The 10 Best Kansas City Suburbs To Live For 2021


We analyzed over 26 places around Kansas City to identify the most kickass place to live.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best Kansas City suburbs.

Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Kansas City are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

Here are the 10 best suburbs to live around Kansas City for 2021:

  1. Fairway
  2. Mission Hills
  3. Leawood
  4. Weatherby Lake
  5. Lee's Summit
  6. Greenwood
  7. Lake Lotawana
  8. Overland Park
  9. Raymore
  10. Kearney

What's the best suburb of Kansas City? Fairway ranks as the best suburb of Kansas City for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Fairway, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Kansas City 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.

Feel free to check out some more reading about Missouri:

The 10 Best Kansas City Suburbs To Live For 2021

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,960
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $111,995
Unemployment Rate: 0.6%
Poverty Rate: 2.2%
More on Fairway: Real Estate | Data

Fairway is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Kansas City area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Fairway."

Everyone here is rich; families average $111,995 a year, which is the 5th highest in the Kansas City region. And only 0.63% are out of work. Homes average more than $376,700 each.

Mission Hills, KS

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,574
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 1.8%
Poverty Rate: 0.5%
More on Mission Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mission Hills is the second best 'burb we looked at near Kansas City for 2021.

It ranks 1st for incomes in the area and only 1.99% of residents lack insurance, good for 4th best.

Leawood, KS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 34,670
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $157,515
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Poverty Rate: 1.4%
More on Leawood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Leawood, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Kansas City metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Leawood.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,088
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $127,321
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Poverty Rate: 2.3%
More on Weatherby Lake: Real Estate | Data

Weatherby Lake ranks as the 4th best suburb of Kansas City for 2021.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Weatherby Lake and the schools are some of the best around.

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 97,275
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $89,969
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Poverty Rate: 4.6%
More on Lee's Summit: Real Estate | Data

Coming in as the fifth best is Lee's Summit.

Lee's Summit gets kudos for having the 14th most expensive homes in the Kansas City area, where houses sell for an average of $223,700. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,247
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Income: $91,299
Unemployment Rate: 0.5%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Greenwood: Real Estate | Data

Greenwood is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 0.52% which is best in the area.

According to online reports, Greenwood is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Kansas City area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 2,120
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $104,333
Unemployment Rate: 1.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.4%
More on Lake Lotawana: Real Estate | Data

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Lake Lotawana.

Lake Lotawana schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 18.2 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Overland Park, KS

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 191,011
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $86,487
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 4.9%
More on Overland Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Overland Park is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 5.42% of people lack insurance, good for 20th in the area.

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 21,196
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $84,697
Unemployment Rate: 1.3%
Poverty Rate: 4.6%
More on Raymore: Real Estate | Data

Is 'Everything Better In Raymore?'

Almost.

It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Kearney, MO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,095
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Income: $85,561
Unemployment Rate: 0.7%
Poverty Rate: 2.6%
More on Kearney: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2021 is Kearney.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Kansas City for 2021

Figuring out the best suburbs around Kansas City was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2015-2019 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Kansas City.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 47 suburbs to evaluate around Kansas City.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 47 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Kansas City." We're lookin' at you, Fairway. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Welcome to the Best Kansas City 'Burbs of 2021

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Kansas City, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Kansas City Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Fairway, MO 3,960 $111,995
2 Mission Hills, MO 3,574 $250,001
3 Leawood, MO 34,670 $157,515
4 Weatherby Lake, MO 2,088 $127,321
5 Lee's Summit, MO 97,275 $89,969
6 Greenwood, MO 6,247 $91,299
7 Lake Lotawana, MO 2,120 $104,333
8 Overland Park, MO 191,011 $86,487
9 Raymore, MO 21,196 $84,697
10 Kearney, MO 10,095 $85,561
11 Lenexa, MO 54,011 $87,102
12 Parkville, MO 6,724 $136,389
13 Olathe, MO 137,618 $90,435
14 Roeland Park, MO 6,769 $75,965
15 Shawnee, MO 65,540 $87,120
16 Gardner, MO 21,528 $78,180
17 Mission, MO 9,523 $61,144
18 Grain Valley, MO 13,966 $73,698
19 Basehor, MO 5,951 $79,104
20 Lansing, MO 11,900 $89,213
21 Tonganoxie, MO 5,359 $72,469
22 Louisburg, MO 4,443 $75,357
23 Eudora, MO 6,602 $87,692
24 Blue Springs, MO 54,850 $75,767
25 Liberty, MO 31,328 $76,577
26 Smithville, MO 9,884 $82,398
27 Spring Hill, MO 6,626 $80,357
28 Merriam, MO 11,185 $63,806
29 Oak Grove, MO 8,217 $64,398
30 De Soto, MO 6,254 $60,625
31 Edwardsville, MO 4,492 $65,650
32 Gladstone, MO 27,126 $59,018
33 Pleasant Valley, MO 3,003 $57,346
34 Belton, MO 23,425 $62,754
35 Peculiar, MO 5,139 $62,708
36 Raytown, MO 29,264 $52,662
37 Leavenworth, MO 36,064 $59,132
38 Pleasant Hill, MO 8,510 $70,728
39 Riverside, MO 3,342 $34,309
40 Buckner, MO 3,045 $52,911
41 Excelsior Springs, MO 11,640 $49,428
42 Independence, MO 117,084 $50,592
43 Bonner Springs, MO 7,782 $62,245
44 Grandview, MO 25,069 $47,103
45 Harrisonville, MO 10,043 $47,404
46 Kansas City, MO 152,522 $45,665
47 Sugar Creek, MO 3,290 $42,159

How Is Your Town In ?

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.