Richest and Poorest Parts of Metro Denver

New statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that Denver and several other counties in the greater metro area lost population from 2020 to 2021 — a development that comes as no surprise to state demographer Elizabeth Garner. In an interview for Westword‘s recent series about growth in Colorado, Garner predicted that the pace of Denver’s expansion will slow over the course of this decade for reasons that include dollars and cents.

“We’ve always been able to depend on attracting the best and the brightest and being able to migrate in highly talented people,” she said. “Now, Colorado really has to compete, because there are fewer people and Colorado is really expensive — so that makes it harder for us. We’ve never really been faced with that challenge before.”

The ability of residents to cover the cost of living varies across greater Denver, where the gulf between richer and poorer places is wide. The most recent Census Bureau figures available show that the median household income for communities across the metro area ranges from less than $50,000 to in excess of a quarter of a million dollars per annum.

The bureau has collected data on 36 cities or towns in the metro area. Figures for median household income are drawn from the years 2016-2020 and are expressed in 2020 dollars.

The median household income for Colorado as a whole during this period was $75,231, and in comparison, the City of Denver is actually below average, landing at $72,661. It’s not alone: Denver was one of thirteen metro communities to fall short of the statewide median in this category. Sheridan was the farthest south of the mark, with a median household income estimated at $46,202.

On the other end of the scale, thirteen places have a median household income of more than $100,000 annually, led by Cherry Hills Village, whose median household income is listed as simply greater than $250,000.

Here’s the complete roster, ranked from lowest to highest median household income.

36. Sheridan: $46,202

35. Federal Heights: $49,291

34. Edgewater: $59,375

33. Dupont: $63,071

32. Wheat Ridge: $63,333

31. Fort Lupton: $66,056

30. Englewood: $66,399

29. Aurora: $67,723

28. Northglenn: $71,104

27. Lakewood: $71,233

26. Boulder: $72,279

25. Denver: $72,661

24. Dacono: $73,050

23. Brighton: $74,813

22. Westminster: $76,378

21. Littleton: $76,375

20. Longmont: $79,140

19. Golden: $80,338

18. Thornton: $80,732

17. Commerce City: $82,939

16. Lafayette: $85,909

15. Arvada: $92,669

14. Firestone: $97,862

13, Broomfield: $101,206

12. Frederick: $107,443

11. Centennial: $109,767

10. Lone Tree: $113,795

9. Parker: $114,802

8. Louisville: $116,073

7. Cherry Creek: $118,886

6. Erie: $124,480

5. Superior: $126,600

4. Highlands Ranch: $127,093

3. Greenwood Village: $127,500

2. Evergreen: $128,199

1. Cherry Hills Village: $250,000+

Click to read our three-part series on Colorado growth: “Almost Everything You Think You Know About Colorado Growth Is Wrong,” “Surprising Reasons Why Colorado’s Growth Is Slowing,” and “Why Denver Could Face a Slowing Growth Crisis This Decade.”

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