A Guide to Living In Lawrence KS 

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Welcome to your guide to life in the lively Kansas community of Lawrence. Within this article, you’ll find an in-depth look at what it’s really like living in this town from housing costs to job opportunities to the thriving arts and culture scene. By having a clear picture of all these, you can find it easier to determine whether living in Lawrence, KS feels like the right move for you. 

To begin with, Lawrence was founded back in 1854 and was an important site during the Bleeding Kansas era due to its anti-slavery stance. Today, it’s still home to the University of Kansas and has blossomed into a diverse community of around 96,000 residents. 

Preparing For Your Move 

When preparing for your move, using professional movers Lawrence Ks can make the process smooth and stress-free. The right service provider will carefully pack and transport your belongings, which allows you to enjoy exploring Lawrence while meeting new neighbors. 

When searching for a relocation partner, choose an insured, licensed company. Also, get several in-home estimates for the most accurate quote and thoroughly review contracts before signing a deal. Taking these steps will ensure your relocation to Lawrence, KS is easy. 

Now that you have gone through the moving process, it is time to explore key aspects of living in Lawrence. 

Cost of Living 

When it comes to day-to-day expenses, Lawrence has a relatively low cost of living compared to other cities and towns in Kansas. Here is a breakdown. 

Housing – For rental housing, you can expect to pay a median monthly rent of $795 for a one-bedroom apartment in Lawrence. Median list prices for homes currently sit around $250,000. 

Groceries – Grocery and food costs are right around the national average. For instance, a dozen eggs average about $2, and a gallon of milk around $3. You’ll find all the major supermarkets like Walmart and Hy-Vee. 

Utilities – Based on nationwide averages, plan on budgeting between $150-200 per month for utilities including electricity, heating, internet, and cell phone. Water and sewer bills are typically pretty reasonable. 

As you can see, Lawrence remains highly affordable whether you’re renting or buying. The low cost of living in Lawrence, KS means your dollar stretches further when it comes to covering basic needs. 

Population And Demographics 

As of 2024,  Lawrence, KS’s population was estimated to be around 96,000 residents, making it the sixth-largest city in Kansas. 

The population breakdown according to the latest data is as follows: 

  • White Alone (77.23%) 
  • Two or More Races (8.89%) 
  •  Asian Alone (5.93% 
  •   Black or African American Alone (5.4%)  
  •  Black Americans (4.89%) 
  • Native American (1.96%) 
  • Native Hawaiian (0.02%) 

The median age in Lawrence is 28.9 years old, lower than the national median age of 38.5 years. This young demographic is largely influenced by the 20,000+ students at the University of Kansas who reside in Lawrence. 

Over the last 10 years, the population of Lawrence has grown by 9.3%. Recent projections expect the population to exceed 100,000 residents by 2025 as growth continues. 

Lawrence remains a predominantly white community, though racial diversity has increased slightly in recent years. The city is also becoming more ethnically diverse, with Hispanic and Latino residents representing the largest minority group. 

The youthful age and steady population growth present unique economic and lifestyle considerations for Lawrence. However, it contributes to the energetic atmosphere of this college town. Understanding the demographics provides helpful context about daily life in Lawrence. 

Crime Rates 

Lawrence is a pretty secure place overall. But with a college town, you expect some petty crime. The total crime rate hangs around 2,900 per 100,000 people. Violent crime is like 280 per 100,000 – lower than many towns this size. 

In contrast to the low violent crime rates, property crime rates are on the higher side, which stands at 2,600 per 100,000. Lots of stolen bikes and such. Also, the campus and downtown areas see more small stuff like noise complaints and public intoxication. But residential neighborhoods are super chill. 

While no city is crime-free, there are ways to stay safe in Lawrence. Simple precautions like locking your home and vehicles, walking in groups at night, reporting suspicious activity, and being aware of your surroundings can go a long way. Maintaining active neighborhood watches and a sense of community can also help reduce crime.  

