Park is one of the places to go in Colorado that is attractive to tourists for its dude ranches. Dude ranches were constructed all over the area, as lumbering was the town’s largest economic driver.
Today, Woodland Park has 7,885 residents. The city is famous for its low crime rate, with only 1,552 offenses per 100,000 people. In 2019, the police reported 111 property and 11 violent crimes, and Residents’ salaries are above the Colorado average. Per capita earnings are $37,391, and the median household income in Woodland Park is $77,912, with 7% of residents living in poverty.
Property prices are similar to most other Colorado cities, with a median house cost of $354,500 and a median gross rent of $1,276.
The city of Gunnison is the county seat of Gunnison County, and it is established as a Home Rule Municipality.
Gunnison got its name after John W. Gunnison, who was the first explorer of the area. He passed the territory in search of a route for the transcontinental railroad. The city had a couple of significant population increases, the first of which was in the 1870s, and it was a result of the mining surge in the state. Gunnison was one of the best small towns in Colorado for gold mining, which also attracted farmers and ranchers in the surrounding area.
The city currently has 6,640 residents, and the standard of living and earning is reportedly below the state average. The median household income in the city is $40,893, and the per capita earnings are only $23,854. An alarming 23% of residents live in poverty.
As one of the safest small towns in Colorado, Gunnison has a crime rate of 1,659 per 100,000 people, and there were 20 violent and 91 property crimes in the city in 2019.
In case you’re interested in living in Gunnison, know that the average rent is $870, and the median home price sits at $274,700.
The city of Fruita is part of Mesa County and belongs to the Grand Junction Metro Area within the Grand Valley. According to the latest estimates, the city has 13,478 residents, and it is known as one of the cheapest places to live in Colorado.
Throughout history, Fruita was famous as a fruit-producing town. Its establishment came in 1884 when William E. Pabor opened the Fruita Town and Land Company. In 1886, farmers could buy five acres of land, 200 fruit trees, and water for $500, and after that, many farmers came to the area to make a living.
Today, the residents of Fruita earn below the Colorado average, with a median household income of $58,531 and per capita earnings of $24,874. The poverty rate is currently 12.5%.
Still, Fruita one of the safest cities to live in Colorado. Its crime rate is 1,703 per 100,000 residents, and in 2019, law enforcement reported 208 property offenses and 22 violent crimes.
Properties in Fruita are cheaper than in most other places in the state, with a median gross rent of $1,169 and a median house price amounts to $284,400.
Fruita is also a pretty fun place to live. Residents frequently organize festivals, and it’s an excellent location for all those that like outdoor sports.
What is the Safest City to Live in Colorado – Most Popular Cities Ranked by Crime Rate
The City of Loveland belongs to Larimer County of Colorado and is a Home Rule Municipality that is part of the Fort Collins-Loveland Metro Area.
The city was named in honor of the president of the Colorado Central Railroad, William A.H. Loveland. It was founded in 1877 when the railroad line was constructed in the area, and for the majority of the 20th century, the city has been dependent largely on agriculture.
Loveland is also famous for the Spring Glade Orchard, the largest cherry orchard among the cities in Colorado west of the Mississippi River.
Currently, 78,877 people live in Loveland. Their earnings are below the average for Colorado, with a median household income of $68,592 and a per capita income of $35,012. Around 8% of residents live in poverty.
The property prices in Loveland are similar to the ones in most other bigger cities, with the median gross rent sitting at $1,267 and the median house cost is $349,600.
If you’re looking for a bigger city that’s also safe, Loveland is one of the best places to live in northern Colorado. The crime rate in Loveland is 2,274 per 100,000 people, and in 2019, residents reported 1,571 property crimes and 222 violent offenses.
12. Fort Collins
The City of Fort Collins is the county seat of Larimer County and the principal city of the Fort Collins Metro Area. It belongs to the Front Range Urban Corridor and is the home of the Colorado State University and the Front Range Community College campus. The city is one of the biggest cities in Colorado, and it has 170,243 residents.
The primary purpose of Fort Collins is to serve as a military outpost for the U.S. Army. It was founded in 1864, and in 1867, the fort was decommissioned. The first significant population boom of Fort Collins came in 1872, when the agricultural colony was established. In the 1880s, the residents began building elegant homes and commercial real estate, attracting even more people.
