The cost of living in Denver is higher than the national average, but it's still relatively low compared to the likes of New York City and San Francisco. Excluding the hefty price of accommodation, new arrivals will find the cost of living in Denver reasonable. Those who can afford a home in Denver will find the rest of their costs inexpensive and largely manageable.


Cost of accommodation in Denver

Due to an increase in Denver's population, there has been a surge in demand for housing, and prices have skyrocketed as a result. Residents and new arrivals in Denver are now struggling to afford accommodation in their desired neighbourhoods. Many people are also choosing to rent rather than buy a home in Denver.

Luckily, there are many job opportunities in Denver. New arrivals with a suitable skill set should be able to land themselves a lucrative position in one of the city's major companies, which would afford them a good home in a desirable neighbourhood.   

That said, the city has more affordable neighbourhoods to select from. New arrivals can find a place at a reasonable price if they are willing to sacrifice things such as proximity to the city centre or easy access to amenities.

Despite the high cost of accommodation, utilities are incredibly cheap in Denver. Sitting at 13 percent less than the national average, the amount that newcomers will spend on utilities is also assisted by the mild winter weather and abundance of sunshine. Although it does snow, it tends to melt quickly and running heaters will therefore not be necessary for most of the cold season. 


Cost of healthcare in Denver

As is the case in the rest of the US, healthcare in Denver is expensive. Newcomers who do not have their healthcare sponsored by their employers are encouraged to purchase a comprehensive health insurance plan to avoid incurring exorbitant costs for medical treatment in the city. The price of health insurance plans will vary depending on age, medical history and lifestyle habits. 


Cost of groceries in Denver

Newcomers will discover that groceries are incredibly affordable in Denver. In fact, the cost of groceries is six percent lower than the national average. Those on a tight budget will therefore be able to save even further by cooking at home instead of dining out.


Cost of eating out and entertainment in Denver

Although new arrivals will be able to find expensive fine dining spots, Denver's food scene consists predominantly of cheap and tasty eats that can be enjoyed while standing or sitting out in the sunshine. Experiencing the city's most popular food spots won't break the bank and can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter their budget.

Thanks to the Mile High City's excellent location alongside the Rocky Mountains, much of the lifestyle in Denver is concentrated on the outdoors. Mountain biking, hiking and skiing are all popular pursuits that cost little to no money. New arrivals will also find a few nightlife spots ranging from affordable to premium. 


Cost of transport in Denver

While transport expenses in Denver aren't exorbitant, they are slightly pricier than in some big US cities. Driving, as opposed to using public transport on a daily basis, is relatively affordable, but owning a car in Denver is not cheap.

Car maintenance can be expensive due to the all-weather tires required for the mountain passes in winter. Owing to the city's gorgeous weather most of the year, new arrivals can get around on a bicycle or on foot if living close to work and major amenities. If this is the case, they could save money by using public transport or driving only on days when the weather doesn't permit walking or cycling.


Cost of education in Denver

Education and schools in Denver are some of the best in the state of Colorado and the US as a whole. Public schools in Denver are free for all to attend, including international students, and their admission system is not based on catchment areas, meaning newly arrived parents can apply to a school of their choice. 

Parents who are not planning to stay in Denver for the long term will find international schools in the city offering globally recognised curricula. While these schools typically offer exceptional facilities and teaching standards, tuition fees are high, so parents should structure their budgets around this expense. 


Cost of living in Denver chart

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Denver in August 2023.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 2,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,600

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 3,700

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 3,000

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)

USD 5.82

Milk (1 litre)

USD 1.08

Rice (1kg)

USD 5.85

Loaf of white bread

USD 4.18

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 14.06

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 10

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

USD 10

Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2.45

Cappuccino

USD 5.24

Local beer (500ml)

USD 6

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

USD 75

Utilities/household

Mobile phone monthly plan with calls and data

USD 55

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

USD 77

Basic monthly utilities (includes electricity, water and refuse)

USD 175

Transportation

Taxi rate per km

USD 1.48

Public transport fare

USD 3.88

Gasoline/petrol (per litre)

USD 1.01

Expat Health Insurance

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