The 10 Best Counties To Live In Missouri For 2021


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

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

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

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

Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Show Me 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 Missouri, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 115 counties in the state.

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

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

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

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

The Best Counties To Live In Missouri For 2021

1. Osage County

Biggest Place: Linn

Population: 13,615
Median Income: $61,687 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $151,900.0 (2best)
Unemployment Rate: 198.3% (3rd best)
More on Osage County: Data

2. Andrew County

Savannah, MO

Biggest Place: Savannah

Population: 17,503
Median Income: $58,772 (15th best)
Median Home Price: $147,900.0 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 300.8% (17th best)
More on Andrew County: PhotosData

3. St. Charles County

Lake St. Louis, MO

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: O'Fallon

Population: 394,290
Median Income: $84,978 (best)
Median Home Price: $219,100.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 289.2% (15th best)
More on St. Charles County: PhotosData

4. Cole County

Jefferson City, MO

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Jefferson City

Population: 76,723
Median Income: $60,066 (14th best)
Median Home Price: $162,300.0 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 357.5% (29th best)
More on Cole County: PhotosData

5. Lafayette County

Lexington, MO

Biggest Place: Oak Grove

Population: 32,597
Median Income: $58,766 (16th best)
Median Home Price: $143,500.0 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 280.9% (14th best)
More on Lafayette County: PhotosData

6. Ste. Genevieve County

Ste. Genevieve, MO

Biggest Place: Ste. Genevieve

Population: 17,848
Median Income: $60,129 (12th best)
Median Home Price: $166,200.0 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 347.2% (26th best)
More on Ste. Genevieve County: PhotosData

7. Lincoln County

Biggest Place: Troy

Population: 56,477
Median Income: $64,196 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $163,300.0 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 377.0% (34th best)
More on Lincoln County: Data

8. Cass County

Kansas City, MO

Biggest Place: Kansas City

Population: 103,597
Median Income: $69,433 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $181,000.0 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 376.8% (33rd best)
More on Cass County: PhotosData

9. Platte County

Kansas City, MO

Biggest Place: Kansas City

Population: 100,682
Median Income: $80,393 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $226,500.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 377.4% (35th best)
More on Platte County: PhotosData

10. Warren County

Wright City, MO

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Warrenton

Population: 34,453
Median Income: $60,125 (13th best)
Median Home Price: $180,000.0 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 448.9% (62nd best)
More on Warren County: PhotosData

How do you determine which Missouri county is the best?

To give you the best county in Missouri, 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 Missouri across each of the criteria from one to 115, 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 Missouri".

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

Read on to see why Osage County is the best county, while Wright County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Missouri.

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

It turns out living in Missouri 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 Missouri according to the data:

