Renter's guide to Thornton, CO
Thornton is located in Adams and Weld counties, Colorado, and is a suburb of Denver. It ranks as the number one place to live in Adams County, the 8th most diverse suburb in Colorado, and the 37th best suburb for young professionals. With moderate crime rates and decent schools, it’s also popular with families.
With a population of 132, 310, Thornton is one of the largest of Denver’s suburbs, and the 6th most populous city in Colorado. It stretches out across an area of almost 37 sq. miles, sprawling almost 15 miles from south to north. It’s around 5 and a half times smaller than Denver proper, and despite its size, manages to retain something of a community spirit, due to a number of close-knit neighborhoods.
The center of Thornton is around 12 miles from downtown Denver, which can be reached by taking interstate 25 south, with journey times averaging out at around 23 minutes. Thornton is well-connected, with access to the northern Denver beltway in the north of the city providing travel in all directions.
Thornton enjoys a milder climate compared to other suburbs of Denver, with warmer summers and less snow in winter. July is typically the hottest month with highs of 90 °F, while January sees lows of around 18°F. Overall, there are around 245 sunny days per year in Thornton, more than the U.S. average of 205. The city also sees less rainfall, with around 16 inches of rain a year, and May being the wettest month. Snow is common between November and April, with annual snowfall of 46 inches — higher than the U.S. average, but much lower than other cities in the area, particularly to the south.
Thornton, CO employment & economy
Households in Thornton have a median household income of $73,517, well above county, state, and national averages. The most common industry for those living in Thornton is health care and social assistance, which employs 8,243 people or 11.8% of the workforce. Other common industries include retail trade and construction. The highest paying industry is mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, which employs 2 times more workers compared to other areas in the country.
Over 15.4% of Thornton’s workforce work in office and administrative support roles, making it the most common occupation in the city. Other common jobs include management occupations, and sales and related occupations. The highest paid residents work in architecture and engineering occupations.
Education in Thornton, CO
Three different school districts serve Thornton; Adams County School District 12, Mapleton Public Schools, and Brighton School District 27J. Between them, they offer around 8 high schools, 11 middle schools, and 20 elementary schools. The Stargate Charter School accepts gifted students from grades K through 11 and requires an intelligence test to enter. It outperforms all other public schools in the area in terms of test scores, student progress, and college readiness.
Other notable schools include Horizon High School, ranked the 6th best public high school in the country, and rates consistently above average in terms of college readiness, test scores, and student progress. Rocky Top Middle School is ranked the 6th best public middle school in the county, and the 91st best in Colorado. Silver Creek Elementary School ranks as the 8th best elementary school in the county and performs above average in all areas.
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