In a recent study, NerdWallet ranked Colorado communities that are popular for young Colorado families.
The counties of Boulder and Douglas came out on top in the study, with seven of the 10 winning cities located there.
To conduct the study, NerdWallet analyzed 44 communities in Colorado, all with over 10,000 residents, and looked at:
1. Public school excellence
2. Home affordability
3. Income growth
4. Median household income
In Colorado, old mining towns have become suburban gems for young families, so the common theme of the top 10 cities turned out to be their roots in the past,
Here are the trends:
- Eight of the top 10 cities are Denver suburbs.
- Seven of 10 cities are in Douglas and Boulder counties.
- Urban renewal programs are on the rise.
In anticipation of population and business growth, these cities and towns are being proactive:
With a 9 out of 10 ranking on GreatSchools, this Colorado community is home to elementary schools with test scores higher than others in the Boulder Valley School District.
With an income growth rate of 39%, the area’s commercial and cultural vitality is soaring.
3. Highlands Ranch
Despite its size, this Denver suburb knows how to grow. Businesses now occupy more than 1,000 acres.
With a median home value of $220,000 in 2012 and monthly housing costs of $1,379, Fruita is the most affordable city in the top 10 in addition to having an income growth of 85% in the past decade.
Affordable housing and quality schools (rated 8 of 10 on GreatSchools) are only part of the charm of Lafayette. Since its creation a few years ago, the city’s Urban Renewal Authority continues to expand parking, both for cars and bikes, as it also makes the downtown area more walkable.
This city is the home of Space Systems. The art of commercial spacecraft company Sierra Nevada Corp. recently unveiled a new space-flight program for clients who want to go into low-Earth orbit.
7. Lone Tree
Although housing costs a bit more than the state median, Lone Tree features high-quality schools within the Douglas County school district and strong commercial growth. According to the city’s website, 85% of residents say the light rail that connects the city to Denver has improved their quality of life.
With a median home value of $286,300 and a median household income of $95,600, Parker is a good place to find affordable homes. When it comes to education, the town’s public schools excel with student test scores higher than other schools in the district.
9. Castle Rock
Affordability and growth are part of Castle Rock’s allure. With 32% growth income and median home values of $275,900, the area is poised for new homes and business. In 2012, the town dedicated $5 million to economic development.
10. Steamboat Springs
The city’s ski slopes and resorts mean tourism is a key part of its economy, but schools also thrive here. Despite its location far from major cities, Steamboat Springs built up its own school district. From advanced classes in middle school to AP programs in high school, the district focuses on academic rigor and college readiness, while offering diverse extracurricular activities such as alpine skiing and drama.
We believe in Colorado, we write about Colorado – this is our home and we want to make it the best it can be and highlight the best it has to offer, for which we are sincerely grateful.