What do the cheapest places to live in Kansas offer? Apart from the quirky fact that Cawker City boasts the world’s largest ball of twine, these places in Kansas are a treasure trove of affordable living options.
And lucky for you, HomeSnacks is here to unravel Kansas’ most affordable places for 2023. Our methodology is simple yet effective. We rank all the places in Kansas based on the median home prices, average income, and overall cost of living. The result is a list of the cheapest places to live in Kansas that don’t compromise on the quality of life.
The competition was fierce. Many of Kansas’ top ten most affordable places boast great home prices, safe neighborhoods, and good jobs. Any one of these Kansas places would be a great place to enjoy life while saving money.
Living in Kansas’ cheapest places frees up cash for a better home and provides extra money for fun ‘Kansas’ things to do and see. You can catch a Kansas City Royals game or Louisburg’s Dancefestopia Music Festival.
Furthermore, some of Kansas’ most affordable places are among our top ten best places to live in The Jayhawker State. So continue to learn more about the cheapest places to live in Kansas.
The 10 most affordable places to live in Kansas
According to the most recent census data, what is Kansas’s cheapest place to live? The cheapest place in Kansas for 2023 is Chanute.
If you care about home values and affordability, look at the list below to see where your Kansas dollar will go the furthest. And if you are still looking for your favorite town, head to the bottom for a complete list of the most affordable places in Kansas.
Check out some more reading about Kansas and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 cheapest places to live in Kansas for 2023
Chanute, located in the heart of Kansas, is an affordable place to live. The median home value is $80,300, while the median rent is $609, both of which are significantly lower than the state average.
Chanute offers plenty to do, with a strong sense of community and ample amenities. The city is home to Neosho County Community College and boasts several parks and recreational facilities. With a population of 8,737, Chanute provides residents with a small-town feel while still offering access to nearby larger cities.
In terms of affordability, there’s nowhere better in Kansas than Pratt, a small city 80 miles west of Wichita. Pratt has the 11th cheapest homes on the market in Kansas, with a median price tag of $94,100. Even more importantly, Pratt residents pay the seventh smallest percentage of their income on homes statewide. Which means there’s plenty of money left over to experience Pratt’s high culture at both its art museum and history museum. Or if you’re trying to keep things cheap, Pratt’s got you covered with 270 acres of parks.
The first thing to know when you show up in Arkansas City — pronounce the “s” at the end of Arkansas, or you’ll surely be put down as a carpetbagger. Once you’ve got that down and you’re ready to buy a home, you’re in luck, because Arkansas City has the fourth least expensive homes for sale in Kansas at a median price of $71,600. Even more importantly, residents of Arkansas City pay the third lowest proportion of their income on homes statewide. With all these awesome statistics, why isn’t Arkansas City ranked higher? Unfortunately, it’s the least affordable place for renters on this list. Regardless of your housing situation, everyone will appreciate the gorgeous trails and excellent fishing opportunities at Cowley Lake Waterfall.
Located in the Smoky Hills region of North Central Kansas, Concordia ranks as the fourth cheapest place to live in Kansas. The city home to Camp Concordia, a WWII German POW camp that’s a definite must-see for any history buff in the area. Homes in Concordia go for about $82,100, the ninth lowest in Kansas. And with residents earning a median income of $48,333, Concordia has the eighth best home price to income ratio in the state.
Newton, Kansas, has some Wild West cred. It grew up during the 19th century as an key railroad hub for the cattle industry. Texas cattle came up to Newton and was shipped throughout the rest of the country. Newton even has its own famous shootout: the 1871 Gunfight at Hide Park.
The town has advanced a lot since those cowboy days. And it serves one of the cheapest places to live in all of Kansas.
For a modest-sized town, Newton has extremely reasonable housing prices. The median home value sits at $107,500, while the median rent comes in at $827 per month. On the strength of this low-cost housing, the town’s overall cost of living stands at about 90% the national average.
Speaking of homes, Newton features the Warkentin House, a Victorian mansion built in the late 19th century that now serves as museum. The town also offers some more modern amenities. A half-hour drive will take you to downtown Wichita.
Checking out some other economic indicators, the residents of Newton receive a median income of $59,586. At the same time, they experience an unemployment rate of 4.15%.
