(CBS4) – Colorado is home to the top five most livable and affordable mid-sized cities in the U.S., according to personal finance website SmartAsset. The ranking took into consideration several economic factors, including median household income, unemployment rate, average commute time, poverty rate and income inequality.

Copter4 view of Denver on Tuesday morning.

Personal finance website SmartAsset ranked five mid-sized cities in Colorado as the most livable and affordable in the U.S. (credit: CBS)

Arvada came in first place with a strong job market and livable wages. Centennial came in second with low levels of poverty, unemployment and more people living with healthcare.

Westminster is the third-highest ranked mid-sized city and also boasts low poverty and unemployment rates. The median home value in Westminster grew 60 percent in five years.

Highlands Ranch is No. 4 on the list with low income inequality compared to other mid-sized cities and a high median household income. Thornton rounds out the top five with lower monthly housing costs and low unemployment.

1. Arvada, Colorado

  • Median household income: $87,955
  • Change in median home value from 2014 through 2018: 63%
  • Poverty rate: 4.7%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.4%
  • Median monthly housing costs: $1,438

2. Centennial, Colorado

  • Median household income: $110,443
  • Change in median home value from 2014 through 2018: 39%
  • Poverty rate: 3.2%
  • Unemployment rate: 2.7%
  • Median monthly housing costs: $1,740

3. Westminster, Colorado

  • Median household income: $71,626
  • Change in median home value from 2014 through 2018: 60%
  • Poverty rate: 5.5%
  • Unemployment rate: 2.8%
  • Median monthly housing costs: $1,441

4. Highlands Ranch, Colorado

  • Median household income: $124,795
  • Change in median home value from 2014 through 2018: 33%
  • Poverty rate: 1.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 2.9%
  • Median monthly housing costs: $2,021

5. Thornton, Colorado

  • Median household income: $74,690
  • Change in median home value from 2014 through 2018: 66%
  • Poverty rate: 6.9%
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • Median monthly housing costs: $1,492
Rochester, MN came in at No. 6 on the list, followed by Cary, NC, Meridian, ID, Overland Park, KS and Frisco, TX.

SmartAsset analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data from 2014 to 2018 to determine changes in median home value. Across the U.S., more than 226 mid-sized cities made the list.

Comments (4)
  1. dave smith says:

    Thats correct they are suburbs and its their way to get people to move to Denver proper. Thornton is no longer a livable unless your getting 200,000 + ayear

  2. dixiedoc says:

    Why don’t you show us stand alone mid sized cities at least 50 miles from a metropolis. A suburb of a large city doesn’t count

  3. kyleranneford says:

    These aren’t mid-sized cities. These are Denver suburbs. It’s all Denver.

  4. J. G. Austin says:

    I think someone over at SmartAsset really dislikes Denver and is plotting to make it even MORE unlivable by encouraging even more people to move here!

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