Discover the Poorest Town in Colorado
If you’re wondering where you might move if you headed West, looking at the poorest town in Colorado might help you make decisions. The U.S. Census Bureau provides information on income, population, and more which helps us determine which town this is. And according to the latest data, the average American personal income is $63,214 in 2023, with the median being $44,225. Average household income averaged $87,864 when last calculated.
So, how does the poorest town in Colorado stack up?
Let’s take a look.
What is the Poorest Town in Colorado?
According to the World Population Review, the poorest town in all of Colorado is Rocky Ford, Colorado, a small town of 3,824 residents. The following depicts the poverty and employment levels of the town.
- Adult females employed: 28.22%
- Adult males employed: 9.95%
- Adult females unemployed: 6.25%
- Adult males unemployed: 9.86%
- Median household income: $29,822
- Mean household income: $47,189
- Poverty rate in town: 31.9%
History of Rocky Ford, Colorado
The small town of Rocky Ford, Colorado, only takes up 1.7 square miles, with 3,824 residents (as of the 2020 Census). The community originally earned its name from a rocky ford across the Arkansas River near the original site of the town. Explorer Kit Carson named the area Rocky Ford Crossing Place, which eventually became simply Rocky Ford. Two men on a wagon train headed west stopped at the site and opted to remain and build a general store and kept the name. The small community they began in 1871 rested about two miles from today’s Rocky Ford. After 13 years in the original spot, the community moved when railroad tracks were added. Now, Rocky Ford rests along Highway 50, the only coast-to-coast highway in the country.
Rocky Ford became known for its cantaloupes and watermelons, largely thanks to the dramatic weather changes in the area, which sweetens the melons. Apparently, the world-famous red-head, Lucille Ball, loved her Rocky Ford melons, having them delivered to her dressing room on the regular. The melons are so much a part of the culture that the high school’s mascot is a beefed-up personified melon, and the team is known as the Meloneers. Watermelon Day dates to 1878 when one of the co-founders of the town, G.W. Swink, established the tradition. Eventually, a sugar factory also came into the economic work of the town, which lasted for 80 years from 1899. The town’s Grand Theatre is run by community volunteers and remains the longest running movie theatre in Colorado.
Is Rocky Ford, Colorado a Good Place to Live?
Depending on exactly what you’re looking for, Rocky Ford, Colorado is, indeed, a good place to live. The pros and cons should be balanced before a relocation is considered, but with low crime rates and cost of living, most folks don’t have to think about it too long.
Pros of Living in Rocky Ford
Many folks find the following favorable for living in the poorest town in Colorado.
- Rocky Ford overall received an above average livability score. This means education, cost of living, and general quality of life are fairly favored.
- The cost of living, in particular, ranks high for many folks looking to move. With affordable housing and overall costs for life at lower rates than average numbers around the United States, it’s no wonder folks are eager to consider living here.
- Crime rates are low. For every 1,000 people, only 2 crimes occur, far below the national average. Violent crime is 0 per 1,000 people, and property crime is only 1 per 1,000 people.
Cons of Living in Rocky Ford
The negatives for folks living in such a poorly town could include:
- The population size is only 3,842 residents. This small town doesn’t offer as much economical diversity as larger towns and some folks view this as a negative.
- The town is also extremely poor, with 22.3-percent of the residents hitting below the poverty line. This is higher than most cities in the United States, which also can be a negative for folks living here.