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:
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
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Colorado For 2019
Lochbuie, CO needs a big hug right now. Residents here are underpaid, underemployed and possibly lonely.
Additionally, crime is 19th worst in the state, which is very high considering Lochbuie is so far removed from the rest of Colorado.
If you know anyone in Lochbuie, dm them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
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.
Sure, it’s in a beautiful area, and there’s lots of culture, especially in terms of music. But, if you’re measuring desirability, it’s the 3rd worst in Colorado.
Sheridan residents had a 1 in 10.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime. Meaning lots of stolen laptops, cell phones and sports jerseys.
The unemployment rate in Sheridan is through the roof, as more than 7.6% of the population can’t get a job. At least their mortgages aren’t too high; at $155,500, Sheridan has the 10th-lowest home prices in the state of Colorado.
There’s probably not many people in Colorado that would be surprised to see Rifle on this list. In fact, if Rifle wasn’t somewhere in the top 10, most people would start to wonder if our data was accurate.
Here are the statistics. Rifle has the 34th worst crime rate in Colorado. No surprises there. How dangerous is it though? There were almost 31 violent crimes in Rifle in 2019. Residents here had a 1 in 307 chance of being killed, raped or attacked. Just wow.
The home values in Rifle are the 25th cheapest in the state ($221,600), the unemployment rate is the 8th highest (9.1%), and the annual household income is 37th lowest in Colorado, at $61,696. That’s basically at the poverty level for a family of four.
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.
Federal Heights ranks as the 6th worst city on this list.
Federal Heights has the 19th highest crime rate in Colorado, where residents have a 1 in 23.0 chance of being robbed every year. Homes are the 1st cheapest in the state ($47,700), and the uninsured rate here is far below average as well.
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.
If you live in Glendale, this might not be a surprise, but you have the 2nd highest crime rate, per capita in the state of Colorado. Every year you spend here, you have a 1 in 6.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime like a car break in or home invasion robbery.
That’s a lot of stolen cell phones, laptops and black license plates.
Plus there were 46 violent crimes in the last FBI reporting year. That means if you spent a year there, you’d have a 1 in 109 chance of being raped or attacked.
Finally, the folks who live here earn the 14th lowest salaries in Colorado At $45,365 a household, that’s simply not enough to get by for most folks.
When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in Colorado, Aurora came in 10th. Let’s see why.
When you’re comparing the unemployment rate to the rest of the nation, Colorado residents are very hard workers. But when comparing the unemployment rate among cities in Colorado, you can see some really big differences. In Aurora, the number of people out of work is 6.0%
In Colorado, that’s the 23rd highest in the state.
The residents in Aurora have the 28th lowest incomes in the state. Folks in Aurora average $58,343 a year. Which isn’t too shabby in comparison to the other ‘lowest’ income cities in most other states.
Additionally, the homes are valued at $231,000 on average. That’s the 27th lowest in the state.
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.
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)
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