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:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Kansas
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Kansas
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Kansas For 2018
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 Cities 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
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Kansas? That would be Leawood.
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.
Leawood has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Kansas. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Leawood is a real gem.
With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Leawood residents to work is significantly higher than average.
Bel Aire comes in at a close 2nd. They have the 1st lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 4th highest median income as well, which means the people in Bel Aire are working and getting paid well.
Additionally, the median home value is the 20th best in the state.
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 Overland Park.
Overland Park ranked impressively high for its crime rate (9th overall) and its short commute times (37th).
We think that’s worth the price of admission.
Perhaps what makes Derby so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.
However, quality education isn’t all that makes Derby great. They also have the 11th highest median income and the 29th shortest commute time.
In Mcpherson, everyone loves to call Mcpherson home! The median home value is the 22nd highest in Kansas.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 5th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Sunflower State.
Mcpherson should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.
The Town of Andover consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?
Let’s see why Andover ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Andover are the 10th most expensive in the state of Kansas, with the average home worth a whopping $176,200. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Andover if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Andover residents have the 2nd highest income in the state, and the 10th lowest crime numbers in Kansas.
Things can’t get much better than in the town of Colby. The crime is the 16th lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Colby make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.
The median home costs a cool $109,900 and households make $48,621 which is good for 26th in Kansas.
We think the motto in Lenexa should be “Everything is greater in Lenexa,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.
Lenexa has some of the highest home values in Kansas, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Lenexa only has 600.0% of its residents living in poverty.
Crime is also well below the state average, making Lenexa a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.
With the unemployment rate being the 19th lowest in Kansas and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in Olathe.
Plus, the crime rate is the 11th lowest in the state!
Mulvane takes 10th place on our list of best places in Kansas for 2019 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (6th overall) and things to do.
Mulvane is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $125,900 at the median.
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 the best place to live in Kansas for 2019.
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 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