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 hometown ranked. Hint: If you live in Johnson County, consider yourself lucky.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Kansas for 2019:
- 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)
Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Overland Park is the most desirable, according to science and data.
But as most Kansas residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.
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
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.
The 10 Best Places To Live In Kansas For 2019
In Leawood, everyone loves to call Leawood home! The median home value is the 1st highest in Kansas.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 14th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Sunflower State.
Leawood should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.
If you live in Bel Aire, you probably know how great it is already.
Bel Aire has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($80,324). And the crime is really, really low (1st lowest in Kansas).
If we could afford to move here, we probably would.
The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Kansas, as there were only 376 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 16th lowest in Kansas (4.0%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.
Additionally, homes are the 2nd most expensive in Overland Park ($237,100), meaning a lot of people want to live there.
Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $74,789 a year.
The Town of Derby 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 Derby ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Derby are the 16th most expensive in the state of Kansas, with the average home worth a whopping $156,900. 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 Derby if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Derby residents have the 11th highest income in the state, and the 18th lowest crime numbers in Kansas.
Mcpherson’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 21st highest, making Mcpherson a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.
Additionally, Mcpherson has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.
Things can’t get much better than in the town of Andover. The crime is the 10th lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Andover make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.
The median home costs a cool $176,200 and households make $85,230 which is good for 2nd in Kansas.
Colby ranks 7th on our list of best places to live in Kansas thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.
Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in Kansas that we examined.
People have been flocking to Colby over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.
Lenexa has a really low crime rate (13th lowest) and only 4.2% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($78,798). 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 Lenexa.
Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Olathe. Statistically the 11th safest place in the state, there were only 222 violent crimes in the entire city last year.
It’s really beautiful in Olathe, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $79,691 a year, and homes are valued at more than $201,200.
What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the good things in life?
Mulvane has a strong showing in our best places to live in Kansas analysis, coming it at 10th best.
It ranks highly like many others in the top ten for a low unemployment rate and high adjusted median income. It scored extra points relative to the top ten for its size and things to do.
If you’re thinking of moving to Kansas, Mulvane is a great option.
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