Poorest Cities In Colorado For 2021

We used science and data to determine which places in Colorado are basically dead broke.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the poorest places in Colorado.

Colorado brings to mind images of Denver, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you'll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, Colorado has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in Colorado that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 78 places in Colorado with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the ten poorest places in Colorado for 2021:

  1. Alamosa
  2. Pueblo
  3. Gunnison
  4. Trinidad
  5. Cortez
  6. Delta
  7. La Junta
  8. Montrose
  9. Lamar
  10. Grand Junction

Again, this isn't a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it's just a look at the facts.

What's the poorst city in Colorado? According to the facts, Alamosa is the poorest place in Colorado for 2021.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the best places in Colorado or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more Colorado reading, check out:

The 10 Poorest Cities In Colorado For 2021

1. Alamosa

Alamosa, CO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,441
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $35,085 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.4% (highest)
More on Alamosa:  Data | Photos

Alamosa, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Colorado thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 9,441 people averages the lowest median household income in Colorado and the highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

2. Pueblo

Pueblo, CO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 110,841
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $40,450 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.5% (2nd highest)
More on Pueblo:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Colorado is Pueblo.

The city ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and 4th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 3rd highest in the Centennial State.

3. Gunnison

Gunnison, CO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,403
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Median Income: $40,893 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 22.9% (3rd highest)
More on Gunnison:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Gunnison's median income ranks as the 6th lowest.

And that's a sign that there's a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 22.91228070175439% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Centennial State.

4. Trinidad

Trinidad, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,080
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $37,196 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 20.2% (8th highest)
More on Trinidad:  Data | Photos

Trinidad ranks as the fourth poorest place in Colorado.

The town ranks as having the 2nd lowest median household income and the 8th highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there's still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

5. Cortez

Cortez, CO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,675
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $42,271 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 20.5% (6th highest)
More on Cortez:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Colorado is Cortez.

The city ranks as having the 8th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 6th highest in Colorado.

Still not the best news for Cortez.

6. Delta

Delta, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,829
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Income: $41,415 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 16.5% (13th highest)
More on Delta:  Data | Photos

Delta ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Centennial State.

It ranks as having the 13th highest incidence of poverty and the 7th highest unemployment rate.

7. La Junta

La Junta, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,893
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Income: $39,567 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (23rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 22.1% (4th highest)
More on La Junta:  Data | Photos

La Junta places as the seventh poorest city in Colorado.

The city of over 6,893 ranks as having the 4th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

8. Montrose

Montrose, CO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 19,238
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $46,250 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 19.0% (10th highest)
More on Montrose:  Data | Photos

Montrose ranks as the eighth poorest city in Colorado.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 8th highest in the state.

9. Lamar

Lamar, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,564
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 6)
Median Income: $40,826 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (15th highest)
Poverty Rate: 18.4% (12th highest)
More on Lamar:  Data | Photos

Lamar couldn't stay out of the top ten poorest places in Colorado; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 5th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Lamar ranks as having the 12th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Colorado.

10. Grand Junction

Grand Junction, CO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 62,062
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $52,504 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 15.6% (17th highest)
More on Grand Junction:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Colorado is Grand Junction.

The city of 62,062 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Centennial State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Colorado for 2021

The first thing that comes to most people's minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don't think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the "poorest places". So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2015-2019 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The "median household income adjusted for the cost of living" attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they'd still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 78 places with more than 5,000 people in Colorado, we ranked each place from 1 to 78 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a "Poor Score" with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Alamosa, crowned the "Poorest Place In Colorado For 2021". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Colorado For 2021

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Colorado, we weren't sure what we'd encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Colorado.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you're curious enough, here are the richest cities in Colorado, according to data:

    Richest: Castle Pines
    2nd Richest: Lone Tree
    3rd Richest: Superior

For more Colorado reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Colorado

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Alamosa 9,441 31.4%
2 Pueblo 110,841 23.5%
3 Gunnison 6,403 22.9%
4 Trinidad 8,080 20.2%
5 Cortez 8,675 20.5%
6 Delta 8,829 16.5%
7 La Junta 6,893 22.1%
8 Montrose 19,238 19.0%
9 Lamar 7,564 18.4%
10 Grand Junction 62,062 15.6%
11 Brush 5,395 18.9%
12 Fruita 13,236 12.5%
13 Salida 5,791 13.0%
14 Greeley 105,888 16.2%
15 Englewood 34,259 13.7%
16 Fort Collins 165,609 16.3%
17 Sheridan 6,089 19.2%
18 Rifle 9,650 11.4%
19 Colorado Springs 464,871 11.7%
20 Craig 8,928 14.7%
21 Estes Park 6,377 8.3%
22 Boulder 106,392 20.4%
23 Sterling 14,478 14.8%
24 Edgewater 5,328 9.6%
25 Fort Morgan 11,377 9.6%
26 Fountain 29,784 7.8%
27 Golden 20,693 15.8%
28 Federal Heights 12,745 20.7%
29 Aurora 369,111 10.7%
30 Wheat Ridge 31,331 12.9%
31 Northglenn 38,973 11.3%
32 Durango 18,588 9.0%
33 Evans 20,533 15.2%
34 Longmont 94,445 9.6%
35 Lochbuie 6,388 9.3%
36 Fort Lupton 8,133 6.4%
37 Glendale 5,177 10.2%
38 Denver 705,576 12.9%
39 Commerce City 56,448 11.6%
40 Woodland Park 7,555 7.1%
41 Steamboat Springs 12,928 12.2%
42 Loveland 76,972 8.4%
43 Dacono 5,534 6.5%
44 Brighton 39,836 8.5%
45 Lakewood 155,146 9.1%
46 Monument 7,398 8.3%
47 Glenwood Springs 9,915 9.2%
48 Berthoud 7,191 4.3%
49 Westminster 112,962 7.2%
50 Manitou Springs 5,283 6.7%
51 Littleton 47,989 7.5%
52 Thornton 136,868 8.8%
53 Avon 6,539 12.8%
54 Carbondale 6,785 8.6%
55 Eaton 5,317 6.9%
56 Wellington 9,272 6.1%
57 Arvada 118,746 5.8%
58 Vail 5,479 9.0%
59 Aspen 7,431 7.0%
60 Greenwood Village 15,738 5.6%
61 Lafayette 28,742 6.3%
62 Louisville 20,860 5.9%
63 Erie 24,223 5.3%
64 John 14,910 2.7%
65 Eagle 6,856 8.5%
66 Broomfield 67,886 5.6%
67 Milliken 7,185 4.2%
68 Gypsum 7,173 4.9%
69 Windsor 26,806 3.3%
70 Frederick 12,767 1.8%
71 Centennial 110,218 3.2%
72 Firestone 14,033 3.4%
73 Castle Rock 62,417 3.9%
74 Parker 54,352 3.3%
75 Cherry Hills Village 6,647 3.5%
76 Superior 13,077 4.2%
77 Lone Tree 12,923 2.2%
78 Castle Pines 10,591 1.7%

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