Kansas vs. Missouri: which one is better? This is a question many people ask themselves when deciding to move to the Midwest. This area of the country is affectionately known as “America’s Heartland,” referring to its role in the nation’s farming and manufacturing sectors, along with its patchwork of small towns interspersed with large commercial cities. The decision on which state to move to isn’t always easy, especially when you don’t necessarily have to move there for work. Middle America consists of more corn fields than major metropolises and more mom-and-pop shops than Fortune 500 companies; however, the 12 states that make up this region bring a rich culture, small-town ideals and community feel to the entire country. Twenty-one percent 21% of the nation’s population call this region home, according to 2017 Census numbers, but that number is expected to grow. Missouri and Kansas make up a pretty good chunk of the Midwest, with Missouri claiming the most of the two, with a population of 6.1 million people. Kansas is home to 2.9 million. But even Missouri as a state can’t beat huge metropolises like New York City, which boasts a whopping 8.3 million in the boroughs alone. And Kansas is not much more populous than the entire city of Chicago. Yet the small town charms of these two states can’t be ignored.
RankingsMany people seek out the Midwest for its low cost of living, rural areas, peaceful neighborhoods, open spaces and relaxed pace of life. In terms of quality of life, a U.S. News and World Report report ranked Kansas and Missouri towards the top. Kansas ranked 16th overall, scoring high marks for community engagement and urban air quality, with pollution health risks and drinking water quality ranking worse than average. It also ranked 24th for social support. Missouri ranked one spot higher, with its best ranking factors being social support, community engagement and pollution health risk. It ranked lower in industrial toxins, urban air quality, and drinking water quality.
Cost of LivingThe cost of living in both states is comparable. Missouri’s cost of living is 85.9, lower than the national average of 100. Housing remains the biggest factor in regards to the cost of living difference. The median home price here is $159,500, compared with $231,200 for the national average. The median household income is $53,560 and the average household income is $73,145. Kansas’ cost of living is 83.1, lower than the national average of 100. The median home price here is lower than Missouri’s at $137,500, compared with $231,200 for the national average. The median household income is $57,422, and the average household income is $77,509.
KansasKansas has a rich history dating back centuries. Topeka has many historical sites, and the capital, Wichita, is steeped in aviation and learning. Lawrence and Manhattan are the two main college towns of the state and Olathe has scenic lakes for recreation. It’s known for its amazing barbecue food, friendly people, and sports.
- Low population density
- Low crime rates
- Good for agriculture and food production
- Cheap real estate in many cities
- Scenic lakes and green spaces
- Tornadoes occur frequently
- Drought and extreme dryness during summer
- Not many opportunities for socializing
- Difficult to find employment
MissouriThe crossroads of the United States, Missouri has a wide variety of outdoor activities to partake it, it’s affordable to live here and the schools are good.
- Excellent barbecue, i.e., St. Louis style ribs
- Low cost of living
- Plenty of recreational opportunities, such as theaters, museums, and national parks and monuments
- Second-largest wine-producing state in the country
- Significant beer heritage
- Gang activity in some areas of the state
- Generally low wages
- Property crime and other types of crime are high in some cities
- Weather is stifling
- Ranks poorly in the areas of health care and inclusiveness