16 Pros and Cons of Living in Kansas City, MO

Updated On October 9, 2023

Have you ever wanted to move to the Midwest?

Is Kansas City one of those areas that call to your heart?

In that case, it’s good to know the pros and cons of living in Kansas City, MO, before making the big move.

Kansas City is a vibrant place with a thriving economy.

Many job seekers find the diverse sectors in this area quite attractive.

And it doesn’t hurt that housing is affordable.

But, it’s important to note this is tornado territory, and the weather conditions can move to the extremes.

Kansas City, MO
Kansas City, MO

Pros of Living in Kansas City, Mo

1. Strong Local Economy

Kansas City continues to be one of the places in the US with a strong and stable economy.

This is largely thanks to the diverse nature of the economy that makes it more recession or downturn-proof.

Agriculture is one of the most dominant industries in Kansas City.

This industry drives the city’s economy with a $76 million contribution to the local economy.

Farmers focus on essential crops such as wheat, soybeans, hay, and sorghum.

In addition, there are other important industries to consider if farming isn’t your thing.

Check out:

  • Food and beverage
  • Transport
  • Technical services
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare

2. Minimal Traffic and Commute Time

Good news for folks who loathe long commutes and having to spend hours in traffic.

The traffic situation in Kansas City will make your heart sing.

This is because it’s quite easy to move from point A to B in this area in a short duration.

Kansas City is ahead of the park, with folks only having to wait 25 minutes in the metro area.

It takes you about 20 minutes to get downtown in this city.

Such short commutes make self-driving a hit, with many residents living in and around Kansas City.

3. Low Cost of Living

Did you know that it’s quite cheap to live in Kansas City?

Yes, this is one of the places to be with a low cost of living.

One of the main contributors to the low cost of living is reasonably affordable housing.

Diverse homes are available in Kansas City, costing way below the national average.

Housing is 8% cheaper in Kansas City compared to the National Average.

With a good job market and an average annual income, it’s easier for you to own a home.

But, this has also contributed to the high demand for reasonably-priced housing in Kansas City.

4. Diverse Entertainment Options

Get ready for a good time in Kansas City.

There are different ways to have fun and enjoy entertainment in this city.

While this is a smaller city, there’s still plenty to do as an individual, with family and friends, be it day or night.

Kansas City hosts some amazing local attractions and even guided area tours.

For example, there are over 30 museums in Wichita open to visitors.

Plus, check out the local zoo, garden, and performance art theaters.

At night, jazz music comes alive with many local clubs hosting artists in this area.

Jazz has its roots in Kansas City and is a favorite of many.

There are also many local restaurants open for business.

5. Affordable Housing

The affordable cost of living coupled with affordable housing is a win-win for people living in Kansas City.

Plus, there are diverse homes to choose from, depending on your income.

While plenty of demand puts pressure on the housing market, it remains strong.

Many people find it easier to buy a house in Kansas City compared to many other countries.

6. Best Barbeque on the Planet

Get ready to enjoy the best BBQ in the country when living in Kansas City.

There is always a joint open ready to serve you a mouth-watering barbeque.

Imagine a BBQ that’s so good that presidents travel to this area to feast on this local delicacy.

7. Robust Employment Market

A healthy and growing economy in Kansas City works hand in hand with the job market.

This city has a good employment rate as industries require more employees.

Plus, there’s a growing demand for skills that job seekers are acquiring to suit the available job opportunities.

This better job market is among the top reasons many people choose to move to Kansas City.

The average annual salary in this city is $54,530, while the national average is $56,310.

In 2021, the unemployment rate in Kansas City was 6.4%, compared to the national average of 8.7%.

8. Affordable Country Clubs

The country club culture continues to thrive in Kansas City.

In the past, the only place to kick back, relax and enjoy a drink was at a country club.

This forced many locals to become members if they wanted to enjoy beer, wine, or whiskey.

Fortunately, there are different country clubs available offering affordable membership.

The facilities have gyms, tennis courts, fine dining restaurants, and swimming pools.

Cons of Living in Kansas City, Mo

1. Tornado Alley

Have you ever experienced a tornado?

Imagine the winds and chaos that ensue when a tornado hits.

Kansas City is right in the middle of Tornado Alley.

As a result, almost all homes in this lovely city have reinforced basements.

