These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Missouri


These cities are the cream of the crop in the Show Me State.

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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:

  1. Wildwood
  2. Ballwin
  3. Chesterfield
  4. Lee’s Summit
  5. Parkville
  6. O’Fallon
  7. Dardenne Prairie
  8. Town And Country
  9. Kirkwood
  10. Kearney

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.

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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.

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1. Wildwood

Best Missouri

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 35,388
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.

2. Ballwin

Best Missouri

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 30,446
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.

3. Chesterfield

Best Missouri

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 47,471
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

Best Missouri

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 90,544
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.

5. Parkville

Best Missouri

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,538
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.

6. O’Fallon

Best Missouri

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 79,073
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

Best Missouri

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,341
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

Best Missouri

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,821
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.

9. Kirkwood

Best Missouri

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,494
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.

10. Kearney

Best Missouri

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,419
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
Worst: Charleston

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

City Rank Population Crime Index Cost Of Living Index
Wildwood 1 35,388 35 124
Ballwin 2 30,446 44 107
Chesterfield 3 47,471 71 125
Lee’s Summit 4 90,544 75 106
Parkville 5 5,538 88 130
O’Fallon 6 79,073 58 100
Dardenne Prairie 7 11,341 17.9 112
Town And Country 8 10,821 42 176
Kirkwood 9 27,494 83 107
Kearney 10 8,419 48 99
Glendale 11 5,911 37 121
Weldon Spring 12 5,473 30 127
Webster Groves 13 22,974 56 107
Old Jamestown 14 19,543 30 98
Ladue 15 8,524 58 197
Oakville 16 36,148 36 102
Raymore 17 19,006 57 101
Manchester 18 18,154 50 103
Lake St. Louis 19 14,390 70 104
Battlefield 20 5,496 42 88
Clayton 21 15,740 62 157
Savannah 22 5,034 32 87
Liberty 23 29,252 68 96
Des Peres 24 8,395 86 131
Creve Coeur 25 17,777 62 129
Concord 26 15,864 31 99
Sunset Hills 27 8,477 80 122
Wentzville 28 28,879 72 100
Smithville 29 8,411 53 97
St. Peters 30 53,190 86 95
Maryland Heights 31 27,418 84 91
Ellisville 32 9,123 62 105
Olivette 33 7,734 81 110
Greenwood 34 5,179 50 95
University City 35 35,397 94 97
Eureka 36 10,122 80 103
Pleasant Hill 37 8,046 47 101
Brentwood 38 8,022 98 96
Nixa 39 19,032 70 90
Blue Springs 40 52,401 89 94
Bowling Green 41 5,301 51 83
Affton 42 19,945 48 89
Columbia 43 109,008 114 95
Shrewsbury 44 6,261 53 96
Crestwood 45 11,901 83 96
Sappington 46 7,493 62 97
Barnhart 47 5,873 37 91
Valley Park 48 6,938 90 92
St. Charles 49 65,927 89 94
Warrensburg 50 18,988 84 92
Willard 51 5,237 89 86
Odessa 52 5,260 71 93
Ozark 53 17,710 80 90
Gladstone 54 25,635 74 91
Carl Junction 55 7,339 68 87
Jackson 56 13,815 78 97
Monett 57 8,893 81 87
Mehlville 58 28,615 71 90
Marshall 59 12,950 88 82
Excelsior Springs 60 11,244 99 86
Fulton 61 12,702 108 87
Boonville 62 8,305 75 85
Black Jack 63 6,911 83 84
Murphy 64 9,012 63 100
Jefferson City 65 42,983 116 94
Grain Valley 66 12,507 78 95
Richmond Heights 67 8,640 132 104
Perryville 68 8,234 108 87
Mexico 69 11,571 88 81
Maryville 70 11,924 80 88
Belton 71 23,182 89 92
Chillicothe 72 8,791 92 83
Trenton 73 6,067 93 81
Republic 74 14,637 117 85
Troy 75 10,587 62 93
St. Joseph 76 76,729 117 85
Lemay 77 16,616 63 81
Arnold 78 20,859 105 92
Cape Girardeau 79 37,982 138 90
Washington 80 13,979 86 95
Harrisonville 81 10,017 103 91
Bolivar 82 10,331 92 84
Oak Grove 83 7,653 86 90
Neosho 84 11,906 105 81
Marshfield 85 6,644 52 82
Kirksville 86 17,503 109 84
Macon 87 5,470 91 83
Festus 88 11,559 90 92
Webb City 89 10,923 68 81
Clinton 90 9,167 123 85
Hannibal 91 17,835 132 83
Pevely 92 5,449 79 89
Richmond 93 5,790 104 89
Cameron 94 9,935 93 89
Kansas City 95 459,772 152 94
Maplewood 96 8,081 117 90
Bridgeton 97 11,756 128 88
Overland 98 16,063 107 79
Florissant 99 52,273 88 80
Fort Leonard Wood 100 16,383 141 94
Hazelwood 101 25,678 109 81
Moberly 102 13,980 100 81
Rolla 103 19,484 122 87
Grandview 104 24,491 122 87
Dellwood 105 5,028 118 77
Pacific 106 6,024 90 88
St. Ann 107 13,018 108 79
West Plains 108 12,020 135 86
Independence 109 116,513 125 88
Sikeston 110 16,414 160 84
Carthage 111 14,271 88 81
Farmington 112 16,522 85 89
Union 113 10,220 105 90
Warrenton 114 7,850 114 91
Raytown 115 29,486 110 85
Bellefontaine Neighbors 116 10,863 128 76
Joplin 117 49,924 138 83
Aurora 118 7,502 137 82
Sedalia 119 21,340 139 83
Bonne Terre 120 6,853 52 83
St. Francois Twp (St. Francois County) 121 29,835 91 81
St. John 122 6,519 111 77
Dexter 123 7,846 97 82
De Soto 124 6,440 107 88
Ferguson 125 21,205 124 77
Sullivan 126 7,830 106 85
Springfield 127 160,246 165 84
Branson 128 10,463 190 99
Berkeley 129 9,022 159 76
Desloge 130 5,027 109 85
Caruthersville 131 6,169 136 81
Spanish Lake 132 20,313 142 80
Nevada 133 8,073 142 79
Glasgow Village 134 5,217 164 78
Poplar Bluff 135 17,110 151 83
St. Louis 136 318,527 178 84
Normandy 137 5,020 124 76
Jennings 138 14,741 181 80
Park Hills 139 8,717 112 82
Kennett 140 11,244 127 84
Lebanon 141 14,454 115 85
Charleston 142 5,847 120 78

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