Best counties to live in Colorado

Written by:
June 17, 2021
Billy Hathorn // Wikimedia Commons

Best counties to live in Colorado

What makes a particular county the best? Oftentimes, it's a good mix of opportunities for fun outdoor activities and cultural attractions. Throw in some historical sites, good schools, job opportunities, and affordable housing, and the county will most likely have happy residents.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to live in Colorado using rankings from Niche. Niche ranks counties by a variety of factors including: public schools, educational attainment, cost of living, and housing.

Many counties on the list are experiencing growth due to their job opportunities, education, or home values. Others are adored for their historic or well-designed value, or devotion to cultural opportunities. Keep reading to see if your county made the list.

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John Wark // Wikicommons

#18. Pueblo County

- Population: 165,982
- Median home value: $164,600 (65% own)
- Median rent: $829 (35% rent)
- Median household income: $46,783
- Top public schools: The Connect Charter School (A), Swallows Charter Academy (B+), Swallows Charter Academy (B+)
- Top private schools: St. Therese Catholic School (unavailable), St. John Neumann Catholic School (unavailable), Trinity Lutheran School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Pueblo West (B), Pueblo (B), Beulah Valley (B+)
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Jeffrey Beall // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Conejos County

- Population: 8,128
- Median home value: $120,500 (79% own)
- Median rent: $543 (21% rent)
- Median household income: $36,084
- Top public schools: Manassa Elementary School (A), La Jara Elementary School (B+), Centauri High School (B+)
- Top private schools:
- Top places to live: Manassa (B+), La Jara (B), Sanford (B)
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Jeffrey Beall // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Gilpin County

- Population: 6,018
- Median home value: $353,400 (80% own)
- Median rent: $1,159 (20% rent)
- Median household income: $76,429
- Top public schools: Gilpin County Elementary School (B+)
- Top private schools:
- Top places to live: Central City (C+)
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Jeffrey Beall // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Grand County

- Population: 15,303
- Median home value: $308,200 (68% own)
- Median rent: $1,047 (32% rent)
- Median household income: $71,198
- Top public schools: Fraser Valley Elementary School (B+), East Grand Middle School (B+), Middle Park High School (B)
- Top private schools: Winter Park Christian School (A)
- Top places to live: Fraser (B+), Grand Lake (A), Winter Park (A)
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Dsdugan // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Clear Creek County

- Population: 9,495
- Median home value: $378,300 (77% own)
- Median rent: $938 (23% rent)
- Median household income: $67,060
- Top public schools: King-Murphy Elementary School (B), Clear Creek High School (B), Georgetown Community School (B)
- Top private schools:
- Top places to live: Silver Plume (B+), Georgetown (B), Empire (B)
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#13. La Plata County

- Population: 55,617
- Median home value: $395,600 (71% own)
- Median rent: $1,147 (29% rent)
- Median household income: $68,685
- Top public schools: Mountain Middle School (A), Animas High School (A), Durango High School (B+)
- Top private schools: Colorado Timberline Academy (B+), St. Columba School (unavailable), Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Durango (A), Bayfield (C+), Ignacio (C+)
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The Greater Southwestern Exploration Company from Long Beach, California, United States // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Gunnison County

- Population: 16,802
- Median home value: $367,300 (61% own)
- Median rent: $992 (39% rent)
- Median household income: $56,577
- Top public schools: Crested Butte Community School (A), Gunnison High School (B), Crested Butte Elementary School (B)
- Top private schools:
- Top places to live: Gunnison (A), Mount Crested Butte (A), Crested Butte (B+)
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Jeffrey Beall // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Eagle County

- Population: 54,681
- Median home value: $562,300 (70% own)
- Median rent: $1,594 (30% rent)
- Median household income: $84,790
- Top public schools: Battle Mountain High School (A), Eagle County Charter Academy (A), Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy (VSSA) (B+)
- Top private schools: Vail Mountain School (A+), Vail Christian High School (A+), St. Clare of Assisi School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Vail (A), Eagle (B+), Avon (B+)
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JERREYE AND ROYKLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#10. San Miguel County

- Population: 8,049
- Median home value: $479,300 (61% own)
- Median rent: $1,140 (39% rent)
- Median household income: $67,038
- Top public schools: Telluride High School (A+), Telluride Middle School (A), Telluride Intermediate School (A)
- Top private schools: Telluride Mountain School (A)
- Top places to live: Mountain Village (A), Telluride (A), Ophir (B)
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#9. Routt County

