Poorest Cities In Colorado For 2022

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 2022. This is our ninth 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 80 places in Colorado with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the ten poorest places in Colorado for 2022:

  1. Alamosa
  2. Trinidad
  3. Delta
  4. Pueblo
  5. Gunnison
  6. Lamar
  7. Cortez
  8. Montrose
  9. Sterling
  10. Evans

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 2022.

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 2022

1. Alamosa

Alamosa, CO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,360
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $38,000 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.0% (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 9,360 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. Trinidad

Trinidad, CO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,076
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Income: $38,733 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 20.7% (5th highest)
More on Trinidad:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Colorado is Trinidad.

The city ranks as having the 5th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 3rd highest in the Centennial State.

3. Delta

Delta, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,893
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Median Income: $40,841 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 18.0% (9th highest)
More on Delta:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Delta's median income ranks as the 3rd 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 17.996331957817517% 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. Pueblo

Pueblo, CO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 111,776
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Income: $42,902 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 21.8% (3rd highest)
More on Pueblo:  Data | Photos

Pueblo ranks as the fourth poorest place in Colorado.

The town ranks as having the 7th lowest median household income and the 3rd 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. Gunnison

Gunnison, CO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,653
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Income: $44,386 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 22.7% (2nd highest)
More on Gunnison:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Colorado is Gunnison.

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 2nd highest in Colorado.

Still not the best news for Gunnison.

6. Lamar

Lamar, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,598
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Income: $41,124 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (15th highest)
Poverty Rate: 18.3% (8th highest)
More on Lamar:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty and the 15th highest unemployment rate.

7. Cortez

Cortez, CO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,729
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $42,245 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (13th highest)
Poverty Rate: 16.6% (12th highest)
More on Cortez:  Data | Photos

Cortez places as the seventh poorest city in Colorado.

The city of over 8,729 ranks as having the 12th 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: 19,396
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $52,534 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (10th highest)
Poverty Rate: 16.8% (11th 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 10th highest in the state.

9. Sterling

Sterling, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,421
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 14)
Median Income: $40,956 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (18th highest)
Poverty Rate: 12.4% (23rd highest)
More on Sterling:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 4th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Sterling ranks as having the 23rd most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Colorado.

10. Evans

Evans, CO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,128
Rank Last Year: 33 (Up 23)
Median Income: $64,007 (24th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 17.5% (10th highest)
More on Evans:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 22,128 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Centennial State.

Methodology: How We Determined The Poorest Places In Colorado for 2022

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 2016-2020 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 80 places with more than 5,000 people in Colorado, we ranked each place from 1 to 80 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 2022". You can download the data here.

Summary: The Poorest Places In Colorado For 2022

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: Severance
    2nd Richest: Castle Pines
    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 9,360 25.0%
2 Trinidad 8,076 20.7%
3 Delta 8,893 18.0%
4 Pueblo 111,776 21.8%
5 Gunnison 6,653 22.7%
6 Lamar 7,598 18.3%
7 Cortez 8,729 16.6%
8 Montrose 19,396 16.8%
9 Sterling 14,421 12.4%
10 Evans 22,128 17.5%
11 La Junta 6,907 19.9%
12 Fruita 14,068 11.0%
13 Grand Junction 62,218 13.5%
14 Manitou Springs 5,342 10.7%
15 Greeley 107,445 15.8%
16 Sheridan 6,072 14.4%
17 Fort Morgan 11,311 10.7%
18 Fort Collins 166,069 15.9%
19 Boulder 108,777 20.3%
20 Avon 6,711 14.3%
21 Craig 8,978 16.5%
22 Colorado Springs 471,686 11.3%
23 Brush 5,408 16.0%
24 Wheat Ridge 31,889 12.3%
25 Federal Heights 13,537 21.2%
26 Estes Park 6,504 8.2%
27 Fort Lupton 8,600 6.7%
28 Salida 5,543 14.8%
29 Fountain 30,240 7.1%
30 Edgewater 5,410 10.5%
31 Aurora 379,434 10.5%
32 Rifle 9,771 7.6%
33 Golden 20,391 13.1%
34 Vail 5,614 8.7%
35 Denver 715,878 11.9%
36 Englewood 34,840 12.1%
37 Steamboat Springs 13,048 9.9%
38 Glendale 5,186 13.0%
39 Woodland Park 7,943 7.5%
40 Lakewood 155,733 9.2%
41 Durango 19,413 9.5%
42 Brighton 38,355 8.6%
43 Loveland 81,774 7.9%
44 Wellington 8,651 10.0%
45 Longmont 95,864 8.2%
46 Dacono 6,167 6.6%
47 Monument 7,691 5.4%
48 Carbondale 6,658 11.1%
49 Lochbuie 6,795 8.1%
50 Commerce City 55,891 10.5%
51 Thornton 144,186 8.5%
52 Glenwood Springs 10,048 8.0%
53 Westminster 114,832 6.8%
54 Northglenn 39,201 7.8%
55 Gypsum 7,049 11.0%
56 Eaton 5,646 6.7%
57 John 14,357 5.0%
58 Littleton 46,208 7.7%
59 Berthoud 8,574 3.0%
60 Windsor 23,679 3.9%
61 Lafayette 27,952 5.4%
62 Arvada 120,229 5.1%
63 Milliken 7,862 2.7%
64 Erie 27,157 4.7%
65 Broomfield 69,444 5.0%
66 Castle Rock 65,176 3.6%
67 Greenwood Village 15,100 5.2%
68 Eagle 6,896 7.9%
69 Aspen 7,721 4.4%
70 Louisville 19,342 5.4%
71 Centennial 111,331 3.0%
72 Parker 55,460 3.5%
73 Firestone 13,165 3.4%
74 Frederick 10,414 1.6%
75 Cherry Hills Village 6,680 4.0%
76 Breckenridge 5,054 2.2%
77 Lone Tree 13,381 3.8%
78 Superior 13,292 4.0%
79 Castle Pines 10,977 4.6%
80 Severance 5,611 0.5%

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