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Quick Facts About Boulder, Colorado


Highly Educated Population


  • Boulder's metro area population consistently ranks highest in the U.S. for educational attainment by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over half of the population holds a bachelor's degree or higher
  • CU-Boulder is home to five Nobel laureates, four National Medal of Science winners and more than 50 members of prestigious academic academies.
  • In June 2012, Boulder ranked #1 on Richard Florida's list of "America’s Most Creative Cities".
  • Scott Carpenter, a NASA astronaut, grew up in Boulder. He named his space capsule after his home on Aurora and 7th. The capsule was Aurora 7.

Doing Business in Boulder

  • CU-Boulder ranked in the top 50 for US public universities (US News, 2024)
  • Boulder's startup ecosystem ranks 54th globally (StartupBlink, 2023)
  • Inc. Magazine has named Boulder "America’s Startup Capital" and "America's Startup City".
  • Boulder companies received $2.5 billion in venture capital (VC) funding in 2022, representing a 15% of total VC investment in the state.
  • The Brookings Institution cited Boulder as having the 6th highest ratios of patents applied for per capita in the country (out of 358 metro areas) from 2007 to 2011.
  • Boulder was named to the Business Insider list of 20 Most Innovative Cities in 2013.

Key Industries

  • The Boulder metro area ranked 3rd in the U.S. for venture capital invested per capita in 2021 (Bloomberg).
  • Boulder has the third highest concentration of high tech employment in the nation. (Cybercities 2010)
  • Boulder is home to one of IBM’s largest and “greenest” data centers in North America. Opened in 2008, the 115,000-square-foot facility was designed to significantly reduce energy costs and is part of IBM’s Project Big Green.
  • CU-Boulder has 18 astronaut-affiliates and is the leading public university recipient of NASA research funds.
  • The Colorado medical device sector is the 6th largest in the nation; 21% of the region’s medical devices and diagnostics companies are located in Boulder County.
  • Naturally Boulder, a non-profit organization whose members include many industry stakeholders, helps Boulder to thrive as the cradle of the global natural products industry.

Living in Boulder

  • In the March 2014 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Boulder ranked #2 in the list of “Top Cities for Well Being”.
  • Boulder has over 300 restaurants featuring local, regional and international cuisine. Several local restaurants have received national acclaim including Frasca Food and Wine, winner of a prestigious James Beard award.
  • Boulder’s Pearl Street made Food & Wine’s May 2013 list of "Ten Best Foodie Streets in America".
  • Boulder has more than 30 art galleries and has been recognized as one of the nation’s top cities for art by American Style magazine. The city is also home to four museums, 32 movie and stage theaters, and an impressive variety of cultural performances and events.

University of Colorado Boulder

  • The University of Colorado Boulder is one of only 34 U.S. public research universities invited to join the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) and the only member in the Rocky Mountain region.
  • CU-Boulder is home to five Nobel laureates, four National Medal of Science winners and more than 50 members of prestigious academic academies.
  • The Aerospace Engineering graduate program at the University of Colorado Boulder is ranked #9 in U.S. News and World Report, 2014.
  • Fifteen CU-Boulder Graduate School specialty programs were ranked in the top 50 in the nation, including six in the top 10, in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 America’s Best Graduate School rankings.
  • Scientists and students at CU-Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) are playing key roles in the NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission, which was launch in November 2013 and entered Mar’s atmosphere in September 2014.
  • CU-Boulder is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a level-one research university, the top rank in the U.S. The university received $351 million in new sponsored research projects in fiscal year 2012–13, funding research across the natural and physical sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences, space sciences and engineering.
  • CU-Boulder ranked in the top 20 of “America’s Most Entrepreneurial Universities” by Forbes, 2014
  • 132 companies have been created using CU intellectual property, of which 89 still have an operational footprint in Colorado today.
  • In June 2014, Boulder was named the best college town in America by GQ.
  • In December 2013, Boulder made Travel + Leisure’s list of “America’s Best College Towns”.
  • LASP is the only lab in the world to design and build instruments that have visited every planet in the solar system.
  • Eighteen NASA astronauts are graduates of the University of Colorado Boulder.
  • CU-Boulder is home to more than 100 research centers or institutes.
  • The Janus Supercomputer is housed at CU-Boulder.
  • CU-Boulder is home to the first-ever zero-waste program at a major college football stadium.

Healthy Living

  • In December 2015, the Boulder Farmers Market was ranked as number one in the state of Colorado by Tripping.
  • Boulder made USA Today’s "10Best: Bike-friendly cities" list in July 2014
  • Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index ranked Boulder #2 in its "Top Cities for Well Being" list, March 2014.
  • The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has awarded Boulder the Gold Walk Friendly Community Designation, April 2014
  • In 2014 the National Arbor Day foundation named Boulder, CO “Tree City USA″ for the 30th consecutive year!
  • USA Today ranked Boulder #2 on their list of “Top Urban Bike Paths” in July 2013.
  • Boulder named “Skinniest City in America” Gallup polls, March 7, 2012
  • The Bolder Boulder, a Memorial Day tradition since it was co-founded in 1979 by Steve Bosley and Olympic medalist Frank Shorter, attracts over 50,000 participants each year. On May 25, 2009 organizers signed the race’s 1,000,000th entrant.
  • Boulder has been rated the top “Dream Town” by Outside Magazine, best city for cycling by Bicycling magazine, the #1 of “Best Cities to Raise an Outdoor Kid” by Backpacker magazine, and a “Top Heart-Friendly City”.
  • Boulder was recently rated the “#1 Sports Town in America” by Outside Magazine. The city offers a sunny, temperate climate, abundance of nearby recreational areas, and full range of activities to choose from.
  • The City of Boulder has abundant preserved open space, including 45,000 acres of land, 150 miles of dedicated trails and 60 urban parks for hikers, runners, dog walkers, climbers, bird watchers, photographers, and mountain bikers.
  • Boulder County has 110 miles of hiking and biking trails and 35,000 acres of open space that is open to the public.
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