- Population: 25,072
- Median home value: $535,300 (71% own)
- Median rent: $1,282 (29% rent)
- Median household income: $77,443
- Top public schools: Steamboat Springs Middle School (A), Soda Creek Elementary School (A), Strawberry Park Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Steamboat Mountain School (A+), Emerald Mountain School (unavailable), Christian Heritage School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Steamboat Springs (A), Oak Creek (B), Yampa (C+)
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#8. Pitkin County

- Population: 17,926
- Median home value: $615,900 (65% own)
- Median rent: $1,473 (35% rent)
- Median household income: $78,935
- Top public schools: Aspen High School (A), Aspen Community Charter School (A), Aspen Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: Aspen Country Day School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Aspen (A), Snowmass Village (A), Woody Creek (B+)
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#7. Summit County

- Population: 30,649
- Median home value: $579,600 (66% own)
- Median rent: $1,393 (34% rent)
- Median household income: $79,277
- Top public schools: Breckenridge Elementary School (B+), Frisco Elementary School (B+), Summit Cove Elementary School (B+)
- Top private schools: The Peak School (A)
- Top places to live: Breckenridge (A), Frisco (B), Silverthorne (B)
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Citycommunications // Wikicommons

#6. Larimer County

- Population: 344,786
- Median home value: $363,800 (65% own)
- Median rent: $1,297 (35% rent)
- Median household income: $71,881
- Top public schools: Liberty Common Charter School (A+), Fossil Ridge High School (A), Fort Collins High School (A)
- Top private schools: Campion Academy (A), Resurrection Christian School (A), Heritage Christian Academy (B+)
- Top places to live: Timnath (A), Fort Collins (A), Johnstown (B+)
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Robert Corby // Wikimedia Commons

#5. El Paso County

- Population: 698,974
- Median home value: $275,000 (64% own)
- Median rent: $1,174 (36% rent)
- Median household income: $68,779
- Top public schools: Cheyenne Mountain High School (A+), The Vanguard School Elementary (A+), The Vanguard School Junior High (A+)
- Top private schools: Fountain Valley School (A+), The Colorado Springs School (A+), St. Mary's High School (A)
- Top places to live: Woodmoor (A), Monument (A), Gleneagle (A)
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Mountain Mike Johans // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Arapahoe County

- Population: 644,560
- Median home value: $358,200 (64% own)
- Median rent: $1,390 (36% rent)
- Median household income: $77,469
- Top public schools: Cherry Creek High School (A+), Grandview High School (A+), Challenge School (A)
- Top private schools: Kent Denver School (A+), Regis Jesuit High School (A+), St. Mary's Academy (A+)
- Top places to live: Holly Hills (A+), Cherry Creek (A+), Inverness (A+)
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Yassie // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Jefferson County

- Population: 574,798
- Median home value: $397,700 (71% own)
- Median rent: $1,376 (29% rent)
- Median household income: $82,986
- Top public schools: D'Evelyn Junior/Senior High School (A+), Lakewood High School (A+), Evergreen High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Colorado Academy (A+), Denver Christian School (A), Front Range Christian School (A)
- Top places to live: Evergreen (A), Genesee (A), Columbine (A)
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Billy Hathorn // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Douglas County

- Population: 336,041
- Median home value: $468,700 (79% own)
- Median rent: $1,725 (21% rent)
- Median household income: $119,730
- Top public schools: Rock Canyon High School (A+), Mountain Vista High School (A), STEM School Highlands Ranch (A)
- Top private schools: Valor Christian High School (A+), Mile High Academy (A), Lutheran High School (A)
- Top places to live: Highlands Ranch (A+), Castle Pines (A+), Lone Tree (A+)
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Maciej Bledowski // Shutterstock

#1. Boulder County

- Population: 322,510
- Median home value: $497,300 (62% own)
- Median rent: $1,495 (38% rent)
- Median household income: $83,019
- Top public schools: Fairview High School (A+), Peak to Peak Charter School (A+), Boulder High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Dawson School (A+), Tara Performing Arts High School (A), Watershed School (A)
- Top places to live: Superior (A+), Louisville (A+), Boulder (A+)

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