The 10 Best Counties To Live In Kansas For 2021


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Kansas have the most for people looking to make the move to Kansas.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best counties to live in Kansas.

Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Kansas a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes... if you know where to locate the best places to live in Kansas.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Sunflower State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn't our first rodeo -- we've been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of Kansas, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 105 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Sunflower State for 2021.

Wabaunsee County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Kansas. And you might want to avoid Chautauqua County if you can -- at least according to the data.

So if you're thinking of making the move Kansas, we've got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Kansas and the cheapest places to live in Kansas.

The Best Counties To Live In Kansas For 2021

1. Wabaunsee County

St. Marys, KS

Biggest Place: Wamego

Population: 6,889
Median Income: $61,178 (13th best)
Median Home Price: $146,700.0 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 259.4% (37th best)
More on Wabaunsee County: PhotosData

2. Miami County

Louisburg, KS

Biggest Place: Spring Hill

Population: 33,417
Median Income: $71,995 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $201,400.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 278.3% (40th best)
More on Miami County: PhotosData

3. Nemaha County

Sabetha, KS

Biggest Place: Sabetha

Population: 10,121
Median Income: $63,216 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $130,500.0 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 125.0% (6th best)
More on Nemaha County: PhotosData

4. Leavenworth County

Bonner Springs, KS

Biggest Place: Leavenworth

Population: 80,745
Median Income: $73,013 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $182,900.0 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 413.6% (73rd best)
More on Leavenworth County: PhotosData

5. Pottawatomie County

Manhattan, KS

Biggest Place: Manhattan

Population: 23,847
Median Income: $66,835 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $183,100.0 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 293.4% (46th best)
More on Pottawatomie County: PhotosData

6. Jefferson County

Biggest Place: Oskaloosa

Population: 18,890
Median Income: $64,864 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $150,600.0 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 362.1% (64th best)
More on Jefferson County: Data

7. Wallace County

Biggest Place: Sharon Springs

Population: 1,574
Median Income: $63,269 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $89,400.0 (63rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 64.4% (2nd best)
More on Wallace County: Data

8. Johnson County

Bonner Springs, KS

Biggest Place: Overland Park

Population: 591,506
Median Income: $89,087 (best)
Median Home Price: $259,600.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 286.2% (44th best)
More on Johnson County: PhotosData

9. Scott County

Scott City, KS

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Scott City

Population: 4,917
Median Income: $65,417 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $136,200.0 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 110.7% (4th best)
More on Scott County: PhotosData

10. Ottawa County

Minneapolis, KS

Biggest Place: Minneapolis

Population: 5,822
Median Income: $54,784 (35th best)
Median Home Price: $105,700.0 (39th best)
Unemployment Rate: 236.8% (28th best)
More on Ottawa County: PhotosData

How do you determine which Kansas county is the best?

To give you the best county in Kansas, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what's a "best county" and what isn't. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you'd make at a bar using facts, don't take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Kansas across each of the criteria from one to 105, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the "Best County To Live In Kansas".

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Sunflower State.

Read on to see why Wabaunsee County is the best county, while Chautauqua County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Kansas.

There You Have It - The Best Counties In Kansas To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Kansas can vary from one part of the state to the next -- who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that's why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here's a look at the worst counties in Kansas according to the data:

  1. Chautauqua County
  2. Woodson County
  3. Elk County

For more Kansas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Kansas

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Wabaunsee County 1 6,889 $61,178 $146,700.0
Miami County 2 33,417 $71,995 $201,400.0
Nemaha County 3 10,121 $63,216 $130,500.0
Leavenworth County 4 80,745 $73,013 $182,900.0
Pottawatomie County 5 23,847 $66,835 $183,100.0
Jefferson County 6 18,890 $64,864 $150,600.0
Wallace County 7 1,574 $63,269 $89,400.0
Johnson County 8 591,506 $89,087 $259,600.0
Scott County 9 4,917 $65,417 $136,200.0
Ottawa County 10 5,822 $54,784 $105,700.0
Mcpherson County 11 28,567 $59,089 $151,800.0
Sheridan County 12 2,506 $62,885 $113,900.0
Trego County 13 2,840 $57,966 $99,300.0
Franklin County 14 25,558 $56,582 $128,000.0
Greeley County 15 1,185 $54,112 $111,200.0
Douglas County 16 120,290 $59,435 $199,400.0
Kingman County 17 7,340 $60,469 $91,500.0
Gray County 18 6,039 $64,930 $135,500.0
Clark County 19 2,026 $53,348 $75,900.0
Ellsworth County 20 6,231 $54,902 $99,400.0
Jackson County 21 13,266 $57,914 $134,700.0
Thomas County 22 7,810 $60,124 $129,700.0
Republic County 23 4,658 $47,976 $66,000.0
Rawlins County 24 2,502 $53,207 $101,600.0
Butler County 25 66,698 $64,782 $148,600.0
Marshall County 26 9,749 $51,895 $98,900.0
Ellis County 27 28,775 $52,883 $169,100.0
Clay County 28 8,082 $53,929 $98,000.0
Morris County 29 5,566 $55,658 $103,000.0
Washington County 30 5,493 $50,588 $82,000.0
Meade County 31 4,180 $59,316 $96,800.0
Coffey County 32 8,254 $59,583 $119,100.0
Wichita County 33 2,130 $57,978 $88,900.0
Logan County 34 2,805 $51,740 $86,600.0
Harvey County 35 34,503 $57,982 $126,100.0
Ness County 36 2,876 $56,492 $73,300.0
Geary County 37 34,025 $53,133 $148,800.0
Pratt County 38 9,452 $52,327 $91,900.0
Shawnee County 39 177,852 $56,762 $132,500.0
Marion County 40 11,964 $52,123 $90,800.0
Pawnee County 41 6,629 $49,917 $82,400.0
Phillips County 42 5,340 $50,093 $79,600.0
Sumner County 43 23,114 $55,000 $89,800.0
Kiowa County 44 2,505 $53,274 $113,900.0
Atchison County 45 16,268 $50,439 $110,400.0
Mitchell County 46 6,145 $46,203 $88,900.0
Sherman County 47 5,938 $54,754 $111,400.0
Norton County 48 5,446 $49,038 $82,900.0
Cheyenne County 49 2,665 $47,639 $78,700.0
Hodgeman County 50 1,876 $61,211 $84,800.0
Doniphan County 51 7,684 $49,703 $100,600.0
Riley County 52 75,056 $51,208 $201,000.0
Saline County 53 54,701 $52,200 $136,800.0
Lane County 54 1,564 $52,125 $90,800.0
Dickinson County 55 18,828 $49,991 $114,700.0
Brown County 56 9,626 $48,333 $88,500.0
Rice County 57 9,658 $53,012 $74,700.0
Osborne County 58 3,530 $51,286 $69,000.0
Graham County 59 2,519 $46,375 $72,500.0
Comanche County 60 1,740 $54,821 $70,300.0
Rooks County 61 5,053 $49,415 $78,800.0
Gove County 62 2,644 $48,317 $89,600.0
Osage County 63 15,881 $54,090 $115,700.0
Morton County 64 2,754 $47,750 $88,500.0
Anderson County 65 7,835 $50,213 $95,700.0
Edwards County 66 2,869 $50,902 $61,400.0
Stafford County 67 4,181 $49,375 $65,900.0
Grant County 68 7,467 $53,413 $116,100.0
Rush County 69 3,022 $47,981 $70,800.0
Finney County 70 36,750 $60,798 $152,500.0
Ford County 71 34,179 $51,711 $112,500.0
Lincoln County 72 3,044 $45,076 $72,700.0
Barton County 73 26,453 $49,723 $93,300.0
Smith County 74 3,627 $43,429 $70,200.0
Haskell County 75 4,018 $55,064 $107,000.0
Sedgwick County 76 513,375 $56,524 $140,700.0
Bourbon County 77 14,608 $43,917 $82,700.0
Wilson County 78 8,688 $48,341 $73,500.0
Cloud County 79 8,938 $45,373 $75,800.0
Cowley County 80 35,351 $50,102 $89,000.0
Lyon County 81 33,251 $46,338 $106,800.0
Decatur County 82 2,860 $48,125 $67,900.0
Reno County 83 62,765 $49,936 $101,300.0
Allen County 84 12,556 $45,333 $79,300.0
Crawford County 85 38,968 $41,004 $93,900.0
Greenwood County 86 6,081 $41,982 $66,700.0
Barber County 87 4,624 $50,174 $72,300.0
Kearny County 88 3,907 $52,599 $116,700.0
Russell County 89 6,948 $44,792 $93,400.0
Jewell County 90 2,885 $40,676 $56,100.0
Cherokee County 91 20,179 $43,175 $82,500.0
Hamilton County 92 2,591 $46,944 $81,800.0
Stanton County 93 2,052 $52,054 $92,600.0
Linn County 94 9,671 $48,778 $110,100.0
Chase County 95 2,637 $45,353 $103,600.0
Harper County 96 5,594 $49,865 $74,300.0
Stevens County 97 5,603 $57,806 $114,900.0
Labette County 98 20,119 $47,643 $76,400.0
Wyandotte County 99 164,861 $46,881 $100,300.0
Montgomery County 100 32,521 $45,157 $76,200.0

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *