Colorado Vs California living

Colorado Vs California Cost of Living in 2023

By: Mahmuda Afreen / Read more about us.

Both Colorado and California are two states where people can live happily. However, the geographical stand of these two states is completely different. One is full of hills and dryness and the other one is of sea, beach, and greens.

But living in California will be way more expensive than the other one. the good thing is here, the life quality will be way better than in the other one. Let’s know more from below, it will give a clear concept of the comparison.

Colorado Vs California Cost of Living is a concern of the people who want to move to California from Colorado. Here, housing will be 161%, transportation will be 35%, and food costs will be 29% higher in California than in Colorado.

Colorado Vs California Cost of Living

Colorado Vs California Cost of Living

Almost every city in the United State has the highest expectation of living and the maximum living quality. Mainly some of the states are highly popular among the local and immigrant people like California, New York, and more.

Currently living in any of the states, people want to move to another state because of family issues, education, jobs, and many more. So, before moving to any city from anywhere whether it is in the USA or not, one must compare some important factors such as weather, medical facilities, education, and most importantly the living cost.

Therefore, one must compare the cost of living of the city they are moving from with the city they are moving in.

In this article, we will be comparing the expense of living between Colorado and California. People who want to move from either of the city to any of these two can calculate their possible life expectations by reading this article.

Life expectation, Colorado Vs California

Begin with, Colorado which is in the western part of the USA with hillside and green views. This is a not-so-popular state in most of the Rocky Mountain high where the anthem “Where the Columbines Grow” is sung.

On the other hand, California is one of the most popular states with many popular cities like San Francisco and LA. Many people from all over the world as well as native Americans also wish to move to this state to live there permanently.

Overall, living in Colorado will be 14% more than the national average. Specifically, the housing here will be 38% higher. Besides, utilities are 18% lower and groceries are 5% lower than the national average.

On the other hand, one will be facing 49% more cost of living in California than the national average. Moreover, the housing will be at least 120% higher than the average in America which is insane. Not only this, almost all the expenses will have a higher price tag. Such as groceries are 13% and utilities are 75 higher compared to the national average.

Here, we can compare Colorado with California by the state average. As we can see in the two paras above, California will be way more expensive than the other one. overall, if one is planning to move to any of the cities of California from Colorado, they will face at least 6% higher expenses.

Let’s dive deep to know more to compare these two states on a board scale.

Overall living cost of a person

Living as a single person anywhere in the world is easier. However, the cost comparison will be high or low depending on city to city. As we are comparing the living cost here between the two states, it will be lower living in Colorado than the other one. the table below will provide more information.

One PersonColoradoCalifornia
Total with rent$2095$2417
Without rent$790$825
Rent & Utilities$1305$1593

So, a person will need a total of $2095 in Colorado and $2417 in California in total. In this cost, the maximum will be on the house and utilities, which will be at least 15% higher in the popular state of California. Overall, everything a person will need will be more here than the other one.

Overall living cost of a Family

As we explained in the part of one person, the cost will be higher for a family of four in California than the other one. in some cases, such as with a child, the expense will be way too high because of the education and childcare cost.

Needs of a family of 4ColoradoCalifornia
Total with rent$4825$5321
Without rent$2586$2714
Rent & Utilities$2239$2607

According to the data above housing in Colorado for a family will be at least $500 lower than the other one. likewise, other expenses like transportation, food, and more will be lower here. Overall, whatever the situation, if we calculate the same families’ expenses in Colorado and California, CL will always be in the high range.

If one is still confused and wants more details on the comparison, the discussion below is for them. Now, I will compare the cost from scratch mentioning the basic living needs.

Cost of housing and Utilities

In the total living cost index, the cost of rent and utilities are going to be the highest no matter where you live. Though this price will vary from area to area, even in the same city, the expense will be different based on the neighborhood. Let’s see the scenario in the context of a comparison between the states we selected.

Rent Per MonthColoradoCaliforniaDifference
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre1,846.88 $2,569.93 $     28.14 %
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre1,573.24 $1,944.31 $     19.08 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre3,341.18 $4,584.34 $     27.12 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre2,521.18 $3,616.47 $     30.29 %
Price per Square Meter in City Centre5,252.79 $9,540.15 $     44.94 %
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre3,277.49 $5,928.43 $     44.72 %
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage)150.27 $138.70 $     -8.34 %
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local0.28 $0.13 $     -115.19 %
Internet71.27 $69.85 $     -2.03 %

An apartment in the city center will be 28.14% more expensive in California than the other one. as like this, a one-room apartment in a cheap area will be 19% cheaper in Colorado. Moreover, a three-room apartment in both the city center and cheap areas will be more expensive in CL than in CO.

The scenario of buying a place is the same as renting, expensive in the mentioned area. Besides, finding a suitable place in the state of Hollywood will be highly tough than in the Rocky hill state. Even if it is expensive here there will be always a long waitlist for accommodation.

However, the cost of utilities such as water, electricity, gas, internet, and call rates is pretty affordable in California compared to other ones. The funny thing is the mobile call rate is at least 115% cheaper here than in CO. also, the basic energy price is 8% and the internet is 2% lower here.

