Is Denver really the No. 1 city in the U.S.?

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SUNRISE VIEW OF THE MOUNTAINS, UNIVERSITY OF DENVER, AND DOWNTOWN FROM ONE OBSERVATORY PARK, MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2016, 6:06 A.M [PHOTO BY PALMER MCGRAW]

Recently U.S. News and World Report compared and scored U.S. cities in terms of job market, quality of life, affordability, and overall interest in the city as a residence. Denver, Colorado received a 7.8 out of 10 rating, making it 2016’s No. 1 city in the U.S. However this ranking is debated amongst Denver inhabitants.

The Forbes article “Best States for Business” published in 2015 recognized Denver as No. 5 in the United States. Denver’s work opportunities have grown immensely over the years as various companies and startups have originated and moved here due to the labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, and growth prospects.

To find out whether or not people believe that Denver is the No.1 city, I wandered around the University of Denver campus and asked students and staff their stance on the matter.

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Brielle Durant, Student, Junior, Journalism major- Friday, April 22, 2016. Ritchie Center, University of Denver. I asked a third-year student, Brielle Durant, if she believed the ranking was justified to which she responded; “ I guess I wouldn’t oppose why it got rated No.1 because there are so many startups and companies moving here and opening up, so it has become a hub for recent graduates to get jobs and internships. A lot of adults I talk to, whether it is job recruiters or my parents’ friends, talk about the boom in job opportunities here.” [Photo by Palmer McGraw]

 

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Katie Mullen, Student, Senior, Psychology- Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Sturm Hall, University of Denver. “Denver was just voted the No. 1 city in the U.S. do you agree or disagree with this ranking?” – “ I disagree that it was voted No. 1 city because I think it is highly overrated and crowded, and recently, it has attracted a certain type of “stoner personnel”, which makes a lot of people unmotivated—and that is not the type of person I necessarily want to be around” said Katie Mullen.                               [Photo by Palmer McGraw]

Another longtime Denver resident claims the weather, outdoors, and city atmosphere make Denver indeed the No. 1 city in the U.S.

Denver has many opportunities for outdoor recreation in close proximity to either the city or a ski resort; therefore, Denver residents can work and play all within a few hours drive.
Because of the population increase, Denver has seen a significant increase in the cost of living. As reported by The Denver Post in 2014, the cost of living has jumped 13.6% since 2009. Although the U.S. News ranking incorporates affordability into their criteria, inevitably increasing rent, prices as well as traffic, which will deter movers and upset many residents. Denver’s prices are not unreasonable in comparison to other major cities, but if the population continues to grow at its current rate, these high prices could force current residents to move and keep other people and businesses out of Denver.

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Katin Lowe, DU tutor- Sunday, April 24, 2016. Ruffatto Hall, 4th Floor, University of Denver. Katina Lowe, a teacher and DU tutor, says, “Being born in Ohio, at first I did not want to move to Denver; but when I settled in, I discovered the daily sunshine and mountains were definitely more my style than what any other state could offer. Where else can you go hiking, cycling, skiing, and party downtown?” [Photo by Palmer McGraw]


Denver is up-and-coming, but will its trajectory continue? There are already differing opinions on all the changes, and next year it is possible that another city will attain U.S. News No. 1 status; however, for now, Denver is doing just fine.

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