The median household income in Fort Collins sits at $65,866, which is lower than in most major cities in Colorado. Per capita earnings of the city’s residents are $34,482, and over 16% of people live in poverty. The median gross rent is $1,346 and the median home cost of $389,700.
The crime rate in Fort Collins is below the state average, with 2,390 per 100,000 residents, and in 2019, the police reported 371 violent and 3,713 property offenses.
The City of Greely is the county seat of Weld County. It’s a Home Rule Municipality, and it’s part of the Front Range Urban Corridor. If you’ve been researching what is the best area to live in Colorado and you chose the northern part as your next place of residence, you should check out Greely. It has a city vibe, without the high crime rate, and currently, it has 108,649 residents.
The city was created in 1869 as the Union Colony and was an experimental utopian society. After a few years, the residents decided to change its name to honor Horace Greely, the editor of the New York Tribune and local politician. Greely became a city in 1886, and for the first few decades, the town mostly relied on farming and agriculture.
Greely is among the best cities to live in Colorado when it comes to safety. Its crime rate is below the state average at 2,680 per 100,000 residents, and in 2019, the police reported a total of 386 violent and 2,542 property crimes.
The median household income in this city is $57,586, and its per capita income earnings amount to $26,222. Its poverty rate is relatively large, with 16% of the population living in poverty.
The cost of living is mid-range, with a median gross rent of $1,007 and a median home price of $294,700.
Those that want to live near the mountains in Colorado should look into Longmont. Longmont City is part of Boulder and Weld counties. It’s a home rule municipality and currently has 97, 261 residents.
The city received its name after Longs Peak, which is a nearby mountain named after explorer Stephen H. Long. Longmont was the first planned community in Boulder County, and it was funded by a group of people from Chicago. Chicagoans sold memberships to the town and purchased the land for the town hall with the money. Not long after that, the population started growing, with the primary source of income being agriculture.
As one of the most beautiful places in Colorado, it has a local crime rate of 3,033 per 100,000 residents, and in 2019, law enforcement reported 422 violent and 2,548 property crimes.
The earnings of Longmont residents are close to the state average. The per capita income is $36,464, while median household earnings of $74,242, and nearly 10% of people live in poverty. Properties with this classic Colorado scenery are a bit more expensive than in most cities. The median house cost is $398,000 and the median gross rent is $1,340.
Arvada belongs to Adams and Jefferson counties, and it’s a Home Rule Municipality. The city is part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metro Area, and as the North Table Mountain is just a few miles away, it will take only minutes to reach the breathtaking Colorado mountains. Arvada currently has 121,272 residents.
Arvada’s history dates back to the 1800s. Before 1870, the area was just a small community of large farms near Ralston and Clear Creeks. After the Colorado Central Railroad was completed, many new residents reached the site, and an official town was created.
The landowners Louis Reno and Benjamin Franklin Wadsworth took the initiative to create a town plate and named it after Wadsworth’s relative, Hiram Arvada Haskin. The city was incorporated in 1904.
With a crime rate of 3,195 per 100,000 people, which is above the state average, Arvada might not be the best place to live in Colorado. In 2019, residents reported 3,642 property and 266 violent crimes.
Residents of Arvada earn way above the Colorado average. The median household income in the city is $84,717, and per capita earnings amount to $42,921. Less than 6% of residents live in poverty. The median gross rent is $1,358, and the median house cost is $328,900.
Thornton is part of Weld and Adams Counties, and it’s a Home Rule Municipality that belongs to the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metro Area. With a population of 141,464, Thornton is the sixth-most populous city in the state. Thornton is among the best places to visit in Colorado in the summer, with sights such as the Hill’s Harvest, Crazed Corn Fields Maze, and Mother Tucker Brewery.
This city mainly consisted of farmland until 1953, and was the first planned community in Adams County to first offer a single tax levy, which included free trash pickup and interesting recreation services.
Today, residents of Thornton have a moderate quality of life. The per capita income in the city is 32,487, and the median household earnings sit at $79,411. Living in one of the most beautiful places in Colorado will cost you around $1,495 monthly if you want to rent, and the median house price in Thornton is $365,400. Nearly 9% of residents live in poverty.
Thornton has a high crime rate of 3,300 per 100,000 people, and in 2019, law enforcement reported 388 violent and 4,303 property offenses.
