Migrants Are Leaving Colorado for These States

Colorado, a state known for its natural beauty and high quality of life, has been attracting migrants from other states for years. However, recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the trend is reversing, as more Coloradans are choosing to leave the state for other destinations. What are the reasons behind this shift, and where are they going?

Reasons for Leaving Colorado

According to a report by the Denver Post, some of the main factors that are driving people out of Colorado are:

  • High cost of housing: Colorado has one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, with the median home price reaching $600,000 in 2023. Many residents, especially young and low-income families, are struggling to afford rent or mortgage payments, and are looking for more affordable options elsewhere.
  • Low pay: Despite the strong economy and low unemployment rate, Colorado ranks 28th in the nation for median household income, at $68,811 in 2023. Many workers are finding it hard to keep up with the rising cost of living, and are seeking higher-paying jobs in other states.
  • Bad traffic: Colorado’s population growth has outpaced its infrastructure development, resulting in congested roads and highways. The average commute time in Colorado is 26.4 minutes, higher than the national average of 25.9 minutes. Many commuters are frustrated by the long and stressful travel times, and are looking for places with better public transportation or less traffic.
  • Political and social issues: Colorado is a politically and socially diverse state, with a mix of urban and rural areas, and liberal and conservative views. However, some residents feel alienated or dissatisfied by the state’s policies or culture, and are seeking more compatible communities in other states.

Destinations for Colorado Migrants

The Census data shows that Washington was the most popular destination for people leaving Colorado in 2023, with a net migration of 8,525 people. Washington offers a similar climate and scenery to Colorado, but with a higher median income and lower housing costs. Other states that attracted a large number of Colorado migrants in 2023 were:

  • Arkansas: 2,651
  • Nebraska: 2,507
  • Idaho: 1,507
  • Montana: 1,187
  • Kentucky: 985
  • Minnesota: 966
  • Wisconsin: 886
  • Texas: 871
  • Massachusetts: 850

Some of these states, such as Arkansas, Nebraska, and Kentucky, are known for their low cost of living and rural charm. Others, such as Idaho, Montana, and Wisconsin, are appealing for their outdoor recreation and natural beauty. Texas and Massachusetts are popular for their economic opportunities and cultural diversity.


Colorado is facing a demographic challenge, as more of its residents are leaving the state for other places. The reasons for this migration are varied, but mainly stem from the high cost of housing, low pay, bad traffic, and political and social issues. The destinations for Colorado migrants are also diverse, but mostly offer lower living expenses, higher incomes, or better quality of life. Colorado will need to address these issues and improve its attractiveness and competitiveness, if it wants to retain and attract more people in the future.

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