Healthcare 

Lawrence offers excellent healthcare resources between Lawrence Memorial Hospital, a Level II trauma center, and the University of Kansas Health System. The two health networks have partnered to expand the services and specialties available to the community. 

Most national health insurance plans are accepted by local providers. Uninsured residents also have options like the Heartland Community Health Center which provides primary care on an income-based sliding scale. 

Education 

The educational opportunities in Lawrence span all ages and stages. 

The public school district is highly rated, with the high school graduation rate around 90%. There are several well-regarded private school options too. 

For higher education, the University of Kansas offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Haskell Indian Nations University also calls Lawrence home. 

Job Opportunities 

Lawrence enjoys diverse industries providing employment. The University of Kansas and Lawrence public school districts are major employers. Healthcare is huge as well, with Lawrence Memorial, assorted clinics, and private practices hiring. 

The tech sector is up and coming, while manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and more round out the job market. Major area employers include Hallmark, General Dynamics, Ferrellgas, and Americare Home Medical. 

Vibrant Culture And Arts Scene 

Art, music, theater – you name it, Lawrence has a fantastic arts and culture scene. 

The city is packed with indie galleries, eclectic shops, and other creative small businesses. Public art murals and sculptures dot downtown. Lawrence LIVE showcases local musicians nightly. 

Catch indie and foreign flicks at the historic Liberty Hall Theater. Or check out innovative shows produced by the Lawrence Arts Center and Theatre Lawrence. 

From massive art and music festivals to intimate open mic nights, there’s always something cultural happening. 

Outdoor Activities 

Lawrence is perfect for the active, outdoorsy type. The city maintains over 50 parks, including recreation centers and sports complexes. Lawrence is situated along the Kansas River which offers boating, fishing, and scenic trails. 

A few miles outside town you’ll find Clinton Lake for swimming, camping, and water sports. Nearby hiking spots include the Baker Wetlands trails. 

Right in town, check out the 9-hole Eagle Bend municipal golf course. Or join a league at Broken Arrow Park’s softball and sand volleyball facilities. 

When the weather cools, bundle up for ice skating at the Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center, which certainly keeps you moving year-round. 

Pros And Cons Of Living In Lawrence KS 

When weighing the pros and cons of living in any city, there are always tradeoffs to consider. Lawrence, Kansas is no exception. This lively college town certainly has its benefits, but also some downsides to think about. 

The biggest perks of living in Lawrence stem from its vibrant, youthful atmosphere. As a college town, an exciting innovation and passion are pulsing through the streets. New ideas, art, music, and culture thrive here. 

The cost of living remains relatively affordable, especially for younger residents looking to establish themselves. There is also incredible diversity, with people from all backgrounds coming together to create a welcoming community. 

Outdoor recreation options are endless. And there’s a palpable sense of community, with neighbors looking out for one another. 

However, some drawbacks come with these perks. Congestion and parking challenges can mount in certain areas, thanks to the sizable student population. Public transportation options are limited, making owning a car essential. 

The college town vibe isn’t for everyone. Seasonal weather extremes, from sweltering summers to frigid, snowy winters, also require tolerance. 

When viewed holistically, many may find the energy and affordability of Lawrence outweigh the occasional headaches. It offers an eclectic lifestyle that appeals to many, especially young people and families. But the college town atmosphere won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Understanding these pros and cons allows you to determine if the Lawrence lifestyle suits your needs and preferences. 

The Bottom Line 

Lawrence, KS – a place with its college-town energetic atmosphere, blossoming arts, and open spirit of community, has a lot to offer for the locals. Both families, young professionals, and empty nesters find this Midwest town worthy of life full of wealth with activity. The touch is not limited to the amenities of Lawrence but to the tangible electricity that impacts everyone when they settle here. The city grows and progresses with the values of collectivity fostering an eclectic, diverse community. 

Additionally, Lawrence continues as a community where one’s neighbors help you and chances for personal development are numerous. No matter what you are doing, whether raising children, building a career, or entering a new life stage, you are sure to feel at home in Lawrence, KS. 

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