Where are the best places in the state of Missouri? They are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places where people have the best jobs, where residents are happily married, and where the sun shines the most.
And certainly, since crime is really low, every one wants to be there. It’s, literally, all sunshine and rainbows. Since most people in Missouri cities carry on the whole midwest values mantra, there really aren’t too many ‘bad’ places to live here, actually.
To figure out the best of the best, we looked at the 142 most populated cities in the Show Me State for this study. The cities at the top are places where things are going swimmingly right now, at least according to data, which measures the good things that people say they want in a city.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.
So we know what we’re talking about.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Missouri:
- Lee’s Summit
- Dardenne Prairie
- Town And Country
We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), these are the best options in Missouri for making a place home.
The worst city to live in Missouri? Charleston. More on that later.
How do you decide if a place is amazeballs or not?
In order to rank Missouri’s best cities, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, good weather, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we crunched the numbers for Missouri
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:
- Strong schools
- Low unemployment rates
- High incomes
- High home prices
- Lots of sunny days a year
- Low crime
- Low cost of living
If you’d like to see the complete list of cities in Missouri, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a link to the entire data set.
Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. This list is based on data, and is entirely unbiased. The cost of living index below is based on a score of 100, with anything above 100 being more expensive.
Crime Index: 35
Cost Of Living Index: 124
Wildwood is the best place you can live in Missouri when you look at the unbiased data. The crime is really low in this western St. Louis suburb.
Crime Index: 44
Cost Of Living Index: 107
This western St. Louis suburb is also relatively safe, and the cost of living is a lot lower than other cities mentioned in this list.
Crime Index: 71
Cost Of Living Index: 125
Another western St. Louis suburb, Chesterfield’s crime is slightly higher, and its more expensive than Ballwin and Wildwood.
4. Lee’s Summit
Crime Index: 75
Cost Of Living Index: 106
Lee’s Summit always ranks high on lists that talk about the best side of Missouri. This Kansas City suburb has more to do within its city limits than the cities mentioned above.
Crime Index: 88
Cost Of Living Index: 130
This northern Kansas City suburb is known for its cute art galleries and historic downtown. It’s also the home of Park University.
Crime Index: 58
Cost Of Living Index: 100
O’Fallon is a western St. Louis suburb with a low crime rate and a low cost of living.
7. Dardenne Prairie
Crime Index: 1790.0%
Cost Of Living Index: 112
Another St. Charles County city in western St. Louis, this is a great place to live, based on the data. It’s further from St. Louis than the other cities on this list.
8. Town And Country
Crime Index: 42
Cost Of Living Index: 176
Town And Country is one of the safest places you can live in Missouri, and it’s not too far from downtown St. Louis.
Crime Index: 83
Cost Of Living Index: 107
The unemployment rate here is really low since it’s close to St. Louis. But that means the crime numbers are going to be higher.
Crime Index: 48
Cost Of Living Index: 99
Little Kearney is on the northern fringes of Kansas City, where you get a much more small-town feel.
There You Have It
If you wanted to measure the places in Missouri where crime is low, the cost of living was affordable, and where the local economy was strong, this is an accurate list.
Other notable cities:
3rd Worst: Kennett
2nd Worst: Lebanon
We also wrote about the 10 worst places to live in Missouri if you wanted to read that study.
Detailed List Of Best Places To Live In Missouri
|Town And Country||8|
|Lake St. Louis||19|
|Fort Leonard Wood||100|
|St. Francois Twp (St. Francois County)||121|