The city of Westminster is a Home Rule Municipality that belongs to Adams and Jefferson counties. It’s part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metro Area, and with 113,166 residents, it’s in the top 10-most populated and cheap places to live in Colorado.
The first famous resident of Westminster was a farmer Pleasant DeSpeain. He built a large home in the area in 1870, which later became known as DeSpain Junction. In 1885, a real estate developer C.J. Harris purchased DeSpain’s property, divided it into a few farms, and sold it to fruit farmers. He named the area Harris after himself, and it was officially incorporated in 1911.
Salaries of Westminster residents are close to the state average. The median household income is $76,142, and per capita earnings sit at $38,555. About 7% of people live in poverty, and despite being named one of the best cities in Colorado for families years ago, crime is pretty frequent in Westminster today. Its official crime rate is 3,522 per 100,000 residents, and there were 3,713 property offenses and 316 violent crimes in the city in 2019.
The median gross rent is around $1,430, and the median house price is $378,000.
The city of Aurora is part of Adams, Douglas, and Arapahoe counties. It’s one of the principal cities of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metro Area and is a Home Rule Municipality. It is the third most-populated city in Colorado, and it has 379,289 residents.
Aurora is one of the best places to see in Colorado. Visitors enjoy seeing the Stanley Marketplace, Cherry Creek State Park, and the beautiful Aurora Reservoir.
Aurora used to be known as Fletcher. In the 1880s, a businessman Donald Fletcher saw the empty land as a real estate opportunity and purchased it. The Silver Crash brought debt to the community, however, and caused Fletcher to leave town. The remaining residents decided to rename and rebuild the town. In just a few years, Aurora became the fastest-growing city in Colorado.
Today, Aurora is among the most dangerous cities in Colorado. Still, compared to other bigger cities in America, Aurora is actually considered safe. Its crime rate is 3,653 per 100,000 residents, and in 2019, the police reported 11,106 property and 2,799 violent crimes.
Aurora residents earn below the state average, with the median household income being $65,100, and per capita earnings are $30,504. Over 10% of people live in poverty, and the median house price is $327,300, while the median gross rent sits at $1,328.
19. Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs belongs to El Paso County and is home to the United States Air Force Academy.
Many people wonder what the Colorado Springs crime rate is, and as one of the top Mountain State destinations, Colorado Springs has 4,252 offenses per 100,000 people. In 2019, residents reported 17,587 property and 2,806 violent crimes.
When Colorado Springs was founded by General William Jackson Palmer, it was meant to be a resort town. After the railroads came to the area, people started relocating there, which led to its first big population boom. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Colorado Springs was the home of many successful artists, writers, and mine owners.
With 478,221 residents, this city is the second-most populated in the state. The Colorado Springs cost of living is below the state average, with a median house price of $287,900, and a median gross rent of $1,131.
The median household income in Colorado Springs is $64,712, and the per capita earnings amount to $34,076. More than 11% of residents live in poverty, and many don’t earn enough to accommodate the cost of living.
The City and County of Denver is the most populated city of Colorado and the state capital. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network rated it as a Beta world city, and it currently has 727,211 residents. The Denver cost of living is lower than in most other state capitals, which is what makes it a popular place to live.
This city was founded in 1858 as a gold mining town, but once the gold dried up, Denver became a supply hub for other mines in the mountains. At first, the processing and shipping of materials was the main source of income in the city, but after the war, several oil and gas companies moved there, which led to a skyscraper boom and a huge population increase.
As a lot of people choose this city as their new place of residence, many wonder if Denver, Colorado is safe. With a high crime rate of 4,492 per 100,000 people, Denver’s crime rate is higher than the state average, and in 2019, law enforcement reported a total of 27,288 property offenses and 5,459 violent crimes.
The median household income is below the state average at $68,592, and the per capita earnings sit at $43,770. Nearly 13% of people live in poverty, and the properties are pricier than in other places in the state. The median house price is $426,200, and the median gross rent is $1,311.
Even the safest cities in Colorado come with a Wild West culture that champions independence and self-governance. From mountain towns to big cities, Colorado has much to offer families, students, and retiree’s alike.
You can choose a mountain village if you enjoy winter outdoor adventures or a commuter town near Denver to be close to all of the major events. Find the perfect balance between what you want, safety, and earning potential to feel right at home in Colorado.