College Destinations Spotlight: Boulder & Denver

By Aaron Nathans

The great state of Colorado played prominently in our 2017 College Destinations Index, as the metro areas of Denver (above) and Boulder won their size categories.

Boulder, home of University of Colorado Boulder, took the top spot in the College Towns category. Boulder’s top ranking in its category was bolstered by high marks in percentage of college-educated residents, ease of non-car transportation into town, arts and entertainment offerings, as well as number of bars and restaurants. That’s in addition to a strong showing among our economic measurements as well.

“The weather is perfect and the surrounding creeks, trails, and mountains attract those with a mad love of the outdoors,” we wrote in our summary of why Boulder is #1. “In fact, Boulder became the first U.S. city to tax itself specifically to preserve open space. The result? Great urban outdoor space for those who love the outdoors.”

But don’t just take our word for it. Men’s Journal wrote: “Roaming around Boulder, Colorado, is like stepping into Richard Scarry's busy, busy outdoor town. Everywhere you turn people are doing sporty things.”

And Livability wrote: “With a population that strongly supports environmental protections and farm-to-table restaurants, Boulder is considered one of the best cities for liberals.”

Meanwhile, Denver won the #1 spot in the Midsize Metros category. It ranked high in economic measurements, including low youth unemployment and a high percentage of young adults participating in the labor force. From our writeup: “The Mile-High City provides college students with unparalleled beauty and solid economic conditions, balanced with an attractive quality of life and great demographics.”

Read all about our College Destinations Index – and create your own ranking based on what matters to you – at this link.

Click here to sign up for the Daily Economy weekly digest!

Sign up here to be notified of new articles from Aaron Nathans and AIER.