Though not as well-known as some of north-central Colorado’s other cities, Thornton has experienced meteoric growth in the last two decades, and is the sixth most populous city in Colorado (a 21% population increase from the 2010 census; 2020 now shows 143,890 residents).
What draws people here? It’s definitely the central location, for one thing—situated between Interstates 25 and 76 in Adams and Weld counties, Thornton is easy to access. Drive time is just 22 minutes to Denver International Airport, and commute times to downtown Denver and Boulder are reasonable as well, for both work schedules and weekend adventures: 24 minutes to Denver and 30 minutes to Boulder. There’s lots of great skiing, fishing, hiking, and camping to be found in under an hour’s drive, as well.
Perhaps even a bigger attraction to the area is all the things to see and do. The city is extremely kid friendly, with places like the unique action sports facility, Progresh, and a 12,000 square foot obstacle course, Mid-Air Adventures. For others, it’s the numerous historical and artist attractions, fine dining and shopping, and great variety of annual festivals and fairs that bring them here.
Perhaps most of all, the careful attention that Thornton has paid to its green space access is the biggest draw. Once a vast farmland in the 1950s, Thornton now boasts about 2,000 acres of recreational areas and open space. With 25 major parks (80 total city parks), over 80 miles of trails throughout the city, several golf courses, and a strong spirit of community involvement, the city gives off a welcoming atmosphere that makes its residents want to put down roots.
As for the safety factor in Thornton, overall total crimes rates for the community are 33% higher than the national average, but violent crimes in Thornton are 28% lower. Safety projections are promising: year-over-year crime in Thornton has decreased by 8%.
Thornton contains 51 public schools, and 24 private schools. Most of these schools are rated above average in comparison to state averages, and there is a different style of teaching for most every student. Multiple acclaimed colleges and universities are also easily accessed in the nearby Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins and Greeley areas.