The suburbs of Denver call to all types of people looking to escape city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Denver to avoid all the hustle and bustle.
So the question arises: do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?
Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science to determine which Denver ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Denver area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to Denver proper, although Castle Pines certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Denver are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones.
We examined the 35 biggest suburbs of Denver to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Colorado lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Denver in terms of quality of life.
Now don’t freak out.
What’s the worst suburb of Denver? Hudson ranks as the worst suburb of Denver for 2023 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Denver that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Denver too.
For more Colorado reading, check out:
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The 10 Worst Denver Suburbs To Live For 2023
Median Income: $60,679 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (18th highest)
Median Home Value: $266,100 (4th lowest)
More on Hudson:
We’ll get the ball rolling with Hudson, the absolute worst place to live around Denver according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Hudson beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 4th worst in the Denver area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 4th worst when it comes to home values.
But hey, at least it’s cheap to live there. But there’s a reason for that… it’s Hudson.
You won’t feel bad about not having a great income for the area. There aren’t a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.
Median Income: $68,295 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (highest)
Median Home Value: $306,100 (7th lowest)
More on Fort Lupton:
Welcome to Fort Lupton. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 22.5 miles to Denver. Income levels here are the 7th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $68,295 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.
But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.
Median Income: $48,449 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $280,700 (5th lowest)
More on Sheridan:
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Denver suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Sheridan on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that’s an understatement.
In terms of numbers, it’s in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school dropout rate is poor compared to other Denver suburbs.
But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.
Median Income: $51,078 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $74,600 (lowest)
More on Federal Heights:
If you live in Federal Heights, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 2nd lowest Denver suburb for median household incomes.
Not only that, but this is the 16th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Denver. Remember, we looked at 35 cities for this study.
Federal Heights is about 10.1 miles to downtown.
Median Income: $60,009 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 1.8% (35th highest)
Median Home Value: $180,500 (2nd lowest)
More on Commerce:
Commerce has the distinction of being a Denver suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Commerce has the 2nd lowest home values in the metro Denver area, where the median price is $180,500. The median income is $186,976.
Commerce has an unemployment rate of 1.82% which ranks 35th worst.
Median Income: $72,052 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $350,200 (10th lowest)
More on Aurora:
Aurora has 383,496 residents that probably know it’s a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you’ve ever been there, you don’t need to look at the data.)
Incomes are towards the bottom, and the poverty rate sits at 10.198604542458515%.
Median Income: $79,280 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $366,200 (12th lowest)
More on Brighton:
Ah, Brighton. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Denver.
It’s the place with the 9th most out of work residents in the Denver metro area (4.65%).
Median Income: $73,476 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (20th highest)
Median Home Value: $315,200 (8th lowest)
More on Bennett:
Bennett is a city about 23.3 miles from Denver, but Denver probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a worse place to live. Bennett has the 8th most uninsured people, 12th worst incomes, and has the 20th highest unemployment rate (3.8%) in the entire Denver metro area.
Homes only cost $315,200 for a reason. That’s cheap for Denver standards.
Median Income: $85,518 (20th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $347,500 (9th lowest)
More on Dacono:
If you absolutely have to live near Denver, then Dacono might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Denver suburb.
About 4.59% of residents are out of work.
Median Income: $73,163 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $351,500 (11th lowest)
More on Northglenn:
Rounding out the ten worst Denver suburbs to call home is Northglenn.
Located 11.5 miles outside the city, Northglenns is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 7th highest unemployment rate (4.71%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Denver for 2023
To figure out how bad a Denver suburb is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.
It’s Saturday Night Science.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2017-2021, this is the criteria we used:
- High unemployment rate
- Low median household incomes
- Low population density (no things to do)
- Low home values
- A lot of high school dropouts
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Denver.
We also limited the analysis to places with over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 35 suburbs to evaluate around Denver.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 35 in each category, where 1 was the “worst.”
Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality-of-life index.
And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index, the “Worst Suburb near Denver.” We’re looking at you, Hudson.
We updated this article for 2023, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Denver.
Summary: The areas around Denver where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Denver with Hudson casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Denver aren’t all bad. Castle Pines takes the cake as the best place to live around Denver.
- Castle Pines
- Castle Pines
For more Colorado reading, check out:
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Detailed List Of The Worst Denver Suburbs