Cheapest Places To Live In Kansas For 2020


We used data and science to determine which places in Kansas go easy on your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Kansas.

What do 2.9 million Kansas residents know that we don't? Well, besides how cool it is that Cawker City owns the biggest ball of twine and how much fun can be had at the Big Brutus Polka Fest in West Mineral, Kansans know that The Sunflower State has some of the most affordable places to live in America.

And lucky for you, HomeSnacks is here to unravel Kansas' most affordable places for 2020.

The competition was fierce to say the least. Many of Kansas' top ten most affordable places boast great home prices, safe neighborhoods, and good jobs. Any one of these Kansas places would be a great place to enjoy life while saving money. Not only does living in Kansas' most affordable places free up cash for a better home, a safer community, and just your overall cost of living, it provides extra money for the fun 'Kansas' things to do and see. Like, catching a Kansas City Royals game or taking a road trip to Louisburg's Dancefestopia Music Festival.

And it just so happens that some of Kansas' most affordable are also on our top ten best places to live in The Jayhawker State. So, living in many of our most affordable places will make you feel like you've won the Kansas Lottery. Want to know more? We suggest you crank some Kansas, head to the top of Mount Sunflower in Wallace County, and read on.

What's the cheapest place to live in Kansas according to the most recent census data? There can be only one most affordable place in Kansas for 2020, and that would be Pratt.

So, if you care about home values and affordability, take a look at the list below to see where your Kansas dollar will go the furthest. And if you don't find your favorite there, head to the bottom.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Kansas and the cheapest places in the country:

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Kansas For 2020

Pratt, KS

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,774
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (6th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 75.7x (16th cheapest)
More On Pratt: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

In terms of affordability, there's nowhere better in Kansas than Pratt, a small city 80 miles west of Wichita. Pratt has the tenth cheapest homes on the market in Kansas, with a median price tag of $85,300. Even more importantly, Pratt residents pay the sixth smallest percentage of their income on homes statewide. Which means there's plenty of money left over to experience Pratt's high culture at both its art museum and history museum. Or if you're trying to keep things cheap, Pratt's got you covered with 270 acres of parks.

The median household income in Pratt comes in at $50,771 and the median home value is $85,300 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 4.0%.

Ulysses, KS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,639
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (12th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 81.4x (9th cheapest)
More On Ulysses: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

You probably won't have a hard time believing that you're living in one of the cheapest states in America if you settle down in Ulysses, the second most affordable city in Kansas. Ulysses's affordability really shines in terms of rent; at a median rent of $651 and a median income of $52,986, Ulysses has the ninth best rent to income ratio statewide. That makes it a great place to try Kansas out without committing to a mortgage. And don't worry that you're sacrificing safety for affordability, because Ulysses is among the safest places to live in Kansas.

Ulysses is located in Grant County, in southwestern Kansas.

The median household income in Ulysses comes in at $52,986 and the median home value is $101,900 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 7.1%.

Parsons, KS

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 9,876
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 64.2x (39th cheapest)
More On Parsons: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

There's good news and bad news when it comes to Parsons, our third most affordable city in Kansas. The good news is that Parsons has the fourth cheapest homes for sale statewide at a median price of $69,000 and residents have the fourth easiest time paying off their mortgage. The bad news is that Parsons population has been steadily dwindling in recent years, and not without reason. Parsons ranks as one of the worst places to live in Kansas, due to a 20%+ poverty rate and a crime rate 75% over the national average.

Parsons is the second most populous city in southeastern Kansas.

The median household income in Parsons comes in at $41,653 and the median home value is $69,000 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 4.6%.

Concordia, KS

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,138
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.8x (8th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.1x (33rd cheapest)
More On Concordia: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Located in the Smoky Hills region of North Central Kansas, Concordia ranks as the fourth cheapest place to live in Kansas. The city home to Camp Concordia, a WWII German POW camp that's a definite must-see for any history buff in the area. Homes in Concordia go for about $74,700, the seventh lowest in Kansas. And with residents earning a median income of $41,074, Concordia has the eighth best home price to income ratio in the state.

The median household income in Concordia comes in at $41,074 and the median home value is $74,700 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 6.3%.

