Boulder County has enjoyed some of the lowest unemployment in the nation in recent years. The Area Median Income is among the highest in Colorado. Nearly 40,000 new jobs have been added locally in the past decade. Still, a tenth of residents are below the poverty line, and more than a quarter of the population doesn’t earn enough to cover their basic needs.
Latino child poverty rates have declined by about two-thirds since 2000 - a promising trend. Still, a tenth of Boulder County residents live below the poverty line overall, including 12% of children. And more than a quarter of the population lives within 200% of the poverty line - an income still far short of covering basic needs.
Boulder County residents with less than a high school diploma saw an increase in median income by 29% in the last decade. However, residents with at least a bachelor’s degree continue to have almost double the median income earnings of high school dropouts.
On average, Boulder County women with Bachelor’s and Graduate degrees earn less money than men of equal education, and they earn less than their female counterparts nationally. On the other hand, men with advanced degrees earn more here than their male counterparts nationally.
Although the number of families in poverty has declined nationally, the percentage is still high, even in Boulder County. While 8 percent doesn't sound like a lot, it translates to 600 families with children living in poverty in the city of Boulder.
While marijuana legalization exists throughout the entire state of Colorado, local licensing laws and regulations have restricted the proliferation of marijuana businesses in many towns and counties. The City of Boulder is home to most of Boulder County’s medical and recreational marijuana industry.
With legalization, retail marijuana generates large amounts of tax revenue for the state of Colorado, as retail is taxed at a higher rate than medical marijuana. This tax revenue brings much needed funds to the state to be spent on substance prevention and education programs in schools.
Twenty-seven percent of Boulder County residents don’t earn enough to cover their basic needs, according to the Colorado Center for Law and Policy. A self-sufficiency wage is what a person would need to earn to cover the bare minimum: housing, transportation, food, health care, taxes, child care if applicable, and miscellaneous costs such as toiletries, clothing, etc.