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Colorado Springs ranked No. 1 of the 100 largest metro areas for lowest teacher pay relative to housing cost, according to a recent study from MagnifyMoney by LendingTree.

Housing costs account for 32.8 percent of teachers' earnings in Colorado Springs, the study found.

Denver, where teachers pay an average of 32.4 percent of their salaries to cover housing costs, ranked No. 3 on the list. Boulder was ranked No. 9, with teachers devoting 28.7 percent of their earnings to housing costs.

MagnifyMoney analyzed 2020 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and 2019 U.S. Census Bureau data to compute teacher pay relative to housing costs. The study was released April 26.

While teachers’ income falls shortest in covering housing costs in Colorado Springs, in many other metro areas, teachers’ pay doesn’t keep up with housing costs.

In more expensive locales, such as San Jose, California, teachers also are housing cost-burdened; in No. 2 San Jose, teachers must devote an average of 32.7 percent of their income to housing.

Four other California cities, including San Francisco (No. 4, 31.7 percent), Santa Rosa (No. 5, 30 percent), San Diego (No. 6, 29.8 percent) and Oxnard (No. 8, 28.7 percent), also made the top 10 list, along with No. 9, Austin, Texas (29.7 percent); and No. 10, Phoenix, Arizona (28.7 percent).

The most affordable of the top 100 cities was McAllen, Texas, which requires teachers to spend an average of only 13.8 percent of their income on housing. McAllen was followed by Buffalo, New York, where teachers’ housing costs required 14.6 percent of their pay.

Other findings of the study:

  • According to the study, teachers saw a 9 percent increase in wages across America between 2016 and 2020, compared with a 13 percent increase in wages for all workers regardless of occupation.
  • U.S. secondary school teachers had an annual median wage in 2020 of $62,840 but their pay rose only 8 percent during the same four-year period.
  • Teachers are leaving the profession at a higher rate than all other occupations. the number of kindergarten teachers dropped by 21 percent between 2016 and 2020. During the same period, the loss of workers in all occupations was 1 percent.

View the study here.