14 reasons why Denver is the best place to live in America

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Welcome to beautiful Denver, the best place to live in America.
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Shutterstock

U.S. News & World Report recently named Denver the best place to live in America, beating out hyped-up cities like Austin and Portland.

And it delivers. From a strong job market and low unemployment rate to a thriving restaurant scene, Denver has become a cultural hub. It not only boasts practical perks, such as a low crime rate and good schools, but it has that intangible glow that makes it trendy and desirable.

Here are 14 reasons to consider Denver as your next hometown.


First of all, there are jobs. Strong aerospace, defense, biotech, healthcare, finance, and hospitality sectors create a wealth of positions, both in number and diversity. The city has also become a hotspot for millennials, bringing in fresh talent and energy. Between 2011 and 2014, nearly 3,200 new firms opened in Denver, driving down the unemployment rate and helping add more than 165,000 new jobs.

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apascuito/Flickr

Sources: U.S. News, Wall Street Journal


Not only are there jobs, but they also pay well. At $53,060 per year, Denver’s average annual salary sits higher than the national average of $47,230.

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Larry Johnson/flickr

Source: U.S. News


Denver’s unemployment rate also beats the national average. Only 3.1% of Denver residents are unemployed, compared to 4.9% of all US citizens.

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FRED

Source: FRED


Part of this growing economy can be attributed to the expanding cannabis industry. Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, creating a surge in related commerce, from growers to dispensaries to retail. The industry now occupies more than 3.7 million square feet of industrial space in Denver, jump-starting the city’s industrial real estate market.

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REUTERS/Jason Redmond

Sources: U.S. News, The Denver Post


But rest assured, parents: The city’s packed with good schools as well. Denver scores a 7.7 out of 10 on U.S. News’ college readiness index, higher than comparable cities. This score measures the breadth and depth of the college-level curriculum in high schools, based on AP and IB test scores.

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Denver Public Schools/Facebook

Source: U.S. News [1,2]


Several colleges and universities call Denver home, making it a hub of academia. Three schools — Regis University, University of Denver, and the University of Colorado at Boulder — appear on U.S. News’ rankings of the best colleges in the country.

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University of Denver students.
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University of Denver/Facebook

Source: U.S. News


You’re pretty safe in Denver — the city sees much less violent crime than comparable cities. The number of violent crimes per 100,000 people in Denver is 331, below the national average and well behind New York City at 366 and Chicago at 380.

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Osbornb/Flickr

Source: U.S. News


Denver’s not only a practical choice, but it’s become a desirable place as well. There’s an intangible allure that makes people want to live in the Mile High City, earning it a 9.9 out of 10 on U.S. News’ Desirability Index, which gauges interest in a place based on how many people say they want to live there. By comparison, major metro areas like New York and San Francisco scored only 8.4 and 8.9 on the index, respectively.

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Kyla Duhamel/Flickr

Source: U.S. News


With seven professional sports teams — including baseball’s Colorado Rockies, basketball’s Denver Nuggets, and football’s Denver Broncos — the Mile High City radiates with hometown pride year-round.

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Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Source: Denver.org


But no season is bigger than football season, where the Broncos rein as one of the best teams in the country. They reached the Super Bowl in 2014 and lost to the Seattle Seahawks, but this year they took home the Vince Lombardi Trophy by defeating the Carolina Panthers 24-10 — their first championship since 1998.

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Al Bello/Getty Images

Source: The New York Times


Denver’s restaurant scene is booming. More than 400 new spots opened in 2015 alone, including an influx of Asian flavors and numerous quality barbecue joints.

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A meal from Owlbear Barbecue, which opened in Denver last year.
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Samantha Keller/Owlbear Barbecue/Facebook

Sources: Zagat, NPR


A counterpart to the boom in restaurants, craft breweries continue to pop up all over Denver. The flood of new spots helped the state’s craft beer industry add $1.15 billion to the Colorado’s economy in 2014. The state ranks third in nation for number of breweries with nearly 300 in operation.

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Denver Beer Co.

Sources: Zagat, The Denver Post, Brewer’s Association, BeerAdvocate


It’s also one of the sunniest cities in the US. Despite Denver’s snowy winters, the city sees sunny skies nearly 70% of the time, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which ranks the annual percentage of possible sunshine for cities in the US and Puerto Rico.

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Shutterstock/welcomia

Source: NerdWallet


Denver’s backyard teems with outdoor adventures. In the winter, nearby resorts like Winter Park, Loveland, and Arapahoe Basin offer powdery ski slopes. Come summer, Colorado’s mountainous terrain melts into prime hiking trails.

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Skiers at the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.
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Arapahoe Basin Ski Area/Facebook

Source: USA Today


Planning to move to Denver yet?

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Flickr/Jeff Turner