  1. Wright County
  2. Ripley County
  3. Ozark County

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Missouri

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Osage County 1 13,615 $61,687 $151,900.0
Andrew County 2 17,503 $58,772 $147,900.0
St. Charles County 3 394,290 $84,978 $219,100.0
Cole County 4 76,723 $60,066 $162,300.0
Lafayette County 5 32,597 $58,766 $143,500.0
Ste. Genevieve County 6 17,848 $60,129 $166,200.0
Lincoln County 7 56,477 $64,196 $163,300.0
Cass County 8 103,597 $69,433 $181,000.0
Platte County 9 100,682 $80,393 $226,500.0
Warren County 10 34,453 $60,125 $180,000.0
Clinton County 11 20,500 $62,701 $159,700.0
Clay County 12 242,516 $70,510 $174,900.0
Dekalb County 13 12,526 $55,918 $120,100.0
Ralls County 14 10,234 $55,377 $136,200.0
Jefferson County 15 223,951 $65,454 $161,800.0
Callaway County 16 44,889 $56,938 $157,400.0
Gasconade County 17 14,711 $54,885 $134,200.0
Holt County 18 4,432 $49,524 $88,600.0
Atchison County 19 5,229 $50,236 $84,900.0
Perry County 20 19,191 $55,863 $147,700.0
Franklin County 21 103,191 $57,214 $165,700.0
Howard County 22 10,058 $52,700 $130,100.0
Christian County 23 85,658 $60,645 $169,000.0
Chariton County 24 7,483 $46,738 $87,900.0
Boone County 25 177,651 $55,328 $185,700.0
St. Louis County 26 996,919 $67,420 $198,800.0
Cooper County 27 17,660 $52,735 $132,900.0
Johnson County 28 53,682 $55,273 $156,500.0
Caldwell County 29 9,039 $49,839 $109,300.0
Nodaway County 30 22,359 $44,232 $126,400.0
Greene County 31 289,756 $46,086 $146,000.0
Linn County 32 12,113 $45,930 $87,200.0
Ray County 33 22,875 $61,957 $133,700.0
Worth County 34 2,027 $53,580 $63,800.0
Cape Girardeau County 35 78,491 $53,732 $160,500.0
Marion County 36 28,608 $48,784 $123,400.0
Monroe County 37 8,629 $43,966 $105,300.0
Newton County 38 58,180 $50,813 $131,300.0
Bates County 39 16,296 $47,625 $114,600.0
Lewis County 40 9,955 $45,988 $87,900.0
Montgomery County 41 11,487 $46,757 $108,100.0
Pulaski County 42 52,425 $53,492 $159,200.0
Scotland County 43 4,902 $50,085 $113,000.0
Jackson County 44 696,216 $55,134 $147,400.0
Camden County 45 45,466 $53,478 $200,800.0
Miller County 46 25,201 $47,171 $136,800.0
Livingston County 47 15,126 $46,992 $111,500.0
Taney County 48 55,114 $46,031 $139,800.0
Mercer County 49 3,644 $47,298 $88,900.0
Moniteau County 50 16,046 $58,010 $124,500.0
Stone County 51 31,615 $49,656 $172,600.0
Macon County 52 15,199 $42,746 $97,200.0
St. Francois County 53 66,643 $46,466 $121,000.0
Gentry County 54 6,616 $47,790 $88,200.0
Saline County 55 22,976 $44,720 $106,600.0
Webster County 56 38,655 $50,560 $136,200.0
Polk County 57 31,748 $45,660 $132,300.0
Bollinger County 58 12,225 $44,158 $110,800.0
Shelby County 59 6,013 $44,083 $72,200.0
Daviess County 60 8,295 $51,679 $110,400.0
Dallas County 61 16,617 $43,542 $115,000.0
Buchanan County 62 88,460 $51,916 $122,200.0
Harrison County 63 8,491 $42,917 $76,000.0
Audrain County 64 25,644 $44,261 $97,900.0
Clark County 65 6,779 $48,909 $90,000.0
St. Clair County 66 9,370 $38,870 $91,900.0
Adair County 67 25,369 $41,929 $126,800.0
Randolph County 68 24,878 $47,740 $105,000.0
Phelps County 69 44,630 $44,154 $135,000.0
Pike County 70 18,455 $46,385 $97,800.0
Putnam County 71 4,781 $42,849 $96,600.0
Grundy County 72 9,992 $45,594 $98,400.0
Vernon County 73 20,595 $43,276 $98,300.0
Maries County 74 8,803 $47,569 $133,200.0
Laclede County 75 35,531 $47,257 $113,900.0
Jasper County 76 119,920 $48,357 $118,400.0
Madison County 77 12,179 $43,636 $106,100.0
Sullivan County 78 6,247 $46,481 $77,000.0
Carter County 79 6,147 $39,530 $101,500.0
Pettis County 80 42,355 $46,157 $119,100.0
Carroll County 81 8,781 $50,830 $88,200.0
Scott County 82 38,633 $44,139 $109,200.0
Stoddard County 83 29,377 $41,062 $104,200.0
Henry County 84 21,735 $45,795 $110,500.0
Dent County 85 15,545 $42,100 $102,600.0
St. Louis City 86 308,174 $43,896 $138,700.0
Mcdonald County 87 22,782 $41,643 $110,500.0
Lawrence County 88 38,204 $44,742 $109,600.0
Morgan County 89 20,271 $39,003 $125,000.0
Douglas County 90 13,306 $37,425 $123,100.0
Howell County 91 40,104 $38,357 $112,200.0
Barry County 92 35,530 $44,403 $120,600.0
Benton County 93 19,107 $40,249 $117,500.0
Knox County 94 3,947 $40,000 $75,500.0
Iron County 95 10,164 $37,435 $83,600.0
Dade County 96 7,578 $40,399 $83,500.0
Schuyler County 97 4,555 $42,694 $71,200.0
Cedar County 98 14,043 $39,365 $98,900.0
Barton County 99 11,797 $44,125 $97,500.0
Wayne County 100 13,195 $34,316 $85,100.0

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.

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