Worst Small Towns In Colorado For 2020


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in CO are the pits.

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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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in Colorado.

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Most Americans have never been to Colorado. However, as the people who live there know, Colorado is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Colorado has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Centennial State. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 92 of Colorado's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Colorado where you'd never want to live:

These are the worst small towns in Colorado for 2020:

  1. Towaoc
  2. Pagosa Springs
  3. Olathe
  4. Center (Photos)
  5. Parachute
  6. Ordway
  7. Manassa
  8. Rocky Ford (Photos)
  9. Las Animas
  10. Del Norte

So what is the worst small town to call home in colorado for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Towaoc is the worst small town to live in Colorado.

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Colorado has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Colorado or the worst places to live in Colorado.

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

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Colorado For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,099
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $167,400 (27th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (32nd worst)
More on Towaoc:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,064
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $208,700 (48th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (20th worst)
More on Pagosa Springs:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,882
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $121,900 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (35th worst)
More on Olathe:  Data

Center, CO

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,188
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $71,400 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (29th worst)
More on Center:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,242
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $166,100 (26th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (19th worst)
More on Parachute:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,472
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $68,300 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.9% (2nd worst)
More on Ordway:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,020
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $87,500 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (14th worst)
More on Manassa:  Data

Rocky Ford, CO

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,824
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $73,900 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.6% (6th worst)
More on Rocky Ford:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,065
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $56,700 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.7% (5th worst)
More on Las Animas:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,539
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 6)
Median Home Value: $84,200 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (26th worst)
More on Del Norte:  Data

How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Colorado, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn't a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we determined the worst small towns to live in Colorado for 2020

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2014-2018 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 92 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

There You Have It - The Worst Small Towns In Colorado

If you're analyzing teeny places in the Centennial State with the worst economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you're curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Colorado, according to science:

  1. Inverness (Pop. 1,465)
  2. Acres Green (Pop. 2,899)
  3. Holly Hills (Pop. 2,909)

For more Colorado reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Colorado

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Towaoc 1,099 5.6% $167,400
2 Pagosa Springs 2,064 7.2% $208,700
3 Olathe 1,882 5.6% $121,900
4 Center 2,188 6.0% $71,400
5 Parachute 1,242 7.3% $166,100
6 Ordway 1,472 17.9% $68,300
7 Manassa 1,020 8.6% $87,500
8 Rocky Ford 3,824 11.6% $73,900
9 Las Animas 2,065 11.7% $56,700
10 Del Norte 1,539 6.3% $84,200
11 Wray 2,430 4.2% $128,700
12 Wiggins 1,102 10.4% $171,900
13 Aetna Estates 1,475 19.8% $45,000
14 Walsenburg 2,931 6.4% $96,300
15 Aristocrat Ranchettes 1,100 7.5% $210,300
16 Monte Vista 4,169 16.9% $114,800
17 Cripple Creek 1,136 4.0% $145,300
18 Meeker 2,591 7.5% $183,600
19 Julesburg 1,259 8.6% $80,300
20 Springfield 1,347 3.6% $73,400
21 Orchard City 3,069 4.7% $208,700
22 Florence 3,890 5.5% $123,200
23 Colorado City 2,300 11.0% $191,500
24 Fowler 1,311 11.3% $86,500
25 Fraser 1,717 8.2% $295,700
26 Cedaredge 2,307 16.4% $181,100
27 Paonia 1,374 6.8% $179,100
28 Log Lane Village 1,224 1.8% $79,500
29 Ault 2,178 5.6% $195,700
30 Alamosa East 1,439 9.4% $147,000
31 Palisade 2,686 3.3% $182,900
32 Ignacio 1,282 6.0% $170,800
33 Akron 2,083 3.3% $104,700
34 Yuma 3,482 2.1% $148,600
35 Granby 1,805 3.5% $232,000
36 Penrose 2,990 8.6% $171,500
37 Keenesburg 1,380 9.0% $222,400
38 Platteville 2,707 4.7% $212,800
39 Cascade-Chipita Park 1,260 4.8% $268,400
40 Laporte 2,411 4.5% $291,800
41 Mancos 1,742 5.5% $205,800
42 Battlement Mesa 4,735 5.6% $165,800
43 Holyoke 2,407 0.6% $139,800
44 Bennett 2,202 5.9% $198,100
45 Hudson 1,722 2.3% $227,300
46 Pierce 1,031 4.5% $170,500
47 Silt 3,091 6.2% $258,500
48 Kremmling 1,684 3.0% $204,500
49 Leadville North 2,031 3.8% $282,600
50 Mountain Village 1,767 3.4% $652,800
51 Byers 1,307 4.1% $169,300
52 Burlington 3,626 3.9% $122,500
53 Limon 1,269 3.1% $122,400
54 West Pleasant View 4,691 7.5% $279,400
55 Kersey 1,760 6.3% $183,100
56 Lincoln Park 3,290 4.7% $167,500
57 Silverthorne 4,559 2.8% $611,700
58 Hayden 1,791 2.9% $222,100
59 La Salle 2,539 3.2% $185,300
60 Ridgway 1,060 3.7% $389,100
61 Leadville 2,679 5.0% $189,600
62 Idaho Springs 1,886 1.9% $245,200
63 Palmer Lake 2,684 3.1% $273,100
64 Nederland 1,385 2.6% $384,800
65 Dillon 1,169 5.7% $465,100
66 Mead 4,523 5.5% $355,600
67 El Jebel 4,167 4.2% $577,700
68 Minturn 1,090 0.7% $645,800
69 Breckenridge 4,936 2.3% $497,200
70 Georg 1,168 2.1% $277,800
71 Buena Vista 2,746 1.2% $220,600
72 Elizabeth 1,127 1.9% $237,200
73 Rangely 2,289 2.1% $170,600
74 Bayfield 2,612 0.8% $302,700
75 New Castle 4,767 3.3% $320,400
76 Basalt 3,955 3.6% $603,200
77 Ponderosa Park 3,617 4.5% $415,200
78 Snowmass Village 2,824 0.0% $886,100
79 Todd Creek 4,286 3.5% $577,400
80 Telluride 1,826 1.5% $478,100
81 Crested Butte 1,332 2.4% $690,800
82 Coal Creek 2,157 1.1% $369,300
83 Frisco 3,074 0.4% $568,300
84 Niwot 4,106 6.3% $650,400
85 Timnath 2,922 1.5% $484,100
86 Severance 4,187 1.5% $327,400
87 Lyons 2,114 3.9% $536,600
88 Meridian 3,615 5.2% $414,100
89 Genesee 3,766 3.1% $694,900
90 Inverness 1,465 0.0% $632,700
91 Acres Green 2,899 0.9% $328,600
92 Holly Hills 2,909 2.3% $426,500

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