What parents, education experts, city leaders, urban professionals, mountain dwellers and other locals think is great about raising kids in Colorado.
Newcomers are flocking to Colorado and they are talking about the differences between the Centennial state and other places they’ve lived. “It’s expensive!” some say (unless they are from California). “The yards are really small,” say others. Yet, people love it here, and they keep coming: For 2016, forbes.com ranked Denver (including the region from Aurora to Lakewood) as America’s 11th fastest growing city and Colorado as the nation’s 7th fastest growing state. And, with our state having the 4th fastest growing economy, according to the financial news resource 24/7 Wall St., this means more parents will be working here and raising kids here—and the kids will not be disappointed.
We asked parents, education experts, city leaders, urban professionals, mountain dwellers and other locals what they think is great about raising kids in Colorado, and here is what they said. Use it as a guide to seek out new opportunities with your family or as a tool to get your best friend to move here. Because, she probably will.
1. We Really Move
“The best thing about raising our daughter in Colorado is that it is an active culture that values wellness and physical fitness,” says Gerardo Muñoz, dad of one child and teacher in Denver Public Schools. “No matter where one goes, whether in the city or the mountains, people are out getting their bodies moving and taking advantage of the outdoors.”
You might say our active culture has put us on the map: Colorado consistently ranks in the top 10 of the nation’s fittest states from a variety of sources and maintains an obesity rate lower than most states at around 20 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. Support for Work/Life Balance
“Colorado does a much better job than so many other places when it comes to work-life balance, which almost by definition makes for better parenting,” says Daniel Brogan, president and editor-in-chief of 5280 Publishing, Inc. which recently acquired Colorado Parent. “Not only do we have more time for our families, but we”re able to set far better examples for our kids about priorities and the importance of family life.”
3. This Weather
From Longmont to Parker and everywhere in between, parents agree that Colorado’s weather is a huge factor in why so many people love our state. With an average of 300 days where the sun pops out for at least an hour, more than 300 inches of snow per year at mountain resorts, low humidity (an average of 33 percent) and less chance that outdoor events will be rained out, it seems the climate creates a domino effect for the ability to do many outdoor activities, some of which you”ll find in this list.
4. An Entrepreneurial Spirit
Maybe it’s a holdover from our Old West roots, but Coloradans are doers. We see an opportunity and reach for it. Young Americans Center for Financial Education (yacenter.org), offers kids the opportunity to develop business savvy at a young age. The center runs the world’s only FDIC-insured bank designed for people age 21 and younger (two Denver locations), at which kids can learn about money management and get a loan for a small business. In addition, through their YouthBiz program, young entrepreneurs get to sell their goods at the YouthBiz Marketplace twice per year and participate in a competition for young business owners.