These Are 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:

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.

The 10 Best Places To Live In Kansas For 2019

Leawood, KS

Source: Public domain
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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

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.

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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

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.

Overland Park, KS

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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

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.

Derby, KS

Source: Public domain
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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

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, KS

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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’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.

Andover, KS

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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

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, KS

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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

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, KS

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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 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.

Olathe, KS

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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

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, KS

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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 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.

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.

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:

Detailed List Of 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
11 Mission 9,490 2.2% $154,100
12 Shawnee 64,444 4.1% $203,200
13 Basehor 5,167 4.7% $194,500
14 Manhattan 55,909 5.4% $190,200
15 Hays 21,073 4.0% $161,800
16 Lansing 11,706 3.3% $174,900
17 Valley Center 6,420 2.6% $137,400
18 Roeland Park 6,816 4.9% $155,100
19 Abilene 6,598 3.8% $122,700
20 Merriam 11,248 3.0% $152,700
21 Gardner 20,667 5.6% $164,300
22 Haysville 11,393 5.1% $101,700
23 Lawrence 92,611 4.9% $177,600
24 Ulysses 5,768 6.8% $96,700
25 Hutchinson 41,661 5.4% $93,900
26 Leavenworth 35,948 5.4% $115,500
27 Paola 5,583 3.5% $117,900
28 Spring Hill 5,863 5.3% $170,300
29 Salina 47,676 4.8% $117,900
30 Augusta 9,262 7.5% $109,600
31 El Dorado 13,102 6.8% $88,900
32 Eudora 6,116 12.9% $133,600
33 Newton 19,103 4.7% $101,200
34 Winfield 12,283 5.6% $83,000
35 Wellington 7,950 9.1% $73,100
36 Pratt 6,879 6.4% $80,500
37 Pittsburg 20,399 6.3% $84,300
38 Emporia 24,707 8.1% $87,800
39 De Soto 5,982 6.0% $192,700
40 Ottawa 12,433 7.2% $95,700
41 Fort Scott 7,852 3.3% $66,200
42 Concordia 5,273 6.3% $72,000
43 Wichita 388,033 6.6% $120,800
44 Topeka 127,472 6.7% $99,400
45 Chanute 9,216 4.7% $64,700
46 Bonner Springs 7,567 9.0% $157,700
47 Liberal 20,709 8.7% $90,600
48 Atchison 10,798 9.2% $84,700
49 Great Bend 15,741 6.8% $83,000
50 Iola 5,560 5.5% $77,000
51 Parsons 10,111 6.9% $61,300
52 Independence 9,084 7.1% $68,100
53 Coffeyville 9,796 9.5% $52,600

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9 thoughts on “These Are 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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