DENVER (KDVR) — Single, childless adults in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area would need a 22% raise in order to live comfortably, according to estimates derived from U.S. Census Data.

Financial advisor SmartAsset analyzed cost-of-living data from the University of Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the 25 largest metro areas in the U.S. Researchers then applied the results to a common budgeting guideline wherein consumers spend 50% of their take-home pay on needs, 30% on wants and 20% on savings or debt repayment.

Across these 25 metro areas, a single, childless person needs to take home $68,499 a year in order to live according to this budget – roughly $75,000 a year in gross pay, according to SmartAsset’s tax estimator.

The figure is higher in the Denver area, where the cost of living exceeded the national average even before record inflation pushed it into the nation’s top tier of expense.

Single, childless people in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area need to take home $70,892 a year to live comfortably. Factoring in state and federal taxes, this would equate to about $86,000 a year.

This leaves a single-person household about $15,000 a year short of living comfortably. The median income for a single person in Colorado was $70,952 in the second quarter of 2022, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.