Living Well: The 10 Best Places To Live In Missouri 


With excellent economic stability, a flourishing job market, affordable living costs, and plenty of outdoor recreation, what’s there not to love about the Show-Me State? 

Residing in any of the best places to live in Missouri truly shows you all the beauty and benefits of living in its top cities. Whether you are coming to the state for a career change or to be with your family, there’s something to smile about in Missouri. 

Let’s dive into the heart of Missouri and closely observe 10 of its best cities for young adults, career-driven people, families, and even retirees.  

Quick Overview 

  • Kansas City | Overall Best City 
  • Blue Springs | Top Family-Friendly City 
  • Columbia | Best College Town 
  • Overland Park | Best for People Who Love to Reside Near Parks 
  • St. Louis | Perfect for Outdoor Lovers 
  • Lee’s Summit | Best Small Town 
  • Springfield | Best for Young Adults and Professionals 
  • Joplin | Perfect for Families and Young Professionals Looking for A Laid-Back Area 
  • Florissant | Best for Retirees 
  • Ozark | Perfect for Families Looking for A Quiet City 
  1. Kansas City 

If you’re looking for a thriving metropolitan city in Missouri with excellent jazz, the best barbecue, and all the touches of great big cities, Kansas City is the go-to place. 

Being the largest city in Missouri by population and area, the city tries to fill its environment with all the attractive amenities locals should love. The public schools are excellent, there are two sports franchises for fans, a vibrant job market, and even international airports for travelers. 

For career-driven movers, the city is one of the best places to live in Missouri due to its diverse job market in health care, finance, technology, manufacturing, and transportation. It’s a pretty well-rounded city with a touch of everything good about Missouri. 

  • Population: 509,297 
  • Average House Rent: $1,246 
  • Average Home Value: $275,000 
  • Median Household Income: $65,256 
  • Crime Rating: High 
  • Known For: Excellent Barbecue Recipe, Rich Jazz History 
  1. Blue Springs 

Living in Blue Springs is a great idea if you are all about having your basic amenities within reach in a growing area. The cost of living is lower than the national average, making things like utilities and health care more easily accessible.  

The employment rate and the median income also contribute to the success of this area. When relocating using a professional moving company you will discover buying real estate in the city is affordable.  

One fault you might find living in the city is the lack of proper public transport systems. However, with a personal car, you can shorten the average commute time when in Blue Springs.  

  • Population: 59,518 
  • Average House Rent: $1,310 
  • Average Home Value: $300,800 
  • Median Household Income: $82,965 
  • Crime Rating: Low 
  • Known For: Award-winning Schools 
  1. Columbia 

Home to the University of Missouri or “Mizzou” for short as the 30,000+ students call it, this city is a fast-growing area in the state with a bustling economy and educational sectors. 

As a college town, you can expect to find diversity and the traditional aura of students all around. There are plenty of bookstores, like the Skylark Bookshop downtown, abundant coffee shops and restaurants, and businesses spanning 50 blocks. 

The major selling point of the city is its low cost of living, top-quality healthcare facilities, and unmatched education system. For students, Columbia is the best town to live in Missouri; moreover, young professionals and families would find the vast job opportunities a huge plus for themselves.  

  • Population: 128,555 
  • Average House Rent: $1,453 
  • Average Home Value: $321,300 
  • Median Household Income: $60,455 
  • Crime Rating: Average 
  • Known For: Stellar Education System, Top-Notch Health Care Facilities 
  1. Overland Park 

Overland Park, or OP, is a city with multiple opportunities for those looking for a job. The city has a bustling job market in the IT, Health care, education, retail, and financial services industries. 

Coming to OP with kids, you can be sure your children will have access to good public education, modern tech, and sports facilities. However, while the city offers many top amenities, you should know the area still has a small-town feel. 

The cost of living here is the highest compared to others on the list. Housing costs are averagely more expensive, but the high median salaries received by residents tend to balance things out. 

  • Population: 197,726 
  • Average House Rent: $1,410 
  • Average Home Value: $415,600 
  • Median Household Income: $100,876 
  • Crime Rating: Low 
  • Known For: Plenty of Parks, Perfect Brewery Scene 
  1. St. Louis 

Looking for the next big thing after Kansas City? Turning your gaze to the eastern side of Missouri on the Mississippi River lies a booming metropolitan area with plenty of exciting things to do! 

Let’s see: Are you into sports? The Cardinals (MLB) and the Blues (NHL) are the two sports teams in the city, and fans are ready to cheer them up for every game. Are you into outdoor scenery? There are all sorts of places, from the St. Louis Zoo to the St. Louis Science Center and the attractive Forest Park. 

