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Why Some Transplants Are Flocking to Denver and Others Are Staying Away

Why Some Transplants Are Flocking to Denver and Others Are Staying Away
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Transplants continue to move to Denver in big numbers from communities across the country, as well as other parts of Colorado, despite living costs that have been rising for years.

As a result, however, Denver's appeal to people looking to relocate varies widely from a dollars-and-cents perspective. Folks moving from places where housing prices are actually higher than those here can still save money by pulling up stakes and heading this way. But those currently located in many other sections of the country, including major metros and smaller, in-state spots, will have to cut back.

Evidence of this phenomenon is supplied by the financial firm Bankrate, whose website includes a cost-of-living calculator. The tool allows users to enter the income they earn in their present town; it then estimates whether they would have to make more or less to maintain their standard of living in spots across the U.S.

Westword put the Mile High City to the test by figuring out how much transplants with an annual salary of $50,000 would have to collect to essentially break if they move to what is technically known as the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) from one of 25 communities — some in Colorado, most from beyond.

Individuals relocating from eleven cities on the roster could earn less (in some cases, a lot less) and still be fine. But residents of the remaining fourteen would need to bring home additional bucks, ranging from a relative handful to $10,000-plus.

Count down the 25 metros below, ranked by the lowest to the highest amounts transplants would have to earn in order to live in Denver as they can on $50,000 where they're located now.

1. Moving from San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, California MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,0000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $31,065.76

The cost of living is 37.87 percent lower in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

2. Moving from Washington, D.C.-Arlington, Virginia-Alexandria, Virginia MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $37,329.70

The cost of living is 25.34 percent lower in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

3. Moving from San Diego-Carlsbad, California MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $37,845.30

The cost of living is 24.31 percent lower in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

4. Moving from Boston, Massachusetts MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $37,976.44

The cost of living is 24.05 percent lower in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

5. Moving from Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $39,059.16

The cost of living is 21.88 percent lower in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

6. Moving from Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Oregon MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $42,316.60

The cost of living is 15.37 percent lower in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

7. Moving from New York City, New York-Jersey City, New Jersey-White Plains, New York MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $42,579.64

The cost of living is 14.84 percent lower in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

8. Moving from Glenwood Springs, Colorado

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $46,678.02

The cost of living is 6.64 percent lower in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

9. Moving from Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Illinois MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $47,160.07

The cost of living is 5.68 percent lower in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

10. Moving from Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $48,797.86

The cost of living is 2.40 percent lower in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

11. Moving from Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $49,236.30

The cost of living is 1.53 percent lower in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

12. Moving from Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $50,646.95

The cost of living is 1.29 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

13. Moving from Gunnison, Colorado

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $51,649.39

The cost of living is 3.30 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

14. Moving from Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $54,150.20

The cost of living is 8.30 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

15. Moving from Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $54,854.85

The cost of living is 9.71 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

16. Moving from Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas MSA

To maintain your current standard of living in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $55,975.49

The cost of living is 11.95 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

17. Moving from Grand Junction, Colorado MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $56,436.66

The cost of living is 12.87 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

18. Moving from Salt Lake City, Utah MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $56,846.47

The cost of living is 13.69 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

19. Moving from Colorado Springs, Colorado MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $57,502.62

The cost of living is 15.01 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

20, Moving from Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $58,235.92

The cost of living is 16.47 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

21. Moving from Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $58,547.01

The cost of living is 17.09 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

22. Moving from St. Louis, Missouri MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $59,243.24

The cost of living is 18.49 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

23. Moving from Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $60,087.72

The cost of living is 20.18 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

24. Moving from Raleigh, North Carolina MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $60,552.49

The cost of living is 21.10 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.

25. Moving from Pueblo, Colorado MSA

To maintain your current standard of living on $50,000 in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro, you need to earn: $64,018.69

The cost of living is 28.04 percent higher in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO Metro.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts