Apr 3, 2023 - News

Colorado's biggest cities aren't the healthiest in the state

Health outcomes of Colorado counties, 2023
Data: County Health Rankings; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Colorado's two largest cities β€” Denver and Colorado Springs β€” are not the best places to live in when it comes to quality of life and health outcomes, a new study finds.

Why it matters: The findings help explain why more people are leaving Colorado cities and moving to suburban counties where affordability and community support are stronger.

State of play: The healthiest counties in Colorado are its wealthiest ones, with Douglas County ranking at the top once again and other mountain communities not far behind, according to an analysis by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

  • Denver landed at 30th for health outcomes, and El Paso, the state's largest county and home to Colorado Springs, ranked 33rd.

Between the lines: The research linked civic infrastructure, such as high school graduation rates, access to parks and voter turnout, to health outcomes.

  • "Our findings reveal that people and places thrive when all residents have the chance to participate in their communities," said Sheri Johnson, principal investigator and director of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, in a statement.

Of note: Southern Colorado, including Pueblo County, fared the worst in the rankings.

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