Boulder and Fort Collins areas rated exceedingly well for desirable factors like a high quality of life, a robust job market and strong economy.

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Whether you’re a millennial, retiring or starting a family, the beautiful state of Colorado hit all the right buttons in 2022.

Rated exceedingly well for desirable factors like a high quality of life, a robust job market, and strong economy, Colorado appeared in the top ten on multiple “best of” lists published in 2022 by analysis websites U.S. News & World Report and WalletHub.

Colorado named 10th Best State for Millennials

Starting with millennials – the generation quickly rising in their rate of home ownership – this mid-20 to early-40-year-old group chose Colorado as a favorite place to call home, scoring the state in the No. 10 position in the 2022 WalletHub analysis

With a population of around 80 million, millennials surpassed baby boomers in 2019 and are now the nation’s largest generation. Millennials control more than 21% of consumer discretionary spending in the U.S. and hold trillions of dollars in purchasing power as well as higher educational attainment, according to WalletHub.

The analysis compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 34 key metrics and sorted locations based on affordability, education and health, quality of life, economic health and civic engagement. Overall, Colorado scored as follows on a scale from 1 to 50, with 1 being best and 50 being worst:

• Quality of life: 5
• Civic Engagement: 9
• Economic health: 10
• Education and health: 23
• Affordability: 49

Boulder and Fort Collins: Best Places to Live for Quality of Life

Many factors make up “quality of life” and at least two Colorado metros deliver them in abundance. Boulder ranks No. 2 across U.S. metros while Fort Collins shines in the eighth position, according to the 2022-2023 U.S. News & World Report’s Quality of Life Index.

Boulder pulled a quality-of-life score of 7.7 on the U.S. News’ Index, topped only by Ann Arbor, Mich., with a score of 8. Fort Collins hit eighth and achieved 7.2 for quality of life.

What makes these areas such an exceptional life-quality place to live? A beautiful Rocky Mountain backdrop surrounded by open space is a good start. The foothills are not only a feast for the eyes; the area is a haven for outdoor activity. “Trail runners, hikers, climbers, cyclists, and more move here to live in this perpetual playground, where the answer to “What do you do?” is often one’s activity of choice, not occupation,” writes U.S. News.

The overall ratings for the Boulder-area are:
• Quality of Life: 7.7
• Job Market: 7.7
• Desirability: 6.8
• Value: 5.1
• Net Migration: 5.2

The overall ratings for the Fort Collins-area are:
• Quality of Life: 7.2
• Job Market: 6.5
• Desirability: 5.4
• Value: 5.5
• Net Migration: 6.6

Colorado No. 3 Best State to Retire
Many people think long about where to spend their retirement years, considering cost of living, quality of healthcare, an active retirement population and quality of life. WalletHub compared the 50 states across three key dimensions: affordability, quality of life and health care.

What makes Colorado a great place to retire? Based on all metrics, Colorado was graded as 11 in the nation for affordability, 21 for quality of life and 4 for healthcare.

You can read more about each of these studies at the following links:

For more on the WalletHub studies visit: and the full list of Best Places to Retire at

Read the full report U.S. News & World Report studies at:

By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the residential real estate company he established in 1977. He has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, email Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620, or visit