Most Expensive Places To Live In Kansas For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Kansas that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Kansas does this very well. Families love the Sunflower State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Kansas that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Kansas for 2020.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Kansas? That would be Manhattan.
the 2014-2018 American Community Survey for the 61 places in Kansas with more than 5,000 people.

What's the most expensive place to live in Kansas? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Manhattan is the most expensive place to live in Kansas.

So hopefully Pratt (the cheapest place to live in Kansas) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

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

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Kansas For 2020

Manhattan, KS

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 55,489
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.3x (6th most expensive)
More on Manhattan: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Manhattan is a city in northeastern Kansas in the United States at the junction of the Kansas River and Big Blue River. It is the county seat of Riley County, although it extends into Pottawatomie County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 52,281.

The median income in Manhattan comes in at $49,279 and the median home value is $200,400 for 2020.

Lawrence, KS

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 95,294
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.5x (7th most expensive)
More on Lawrence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lawrence is the county seat of Douglas County and sixth largest city in Kansas. It is located in the northeastern sector of the state, next to Interstate 70, between the Kansas and Wakarusa Rivers. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 87,643. Lawrence is a college town and the home to the University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University.

The median income in Lawrence comes in at $50,429 and the median home value is $188,100 for 2020.

Prairie Village, KS

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 22,048
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.0x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 67.1x (31st most expensive)
More on Prairie Village: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Prairie Village is a city in Johnson County, Kansas, United States, and part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 21,447.

The median income in Prairie Village comes in at $88,635 and the median home value is $261,500 for 2020.

Junction City, KS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 23,703
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.9x (5th most expensive)
More on Junction City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Junction City is a city and county seat of Geary County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 23,353. Fort Riley, a major U.S. Army post, is nearby.

The median income in Junction City comes in at $51,198 and the median home value is $138,700 for 2020.

De Soto, KS

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,138
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 69.9x (37th most expensive)
More on De Soto: Real Estate | Data | Photos

De Soto is a city in Johnson and Leavenworth counties in the U.S. state of Kansas, and part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. The vast majority of the city, 11.13 sq. mi., lies within Johnson County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 5,720, and the 2015 census estimate is 6,074. The area code is 913, and the two zip codes are 66018 and 66019.

The median income in De Soto comes in at $52,364 and the median home value is $203,200 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 9,437
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 64.5x (27th most expensive)
More on Mission: Real Estate | Data

Mission is a city in Johnson County, Kansas, United States, and part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. The population was 9,323 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Mission comes in at $60,875 and the median home value is $169,500 for 2020.

Overland Park, KS

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 188,687
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 73.5x (44th most expensive)
More on Overland Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Overland Park is the second most populous city in the U.S. state of Kansas. Located in Johnson County, it is also the second most populous city in the Kansas City metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 173,372.

The median income in Overland Park comes in at $82,651 and the median home value is $261,200 for 2020.

Merriam, KS

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 11,243
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.1x (28th most expensive)
More on Merriam: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Merriam is a city in Johnson County, Kansas, United States, and part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,003. It is bordered by the cities of Overland Park to the east and south, Shawnee to the west, and Kansas City, Kansas to the north ; the city of Lenexa is less than a mile to the southwest. Merriam is included in the Shawnee Mission postal designation.

The median income in Merriam comes in at $59,643 and the median home value is $160,100 for 2020.

Hays, KS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 20,956
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 70.8x (40th most expensive)
More on Hays: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hays is a city in and the county seat of Ellis County, Kansas, United States. The largest city in northwestern Kansas, it is the economic and cultural center of the region. It is also a college town, home to Fort Hays State University. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 20,510.

The median income in Hays comes in at $48,299 and the median home value is $171,400 for 2020.

Lenexa, KS

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 53,051
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.9x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 77.5x (49th most expensive)
More on Lenexa: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lenexa is a city in Johnson County, Kansas, United States, and part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 48,190. It is bordered by the cities of Shawnee to the north, Overland Park to the east, De Soto to the west and Olathe to the south.

The median income in Lenexa comes in at $84,370 and the median home value is $248,800 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Expensive 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 most 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 highest cost of living in Kansas according to the data is Manhattan. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Kansas For 2020

Well there you have it, the places in Kansas that have the highest cost of living, with Manhattan ranking as the most expensive city in the Sunflower State.

