People who live in Colorado are weirdly protective of their state. It’s almost like they warn you: Don’t you dare say anything bad about Colorado, especially if you don’t live here.
Well I am about to, and I don’t. So deal with it.
To be fair, I’ve been to Colorado many times, and it is a beautiful place. I’ve boarded there, and I’ve camped out in the mountains and in the deserts. Many of my friends spent time there, and many still make Colorado home. I hear nothing but great things.
But is it all good there? Of course not. Just like any other state, Colorado has some issues. And the purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which places in Colorado are the absolute worst. If you live in any of these places, you might agree with this analysis. And if you don’t agree, you have to admit that the criteria we’re using makes a lot of sense.
After analyzing all 72 cities with a population over 5,000, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Colorado:
- Lochbuie (Photos)
- Alamosa (Photos)
- Sheridan (Photos)
- Rifle (Photos)
- Trinidad (Photos)
- Federal Heights (Photos)
- Pueblo (Photos)
- Delta (Photos)
- Glendale (Photos)
- Aurora (Photos)
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case.
We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Colorado? That would be Lochbuie.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.
For more Colorado reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Colorado
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Colorado
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Colorado
How we determined the worst places to live in Colorado for 2019
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:
- Good education
- Lots of jobs
- Low crime
- Low poverty
- Nice homes
- High incomes
- High population density (Lots of things to do)
- Short work commutes
- Health insurance
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 72 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 72 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score”.
Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score” with the lowest score being the worst city in Colorado — Lochbuie. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Colorado.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
When you’re looking at science and data, Lochbuie is the worst place you can live in Colorado. Let’s see why.
The unemployment rate here is 4.7%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $199,700, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 23.0 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That’s not fun, either.
Lochbuie is a far drive south from Louisville.
Alamosa is a mess. It has a horrible crime rate, and is out in the middle of nowhere (you might see it on your way to the city of Antonito if that helps). The unemployment rate is high and home values are way below the state average. And, there’s a prison there.
On the other hand, the school system spends almost more per student than any other place in Colorado. A real head scratcher.
When you’re looking at science and data, the city of Sheridan is the 3rd worst place you can live in the state of Colorado. Let’s see why.
You may be surprised to hear that the crime here is the 4th-highest in the state per capita, according to the FBI data base.
Residents in Sheridan had a 1 in 10.8 chance of being robbed in 2018. To put things into perspective, since the average person has 300 friends on Facebook, if everyone you friended lived in Sheridan, statistically, 25 of them would have been the victim of a property crime, meaning a home robbery, car break in or a stolen wallet.
Sheridan’s other issues are a very high unemployment rate (7.6%) and income levels of its residents ($40,890).
Rifle has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 34th-highest in the state of Colorado. And residents earn far less than it takes to live a normal life. The unemployment rank is also higher than almost every other city in the state at 9.1%.
Additionally, 14.8% of the population lives below the poverty line.
If you’re going to drive to New Mexico, Trinidad would be the last place you’d see on I-25 before you crossed the state line. And, there really isn’t much of a reason to stop. Unless they have great deals on weed.
People who have jobs earn meager livings and home prices are way below average. And there’s just not a lot to do. Except smoke the weed you just bought.
If you’re looking to live in Colorado, Federal Heights might not be the best choice as it places 6th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2019.
The unemployment rate here is 4.7%, and households bring in a combined $38,328 a year in income. That’s not too far from the poverty line, even though money goes a lot further in the boonies of Colorado.
Crime is the 19th highest in the state in Federal Heights as well. Just not a very desirable place at all to make home.
When you’re looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Pueblo is by far the worst place in Colorado.
The crime here is really bad and nearly 1 in 9.7 residents are without jobs — by far the highest in the state. And those who are employed earn a measly salary. The schools are underfunded and home values are low and not climbing at all.
If you’ve been to Pueblo, it would be hard to argue against this ranking. And if you live there, you might have expected to see your town towards the top of the list. The rest of these cities are a distant second.
Delta is out in the boonies, south of Grand Junction. The population has grown 15% in the last 15 years, perhaps due to the cheap housing, as homes cost an average $139,100 each.
Delta has some of the lowest public school funding in Colorado. And while the unemployment rate isn’t as bad as other cities, it’s still up there. Plus, there’s not a lot to do here for indoor entertainment. If you’re an outdoor person, it might not be so bad. But on paper, Delta isn’t desirable.
Glendale’s main issue is crime. It’s the 2nd most dangerous place in the state of Colorado. Is that a surprise?
If you live in Glendale, you have a 1 in 6.4 chance that you’ll be the victim of a property crime. That’s really high, especially for a city of its size. That’s a lot of stolen lawn mowers, cell phones and cameras. Perhaps it’s because the folks here live in far nicer homes than some of the other cities to top this list. They’re targets.
The unemployment rate is higher than the state average at 4.8%.
There’s probably not many people in Colorado that would be surprised to see Aurora on this list. In fact, if Aurora wasn’t somewhere in the top 10, most people would start to wonder if our data was accurate.
Here are the statistics. Aurora has the 31st worst crime rate in Colorado. No surprises there. How dangerous is it though? There were almost 2,239 violent crimes in Aurora in 2019. Residents here had a 1 in 159 chance of being killed, raped or attacked. Just wow.
The home values in Aurora are the 27th cheapest in the state ($231,000), the unemployment rate is the 23rd highest (6.0%), and the annual household income is 28th lowest in Colorado, at $58,343. That’s basically at the poverty level for a family of four.
Wrapping Up The Worst In Colorado
If you’re looking at areas in Colorado with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Lochbuie ranks as the worst city to live in Colorado for 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Colorado:
- Superior (Pop. 12,879)
- Parker (Pop. 51,125)
- Louisville (Pop. 20,319)
For more Colorado reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Colorado
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Colorado
- 10 Safest Places In Colorado
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Colorado
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Colorado