Mulvane, KS

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,719
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.0x (14th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 104.5x (1st cheapest)
More On Mulvane: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

A suburb of Wichita, Mulvane is the fifth least expensive city in Kansas. Mulvane scored an 8.5/10 on our overall Snackability scale, meaning the city has good schools, safe streets, a steady job market, and, of course, affordable housing.

Renting in Mulvane is absurdly cheap, with the median rent being $616/month. That's about 60% less than the average rent in Kansas, which is already much lower than the national average. And coupled with a median income of $64,388, Mulvane has the most affordable rent in Kansas. Seeing as you're already pretty lucky to live in such a great place for such a low price, consider letting your luck ride at the Kansas Star Casino.

The median household income in Mulvane comes in at $64,388 and the median home value is $126,000 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 3.4%.

Wellington, KS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,834
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.8x (41st cheapest)
More On Wellington: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Ranking as the sixth most affordable place in Kansas is Wellington, a city about 30 miles south of Wichita. Homes in Wellington go for around $74,000, the sixth cheapest in the state. Having a median income of $44,688 gives Wellington the third best home price to income ratio in Kansas. And don't worry that living in such an affordable place must be boring; between three museums, a golf course, and a water park, there's plenty to do in Wellington.

The median household income in Wellington comes in at $44,688 and the median home value is $74,000 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 4.7%.

Arkansas City, KS

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,986
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.6x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.4x (47th cheapest)
More On Arkansas City: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

The first thing to know when you show up in Arkansas City -- pronounce the "s" at the end of Arkansas, or you'll surely be put down as a carpetbagger. Once you've got that down and you're ready to buy a home, you're in luck, because Arkansas City has the third least expensive homes for sale in Kansas at a median price of $66,500. Even more importantly, residents of Arkansas City pay the second lowest proportion of their income on homes statewide. With all these awesome statistics, why isn't Arkansas City ranked higher? Unfortunately, it's the least affordable place for renters on this list. Regardless of your housing situation, everyone will appreciate the gorgeous trails and excellent fishing opportunities at Cowley Lake Waterfall.

The median household income in Arkansas City comes in at $40,573 and the median home value is $66,500 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 7.0%.

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 7,671
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 10)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 82.3x (8th cheapest)
More On Bel Aire: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

When you first look at the numbers, you might be confused as to why the Wichita suburb of Bel Aire ranks as the eighth cheapest place to live in Kansas. After all, with a median home price of $157,900 and a median rent of $1,158, Bel Aire has the priciest housing on this list by a wide margin. However, because Bel Aire is the richest place in Kansas, with residents earning a median income of $95,250, folks have no trouble at all getting their mortgage or rent paid.

Bel Aire is also the only city on this list to score a 9/10 on our overall Snackability scale, thanks to having excellent schools, safe streets, a booming jobs market, and plenty to do. Maybe that's why we named it one of the best places to live in Kansas.

The median household income in Bel Aire comes in at $95,250 and the median home value is $157,900 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 0.8%.

Atchison, KS

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,675
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.0x (16th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 69.1x (27th cheapest)
More On Atchison: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Located 45 miles northwest of Kansas City, Atchison ranks as the ninth cheapest place in Kansas. Atchison is one of the most history-rich cities in Kansas, complete with an art gallery and four museums (one of which is also the birthplace of Amelia Earhart). Living in such a hub of history doesn't cost much, because the median home price in Atchison is only $86,200 (the 12th cheapest in the state). Rent is also quite cheap in Atchison, with a median price tag of $631, so regardless of your housing situation, Atchison's got a good deal for you.

The median household income in Atchison comes in at $43,604 and the median home value is $86,200 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 6.6%.

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,885
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 10)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.8x (7th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 74.1x (17th cheapest)
More On Park City: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Rounding out our list of most affordable places to live in Kansas is Park City, yet another suburb of Wichita (the fourth on this list, for those keeping count). Park City has a particularly strong economy, with an unemployment rate under 3% and a median income of $69,921. Even with home prices slightly higher than most places on this list at $123,700, Park City still has the seventh best home price to income ratio in Kansas. Which is good, because you'll have extra cash for a concert or Wichita Wings game at Hartman Arena.

The median household income in Park City comes in at $69,921 and the median home value is $123,700 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 2.4%.

