DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado is losing ground in national rankings, mainly due to perceptions of crime and affordability.
The Centennial State has been falling in the rankings of the best overall states by U.S. News and World Report. The annual report uses survey data from over 70,000 respondents to drill down each state’s performance in eight categories: health care, education, economy, opportunity, infrastructure, crime & corrections, fiscal stability and natural environment. Within each of these areas, there are several benchmarks combined to total 71 metrics in all.
Colorado ranked 15th overall. Mountain states, the upper Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states topped the chart, while southern states were lower ranked.
U.S. News and World Report has been creating these rankings since 2017. In that time, Colorado has dropped five spots. It ranked ninth in 2017 and tenth in 2018 and 2019.
Following the pandemic, Colorado’s ranking fell. In 2021, Colorado ranked 16th and followed with 15th this year.
The below table shows how Colorado ranked in each metric over time. It’s worth noting that some metrics have changed, and the rankings were not published in 2020 or 2022.
|Crime and corrections||26||29||29||41||45|
|Quality of life||10|
Colorado’s ranking in crime, infrastructure, and opportunity have each fallen markedly between the late 2010s and early 2020s.
Colorado ranked near the last in the country for crime and corrections, 45th overall In 2021, it ranked 41st. This is a sharp downswing. In 2017-19, Colorado ranked in the high 20s for crime and corrections.
Infrastructure rankings took a sharp dive, as well, dropping from 7 in 2017 to 21st in 2023.
Colorado’s cost of living impacted its opportunity rankings, which consider economic opportunity, equality and affordability. It ranked 43rd in the nation for affordability, though it has one of the highest economic opportunity rankings.