Colorado a Top Spot to Make a Living

Posted by RE/MAX of Boulder on Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 at 1:32pm.

Colorado ranks No. 5 in the U.S. for making a living, according to MoneyRates’ Best Places to Make a Living 2017 List.

Shooting up three positions from last year’s position, Colorado has been among MoneyRates’ top ten since 2011 –- ranking No. 8 in 2016, No. 7 in 2015, No. 4 in 2014 and No. 3 in 2013.  

Photo courtesy of Krait Herzog, Unsplash
Photo courtesy of Krait Herzog on Unsplash

High wages and low unemployment continue to factor strongly in Colorado’s position. This year the state has the lowest unemployment in the nation at 2.6 percent.

According to MoneyRates, national unemployment is down below 5 percent and wages are beginning to rise. But some states unemployment rates are more than twice as high as others. The highest-paying states have median wages that are about $15,000 above the lowest-paying. And in some states, costs of living or state income tax rates make meeting monthly budgets and growing savings tough –- or impossible –- to do.

Where you live impacts whether work opportunities are plentiful or slim and how far your dollar goes. MoneyRates evaluated several factors to determine where workers had the best shot at a healthy paycheck and savings, a decent cost of living and safe workplaces.

MoneyRates based its rankings based on the following factors:

  1. Median wages. Median annual wage data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  2. State tax rates. MoneyRates analyzed the state tax information collected by the research group Tax Foundation.

  3. Cost of living. Data was gathered from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index. 

  4. The unemployment rate. Unemployment data was sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  5. Incidents of workplace illness, injuries and fatalities. Workplace safety data (fatal and non-fatal incidents) is from the BLS, which sourced data from employer reports to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

Here’s the list of Best States to Make a Living 2017:


For the full report, visit

Leave a Comment