Kansas is the breadbasket of the United States as it is the largest wheat producer in the country. Spread over a blanket of plains and prairie lands, Kansas is the geographic center of the country and has a history of wholeheartedly embracing every newcomer. Our moving guide focuses on why moving to Kansas is right for you in 2021.
Primarily an agricultural state, Kansas is most famously known as the backdrop for the American film classic ‘The Wizard of Oz’. The Midwestern state is bordered by Nebraska to the north; Missouri to the east; Oklahoma to the south; and Colorado to the west. Kansas got its name from the Kansas River, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native Americans who lived along its banks.
One of the largest producers of wheat, corn, sorghum, and soybeans, Kansas is the 15th largest state in the US. The state has a strong Native American history that is proudly displayed even now. Moving to Kansas, you can still feel the authentic flavor of the Wild West and its tranquil, historical, and natural ambiance.
Interesting facts about Kansas
- Native Americans were living in Kansas as early as 12,000 B.C.
- In Kansas, farmland covers more than 88 percent of the total land.
- Second, only to Texas, there have been more meteorites found in Kansas than in any other state west of the Mississippi River.
- Kansas is one of the two sources of helium in the U.S.
- Kansas entered the Union as a free state; hence it is nicknamed “The Free State”.
- The state has many nicknames – The Sunflower State, The Wheat State, Midway, U.S.A, Grasshopper State, the Garden of the West, the Jaywalk State
Kansas Quick Facts
- Capital: Topeka
- Largest city: Wichita
- Area: 82,278 square miles
- Population: 2,913,314
- Density: 34.9/sq mi
- Demonyms: Kansan, Jayhawker
- Largest cities: Wichita, Overland City, Kansas City, Olathe, Topeka, Lawrence
Kansas as a state has got everything – farmlands, rural communities, small towns, and big cities. Let us now take a walk to understand why moving to Kansas is important. Our guide has also filtered down the pros and cons of living in Kansas. This will help you make the right call.
The Things you should know before moving to Kansas here
How’s the climate in Kansas?
Kansas has a temperate but continental climate, with great extremes between summer and winter temperatures but few long periods of extreme hot or cold. The annual average temperature is 55°F.
The coldest month is January when temperatures typically go down to an average of 31°F. The warmest month is usually July when temps can climb to around 81°F, on average. However, hotter summers and colder winters are also not uncommon.
Kansas is prone to severe weather, especially in the spring and early summer. Despite the frequent sunshine throughout much of the state, Kansas is vulnerable to strong and severe thunderstorms. An average of 50 tornadoes strikes the state annually causing damages. Severe thunderstorms sometimes drop some very large hail over Kansas as well. Furthermore, these storms can even bring in flash flooding and damaging straight-line winds.
How is the economy in Kansas?
Kansas is an agrarian state but 40% of the GDP is from the non-farming sector. About 90% of the land in Kansas is devoted to agriculture and the state’s agricultural outputs are cattle, sheep, wheat, sorghum, soybeans, cotton, hogs, corn, and salt.
Apart from farming, the state’s industrial outputs are transportation equipment, commercial and private aircraft, food processing, publishing, chemical products, machinery, apparel, petroleum, and mining. Kansas stands 8th in the country’s petroleum production and also in natural gas production.
Kansas’ economy is strongly influenced by the aviation industry and several aviation giants including Spirit AeroSystems, Bombardier Aerospace (LearJet), and Textron Aviation has manufacturing utilities here.
Some of the big companies with headquarters in Kansas are:
- Sprint Corporation
- YRC Worldwide
- Payless Shoes
- Koch Industries
Is it expensive to live in Kansas?
You don’t need much of a bank balance to happily survive in Kansas. It is amazingly cheap here. Outside the urban areas, the cost of living is 21% less than the national average, while the median average household income in Kansas is $55,000 per year.
