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Four Colorado cities make annual list of best places to live in the U.S.

Boulder held the top spot two years ago before dropping, likely because U.S. News gives more weight to affordability.
Colorado Springs Downtown Colorado Springs.jpg
Posted at 4:16 PM, May 21, 2024

COLORADO — The annual list of "best places to live in the United States" from U.S. News is out.

Four cities in Colorado made the list: Colorado Springs (3), Boulder (10), Fort Collins (39) and Denver (40).

The list was released Tuesday, and it is the fifth time in the last six years Colorado Springs ranked number one as the most desirable place to live. It's the seventh straight year Colorado Springs placed inside the top 10 Best Places to Live overall listing.

Last year, Olympic City USA ranked ninth and was one of two Colorado cities in the top 10.

“Our secret is out – Colorado Springs is indisputably one of the best places to live in our great country, and we are proud to again rank as one of the top cities in this reputable list by U.S. News & World Report,” said Mayor Yemi Mobolade. “We celebrate this win and our collective efforts to create a community that we can all be proud of. And still, our work is not done. We embrace the opportunity to continue working together to make Colorado Springs the very best city for all residents. We are on a mission together to build an inclusive, culturally rich, economically prosperous, safe, and vibrant world class American city on a hill that shines brightly.”

U.S. News describes Colorado Springs, framed by Pikes Peak, America's Mountain, as maintaining its small town feel despite being Colorado’s second-largest city.

Colorado Springs, according to the U.S. News data, offers lower costs on average within Colorado for health care, utilities and transportation.

The data also points to the city's Olympic roots, serving as the home for Team USA, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Centers and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum, which opened in 2020.

WATCH: What makes Colorado Springs Olympic City USA?

The publication also sates the hiking and mountain biking opportunities in Colorado Springs, including at the following locations:

  • Garden of the Gods Park
  • Red Rock Canyon Open Space
  • North Cheyenne Cañon Park 
  • Palmer Park

Colorado Springs scored high marks in both the quality of life and value categories.
"I grew up here and I have lived other places since, but there is something about Colorado Springs weather and the people are so friendly," said Kate Klauss, Carnelian Coffee Co. "I just love it. I can't get away."

Boulder held the top spot two years ago before dropping, likely because U.S. News gave more weight to affordability.

The city is trying to address this. Back in August, it launched the Middle Income Down Payment Assistance Program.

The hope, leaders said, is to help qualifying participants with the down payment on a home. In return, the home will become "permanently affordable" through a deed restriction, according to the city.

Best Places to Live: Colo Springs No. 3, Boulder No. 10

The City of Boulder would provide a loan of up to $200,000 or 30% of the home's sale price, whichever is less. The 0% loan must be repaid in 15 years or whenever the home is refinanced or sold.

Nine months after its launch, no one has signed up, Lyndsy Morse-Casillas with Boulder's Planning and Development Services said.

The city hasn't done any outreach to learn why that is though, Morse-Casillas said, and don't want to speculate.

Since the source of the funding is coming from the city's House to Homeownership Down Payment Assistance Program, which is existing funding, no money will need to be reallocated, Boulder leaders said.

While quality of life is better in Boulder, Colorado Springs ranked higher overall when it comes to value. For instance, the national average to buy a home is about $282,000. In Boulder, the cost of a home is about three times that amount, but in the springs a home costs on average $395,000.

For a full list of rankings, click here.