The Great Migration from California to Colorado


With half of Californians wanting and planning to leave the state, Colorado is ready for them. According to this article, its more than half. Of millennials it is much higher, at 63%. Among Bay Area residents, that number is at 76%, where median home values are well above $1 million.

Why Californians are Moving

High Cost of Living

The high cost of living is the main reason for this state-to-state migration. Between high property taxes and the high cost of groceries and gasoline, the basics truly are expensive. Other serious issues include dirty streets, traffic, insufficient public transportation, roads in disrepair and limited parking. There is also a great desire to save more for the future, but it is difficult when everything goes towards just surviving.

Sales Tax

The California sales tax rate is 7.25%. This rate is made up of a base rate of 6%, plus California adds a mandatory local rate of 1.25%. Depending on local sales tax jurisdictions, the total tax rate can be as high as 10.25%.


In California, there is obviously a lack of seasons. For many Bay Area residents, the dominant tech monoculture can be tiresome. The population requires permanent water rationing as well. People are feeling the need for more physical living space, and for professionals with the desire to start families, there is a noticeable lack of children and families around. Once they do start families, they look a better public school system.

Why Colorado?

While most outward migrants tend to stay on the west coast, many are moving to Colorado, and with good reason. As someone who has lived in both states, I can tell you the reasons I chose to raise my family here. Of course, I can never list them all, as I discover new ones every day, but I’ll give it a go…


The weather doesn’t get much better than Colorado. With more than 300+ sunny days a year, it is not uncommon for residents to ski in the morning and play a round of golf in the afternoon – almost any time of year!

Arts and Culture

Colorado has abundant artistic and cultural resources with broad public and private support. The state is a national leader in funding for the arts. Top-notch museums like the Denver Art Museum, Clyfford Still Museum, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver can all be found in Denver. The sprawling Denver Performing Arts Complex is one of the largest of its kind in the nation. It is home to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Opera Colorado, Denver Center Theater Company and the Colorado Ballet — the region’s largest and most impressive resident performing arts organizations.

Health and Wellness

Colorado offers a very healthy environment, leading to an increase in the overall health and wellness of residents. Coloradans are always ranked among the highest in several health rankings because of their lifestyle.

  • Colorado residents have the second highest well-being in the nation (Gallup, 2013)

  • Colorado’s working-age adults are healthier than their counterparts in most other states, according to the Colorado Health Report Card

  • Colorado has the second-lowest prevalence of hypertension and the third-lowest prevalence of diabetes

  • Colorado’s adults are more likely to exercise than adults in most other states

  • Colorado has the lowest rate of adult obesity in the country


Colorado’s climate and the splendor of the mountains and the wide-open plains give the state’s recreational character an extraordinary sense of diversity.

  • Ten national parks provide an incredible variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.

  • 42 state parks and numerous outdoor recreation areas provide opportunities for boating, paddle boarding, hiking, camping, swimming, snowmobiling, bird watching, picnicking, fishing, hunting and biking.

  • Colorado is the country’s most popular ski destination, with 26 world class ski resorts, keeping us active outdoors all year.

  • Colorado boasts more than 35 winter recreation areas that offer snowshoeing, snowmobiling, snowcat tours, sleigh rides, ice skating, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and more.

Professional Sports

Seven professional sports teams provide great year-round entertainment: Colorado Avalanche (NHL), Colorado Mammoth – Lacrosse (NLL), Colorado Rapid (MLS), Colorado Rockies (MLB), Denver Broncos (NFL), Denver Nuggets (NBA), Denver Outlaws – Lacrosse (MLL).

Need more reasons to make Colorado your home? Call me now at 303-619-4400.