The 10 Best Places To Live In Kansas For 2019


These are the cream of the crop when it comes to the Sunflower State.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Kansas.

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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.

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.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Kansas reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Kansas For 2019

Leawood, KS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 33,763
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $415,900 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (14th best)
More on Leawood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Leawood is by far one of the best places to live in Kansas: the math proves it! This city has the 14th lowest unemployment rate and the 1st highest median income in all of Kansas.

Plus, the median home values are the 1st highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 5th lowest in the state, making Leawood a safe and great place to live.

Review Of Leawood by HomeSnacks User

My parents moved from Wichita to Overland Park then to Leawood. Leawood is a lovely city, near the Plaza. Thinking of moving there- I hope you are financially successful and secure.

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 7,214
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $141,900 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.6% (1st best)
More on Bel Aire: Real Estate | Data

Bel Aire’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 4th highest, making Bel Aire a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.

Additionally, Bel Aire has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.

Overland Park, KS

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 183,775
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $237,100 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (16th best)
More on Overland Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

At an unemployment rate of 4.0%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Overland Park. And the residents command high salaries ($74,789 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($237,100 each).

We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Kansas. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Derby, KS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 23,847
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $156,900 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (10th best)
More on Derby: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Derby isn’t just the nicest place to live in Kansas – it’s also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.

It’s got the 10th lowest unemployment rate, the 11th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you’re looking at science and data, Derby definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2019.

Mcpherson, KS

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 13,212
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $135,800 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (5th best)
More on Mcpherson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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, KS

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 12,477
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $176,200 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (12th best)
More on Andover: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Andover has a strong showing in our best places to live in Kansas analysis, coming it at 6th 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, Andover is a great option.

Review Of Andover by HomeSnacks User

We moved to Andover 14 years ago because of this kind of hype. Then my grandkids were diagnosed with adhd and autism. Andover schools are great for most kids, but if your child has special needs expect that child to be bullied… by teachers and counselors. The six years it took for the school to admit they didn’t have a clue how to help my autistic granddaughter were a nightmare for us

Four years later with a great teacher in Douglas she still has great anxiety. The grandchild with adhd finally took matters into her own hands and asked to change to online school. I think that’s the only thing reason she was able to graduate.

Colby, KS

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,460
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $109,900 (30th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (2nd best)
More on Colby: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Taking its place as the 7th best place in Kansas is Colby. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Kansas.

It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.

An unemployment rate of only 2.2% helps thing too.

Lenexa, KS

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 51,206
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $232,400 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (18th best)
More on Lenexa: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lenexa is a cute little city where crime is far below the state average, and where it’s affordable. The schools are also solidly rated.

Home prices clock in at $232,400 and households earn a median salary of $78,798. One could get used to that.

Olathe, KS

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 132,787
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $201,200 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (19th best)
More on Olathe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Olathe 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 Olathe ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Olathe are the 5th most expensive in the state of Kansas, with the average home worth a whopping $201,200. 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 Olathe if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Olathe residents have the 5th highest income in the state, and the 11th lowest crime numbers in Kansas.

Mulvane, KS

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 5,461
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $125,900 (24th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (6th best)
More on Mulvane: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Mulvane by HomeSnacks User

I began my time in Mulvane at grade 5. I graduated here with a 2.9 GPA which I could have done better. The town is a small town, people are friendly, and everyone knows your name. I love that this town is full of country people, people that don’t do “city” life.

The bad is that it is a small town, when there is some sort of drama, the whole town will know in a matter of moments. On the flip side, when you are in times of the need, Mulvane will buck down and help out a fellow Mulvanian.

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’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

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.

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

  1. Mission Hills (Pop. 3,582)
  2. Westwood (Pop. 1,747)
  3. Victoria (Pop. 1,316)
  4. Fairway (Pop. 3,964)
  5. Lindsborg (Pop. 3,417)
  6. St. Marys (Pop. 2,793)
  7. Silver Lake (Pop. 1,659)
  8. North Newton (Pop. 1,901)
  9. Rose Hill (Pop. 3,915)
  10. Colwich (Pop. 1,305)

Best Small Towns To Live In Kansas

  1. Westwood Hills (Pop. 414)
  2. Maple Hill (Pop. 695)
  3. Tipton (Pop. 255)
  4. Spearville (Pop. 964)
  5. Glen Elder (Pop. 521)
  6. Lake Quivira (Pop. 987)
  7. Eastborough (Pop. 742)
  8. Assaria (Pop. 471)
  9. Andale (Pop. 790)
  10. Willowbrook (Pop. 94)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Kansas according to the data:

  1. Parsons (Pop. 10,111)
  2. Independence (Pop. 9,084)
  3. Coffeyville (Pop. 9,796)

For more Kansas reading, check out:

