Why is Colorado an Expensive State to Live in?

Henry Johnson LR
3 min readSep 1, 2023

It’s no doubt that Colorado has become one of the most expensive places in the country to live. Trust me, being a Coloradan, I’ve seen it grow like crazy, and for some, they usually blame the high cost of living on the Californians, Texans, New Yorkers, etc. — those who are not Natives. Colorado, known for its stunning landscapes, outdoor recreational activities, and vibrant cities, has become a popular destination for many. However, the cost of living in Centennial State is significantly higher than the national average. Let’s explore the factors contributing to Colorado’s high cost of living, from housing and transportation to taxes and lifestyle expenses.

Pic Cred: Juan Nino
  1. The Housing Market:

One of the primary factors contributing to Colorado’s high cost of living is its housing market. The state has seen a significant increase in housing prices over the past decade, driven by a strong economy, population growth, and limited housing supply. Whether renting or buying, residents often find that housing costs take up a substantial portion of their income. The housing prices increased due to the pour of others living in neighboring states moving to Colorado right after the pandemic. Ten years ago, before the pandemic, houses in Colorado quickly were around 180k to 200k ballpark. Now, if only you are lucky, you can get a newly built duplex for about $600,000. Housing is the number one killer while living in Colorado.

2. Transportation Costs:

Transportation is another significant expense for Colorado residents. While public transportation is available in larger cities like Denver and Boulder, many residents rely on ride shares and personal vehicles for commuting, particularly in rural areas. The cost of car ownership, including insurance, maintenance, and gas, can add up quickly. Also, the cost of taking a Lyft and Uber factor into this daily cost.

3. Taxes:

Colorado’s tax structure also contributes to its high cost of living. The state has a flat income tax rate, which means that all residents, regardless of income, pay the same percentage of their income in taxes. Additionally, property taxes and sales taxes can add a significant amount to residents’ annual expenses.



Henry Johnson LR

I am a Liberian-born American writer with great ideas to impact lives and leave this world a little better than I found it.