Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012)

This article, the thirty-seventh in a 50-state series, ranks the best places to live in Kansas based on three criteria: (1) median household income (adjusted for cost of living); (2) educational attainment (% of residents 25 years and over who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher); and (3) property crime rates per 1,000 residents (burglary and automobile thefts). For purposes of these rankings, “places” are incorporated municipalities with populations greater than 2,000.

Among the twenty best places to live in Kansas, twelve are suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri, five are suburbs of Wichita, two are suburbs of Topeka, and one is a suburb of Salina. By county, eleven of the best places to live in Kansas are located in Johnson County, three in Sedgwick County, two in Butler County, two in Douglas county, and one each in Leavenworth and McPherson counties.

After reading “Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012),” return to this link to read “Largest Cities in Kansas (2012).” A collection of similar articles for the remaining 49 states can be found at these links: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

For the culmination of the 50-state series, read “Best Places to Live in America (2012).”

1. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Mission Hills, KS (Johnson County)

Population: 3,552

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $245,517
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 88.1%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 1.4

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 67 miles W
Kansas City, MO: 8 miles NNE

2. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Leawood, KS (Johnson County)

Population: 31,395

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $144,990
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 72.7%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 2.55

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 68 miles W
Kansas City, MO: 12 miles NNE

3. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Fairway, KS (Johnson County)

Population: 3,850

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $98,198
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 72.4%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 1.57

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 67 miles W
Kansas City, MO: 8 miles NNE

4. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Bel Aire, KS (Sedgwick County)

Population: 6,694

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $96,559
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 49.5%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 2.39

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 139 miles NE
Wichita, KS: 10 miles SSW

5. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Prairie Village, KS (Johnson County)

Population: 21,520

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $85,860
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 59.6%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 5.79

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 67 miles W
Kansas City, MO: 10 miles NNE

6. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Overland Park, KS (Johnson County)

Population: 174,928

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $77,510
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 57.1%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 5.06

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 66 miles W
Kansas City, MO: 12 miles NNE

7. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Lenexa, KS (Johnson County)

Population: 46,852

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $85,019
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 50.3%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 4.03

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 60 miles W
Kansas City, MO: 15 miles NE

8. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Olathe, KS (Johnson County)

Population: 121,945

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $85,627
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 43.8%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.92

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 58 miles WNW
Kansas City, MO: 22 miles NE

9. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Roeland Park, KS (Johnson County)

Population: 6,979

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $70,253
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 52.3%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 5.38

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 64 miles W
Kansas City, MO: 7 miles NNE

10. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Andover, KS (Butler County)

Population: 9,874

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $88,061
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 43.5%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 6.58

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 127 miles NE
Wichita, KS: 14 miles WSW

11. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Shawnee, KS (Johnson County)

Population: 60,853

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $81,483
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 42.7%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 4.38

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 61 miles W
Kansas City, MO: 11 miles NE

12. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Rose Hill, KS (Butler County)

Population: 3,987

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $88,640
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 28.8%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 2.92

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 138 miles NE
Wichita, KS: 19 miles NW

13. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Derby, KS (Sedgwick County)

Population: 22,574

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $78,266
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 32.4%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 5.4

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 144 miles NE
Wichita, KS: 12 miles NNW

14. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Baldwin City, KS (Douglas County)

Population: 4,270

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $73,598
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 32.9%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 4.76

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 43 miles NW
Kansas City, MO: 46 miles NE

15. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Gardner, KS (Johnson County)

Population: 16,383

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $70,628
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 30.1%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 4.64

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 58 miles NW
Kansas City, MO: 31 miles NE

16. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Lawrence, KS (Douglas County)

Population: 92,055

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $39,928
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 56.5%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 9.15

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 27 miles WNW
Kansas City, MO: 40 miles ENE

17. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – De Soto, KS (Johnson County)

Population: 5,315

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $66,685
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 33.3%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 5.75*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 46 miles W
Kansas City, MO: 30 miles NE

18. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Lindsborg, KS (McPherson County)

Population: 3,251

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $61,805
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 37.5%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 6.49

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 133 miles ENE
Salina, KS: 20 miles N

19. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Valley Center, KS (Sedgwick County)

Population: 6,399

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $67,430
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 27.5%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.59

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 144 miles NE
Wichita, KS: 14 miles S

20. Best Places to Live in Kansas (2012) – Lansing, KS (Leavenworth County)

Population: 10,644

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $81,030
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 25.1%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 7.14

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Topeka, KS: 58 miles SW
Kansas City, MO: 29 miles SE

*In some cases, municipalities do not report their crime statistics to the FBI or they contract for services with the state or a county law enforcement agency. For those towns, crime rates are extrapolated from municipal, county, state, or contiguous municipality data.

Source(s):

“All Cities in Kansas,” City-Data.com
” American Community Survey ,” U.S. Census Bureau
” American Fact Finder ,” U.S. Census Bureau
“Uniform Crime Report,” Federal Bureau of Investigation