Here’ a list of the 10 most affordable places to live in Kansas in 2021, according to homesnacks
- Population: 6,774
- Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
- Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (6th most affordable)
- Income To Rent Ratio: 75.7x (16th cheapest)
- Population: 5,639
- Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
- Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (12th most affordable)
- Income To Rent Ratio: 81.4x (9th cheapest)
- Population: 9,876
- Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
- Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (4th most affordable)
- Income To Rent Ratio: 64.2x (39th cheapest)
- Population: 5,138
- Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
- Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.8x (8th most affordable)
- Income To Rent Ratio: 66.1x (33rd cheapest)
- Population: 5,719
- Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
- Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.0x (14th most affordable)
- Income To Rent Ratio: 104.5x (1st cheapest)
- Population: 7,834
- Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 6)
- Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (3rd most affordable)
- Income To Rent Ratio: 62.8x (41st cheapest)
- Population: 11,986
- Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 7)
- Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.6x (2nd most affordable)
- Income To Rent Ratio: 61.4x (47th cheapest)
- Population: 7,671
- Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 10)
- Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (5th most affordable)
- Income To Rent Ratio: 82.3x (8th cheapest)
- Population: 10,675
- Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
- Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.0x (16th most affordable)
- Income To Rent Ratio: 69.1x (27th cheapest)
- Population: 7,885
- Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 10)
- Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.8x (7th most affordable)
- Income To Rent Ratio: 74.1x (17th cheapest)
What are the job prospects in Kansas?
Since Kansas is an agrarian state, most of the jobs are related to the agriculture sector but there are heavy industries as well. However, Kansas is not a good choice for employment as the job growth rate is about 8%, the lowest in the US. The unemployment rate here rose from 2.9 percent in March 2020 to 11.9 percent in April 2020.
Here are the top 10 fastest growing jobs in Kansas
- Interpreter And Translator
- Personal Care Assistant
- Marketing Internship
- Logistics Coordinator
- Meeting Planner
- Home Health Aid
- Marketing Manager
- Physician Assistant
- Web Developer
- Business Analyst
Here’s the list of largest private employers in Kansas as per zippia
|Rank||Company||City||Number of Employees|
|2||Sprint Corp.||Overland Park||12,500|
|3||Sprint Aerosystems Holdings||Wichita||11,500|
|4||Cessna Aircraft Co||Wichita||9,000|
|5||University-Ks Ctr For Sports||Overland Park||7,000|
|6||Kansas State University Purch||Manhattan||5,001|
|7||Kansas State University||Manhattan||5,000|
|8||University-Ks Fncl Acctg-Cash||Lawrence||5,000|
|10||Stormont Vail Healthcare||Topeka||3,678|
|11||Taylor Communications||Shawnee Mission||3,600|
|12||Blue Valley Unified Sch Dist||Overland Park||3,000|
|13||Johnson County Community Clg||Overland Park||3,000|
|14||Koch Industries Inc||Wichita||3,000|
|15||S&C Electric Co||Olathe||3,000|
Let’s see which the best paid jobs in Kansas are
|Rank||Job title||Average salary||Entry level salary|
|2||Surgeons, Except Ophthalmologists||$269,460||$173,590|
|3||Family Medicine Physicians||$233,970||$123,090|
|4||Obstetricians And Gynecologists||$221,660||$160,740|
|12||Architectural And Engineering Managers||$133,560||$87,680|
|13||Natural Sciences Managers||$131,920||$91,050|
|14||Computer And Information Systems Managers||$124,350||$71,200|
|15||Air Traffic Controllers||$122,120||$64,310|
How is the affordability of houses in Kansas?
Once you move to Kansas, you need a home to stay. And the best part is houses are extremely cheap here, either to buy or take on rent. We are not speaking just about rural Kansas but also about cities like Wichita and Topeka. On average, a home in Kansas is available for $53,000, which is unbelievably cheap.
If buying a home is not in your plan, you can take one for rent. The home rent is also extremely low here.
How is the tax system in Kansas?
The tax system in Kansas is somewhat complex and is a mixed bag. Kansas is considered among the least tax-friendly states in the US. The state has the 14th highest property tax in the US – 1.4%. The sales tax in the state is 6.15%, in addition to the country and local taxes which can take the total to 10.6%.
Long and short-term capital gains in Kansas are taxed as normal income and inheritances are excluded from all state income tax. Kansas does not have an estate tax.
How is the education system in Kansas?
Moving to Kansas with the family, one of the best things you will notice is the quality of education. Not just school education, ever for higher studies, Kansas is famous.
