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You Already Knew Colorado Was Great; A New Poll Agrees

J. Stephen Conn/Flickr Creative Commons

Colorado is no stranger to lists, which why it comes as no surprise that the state ranks seventh in the nation as a great place to live. But our rival to the north came in ahead. That's right, Wyoming came in sixth followed by Colorado. 

The ranking was done by Politico Magazine to look at disparities between living standards at the state level in anticipation of President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address. 

The Top 10 States of Our Union (via Politico)

  1. New Hampshire       
  2. Minnesota       
  3. Vermont     
  4. Utah       
  5. Massachusetts       
  6. Wyoming     
  7. Colorado       
  8. Iowa   
  9. Washington   
  10. Connecticut

Access to education and low rates of obesity, poverty, crime and infant mortality were just some of the criteria that led to Colorado’s high ranking. Sourcing for the data came from the FBI, The U.S. Census Bureau and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 
The high economic rankings of Colorado and Wyoming can be largely attributed to a thriving oil and gas industry combined with jobs in engineering.

There are some disparities. Colorado may be the happiest and healthiest state in the country, but we ranked lower in rising poverty rates and income equality; two strong points for Wyoming. 

A whopping 7 percent of Colorado's workforce is employed in science and technology, leading to Front Range cities dominating the country in high-tech startups; Boulder and Fort Collins even managed to overtake Silicon Valley for the top two 2013 rankings released by the Kaufman Foundation and Engine, a technology policy coalition. 

Colorado students graduating from high school at a rate of 89.9 percent will have more opportunities to work in the state's thriving oil and gas industry. In a 2013 Rigzone survey, Denver came in third as one of the world's top oil and gas cities after Dubai and Calgary;  even Houston trailed the Mile High City for future energy development.

To top it off, if forecasts by economists at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business are correct, Colorado’s economy is in store for even more 2014 growth.  On the local level, both Boulder and Greeley made the Milken Institute’s top 10 for best performing cities throughout the country based on job growth and high wages. That was a far cry from the lower rankings in the 2012 survey.

Not that you should read anything in the tea leaves for it, but while the home of the Denver Broncos may have ended up behind Wyoming on the Politico list, it did place ahead of number 9 Washington state – home of the Seattle Seahawks.

Just a thought ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII.

My two main passions are music and a fascination with the news.
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