Denver vs Boulder: Which is Higher?

Excited about shifting to Colorado and may’t determine between Denver and Boulder? You’re not alone! Each cities have their distinctive perks and quirks. 

Denver has the vitality of a giant metropolis, with a lot of issues to do and a robust job market. Boulder, smaller and surrounded by nature, is understood for its relaxed environment and outside actions.

Let’s examine the 2, serving to you determine which metropolis fits you finest.

Value of Dwelling

Boulder is notably dearer than Denver. The general value of residing in Boulder is roughly 10.7% larger than in Denver. To place it in perspective, if we assign Denver a price of residing index of 100, Boulder would stand at round 110.7. This distinction is essentially pushed by housing prices, the place Boulder’s housing is a staggering 76.2% dearer than Denver’s. For instance, if the typical house value in Denver is $576,000, in Boulder it will be round $997,100, a major leap. Then again, hire costs in Denver, CO are 19.4% larger than in Boulder.

Moreover, healthcare bills in Boulder are marginally larger, about 1.9% greater than in Denver. Nonetheless, salaries in Boulder aren’t proportionately larger to offset these prices. In reality, shifting from Boulder to Denver may result in a constructive change in disposable earnings as a result of decrease value of residing in Denver, regardless of a slight, round 0.9%, lower in wage.


Denver and Boulder, situated in Colorado, expertise distinct seasonal modifications much like NYC and Chicago. Nonetheless, Denver, generally known as the ‘Mile High City’, has a local weather influenced by its altitude. It tends to have extra sunny days on common, with milder winters in comparison with cities additional east. 

Snowfall is widespread, however it normally melts rapidly as a result of sunny climate that follows. Boulder, situated on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, experiences barely cooler temperatures total. It additionally will get extra snow than Denver, particularly throughout winter storms that may convey heavy snowfall to the realm. Each cities get pleasure from a semi-arid local weather, which means summers may be sizzling and dry.

Public Transportation

When it comes to public transportation, Denver has a extra intensive system in comparison with Boulder. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) operates in each cities, however Denver advantages from a bigger community of sunshine rail and bus companies. The sunshine rail in Denver connects varied elements of town and even extends to the suburbs. Boulder, whereas having a dependable bus system, lacks the intensive rail community present in Denver. Nonetheless, Boulder is understood for being extraordinarily bike-friendly and walkable, particularly in and across the downtown space and the College of Colorado campus.

Job Alternatives

With a mean wage of $82k, Boulder has larger salaries than Denver, the place the typical is $79k. however Denver, as a bigger metropolis, has a extra various job market. It’s recognized for its booming tech business, telecommunications, and a rising variety of startups. The vitality sector, significantly renewable vitality, can be important in Denver. 

Boulder, however, is acknowledged for its academic and analysis establishments, significantly the College of Colorado Boulder. It’s additionally house to many know-how corporations and startups, with a robust emphasis on scientific analysis and improvement. Whereas Boulder gives wonderful job alternatives, the sheer dimension and variety of Denver’s job market present extra choices throughout varied industries.


Denver’s culinary scene is various, that includes every little thing from high-end eating places to native eateries. Some notable locations embody Tavernetta, recognized for its Tagliatelle with Maine lobster and Calabrian chile; Gozo, providing a Mediterranean-inspired menu with dishes like truffle fries and prosciutto pizza; and D Bar Denver, a dessert spot celebrated for its cake and shake mixture​​.

Boulder, acknowledged as “America’s Foodiest Town,” has a wealthy Food scene with a give attention to farm-to-table experiences. It’s house to a number of acclaimed eating places, together with Frasca Meals and Wine, recognized for its Northern Italian delicacies; The Med, providing Mediterranean fare; and The Buff Restaurant, a well-liked brunch spot. Boulder’s meals tradition is vastly influenced by its proximity to over 850 farms, selling recent, native produce​​.

Each cities had been acknowledged by the Michelin Information. Denver’s Basta and Boulder’s Frasca Meals and Wine had been among the many eating places acknowledged​​.


Denver, because the state capital, gives a wide selection of museums, historic landmarks, and cultural points of interest. It’s additionally recognized for its purchasing locations just like the sixteenth Avenue Mall and Cherry Creek Buying Heart. Denver’s city high-rise structure contrasts with Boulder’s old-town American aesthetic, that includes log cabins and low-rise buildings​​.

Boulder, set on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, is nearer to outside actions like mountaineering and mountain biking. Town is legendary for its pure surroundings, together with the Flatirons, and gives a extra laid-back, nature-oriented life-style. Boulder’s life-style can be influenced by its quite a few well being meals choices and give attention to Fitness and well-being​

Crime Charges

Denver’s crime charges are larger in comparison with Boulder however that doesn’t there aren’t any protected areas in Denver. The violent crime fee in Denver is rated at 30.7, and the property crime fee is 50.8. These charges are on a scale the place 100 represents excessive crime​​.

Boulder’s violent crime fee is 13.5, and its property crime fee is 40.9, that are decrease than Denver’s charges.

Boulder has skilled a rise in violent crimes, however total, town’s crime fee is decrease than many comparably sized U.S. cities and college cities. Town’s violent crime fee is decrease than the Colorado common​​​​.

Commute Occasions

Whereas Denver has an extended common commute time in comparison with Boulder, each cities have a various vary of transportation choices, with a notable portion of Boulder’s inhabitants utilizing different modes like biking and strolling.

The typical one-way commute time in Denver is roughly 25.3 minutes, which is barely shorter than the U.S. common of 26.4 minutes. Nearly all of individuals in Denver (69.9%) drive their very own automobile alone, adopted by those that carpool (8.1%), earn a living from home (7.6%), and use mass transit (6.8%)​​.

In Boulder, the typical one-way commute time is about 19.1 minutes, which is shorter than each the nationwide and Denver averages. Right here, 50.9% of individuals drive their very own automobile alone, whereas a major 12.8% earn a living from home, and seven.9% use mass transit. Boulder additionally has a better share of people that bicycle (8.8%) and stroll (9.1%) in comparison with Denver​.

The High quality of Life Index

The High quality of Life Index in Boulder, CO, contains varied metrics by Numbeo:

  • Security Index: 70.69 (Excessive)
  • Well being Care Index: 67.79 (Excessive)
  • Local weather Index: 62.36 (Excessive)
  • Property Value to Revenue Ratio: 11.46 (Reasonable)
  • Visitors Commute Time Index: 35.67 (Reasonable)
  • Air pollution Index: 37.26 (Low)​​

In distinction, Denver’s High quality of Life Index has a rating of 152.33 (Excessive), primarily based on the next elements:

  • Buying Energy Index: 104.50 (Excessive)
  • Security Index: 53.15 (Reasonable)
  • Well being Care Index: 69.25 (Excessive)
  • Local weather Index: 56.28 (Reasonable)
  • Value of Dwelling Index: 82.84 (Excessive)
  • Property Value to Revenue Ratio: 6.18 (Low)
  • Visitors Commute Time Index: 36.80 (Reasonable)
  • Air pollution Index: 44.48 (Reasonable)​​

Comparatively, Denver displays a excessive total High quality of Life Index rating, with sturdy scores in Buying Energy and Well being Care, however a average ranking in Security. Boulder, without having an total rating out there, exhibits excessive scores in Security and Well being Care however has a better Property Value to Revenue Ratio, indicating dearer housing relative to earnings.

Boulder gives a fascinating high quality of life that helps entice and retain a proficient workforce. Boulder is understood for its average local weather, plentiful open area, wonderful public colleges, and wholesome life-style choices. Town additionally has a large selection of housing, a wide range of eating, purchasing, artwork, and cultural actions, and is near the facilities of Denver​​.

Denver vs Boulder General

Each Boulder and Denver provide high-quality residing situations, every with their distinctive strengths and traits. Denver scores larger within the High quality of Life Index, indicating a extra favorable stability throughout varied life features. Boulder, although missing an total index rating, is notable for its security, well being care, and pure setting.

Emily Sullivan

Emily is a distinguished financial expert with over 15 years of experience on Wall Street as a senior market strategist and trader. She earned her business degree in Applied Economics from Cornell University and holds various U.S. and European securities licenses. Apart from her role as a professor, Emily manages a thriving investment and trading firm, sharing her extensive knowledge and expertise to educate the next generation of financial professionals in smart money strategies that she has honed throughout her career.

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