Living Seattle vs. Denver
Toby Martinez

Living in Seattle vs. Denver πŸ†š | Which Is Better: Seattle WA vs. Denver CO?

Seattle and Denver are two of the most culturally important cities in the Western United States. So, if you're looking for a new place to move to, you may be debating whether to live in Seattle vs Denver. Each city has a unique culture that attracts residents of all different backgrounds.

Considering living in Seattle vs. Denver? Both cities offer unique lifestyles. Seattle boasts a thriving tech scene and stunning natural beauty, while Denver offers a vibrant outdoor culture and lower cost of living. Explore each city's attractions, job opportunities, and cost of living to find your perfect match and choose between Denver or Seattle.

Pros and Cons of Living in Seattle vs. Denver

Before diving into the difference between Seattle and Denver, it helps to understand the advantages and drawbacks of each. First, let's start with the Seattle pros and cons.

Living in Seattle Pros

Seattle is known for its delicious coffee, artistic culture, and famous attractions like the Space Needle. It's also the home of grunge music and Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft and Amazon. Here are some of the biggest living in Seattle, Washington pros and cons.

  • Strong economy: Seattle is a major hub for the technology industry and has the 10th largest regional economy in the US. The GDP of the Seattle area is nearly $400 billion, and the economy is growing by 5% per year. The median household income in Seattle is $116,068, which is 43% higher than in the rest of the US. It also has a low unemployment rate of 3.2%. So, job seekers will find plenty of opportunities in Seattle.
  • Creative culture: Seattle also has a large art scene that attracts creatives from all over the world. It's home to notable institutions like the Museum of Pop Culture, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Frye Art Museum. It's also famous for its glass-blowing studios, art galleries, and live music venues and is home to over 80 theater companies and live performance venues.
  • No state income tax: Washington state does not have personal or state income tax. So not only do Seattle residents make higher salaries on average, but they also get to keep a larger percentage of their income.


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Living in Seattle Cons

  • High Cost of Living: Although it has a strong economy, the high cost of living is one of the biggest pros and cons of living in Seattle. Seattle has the 9th highest cost of living in the US, and typical expenses are about 50% higher than the rest of the US.
  • Overcast Weather: Seattle is famous for its gloomy, overcast weather, which can be a major drawback for some residents. Seattle averages about 38 inches of rain and 5 inches of snow per year. Plus, it only averages about 155 sunny days annually, compared to 205 for the US overall. So, if you're looking for clear skies and sunshine, Seattle is not the place for you.

Living in Denver Pros and Cons

Known as the Mile High City, Denver is known for its gorgeous mountain landscapes and outdoorsy culture. It offers the perfect blend of rural serenity and urban excitement with plenty of great breweries, local boutiques, and music venues. Here are the pros and cons of living in Denver.


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Living in Denver Pros

  • Great weather: Unlike Seattle, Denver is well known for its fantastic weather. Summers and winters are relatively mild, and the temperature typically ranges from about 22ΒΊ F to 89ΒΊF. Although you still get four distinct seasons, and Denver averages about 245 sunny days per year. So excellent weather is another major advantage of Seattle WA vs. Denver CO.
  • Top-notch restaurants and bar scene: Denver has one of the fastest-growing dining scenes in the country, with thriving farm-to-table restaurants, craft breweries, and lively cocktail bars. From Michelin-star restaurants to delicious food trucks, Denver offers something for everyone, with new flavors and culinary ideas coming to the city all the time.
  • Excellent schools: Denver also has many great schools and academic institutions. Denver Public Schools is the primary district and has a solid reputation for test scores and student-to-teacher ratio. About 92% of residents in the Denver metro area have a high school diploma. Denver is also home to top-rated universities like CU Denver and Regis University.

Living in Denver Cons

  • High altitude: The Denver, Colorado elevation is 5,280 feet above sea level (which is why it's called the Mile High City!). While that offers breathtaking mountain views, it can also lead to altitude sickness for those who aren't accustomed to living that high up. The air is thinner and drier than in cities at a lower altitude, which can cause respiratory problems and other health issues if you don't take the proper precautions.
  • Traffic: Denver ranks among the worst cities in the US for traffic. Although it has a robust public transportation system, most residents still need a car to get around.

