Colorado is one of the most beautiful states to live and enjoy an active lifestyle. In recent years there has been a massive influx of people moving to live, work and retire in Colorado. As of 2022, Colorado stands at a population of over 5.9 million and is projected to grow to 8.7 million by 2050. If you’ve ever considered moving to Colorado, it’s important to consider which cities offer the most bang for your buck. In this post we will take a look at the top 15 cheapest places to live in Colorado.
How We Compiled Our Research
To give people an accurate estimate of the cheapest places to live in Colorado, we aggregated data from the following sources below:
In addition to using these sources to compile our data, we organized the affordability factor by pulling the following data for each city in Colorado.
Editor Note: Our data was carefully aggregated from multiple sources and is relevant as of 2022 and is subject to change in the future.
- Median Household Income
- Median Property Value
- Median Home Sales Price
- Property Tax Rate
- Percentage of People in Poverty
- Gross Rent
All this data is relevant to helping people get an accurate idea of the true cost associated with living in some of the most affordable cities in Colorado.
- Population – 7,663
- Median Household Income -$41,124
- Median Property Value – $105,500
- Median Home Sales Price – $194,300
- Property Tax Rate – 0.44%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 18.3%
- Gross Rent – $840
Lamar is a small city tucked away in the Southeast part of Colorado. It’s a great place to live if you want to be away from the hustle and bustle of larger cities like Denver. It’s a very affordable place to live with friendly people who have a relaxed view of life. People in Lamar tend to be on the conservative side as the city is traditionally known as the center for farming and ranching.
The city has a very low growth rate but has a nice suburban feel which makes it a nice place to raise a family. From a cost perspective, this is a very affordable place to buy and own a home with property taxes at 50% below the national average.
- Population – 8,696
- Median Household Income – $69,219
- Median Property Value – $306,700
- Median Home Sales Price – $462,300
- Property Tax Rate – 0.74%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 2.7%
- Median Gross Rent – $1,050
Milliken is another small city located just north of Denver. This is a great place to live if you enjoy a small-town feel with close proximity to larger cities. The city offers a laid-back feel with friendly people who enjoy staying active. The school system in Milliken is great and there are plenty of parks and recreational areas for families to enjoy with their kids.
The city of Milliken is experiencing more growth in recent years due to the fact that many people are migrating to live in Colorado. This is positive for the city as the growth has helped fuel further business growth and amenities for the community. If you’re looking for a city that is on the rise with a low cost of living, Milliken is a great option to consider.
- Population – 13,508
- Median Household Income – $50,800
- Median Property Value – $245,100
- Median Home Sales Price – $397,500
- Property Tax Rate – 0.72%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 11%
- Median Gross Rent – $1,204
Fruita is another small to the mid-sized city located on the western edge of Colorado only 18 miles from the Utah border. The city is a great alternative skiing destination if you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg skiing in Vail or Boulder. Historically, and as the name implies, Fruita was well known for being a fruit-producing city.
Recommended Reading: How Much is 6 Figures? – Salary Earning Table Breakdown
Today, Fruita is well known for outdoor sports such as hiking, mountain biking, and rafting. It’s a great place to live and start a family if you want to be active and engaged in outdoor activities. In addition, the city has a low cost of living and plenty of local attractions like the Dinosaur Journey Museum, Devils Canyon, and Dinosaur Hill.
- Population – 8,335
- Median Household Income -$38,733
- Median Property Value – $145,700
- Median Home Sales Price – $245,000
- Property Tax Rate – 0.30%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 20.7%
- Median Gross Rent – $810
Trinidad is a small town located on the southern edge of Colorado right by the New Mexico Border. This city ranks as one of the cheapest places to live in Colorado on our list. However, it’s worth noting that the poverty rate in Trinidad is quite high. Parts of Trinidad offer a nice suburban feel with the majority of residents owning their homes. Trinidad is also considered advantageous for retirees due to having the lowest property taxes in the state of Colorado along with very affordable housing.
The city has incredible mountain views and offers plenty of amenities for people who love to stay active outdoors. It has great local hiking spots along with a newly renovated State Park. Overall, this is a very affordable city to live in and has a quiet lifestyle.
Colorado Springs Statistics
- Population – 483,956
- Median Household Income -$67,719
- Median Property Value – $294,500
- Median Home Sales Price – $410,000
- Property Tax Rate – 0.54%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – v
- Median Gross Rent – $1,240
In terms of affordability, safety, opportunity, and overall value Colorado Springs is one of the best places to live in Colorado. Living here is a bit more expensive than in other cities on our list, however, it is still below the national average and approximately 16% less than living in Denver. It is more heavily populated than any other city on our list, but the people are friendly and easygoing. There is so much to do in Colorado Springs if you love to stay active and be outdoors. From the Garden of the Gods to some of the most beautiful museums and parks, the Springs are a great place to live and raise a family.