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Sunflower State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Kansas
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Kansas to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 61 places in Kansas that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Kansas according to the data is Pratt. You can download the data here.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Kansas Cheapskate

If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in Kansas, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Kansas for 2020.

Here's a look at the most expensive cities in Kansas according to the data:

  1. Manhattan
  2. Lawrence
  3. Prairie Village

For more Kansas reading, check out:

The Most Affordable Places To Live In Kansas

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Pratt 10.67 6,774 1.7x 75.7x
2 Ulysses 13.67 5,639 1.9x 81.4x
3 Parsons 15.67 9,876 1.7x 64.2x
4 Concordia 16.0 5,138 1.8x 66.1x
5 Mulvane 16.0 5,719 2.0x 104.5x
6 Wellington 16.67 7,834 1.7x 62.8x
7 Arkansas City 17.33 11,986 1.6x 61.4x
8 Bel Aire 17.5 7,671 1.7x 82.3x
9 Atchison 18.33 10,675 2.0x 69.1x
10 Park City 18.33 7,885 1.8x 74.1x
11 Coffeyville 18.67 9,578 1.5x 57.7x
12 Chanute 20.0 9,119 1.9x 62.1x
13 Great Bend 20.33 15,544 2.0x 70.1x
14 Colby 21.0 5,505 2.3x 95.0x
15 Valley Center 22.0 6,747 2.0x 76.9x
16 Winfield 22.33 12,138 1.9x 62.6x
17 Fort Scott 23.67 7,800 1.9x 52.8x
18 Independence 24.33 8,847 2.0x 60.7x
19 Eudora 24.67 6,745 2.0x 76.7x
20 Hutchinson 24.67 41,146 2.0x 64.4x
21 Newton 25.67 18,923 2.1x 67.9x
22 Tonganoxie 26.33 5,073 2.2x 102.1x
23 Dodge City 26.33 27,808 2.1x 67.9x
24 Lansing 27.0 11,835 2.0x 79.1x
25 Abilene 27.0 6,422 2.4x 73.0x
26 Haysville 27.33 11,298 1.9x 59.2x
27 Derby 28.33 23,768 2.2x 77.7x
28 El Dorado 28.67 12,988 2.0x 59.3x
29 Liberal 28.67 20,251 2.1x 63.4x
30 Paola 31.33 5,585 2.4x 70.8x
31 Ottawa 31.67 12,275 2.2x 62.2x
32 Spring Hill 33.67 6,315 2.6x 90.6x
33 Topeka 33.67 126,877 2.2x 59.4x
34 Kansas City 33.67 152,069 2.1x 50.7x
35 Leavenworth 34.0 36,008 2.1x 59.4x
36 Emporia 34.0 24,649 2.3x 58.2x
37 Mcpherson 34.33 13,041 2.6x 71.6x
38 Garden City 34.67 26,806 2.5x 68.7x
39 Gardner 35.0 21,351 2.4x 72.0x
40 Salina 36.67 47,230 2.5x 64.2x
41 Olathe 36.67 135,986 2.6x 86.2x
42 Pittsburg 37.0 20,280 2.4x 49.3x
43 Shawnee 37.33 65,239 2.7x 87.5x
44 Wichita 37.67 389,563 2.5x 64.5x
45 Bonner Springs 37.83 7,796 2.7x 69.2x
46 Andover 38.0 12,862 2.2x 66.8x
47 Iola 38.33 5,400 2.6x 48.0x
48 Augusta 38.33 9,358 2.5x 61.9x
49 Basehor 39.0 5,669 2.7x 79.9x
50 Roeland Park 40.33 6,796 2.3x 62.7x
51 Leawood 40.67 34,570 3.0x 88.1x
52 Lenexa 41.67 53,051 2.9x 77.5x
53 Hays 42.33 20,956 3.5x 70.8x
54 Merriam 42.33 11,243 2.7x 66.1x
55 Overland Park 44.67 188,687 3.2x 73.5x
56 Mission 44.67 9,437 2.8x 64.5x
57 De Soto 46.33 6,138 3.9x 69.9x
58 Junction City 48.0 23,703 2.7x 53.9x
59 Prairie Village 48.67 22,048 3.0x 67.1x
60 Lawrence 54.67 95,294 3.7x 56.5x
61 Manhattan 56.67 55,489 4.1x 54.3x

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.