Where Are The The Best Places To Live In Kansas?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Leawood 33,763 3.8% $415,900
2 Bel Aire 7,214 1.6% $141,900
3 Overland Park 183,775 4.0% $237,100
4 Derby 23,847 3.5% $156,900
5 Mcpherson 13,212 2.7% $135,800
6 Andover 12,477 3.7% $176,200
7 Colby 5,460 2.2% $109,900
8 Lenexa 51,206 4.2% $232,400
9 Olathe 132,787 4.4% $201,200
10 Mulvane 5,461 2.9% $125,900

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9 thoughts on “The 10 Best Places To Live In Kansas For 2019

  1. You quite clearly did not do any research on this list. Beloit is the WORSt place I have ever lived. the unemployment rate is higher than you claim, the schools are NOT the 3rd best by any means. The court system here is horrid and they do not care whether you are innocent or guilty as long as you pay them money. The cops are pathetic and hassel anyone with a certain last name. A few years ago there was a ‘Hazing incident’ as they called it where Logan Eck and Joe Studor held a freshman down and rubbed Icy Hot on his genitals. That should have been serious legal action. But no, they didn’t get into any actual trouble. They had to sit out of a couple football games. That’s it. Beloit should be far lower on this list.

  2. I was born in Scott City. I say Kansas sucks then I think about where I came from. I wouldn’t be who I am if I hadn’t come from Kansas.

  3. I am not sure where to start with this one. I have to ask, have the authors ever been to Kansas? No one that has ever lived in Kansas would rank Scott City or Hugoton higher than a city like Overland Park. There are a few cities in the top ten I agree with (Leawood, Mission Hills, Olathe, Lenexa) but I have no idea how several of the others even made the list. Admittedly, I am a little biased as I live in Olathe but it appears to me the “scientific” criteria is flawed.

    First, I would not base the quality of the schools on dollars spent per child/teacher, but rather on academic achievement and test scores.

    Second, quality of life, an extremely important criteria, is not even considered. Small towns in the middle of western Kansas certainly appeal to some, but communities in Johnson County like Olathe, Lenexa, Leawood, Mission Hills, Overland Park, and Fairway to name a few, are far superior in terms of public service.

    Third, unemployment is an important indicator but if you compare the types of jobs in the western part of the state to those in Johnson County there is a huge difference. Anyone with a professional degree would have difficulty finding a quality engineering position in many of the small western towns listed. Many jobs in these areas are blue collar (no offense intended to those folks)
    and do not pay substantially more than minimum wage, nor do they offer much opportunity for career advancement.

    I could on and on but I think I made my point. I have nothing against the folks who live in these small towns in the western part of the state and I am sure many of them enjoy their quality of life. However, the quality of schools, public services, and career opportunities simply cannot compete with that of the Johnson County area.

  4. Unemployment in Mission Hills ? How could a person even rent a guesthouse in Mission Hills on income only from unemployment? More importantly, who WORKS in that city who lives there? The mayor or a golf course employee who inherited a few million to pay for their house? Mission Hills has no real income from Mission Hills businesses since there are none.

  5. I live in Coffeyville, Ks We have a refinery that pays over$70,000.- $125,000 a year salary, We have John Deere MFG plant that Pays $60,000 plus, Our City is still union and pays in the $40,000 range, Most jobs in the area are low to med income. However our housing was washed away with a flood in 2007. We are within 35 minutes from Bartlesville, 45 minutes from Owasso , OK and Tulsa, OK or one hour from Joplin, MO. We have our highways lined with the US Flags and a highly ranked Community College in all sports. We don’t have to have bars on our windows or have prostitutes and gangs running our streets. WE have rodeos, music in the parks, over 75 churches, A casino ten minutes from our house, Grand Lake is 45 minutes to the south, all is not that wrong in our small town, I would not pay $350,000 for a home I would never own, then pay $3500. a month in taxes to just to act like I am something special. Life is what you make of it , a backdrop won’t fill the void. Love , Live and come to SE Kansas on second thought stay where you are at, we don’t need a change, I love my life and little home. Thank You Lord for SE Kansas.

  6. We moved to Andover 14 years ago because of this kind of hype. Then my grandkids were diagnosed with adhd and autism. Andover schools are great for most kids, but if your child has special needs expect that child to be bullied … by teachers and counselors. The six years it took for the school to admit they didn’t have a clue how to help my autistic granddaughter were a nightmare for us. Four years later with a great teacher in Douglas she still has great anxiety. The grandchild with adhd finally took matters into her own hands and asked to change to online school. I think that’s the only thing reason she was able to graduate.

  7. 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.)

    Meaning that almost everyone works in Mulvane. Your editor reversed the meaning of “High unemployment rate” and “High employment rate”. Duh.

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