How do you pick the best places to live in what many agree is the best darn state in the nation? If you do a survey, you’ll get opinions based on most likely, emotions.
That’s why we use science. After all, the data never lies.
After analyzing everything from weather and amenities to crime and education, we’ve come up with the following list as the best places to live in Kansas. Read on below to see how we calculated the results and where your home town ranked. Hint: If you live in Johnson County, consider yourself lucky.
The Top 10 Best Places to Live in Kansas for 2018 are:
- Leawood (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bel Aire (Homes For Sale)
- Overland Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Derby (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- McPherson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Andover (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Colby (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lenexa (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Olathe (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Mulvane (Photos | Homes For Sale)
Well, it looks like you should check out Leawood if you’re thinking of moving to Kansas — it’s the best the Sunflower State has to offer according to the data.
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Kansas.
For more Kansas reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Kansas
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Kansas
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Kansas
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Kansas
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Topeka with a population of 127,472 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities — Populations over 5,000
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 53 cities, 140 towns, and 412 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Kansas
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Kansas across a number of criteria from one to 53, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Kansas”.
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Kansas.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Leawood at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Leawood. Statistically the 5th safest place in the state, there were only 30 violent crimes in the entire city last year.
It’s really beautiful in Leawood, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $147,722 a year, and homes are valued at more than $415,900.
What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the good things in life?
Bel Aire ranks as the 2nd best place in Kansas for 2018. Let’s take a look at why.
Bel Aire has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Bel Aire’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $80,324 a year.
The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂
Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Overland Park is a wonderful place to live in this state.
The relatively stable household incomes and below average crime rates don’t hurt either!
While it may not be as great as some other places on this list, Overland Park still holds its own in in Kansas.
We think the motto in Derby should be “Everything is greater in Derby,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.
Derby has some of the highest home values in Kansas, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Derby only has 690.0% of its residents living in poverty.
Crime is also well below the state average, making Derby a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.
Mcpherson comes in at a close 5th. They have the 5th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 21st highest median income as well, which means the people in Mcpherson are working and getting paid well.
Additionally, the median home value is the 22nd best in the state.
Andover has a really low crime rate (10th lowest) and only 3.7% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($85,230). And that goes a long way.
The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Andover.
Colby is by far one of the best places to live in Kansas: the math proves it! This city has the 2nd lowest unemployment rate and the 26th highest median income in all of Kansas.
Plus, the median home values are the 30th highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 16th lowest in the state, making Colby a safe and great place to live.
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s A LOT of demand to live in Lenexa.
Lenexa ranked impressively high for its crime rate (13th overall) and its short commute times (35th).
We think that’s worth the price of admission.
The crime is the 11th lowest in the state in Olathe, and there were only 222 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.
The schools are some of the best in Kansas, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Olathe earn $79,691 a year.
The Town of Mulvane might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.
The crime rate in Mulvane isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $125,900 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Kansas.
If Mulvane can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (2.9% is the 6th highest in the state.
Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Kansas
If you’re looking at areas in Kansas with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Leawood made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.
Best Towns To Live In Kansas
- Mission Hills (Pop. 3,582)
- Westwood (Pop. 1,747)
- Victoria (Pop. 1,316)
- Fairway (Pop. 3,964)
- Lindsborg (Pop. 3,417)
- St. Marys (Pop. 2,793)
- Silver Lake (Pop. 1,659)
- North Newton (Pop. 1,901)
- Rose Hill (Pop. 3,915)
- Colwich (Pop. 1,305)
Best Small Towns To Live In Kansas
- Westwood Hills (Pop. 414)
- Maple Hill (Pop. 695)
- Tipton (Pop. 255)
- Spearville (Pop. 964)
- Glen Elder (Pop. 521)
- Lake Quivira (Pop. 987)
- Eastborough (Pop. 742)
- Assaria (Pop. 471)
- Andale (Pop. 790)
- Willowbrook (Pop. 94)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Kansas according to the data:
- Parsons (Pop. 10,111)
- Independence (Pop. 9,084)
- Coffeyville (Pop. 9,796)
For more Kansas reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Kansas For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Kansas
- 10 Safest Places In Kansas
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Kansas
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Kansas