In addition to this, the Springs are currently experiencing unprecedented growth and were recently voted as one of the top 10 U.S. cities to live in in 2022. If you enjoy living in an active city with plenty of bars, restaurants, and amenities, Colorado Springs is at the top of our list. It is also considered a great spot for retirees as it has plenty of retirement facilities and great access to health care.
- Population – 5,296
- Median Household Income -$56,078
- Median Property Value – $179,000
- Median Home Sales Price – $265,000
- Property Tax Rate – 0.64%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 16%
- Median Gross Rent – $950
Brush is another small town in Colorado just northeast of Denver and part of Morgan County. The city is well known for hosting the largest amateur rodeo in the world held in July each year. It’s a quaint town with a rich history and very friendly locals. The cost of living in Brush is well below the national average and there is plenty of affordable housing options for people.
In addition, there are plenty of outdoor activities for people to enjoy and stay active such as camping, fishing, hiking, and hunting. The town is very safe and is a great place to live if you’re looking for a city with a rural pace and a small charm feel where you can get to know your neighbor.
Fort Lupton Statistics
- Population – 8,260
- Median Household Income -$66,056
- Median Property Value – $284,100
- Median Home Sales Price – $438,500
- Property Tax Rate – 0.57%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 6.7%
- Median Gross Rent – $980
Just 40 minutes from Denver, Fort Lupton is one of the safest cities in Denver. Although it is generally more expensive to live here compared to other cities on our list, it’s a fantastic city for growing families. The city is close to plenty amenities and far away to still hold onto a small town feel.
From museums to breweries and shopping outlets, Fort Lupton has plenty of things to keep locals busy. In addition, the city is well known for its high diversity. The city is also very close to large national parks and ski resorts.
Federal Heights Statistics
- Population – 14,194
- Median Household Income -$49,291
- Median Property Value – $71,700
- Median Home Sales Price – $339,500
- Property Tax Rate – 0.70%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 21.2%
- Median Gross Rent – $1,324
Situated north of Denver and just a twenty-minute drive, Federal Heights is a great city to consider living in. If you work in Denver but don’t want the obnoxious expense of living downtown, but still want the city lifestyle, Federal Heights is a much more affordable city to live in. The median gross rent in Federal Heights is 15% below the average in Colorado.
Federal Heights is known for having one of the largest waterparks in America, Water World. It has a rich history and is only 1.8 square miles. It is home to many communities due to being in proximity to other surrounding cities. There are plenty of housing options available in Federal Heights with a very stable real estate market. Overall, this is a great city to live in if you want to be close to Denver and other surrounding spots without the extra expense.
Cañon City Statistics
- Population – 17,363
- Median Household Income – $49,963
- Median Property Value – $185,300
- Median Home Sales Price – $325,000
- Property Tax Rate – 0.49%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 15.3%
- Median Gross Rent – $825
Cañon City is situated just south of Colorado Springs and laid right across the Arkansas River. It is the most populous city in Fremont County with a population of over 17,300 as of 2022. It’s in a prime location in Colorado offering a good balance between sightseeing and plenty of activities to stay active like whitewater rafting, and rock climbing.
A great advantage to living in Cañon City is its affordable housing options along with low property taxes. In addition, this city is near many parks and hiking destinations making it an oasis for those who love to spend time outdoors and live in a city that has some of the lowest living costs in Colorado.
- Population – 13,739
- Median Household Income – $40,956
- Median Property Value – $141,100
- Median Home Sales Price – $235,000
- Property Tax Rate – 0.55%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 12.4%
- Median Gross Rent – $850
Sterling is a small city located in northeast Colorado close to both the Nebraska and Wyoming border and is situated along the South Platte River. The city boasts a historic downtown area and is well known as a popular art and cultural center. The town leans more on the conservative side and with a strong focus on agriculture.
Living in Sterling is very affordable with the cost of living well below the national average. An important fact to know about Sterling is that although it is considered very cheap to live in, it can at times feel isolated due to a limited amount of shopping centers. However, if you’re looking for a cheap place to live in Colorado while having a small town feel, Sterling is a great option.
- Population – 9,814
- Median Household Income – $38,000
- Median Property Value – $153,800
- Median Home Sales Price – $260,000
- Property Tax Rate – 0.56%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 25%
- Median Gross Rent – $700
Alamosa has some of the lowest, if not the lowest rent prices in all of Colorado. Located in southern Colorado Alamosa close to the New Mexico border, Alamosa is a quaint little town that is extremely affordable to live in with the median gross rent of only $700 per month. One thing to point out about Alamosa is that the percentage of people in poverty is quite high, with 25% of the population living in poverty.
The weather in Alamosa can be quite unpredictable with very cold winters. The city of Alamosa is known as the Gateway to Great Sand Dunes National Park. The dunes are one of their most popular destinations with a very incredible view of a giant dune field with mountains closely behind it. Overall, Alamosa is a very cheap place to live and retire if you enjoy a rural lifestyle.
