Moving to or within the Denver metro area? Lakewood is one of the largest suburbs of Denver and known for its outdoor recreation, shopping, and arts district. The city was only incorporated in 1969, but existed long before that as an unincorporated area with multiple neighborhoods that had their own identity.
Today, Lakewood, Colorado is home to more than 155,000 people with highly rated schools, plentiful job opportunities, and a great combination of urban living and outdoor space. Is living in Lakewood CO in your future? Here’s everything you need to know before calling the Lakewood area home!
Lakewood is a home rule municipality in Jefferson County, Colorado and one of the principal cities of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area. It’s also part of the Front Range Urban Corridor, an 18-county region along the eastern face of the Southern Rocky Mountains that spreads across Colorado and Wyoming.
Lakewood is bordered by Denver to the east, Wheat Ridge to the north, Edgewater to the northeast, Morrison to the southwest, Dakota Ridge to the south, and Applewood, Golden, East Pleasant View, and West Pleasant View to the northwest.
It’s just 7 miles from downtown Lakewood CO to Denver CO and 73 miles south from Lakewood to Colorado Springs.
The population of Lakewood Colorado is 155,984 according to the 2020 census, up 9% from 2010. Lakewood, Colorado is the 3rd largest city in the Denver metro area after Denver and Aurora. The Denver metropolitan area is home to 2.96 million people. Lakewood is also the 5th largest city of the Front Range Urban Corridor which is home to 5 million people.
The racial and ethnic composition of Lakewood is 78.6% white (68.2% non-Hispanic), 22.4% Hispanic, 4.1% Asian, 1.6% Black or African American, 0.8% American Indian and Alaska Native, and 10.7% two or more races.
Additional Lakewood Colorado demographics:
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Lakewood is right at the intersection of US 6 (running east-northeast from Provincetown, MA to Bishop, CA) & Colorado State Highway 121 which connects the city to Broomfield and Littleton. While living in Lakewood CO, you’ll also use these major highways:
Public transportation within the metro area is overseen by the Regional Transportation District (RTD). The RTD provides bus and rail service across 8 counties in the Denver metro area. Six new light rail and commuter rail lines plus commuter bus service are planned under the FasTracks expansion plan. The RTD’s W Line, or West Rail Line, was the first light rail line opened under the expansion program and serves Lakewood. The main Lakewood-Wadsworth Station offers parking. Other stations serving the city include the Oak Station, Federal Center Station, and Red Rocks College Station.
Intercity bus service is provided by Bustang: Lakewood is on the company’s West Line which runs from Denver to Grand Junction.
Ahead of moving to Lakewood, you probably want to know how much it costs to live in the city and how it compares. The Lakewood CO cost of living index is 133, 33% higher than the national average. That’s typical for Colorado which has a cost of living index of 120.
Groceries and utilities are very close to the national average while health care is affordable at 16% below the national average. Housing is very expensive and pushes the cost of living in Lakewood Colorado much higher. Transportation and miscellaneous living expenses like taxes and childcare are also higher than average for the country.
How much do you need to earn to live in Lakewood? According to the MIT Living Wage calculator, a single adult needs to earn a living wage of $20.01 in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area. For a family of four with two children, a single adult needs to earn $43.33 per hour or both adults need to earn $29.27 to afford the Lakewood cost of living.
Housing is likely your biggest living expense. What can you expect to pay while living in Lakewood CO? It depends on whether you plan to rent or buy a home.
The average rent in Lakewood CO is $1,904 for an 874-square-foot apartment. That’s a bit higher than the national average. Some of the most expensive neighborhoods for renters include Addenbrooke Park, Belmar Park, East Belmar, and Jefferson Gardens. The Green Mountain area, Rooney Valley, Edgewater, and Eiber are among the most affordable places to live in Lakewood for renters.
If you’re going to buy a home after moving to Lakewood, be prepared for a very competitive housing market and high home prices. The Lakewood median home price is $530,000 and $279/square foot. The average home for sale gets three offers and sells in 17 days!
If you’re interested in new construction, new homes in Lakewood have a median price of $600,000. Townhomes offer a more affordable alternative to single-family homes with a median list price of $460,000.
The most popular neighborhoods for homebuyers include:
Explore Lakewood, CO homes for sale to get an idea of what you can get within your budget.
One of the many benefits of living in Lakewood Colorado? The many beautiful neighborhoods to choose from, each with its own charm and amenities like picturesque parks, rec centers, and cultural attractions. Lakewood has it all, from bustling urban neighborhoods to quiet, family-friendly subdivisions. Here are just some of the best neighborhoods in Lakewood to call home.
Better known as downtown Lakewood, the Belmar neighborhood is the shopping, dining, and arts district of Lakewood. 22 square blocks surround a central plaza with ice skating in the winter and summer concerts. You’ll love living in downtown Lakewood CO with bowling, a movie theater, art galleries, dozens of restaurants, museums, parks, and shopping all within reach.