Food Expenses

For living food is a must. One cannot cut the cost of food if one wants to live. We are not saying just to survive but to live. To have a healthy and energetic life, it is important to eat proper nutrition food.

Besides, eating outside with family is another important thing to do which adds to the food cost. It is not mandatory but important to grow a healthy relationship and spend some quality time with friends and family.

So, let’s compare the food cost between these two states.

Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant18.00 $19.50 $     7.69 %
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course70.00 $88.59 $     20.98 %
McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal)9.75 $10.00 $    2.50 %
Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught)6.00 $8.00 $     25.00 %
Imported Beer (0.33-liter bottle)7.50 $8.00 $    6.25 %
Cappuccino (regular)4.96 $4.96 $     0.02 %
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)2.68 $2.62 $     -2.34 %
Water (0.33-liter bottle)2.08 $2.26 $    8.28 %
Milk (regular), (1 liter)1.01 $1.12 $     10.05 %
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)3.90 $3.67 $     -6.25 %
Rice (white), (1kg)4.69 $5.61 $     16.38 %
Eggs (regular) (12)3.09 $3.67 $     15.70 %
Local Cheese (1kg)11.71 $12.34 $     5.08 %
Chicken Fillets (1kg)14.88 $11.39 $     -30.62 %
Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)15.90 $17.99 $     11.58 %
Apples (1kg)5.28 $4.19 $     +26.05 %
Banana (1kg)1.55 $1.80 $     -13.93 %
Oranges (1kg)4.24 $3.50 $     +21.15 %
Tomato (1kg)4.74 $4.00 $     +18.39 %
Potato (1kg)2.25 $2.69 $     -16.03 %
Onion (1kg)2.63 $2.11 $     +24.46 %
Lettuce (1 head)1.72 $1.76 $     -2.24 %
Water (1.5-liter bottle)2.04 $2.01 $     +1.52 %

We have experienced that housing cost in California is way too expensive than in Colorado. But the irony is the cost of food will be much more affordable in California compared to the other state. All the groceries items will be pricy except soft drinks, some meats, and some other items. Besides, eating outside will be affordable here.

So, people who wanted to move to California from Colorado can have some moments of peace because of the less expensive food price.

beauty of colarado


While leaving a city for another one, one of the main factors to look for is the transportation system of that place. Not only the cost of the transportation but also construction, security, and comfort.

Since California is one of the most popular and populated states with loads of benefits. Here, the public transportation system is way too developed, secure, and comfortable.

One-way Ticket (Local Transport)3.00 $1.75 $     -71.43 %
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)114.00 $99.50 $     -14.57 %
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)2.75 $4.00 $     31.25 %
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)1.40 $1.68 $     16.67 %
Taxi 1-hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)26.25 $29.19 $     10.07 %
Gasoline (1 liter)1.16 $1.60 $     27.88 %

Moreover, public transportation cost is affordable in California too. It will be almost 73% less for one-way tickets and 15% less for a monthly subscription. However, service like taxi and the private car is more expensive here than in Colorado.

For a normal ride, one can book a taxi for $4 which is only $2.7 in Colorado. So, taking a taxi in this state or transportation like this will be pricy and people should avoid and take public services. Since the trains here are on time and highly developed, it will be more convenient to use them. It is also true for the other state too.

Income range difference between Colorado and California

It is not an issue to afford the living cost even if it is high if one’s work is paying them enough. For example, even if California is more expensive than Colorado if a job in California is offering much more than the other one then the extra expense of living in this state will not be a problem for that person or family.

Occupational AreaColoradoCalifornia
Business & Financial Operations$80,935$84,198
Computer & Mathematical$103,469$119,872
Architecture & Engineering$94,032$105,770
Life, Physical, & Social Science$78,688$91,100
Community & Social Service$53,661$58,272
Education, Training, & Library$53,671$64,168
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, & Media$55,212$69,625
Healthcare Practitioners & Technical$80,207$105,245
Healthcare Support$35,652$33,159
Protective Service$53,703$52,280
Food Preparation & Serving Related$28,708$31,993
Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance$33,298$37,461
Personal Care & Service$32,378$34,047
Sales & Related$39,611$38,049
Office & Administrative Support$43,731$46,994
Farming, Fishing, & Forestry$32,796$31,169
Construction & Extraction$53,554$62,681
Installation, Maintenance, & Repair$54,688$58,497
Transportation & Material Moving$39,526$37,578

The good thing is income range in California will be at least 20% higher than in Colorado. All the professionals in that state will earn more in California. However, not all jobs can afford the high living cost in this expensive state.

For example, a person in food preparation service holder earning little more than $30000 cannot afford the living cost of his family. It will be impossible if that family has one breadwinner.

So, it is important that people must decide on living either of the city based on their income. It is true that California is better in every way and the cities of it are one of dreamland. But living miserably in dreamland is a way to better live in hell with maximum comfort and reliability.

Colorado and California living cost

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