- Population – 3,100
- Median Household Income – $38,000
- Median Property Value – $154,800
- Median Home Sales Price – $210,000
- Property Tax Rate – 0.52%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 18%
- Median Gross Rent – $720
Walsenburg is the smallest town in terms of population on our list and is located just north of Trinidad. If you want to live in a small town with a low cost of living, this is it. It’s worth noting that the job market in Walsenburg isn’t large and can be hard to find work here. However, there is plenty of affordable housing here if you’re looking to retire in a small quiet town with friendly people.
The city of Walsenburg is known as the Heart of the Spanish Peaks Country and has a rich history with a decent-sized downtown area considering its low population. One of its major attractions is the Highway of Legends, a natural byway with over 80 miles of incredible scenery tucked between two large mountains. If you enjoy being outdoors in seclusion, Walsenburg has great options for camping, fishing, and hiking.
- Population – 8,855
- Median Household Income – $42,245
- Median Property Value – $166,800
- Median Home Sales Price – $290,000
- Property Tax Rate – 0.56%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – $16.6%
- Median Gross Rent – $850
Cortez is situated on the Southwestern edge of Colorado by the Ute Mountain Reservation right by the Utah, Phoenix, and New Mexico border. It’s a very rural town and is home to the Mesa Verde National Park along with the Canyon of the Ancients. The affordability factor is high in Cortez, however due to its unique location in Colorado, employment opportunity and earning potential are low here.
It features a historic downtown area that is several blocks long, filled with local shops and restaurants that give it a small-town feel. This can be a very safe place and it’s a good spot to raise a family if you’re looking for a slower pace life that is easygoing.
- Population – 109,323
- Median Household Income – $57,537
- Median Property Value – $274,800
- Median Home Sales Price – $422,500
- Property Tax Rate – 0.51%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 15.8%
- Median Gross Rent – $1,100
Greeley is one of the most budget-friendly places to live in Colorado. It’s a bigger city in terms of population and is located just an hour north of Denver. It offers a great quality of life with great access to health care, great schools, and tons of recreational activities. One of the best things about living in Greeley is its close proximity to Denver, Cheyenne, and Wyo. In addition, it’s only 3 hours away from plenty of ski resorts and only an hour and a half from the Rocky Mountain National Park.
It’s an amazing place for people to live if they want a good balance between city and suburban life. From a cost perspective, Greeley offers high value along with a high-quality lifestyle that is hard to match. You will pay much less for everything compared to other cities in Colorado. In addition, Greeley is growing but not at an aggressive pace allowing people to still find affordable housing.
- Population – 10,518
- Median Household Income – $66,176
- Median Property Value – $275,700
- Median Home Sales Price – $430,000
- Property Tax Rate – 0.59%
- Percentage of People in Poverty – 7.6%
- Median Gross Rent – $1,040
Rifle is a beautiful city with scenic views laid across the Colorado River located west of Denver. The city is a regional center for the cattle ranching industry and prides itself in its cowboy-style heritage. It’s a great and very affordable place for small-town living with a tight-knit community. This is a great place to live if you enjoy an outdoorsy country lifestyle that prides itself on conservative family values.
It has a modest-sized downtown area loaded with local shops and restaurants. This is a great spot to raise a family away from city life that is very affordable.
What are the average property taxes in Colorado?
Colorado has some of the lowest property taxes in the United States, with an average effective property tax rate of around 0.49%. This is approximately 50% less than the national average property tax rate of 1.07%.
What is the cheapest mountain town to Live In Colorado?
Tucked between the Rocky Mountains, Canon City is considered one of the cheapest mountain towns to live in Colorado. It has very favorable property taxes along with affordable housing. This is the perfect city for people to live in who love a small town feel with beautiful outdoor scenery.
What is the average rent in Colorado?
The average rent cost in Colorado for a 2 bedroom apartment is approximately $1,500 per month. There are cities that do have rent costs that are much lower than this.
What are the cheapest cities to live in Colorado?
Lamar and Trinidad are considered the cheapest cities to live in Colorado. They have the lowest property tax rates along with some of the most affordable housing and rent costs in all of Colorado. The average rent cost in Lamar is approximately $840 per month and approximately $810 in Trinidad. If you’re looking for affordability and stretching your dollar further, these are the two most affordable cities on our list.
What is the average salary in Colorado?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary in the state of Colorado is approximately $56,669. This is a comfortable salary that can let allow you to live modestly in some of the lower-cost cities on our list.
What kind of salary do you need to live well in Colorado?
To live comfortably in Colorado, a salary range between $75,000 – $100,000 will allow you to live comfortably in most of the cities on our list. Being frugal and budgeting properly can help you live comfortably with this type of salary range.