One of the most desirable Lakewood neighborhoods, Kendrick Lake surrounds Kendrick Lake Park, home to an iconic xeric garden, large playground, lake fishing, and miles of trails. This tight-knit community is known for its regular community events as well as gorgeous waterfront homes.
The Eiber area is one of the best neighborhoods in Lakewood CO for families. You’ll find a good mix of established neighborhoods and new subdivisions and enjoy a central location close to nature and mountains, and the downtown area. Families also appreciate the many neighborhood parks and recreation centers like the James J Richey Park, Sunset Park, and the Charles Whitlock Recreation Center.
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The Lakewood climate is cold semi-arid (Bsk) according to the Köppen climate classification. While living in Lakewood Colorado, you’ll enjoy mild winters and warm summers. The average summer temperature is 77°F with an average July high temperature of 88°F. About 30 days per year get high temperatures over 90°F.
During the winter, the average temperature is 43°F, with an average January low temperature of 18°F. About 154 days per year get nighttime low temperatures below freezing and 5 days get nighttime temperatures under 0°F.
Lakewood gets 18” of annual rainfall compared to the national average of 38” but 65” of annual snowfall – more than double the national average!
The best time to visit Lakewood, CO is June or August to September for the most mild, pleasant weather without extreme heat, cold, or snow.
Ready to explore Lakewood CO food and the city’s best restaurants? You’ll find a diverse selection of Lakewood restaurants for everything from African stews and Rocky Mountain oysters to American comfort food. Here are just some of the best places to eat in Lakewood.
The Ranch is a locally owned restaurant with classic American fare, a full bar, and sports on the TV. They’re known for their comfort food and Friday fish fries.
The Ranch @ West 40, 12101 W Colfax Ave, Lakewood, CO 80215 (303) 233-0957
Sunrise Sunset has served Lakewood since 1984. This long-standing cafe is a local favorite for hearty breakfast and lunch options.
Sunrise Sunset, 1424 S Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood, CO 80232 (303) 986-6065
One of the top restaurants in Lakewood for special occasions, Simms Steakhouse is an upscale steakhouse and seafood restaurant with fantastic views, Sunday brunch, and a bar and lounge.
Simms Steakhouse, 11911 W 6th Ave, Lakewood, CO 80401 (303) 237-0465
Ready to see what living in Lakewood really has to offer? There are tons of things to do in Lakewood Colorado for families and singles alike, with world-class outdoor recreation like golfing, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and camping. Visit your local Lakewood recreation center for swimming, fitness, and community programs, or enjoy indoor Lakewood activities like visiting local art galleries, museums, and entertainment destinations.
Here's a look at some of the best things to do in Lakewood!
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Is Lakewood CO safe? Before moving to Lakewood Colorado, crime may be one of your top concerns. Like many Colorado cities, Lakewood has experienced an increase in violent crime over the past decade with 459 gun-related violent crimes in 2022.
The Lakewood CO crime rate is 6,137 total crimes per 100,000 with 814 violent crimes and 5,324 property crimes per 100,000 people. The homicide rate is 7.6 murders per 100,000 people. The city’s crime rate is 164% higher than the national average with 120% more violent crime than the national average.
By comparison, the Colorado crime rate is 3,640 total crimes and 493 violent crimes per 100,000. Colorado overall has more crime than the national average.
Despite the high crime rate, many areas of Lakewood are very safe for families, singles, and retirees! Most crime is property crime and tends to be concentrated in a handful of neighborhoods.
Lakewood has a strong and diverse economy. There are more than 70,000 jobs in Lakewood CO. That’s plenty of job opportunities for a city with 102,000 residents between 18 and 64, especially considering Lakewood is just a short commute from downtown Denver and the west metro Denver area with many jobs in aerospace and advanced manufacturing. Major industries and employment sectors in the city include:
According to Payscale, the average salary in Lakewood is $71,000 per year or $21.07 an hour.
Major employers in Lakewood Colorado include:
Ready to explore new career opportunities before moving to Lakewood CO? You can start your search for jobs in Lakewood CO on Indeed and checking for openings with the top employers above.
While living in Lakewood, you will be served by Jefferson County School District R-1, also known as Jefferson County Public Schools or Jeffco Public Schools. The district serves about 81,000 students throughout Jefferson County across 166 schools.
There are several public high schools in Lakewood CO including Lakewood High School, Addenbrooke Classical Academy (6-12 charter school), and Green Mountain High School. Highly rated elementary schools in Lakewood Colorado include Dennison Elementary School and Addenbrooke Classical Grammar School (PK-5 charter school).
Families can also choose from many top private schools in Lakewood like Augustine Classical Academy and Denver Christian Academy.
Interested in higher education? Lakewood is home to multiple private and public universities and colleges:
Ready to see what Lakewood living is all about? Homegrown Moving & Storage is ready to help with a 5-star moving experience and full-service solutions. Call the best Lakewood movers today to get started with a free, personalized moving estimate!
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