Thinking about moving to Denver?
You, and an astounding 10,000 other people a month.
Denver’s combination of cosmopolitan living, proximity to world-class recreational opportunities, and a strong economy have made the Mile High City – so nicknamed for its altitude, 5,280 feet – a mecca for everyone from startup geeks to entrepreneurial stoners. Denver has a distinct “outdoorsy chic” vibe that is unique among United States cities.
It’s not cheap to live here. According to City-Data.com, Denver’s population had increased nearly 20 percent since 2000, and transplants continue to pour into Colorado in record numbers. Median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the city reached a staggering $1,770 in June 2016, and the median listing price for homes is fast approaching half a million dollars.
That being said, if you’ve got the money to live here, the lifestyle is outstanding. Denver is the heart of what locals call the Front Range, which, geographically, is where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains. The Front Range is dotted with the largest and most populous cities in Colorado, stretching from Fort Collins in the north, to Pueblo in the south. Denver is close to several ski resorts and national parks, and offers a fantastic mix of outdoor opportunities and cultural offerings.
Denver International Airport (DIA) is the largest airport in the U.S. by land area, and the sixth busiest by passenger boardings. The city also boasts extensive light rail and public bus systems. The A light rail line, which opened in April 2016, transports passengers from downtown Union Station to DIA in less than 40 minutes, while the Northwest rail line will eventually stretch through Boulder to Longmont.
Traffic has worsened in recent years due to construction projects and the massive influx of new residents.
Denver has more than 300 days of sunshine per year, which might come as a surprise to those who associate the city with the snow-capped peaks in photos. Humidity is low, making for mild weather marked by warm, sunny days and cool evenings. Average temperatures are 45 degrees Fahrenheit in winter and 86 degrees in summer. Even when it does snow, the white stuff melts fast due to all that sunshine.
Denver is enjoying a strong economy fueled, in part, by startups, energy development, technology and marijuana legalization. It is headquarters to several large companies including DaVita, Oracle, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Chipotle, Coors Brewing Company, Frontier Airlines, Quark, and Newmont Mining. Colorado’s economy grew 4.7 percent in 2014 – more than twice the national average.
Unemployment rate: 3.3 percent
Average weekly wages for all industries: $1,098