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

  1. Pratt
  2. Ulysses
  3. Parsons

For more Kansas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Kansas

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Manhattan 5.33 55,489 4.1x 54.3x
2 Lawrence 7.33 95,294 3.7x 56.5x
3 Prairie Village 13.33 22,048 3.0x 67.1x
4 Junction City 14.0 23,703 2.7x 53.9x
5 De Soto 15.67 6,138 3.9x 69.9x
6 Mission 17.33 9,437 2.8x 64.5x
7 Overland Park 17.33 188,687 3.2x 73.5x
8 Merriam 19.67 11,243 2.7x 66.1x
9 Hays 19.67 20,956 3.5x 70.8x
10 Lenexa 20.33 53,051 2.9x 77.5x
11 Leawood 21.33 34,570 3.0x 88.1x
12 Roeland Park 21.67 6,796 2.3x 62.7x
13 Basehor 23.0 5,669 2.7x 79.9x
14 Augusta 23.67 9,358 2.5x 61.9x
15 Iola 23.67 5,400 2.6x 48.0x
16 Andover 24.0 12,862 2.2x 66.8x
17 Bonner Springs 24.17 7,796 2.7x 69.2x
18 Wichita 24.33 389,563 2.5x 64.5x
19 Shawnee 24.67 65,239 2.7x 87.5x
20 Pittsburg 25.0 20,280 2.4x 49.3x
21 Salina 25.33 47,230 2.5x 64.2x
22 Olathe 25.33 135,986 2.6x 86.2x
23 Gardner 27.0 21,351 2.4x 72.0x
24 Garden City 27.33 26,806 2.5x 68.7x
25 Mcpherson 27.67 13,041 2.6x 71.6x
26 Emporia 28.0 24,649 2.3x 58.2x
27 Leavenworth 28.0 36,008 2.1x 59.4x
28 Kansas City 28.33 152,069 2.1x 50.7x
29 Topeka 28.33 126,877 2.2x 59.4x
30 Spring Hill 28.33 6,315 2.6x 90.6x
31 Ottawa 30.33 12,275 2.2x 62.2x
32 Paola 30.67 5,585 2.4x 70.8x
33 Liberal 33.33 20,251 2.1x 63.4x
34 El Dorado 33.33 12,988 2.0x 59.3x
35 Derby 33.67 23,768 2.2x 77.7x
36 Haysville 34.67 11,298 1.9x 59.2x
37 Abilene 35.0 6,422 2.4x 73.0x
38 Lansing 35.0 11,835 2.0x 79.1x
39 Tonganoxie 35.67 5,073 2.2x 102.1x
40 Dodge City 35.67 27,808 2.1x 67.9x
41 Newton 36.33 18,923 2.1x 67.9x
42 Hutchinson 37.33 41,146 2.0x 64.4x
43 Eudora 37.33 6,745 2.0x 76.7x
44 Independence 37.67 8,847 2.0x 60.7x
45 Fort Scott 38.33 7,800 1.9x 52.8x
46 Winfield 39.67 12,138 1.9x 62.6x
47 Valley Center 40.0 6,747 2.0x 76.9x
48 Colby 41.0 5,505 2.3x 95.0x
49 Great Bend 41.67 15,544 2.0x 70.1x
50 Chanute 42.0 9,119 1.9x 62.1x
51 Coffeyville 43.33 9,578 1.5x 57.7x
52 Atchison 43.67 10,675 2.0x 69.1x
53 Park City 43.67 7,885 1.8x 74.1x
54 Bel Aire 44.5 7,671 1.7x 82.3x
55 Arkansas City 44.67 11,986 1.6x 61.4x
56 Wellington 45.33 7,834 1.7x 62.8x
57 Concordia 46.0 5,138 1.8x 66.1x
58 Mulvane 46.0 5,719 2.0x 104.5x
59 Parsons 46.33 9,876 1.7x 64.2x
60 Ulysses 48.33 5,639 1.9x 81.4x
61 Pratt 51.33 6,774 1.7x 75.7x

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.