Perhaps art and music are your things? The city’s Art Museum and Broadway musicals at Muny bring out the best in St. Louis. The city has a nice work-life balance: there are enough entertainment amenities and also plenty of available jobs in its business district. 

  • Population: 286,578 
  • Average House Rent: $1,194 
  • Average Home Value: $184,300 
  • Median Household Income: $52,941 
  • Crime Rating: High 
  • Known For: Sports Fan Base, Exciting Outdoor Activities 
  1. Lee’s Summit 

With a strong sense of community, high-quality schools, and attractive outdoor activities, this small town is one of the nicest places to live in Missouri.  

It might not be the smallest area in Missouri, but its small-town vibe and hidden nature usually give people a wrong perception of the area. In Lee’s Summit, there’s a perfect balance of suburban living and big-city perks.  

For instance, its lakes, ponds, and public parks are some of the attractive areas for locals. Yet, one of the biggest advantages of residing here is the proximity and easy access to the big cities around.  

If you are looking to hide from the crowd but want to easily check in once in a while in Missouri, consider Lee’s Summit.  

  • Population: 103,465 
  • Average House Rent: $1,389 
  • Average Home Value: $400,100 
  • Median Household Income: $103,447 
  • Crime Rating: Low 
  • Known For: Farmers’ Market, Local Breweries, Top-Rated Schools 
  1. Springfield 

Yet another college city in Missouri that impresses! 

Home to Missouri State University, Drury University, and Evangel University, Springfield welcomes thousands of young, energetic residents on its ground annually. The city has a youthful vibe and is the perfect place to live if you love having the student-ish aura. 

Living costs have the tag of affordability, plus there are plenty of activities to keep you active and entertained. From fishing to hiking and biking, the locals here will teach you to love the outdoors like they do. 

Springfield doesn’t lack big-city amenities either; there’s Mercy Hospital, which ranks highly nationally. Plus, the food scene has markets always filled with fresh produce at Farmers Gastropub and Rise. 

  • Population: 179,067 
  • Average House Rent: $1,107 
  • Average Home Value: $226,600 
  • Median Household Income: $43,450 
  • Crime Rating: Average 
  • Known For: Top-Notch Education System, Good Quality Health Care 
  1. Joplin 

Is Missouri a good place to live if you’re going to reside in Joplin? Depending on what you are looking for in a city or town, Joplin might or may not be for you. 

Generally, JOMO, as it is popularly known by the locals, is an excellent place to live. It’s an attractive site for families hoping for a low living cost, a good music scene, and enough culture and history. 

It might not have the biggest amenities, but it can hold up its own! There are over 20 parks, golf courses for golfers, and miles of trails for walking and biking. You can also add the Shoal Creek Nature Center in Wildcat Park, which has a nice fishing resort area. 

  • Population: 52,518 
  • Average House Rent: $1,000 
  • Average Home Value: $171,000 
  • Median Household Income: $50,996 
  • Crime Rating: Average 
  • Known For: Rich Mining History, Low Cost of Living 
  1. Florissant 

With a growing job market and one of the best healthcare facilities in the state, Florissant is a great place for families and the aging population to live in Missouri. 

The area of Florissant has more retiree amenities per capita than most other cities its size. Plus, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied while here, from golfing to dancing and even leisure options tailored for the elderly. 

Living in Florissant takes you through a rich French culture and heritage history. The city has prevalent French-speaking locals, which is another allure for many new residents in the area. 

  • Population: 51,506 
  • Average House Rent: $972 
  • Average Home Value: $180,000 
  • Median Household Income: $64,178 
  • Crime Rating: Low 
  • Known For: High Safety, Plenty of Retiree Residents 
  1. Ozark 

If you are looking for a city with access to outdoor activities like hunting, hiking, and wildlife watching, the Ozark in Missouri might be the perfect stop for you. 

There’s a nice balance of affordability and safety in the town, plus a sense of community among the locals. It’s a small, friendly town—nothing like the hit Netflix series Ozark, which made it out to be a place with drug lords. 

Residents fish, kayak, and participate in several boating activities by its lake. When relocating to this part of Missouri, don’t expect a loud, bustling area; it’s mostly quiet and laid-back unless you live near entertainment venues. 

  • Population: 22,512 
  • Average House Rent: $867 
  • Average Home Value: $241,400 
  • Median Household Income: $66,631 
  • Crime Rating: Low 
  • Known For: Relaxing Boating Activities, Friendly Locals 

Summary—Living in Missouri 

Whether you’re visiting for a week or moving to the Show-Me State, you should know there’s something special waiting for you. 

Moving over to any one of the best places to live in Missouri is an excellent choice. All areas are relatively cheap compared to the national average, so even with a tighter budget, you can be sure of picking a city you will be proud of. 

Best of luck! 

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