Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best neighborhoods to live in Kansas City.
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Folks in Kansas City have a lot to celebrate. And not just because the Chiefs won the Super Bowl last season. It's among the most diverse places in Missouri, a cultural hub that represents the best of the American midwest.
Kansas City boasts more fountains than Rome, so it's not hard to see how it got the nickname the City of Fountains. But a nickname like "the City of Boulevards" would be equally apt, seeing as KC has more boulevards than any city in the world, except Paris. What's clear is that Kansas City is one snazzy city that puts a premium on aesthetic quality. I mean, Swope Park is twice the size of NYC's Central Park, so you know locals value gorgeous outdoor spaces.
And KC isn't just a treat for the eyes. With a storied tradition of promoting jazz musicians from the 1920s up until the present day, your ears are likely to be treated to some seriously tasty tunes as well. Arts and culture are valued almost as highly as what is possibly Kansas City's greatest pride: mouthwatering barbecue.
All right, that's enough on how awesome Kansas City is, but can we be a bit more specific? Where can we find the best neighborhoods, complete with line-out-the-door BBQ joints, the hippest jazz venues, and the most majestic fountains? Well, it seems as though Kansas City's southside enjoys an advantage over the city's northern end. We came to that conclusion by looking at the statistics that translate into a high quality of life: high incomes, a high-quality market for both jobs and housing, low crime, and of course, plenty of entertaining things to do and see.
Don't get spooked by the high home prices in Armour Fields; there are loads of great neighborhoods in Kansas City that don't have such a high price tag. For example, taking a five-minute drive southeast of Armour Fields will bring you to Tower Homes, where homes are less than half the price. Or if you want a nice combination of high incomes and affordable home prices, Armour Hills might be just the ticket.
Pull up some BBQ ribs, throw on some Louis Armstrong, and get ready to start living like a Kansas City Royal, because we're visiting KC's best neighborhoods.
These are Kansas City's cream of the crop neighborhoods -- the ones with solid employment numbers, low crime, and great housing options. And, of course, a surplus of fun things to do that reflect what makes Kansas City such a great place to live. In any case, they're miles away (in quality) from Kansas City's worst neighborhoods.
So, what neighborhood came in as the absolute best in Kansas City for 2021? According to the data, Armour Hills is the best neighborhood to live in Kansas City.
Is your favorite fountain, BBQ joint, or jazz club in a different neighborhood than one featured on the list above? Check out the complete list of Kansas City neighborhood rankings down below to see how your neighborhood fared.
For more Missouri reading, check out:
The 10 Best Neighborhoods To Live In Kansas City
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $240,700 (Eighth best)
Median Income: $103,120 (Third best)
More on Armour Hills: Homes For Sale | Data
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $189,450 (18th best)
Median Income: $81,157 (Ninth best)
More on Ward Parkway: Homes For Sale | Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $167,440 (29th best)
Median Income: $69,114 (14th best)
More on Tower Homes: Homes For Sale | Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $255,250 (Sixth best)
Median Income: $103,750 (Second best)
More on Morningside: Homes For Sale | Data
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $248,700 (Seventh best)
Median Income: $91,319 (Fifth best)
More on Westwood: Homes For Sale | Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $187,420 (20th best)
Median Income: $50,188 (34th best)
More on Volker: Homes For Sale | Data
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $191,233 (17th best)
Median Income: $52,423 (28th best)
More on Central Business District-Downtown: Homes For Sale | Data
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $196,200 (15th best)
Median Income: $60,529 (2best)
More on West Plaza: Homes For Sale | Data
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $155,100 (33rd best)
Median Income: $53,150 (27th best)
More on Country Lane Estates: Homes For Sale | Data
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $343,967 (Third best)
Median Income: $56,995 (24th best)
More on South Plaza: Homes For Sale | Data
How We Determined The Best Kansas City, MO Neighborhoods In 2021
In order to rank the best neighborhoods in Kansas City, we had to determine what criteria defines a "best".
Using crime, census, and extrapolated BLS data, we arrived at the following set of criteria:
- High incomes
- Low unemployment rates
- Low crime
- High home prices
- High population densities (A proxy for things to do)
We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 131 in each category, where 1 was the best.
Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a best neighborhood index.
And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest best neighborhood index the "Best City Neighborhood In Kansas City." We're lookin' at you, Armour Hills.
Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best places Kansas City, Missouri has to offer. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from best to worst.
Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of The Best Neighborhoods In Kansas City
If you're measuring the neighborhoods in Kansas City where crime is low and everyone wants to live, this is an accurate list.
As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Kansas City aren't all good. South Blue Valley takes the title of the worst neighborhood to live in Kansas City.
We ranked the neighborhoods from best to worst in the chart below.
For more Missouri reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods To Live In Kansas City For 2021
||Central Business District-Downtown
||Country Lane Estates
||Blue Hills Estates
||Ward Parkway Plaza
||Saint Catherine's Gardens
||Red Ridge South
||Blue Vue Hills
||Central Hyde Park
||Fairwood And Robandee
||Little Blue Valley
||South Hyde Park
||North Hyde Park
||Santa Fe Hills
||North India Mound
||Swope Park Campus
||Linden Hills And Indian Heights
||Hickman Mills South
||South India Mound
||Eastwood Hill East
||Bleheim Square-Research Hospital
||South Town Fork Creek
||West Blue Township
||West Blue Valley
||Oak Park Southeast
||Oak Park Southwest
||Oak Park Northwest
||Palestine West And Oak Park Northeast
||Country Valley-Hawthorn Square
||North Town Fork Creek
||Self Help Neighborhood Council
||East Sqope Highlands
||Marlborough Heights-Marlborough Pride
||East Community Team South
||Eastwood Hills West
||Central Blue Valley-Park Tower Grade
||Norble And Gregory Ridge
||East Community Team North
||Blue Valley Industrial
||East Blue Valley
||Northest Industrial District
||North Blue Ridge
||South Blue Valley