Living in Seattle WA vs. Denver CO

Now that you know the pros and cons of each, here is a side-by-side comparison of living in Seattle WA vs. Denver CO


Denver vs. Seattle's population is roughly the same size, although Seattle is slightly larger. As of the 2020 census, the Seattle population is 737,015, while the population of Denver is 715,522. That makes the Denver vs Seattle population about 3% lower. However, it's also more spread out, and the Denver population density is 4,674.3 residents per square mile, while the population density of Seattle is 8,791.8 residents per square mile. The population of greater Denver is about 2.9 million, while greater Seattle is home to about 4 million residents.


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Climate & Weather

Denver generally has a better climate than Seattle, although it does get more snow. Seattle only averages about 152 sunny days per year, while Denver averages 245. Yet, Denver gets about 60 inches of snow, while Seattle only gets about 4.6 inches. Denver versus Seattle also has a wider range when it comes to temperatures. The summer high is 88.9Β°F, while the winter low is 17.9Β°F. The summer high in Seattle is 75.8Β°F, and the winter low is 37Β°F. So when it comes to weather in Seattle WA vs. Denver CO, the Mile High City is the clear winner.


While both cities experience bad traffic, Denver tends to be worse. According to the Global Traffic Scorecard compiled by Inrix, Denver ranks 19th among the worst cities for congestion, while Seattle ranked 21st. The average Denver resident loses about 54 hours per year sitting in traffic, while the average Seattle resident loses 46 hours. However, Seattle residents spend an average of 27.2 minutes commuting, while Denver residents spend 25.3 minutes.


Both cities have a robust economy with a wide range of job opportunities. The Denver economy is based on industries like aviation, aerospace, energy, and financial services. The major industries in Seattle are technology, health services, construction and maritime, manufacturing, and logistics. Household income in Seattle is 26% higher than in Denver, and the unemployment rate is 2.3% lower. However, Seattle vs. Denver's cost of living is also higher.


You can find great sports teams in Seattle or Denver. Seattle is home to the Seahawks in the NFL, the Kraken in the NHL, the Mariners in the MLB, and the Seattle Sounders in the MLS. Denver is home to the Broncos in the NFL, the Nuggets in the NBA, and the Colorado Rockies in the MLB. The Denver Broncos vs. The Seattle Seahawks is a long-standing rivalry, and the teams even went head to head in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Distance From Denver to Seattle WA

It's about 1,300 miles from Seattle, WA, to Denver, CO. That means it would take about 20 hours to drive from Seattle, Washington, to Denver, Colorado. Luckily, there are a few different ways you travel.

  • Flights from Seattle to Denver, Colorado, take about 3 hours and start at around $90 per ticket.
  • The train from Seattle to Denver, Colorado, costs about $300 and takes roughly two days.

Seattle WA vs. Denver CO: Where Are You Moving?

Planning on moving from Denver, Colorado, to Seattle, Washington, or vice versa? Now that you see how both cities stack up side by side, you can make an informed decision on living in Seattle vs. Denver. Once you've thoroughly weighed the pros and cons of Denver vs Seattle and you've made up your mind, trust Homegrown Moving and Storage to take you where you need to go. Call (303) 587-6200 for a free moving quote.

Toby Martinez
Toby and all of our staff are Colorado natives, hence the name Homegrown Moving and Storage Company. Toby has been active in the Denver Metro business community for over 20 years. He has been in the moving industry since 2010 and brings great experience to the daily operations of this 5 star rated local moving company. He and the Homegrown Moving and Storage Company team are committed to offering outstanding service at a reasonable cost. As Denver has grown dramatically over the past several years, so have our moving services and capabilities in order to keep up with the changes of our city. We hope to speak with you soon about how our team can help meet your moving needs here in Colorado.
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