These storm shelters are where you run for cover when there’s a tornado warning.

Some tornado chasers love being amidst the chaos, but most people seek shelter.

In Kansas City, it’s not uncommon to experience tornados with devastating effects.

Recently, 4 tornadoes hit Kansas City in June 2022.

2. High-Income Taxes

Be ready to pay high-income taxes for your high wages in Kansas City.

This city has two income brackets, starting with 2.7% at $15000.

After that, the state of Kansas takes 4.6% of the remaining amount that you earn.

If you want to move to Kansas City, this is worth noting, especially if you’re married.

Married couples get to pay double, making Kansas number 14 in the list of states with the highest income tax rate.

3. Extreme Summers and Winters

Kansas is a land of extremes.

It’s possible to go from a brutal icy and freezing winter to a hot and extremely humid summer.

The conditions also vary as you move from one part of the state to the next.

A good example is Wichita, which experiences high heat and humidity in summer.

At times, the temperatures can rise to dangerous and life-threatening levels.

4. Transport Challenges

Owning a car is one of the easiest and best ways to get around in Kansas City.

There is public transport, but it only serves a small metro area.

The rest requires commuting by private means from one point to the next.

So, while traffic might not be an issue, the city lacks a reliable public transport system.

5. Landlocked Area

Kansas City isn’t the place to be if you love the sea or the ocean.

Kansas is a landlocked state.

This area has other attractions, but the oceans and seas aren’t available.

The best you can do is enjoy the large lakes and rivers available in this part of the country.

6. Housing Specials Attached to Homes

Affordable housing continues to attract many people to Kansas City.

But, vigilance is necessary when buying a property due to special housing.

Additional charges might come with the house you want to buy.

So, always do your due diligence before putting a down payment on a specific property.

Specials can increase the cost of a house in this area and cover the cost of utility development in that area.

7. High Crime Rate

In 2020, the crime rate in Kansas City was higher than the national average.

Also, Kansas City experienced 155 homicides in 2021.

The city has a violent crime rate of 70.8 compared to the national average of 22.7.

Crime is a challenge every major city faces, especially with a growing economy.

Still, it’s important to note the statistics regarding the crime rate in Kansas City.

The good news is there are some safe neighborhoods like Mission Lake and Armor Hills to live in.

8. Poor Support for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship is an important part of any local and national economy.

While Kansas has a strong economy, entrepreneurs face some major challenges.

Poor banking and financial sector support are at the top of the list.

Getting your foot in the door regarding financing for a new venture is quite challenging.

Entrepreneurs can, at times, face outright rejection of their ideas by lenders.

If they stand a chance, they need to pay up to $600 for training fees, straining small budgets.

Kansas City, MO
Kansas City, MO

Pros and Cons of Living in Kansas City, MO – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Kansas City, MoCons of Living in Kansas City, Mo
1. Strong Local Economy1. Tornado Alley
2. Minimal Traffic and Commute Time2. High-Income Taxes
3. Low Cost of Living3. Extreme Summers and Winters
4. Diverse Entertainment Options4. Transport Challenges
5. Affordable Housing5. Landlocked Area
6. Best Barbeque on the Planet6. Housing Specials Attached to Homes
7. Robust Employment Market7. High Crime Rate
8. Affordable Country Clubs8. Poor Support for Entrepreneurs

Kansas City Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Kansas City Safety Review

Safety Index:
Kansas City

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kansas City a safe city?

No, Kansas City isn’t safe.

This city has a high crime rate compared to the national average.

But, there are some safe neighborhoods worth considering.

Does Kansas get lots of tornadoes?

Kansas and Kansas City are active tornado areas in the mid-west.

This means the area is part of the tornado alley and experiences tornadoes yearly.

How hot does it get in Kansas City?

Summers in Kansas City get quite hot and muggy.

Temperatures can rise from 24°F to 90°F.

Winters also get quite icy and frigid.

Which are the best areas to live in Kansas City?

If you’re considering moving to Kansas City, some neighborhoods should be considered.

Places like Country Club and Westport are upmarket and safer.

Is Kansas City a good place to live?

Yes, Kansas City is a good place to live.

It ranks among the 50 best places to live in the US.

Thanks to a strong and vibrant economy, residents have many opportunities.

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