Here’s a list of some of the top schools in Kansas State
Best Elementary Schools in Kansas
- Bradley Elementary School, Ft Leavenworth School District,Public, PK-6 | 510 students
- Eisenhower Elementary School, Ft Leavenworth School District, Public, PK-6 | 535 students
- Macarthur Elementary School, Ft Leavenworth School District, Public, PK-6 | 565 students
- Edgerton Elementary School, Gardner Edgerton School District,Public, PK-4 | 181 students
- Riley County Grade School, Riley County School District, Public, PK-8 | 471 student
Best Middle Schools in Kansas
- Patton Junior High School, Ft Leavenworth School District, Public, 7-9 | 303 students
- Hamilton High School, Hamilton School District, Public, 7-12 | 36 students
- Sumner Academy of Arts & Science, Kansas City School District, Public, 8-12 | 1000 students
- Riley County Grade School, Riley County School District, Public, PK-8 | 471 students
- Shawnee Mission East High School, Shawnee Mission Public School, Public, 7-12 | 1805 students
Here’s the list of best colleges in Kansas
- Kansas State University, Manhattan
- University of Kansas, Lawrence
- Newman University, Wichita
- Cleveland University, Kansas City
- Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg
Which are the best suburbs to live in Kansas?
Kansas is beautiful terrain with some of the best neighborhoods in the US. Self-sufficient, the neighborhoods have schools, health facilities, entertainment, and dining options at a throwaway distance.
Here’s a list of some of the best neighborhoods in Kansas as per Areavibes
- Prairie Village
- Roeland Park
How is the crime rate in Kansas?
When you analyze the pros and cons of living in Kansas, you realize that the crime rate here is extremely low in comparison with other states. There has been a drop in the crime rate from 31.4 in 2018 to 29.3 in 2019. However, violent crimes have increased by 2.6% in the last year whereas rapes, murders, and robberies have significantly declined.
Key findings on the crime rate in Kansas
- 40% of the cities improved their rank year over year, with Tonganoxie showing the largest improvement, climbing 27 spots to number four.
- 35% of the cities dropped in rank year over year.
- All cities are below both state (26.3) and national (22.0) property crime rates. Every safest city limited property crime incidents to fewer than 19.5 incidents per 1,000.
- Hugoton had the fewest property crimes, with nine total incidents reported.
Here is the list of 10 safest cities in Kansas as per homesnacks
- Population: 7,370
- Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 81 (3rd safest)
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,126 (5th safest)
- Population: 5,508
- Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 11)
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 108 (5th safest)
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,071 (3rd safest)
- Population: 6,239
- Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 112 (6th safest)
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,089 (4th safest)
- Population: 35,070
- Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 76 (2nd safest)
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,548 (10th safest)
- Population: 13,211
- Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 17)
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 174 (11th safest)
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 166 (1st safest)
- Population: 5,878
- Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 170 (10th safest)
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 816 (2nd safest)
- Population: 8,092
- Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 5)
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 98 (4th safest)
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,927 (14th safest)
- Population: 24,698
- Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 12)
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 113 (7th safest)
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,736 (13th safest)
- Population: 5,574
- Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 16)
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 71 (1st safest)
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,404 (21st safest)
- Population: 54,349
- Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 196 (14th safest)
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,541 (9th safest)
When we speak about the crime rate, there are a few cities that rank high in crime and are considered dangerous. We have filtered out 10 cities with extremely high crime rate
- Arkansas City
- Junction City
Pros and cons of living in Kansas
Like every city, Kansas also has its share of pros and cons. Let’s see some of them
- The housing cost in Kansas is highly affordable
- Kansas has a low cost of living
- The crime rate is extremely low in Kansas
- The state has a high scenic beauty
- There are a lot of outdoors attractions
- Kansas is historically rich and still has remains of old cowboy days
- The weather is extreme, both summer and winter
- About 50 tornadoes hit Kansas every year
- The economy is not that strong
- Job opportunities are less in Kansas
- The public transport system is almost nil in Kansas
Whether to move to Kansas or not is your call. Kansas is generally criticized as a slow and dull state but that’s not true. There are pros and cons of living in Kansas but if a laidback life is what you aspire for, Kansas is a perfect destination to call your new home.