There’s good news and bad news when it comes to Parsons, our sixth most affordable city in Kansas. The good news is that Parsons has the second cheapest homes for sale statewide at a median price of $59,500 and residents have the first easiest time paying off their mortgage. The bad news is that Parsons population has been steadily dwindling in recent years, and not without reason. Parsons ranks as one of the worst places to live in Kansas, due to a 20%+ poverty rate and a crime rate 75% over the national average.
Parsons is the second most populous city in southeastern Kansas.
Located 45 miles northwest of Kansas City, Atchison ranks as the seventh cheapest place in Kansas. Atchison is one of the most history-rich cities in Kansas, complete with an art gallery and four museums. Living in such a hub of history doesn’t cost much, because the median home price in Atchison is only $100,000. Rent is also quite cheap in Atchison, with a median price tag of $677, so regardless of your housing situation, Atchison’s got a good deal for you.
Ranking as the eighth most affordable place in Kansas is Wellington, a city about 30 miles south of Wichita. Homes in Wellington go for around $79,500, the seventh cheapest in the state. Having a median income of $50,676 gives Wellington the fourth best home price to income ratio in Kansas. And don’t worry that living in such an affordable place must be boring; between three museums, a golf course, and a water park, there’s plenty to do in Wellington.
Coffeyville, located in southeastern Montgomery County, is an affordable place to live in Kansas. With a median home value of $52,300 and median rent of $641, the overall cost of living in Coffeyville is about 25% lower than the national average.
Coffeyville, situated along the Verdigris River, boasts scenic parks and trails, making it perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Its small-town charm also extends to its community events and festivals, such as the Inter-State Fair and Rodeo.
Colby is a great place to live if you’re looking for affordable living options. Colby offers residents an overall cost of living that’s well below the national average. In fact, the income-to-rent ratio in Colby is one of the best in the state, meaning that your paycheck can go much further here than in other parts of Kansas.
But just because Colby is affordable doesn’t mean it lacks charm or amenities. As the county seat of Thomas County, Colby’s population of 5,434 has plenty of local shops, restaurants, and events to keep residents entertained.
Cheapest places to live in Kansas FAQs
The county in Kansas with the lowest cost of living is Woodson County. The average living wage in Woodson County is $80,268 according to MIT data. Woodson County has the lowest cost of living because it has relatively less expensive childcare and housing costs compared to Kansas as a whole. Childcare costs $8,896 a year in Woodson County for two children compared to the Kansas average of $15,029. Housing costs, defined as a blend of the average rent and average mortgage payment, are $8,616 per year in Woodson County compared to $10,455 on average in Kansas.
The cost of living in Kansas is 0.4% lower than the US average. According to MIT, the required living wage for a family of four with two working parents in Kansas is $89,353 vs the national average for a family of four with two working parents of $89,744. The median income of a Kansas household is $61,091.
The cheapest housing market in Kansas is Coffeyville. The average home value in Coffeyville is $53,100, the lowest in the state. The average home value in Kansas is $157,600, almost 3.0 times higher than Coffeyville.
Methodology: How we determined the most affordable places to live in the Sunflower State for 2023
Determining affordability for places in Kansas boils down to two factors:
- How much money do I make?
- How much does it cost to live here?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make to determine affordability. For example, imagine a place in Kansas where median incomes are $100,000 and housing costs $200,000 to buy. That’s more affordable than living in a place with a median income of $50,000 where houses cost $101,000. The ratio of income to home prices is higher in the first example.
With that logic in mind, we derived several cost of living statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2017-2021 for Kansas. The cost of living statistics are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (higher is better)
- Median Home Price
You can include median home price as a stand alone variable because high home prices generally correlate with higher costs for all goods and services (heating, electricity, food, etc). You then compare these cost of living metrics for each place in Kansas to figure out which is the least expensive.
We aggregate those rankings into a “Cost of Living Index” for each city in Kansas. The “Cost of Living Index” allows you to rank all of the 62 places in Kansas that have more than 5,000 people from least expensive to most expensive.
The place in Kansas with the lowest cost of living according to the data is Chanute. You can download the entre cost of living data set for Kansas here.
Kansas affordabilility summary
This is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Kansas for 2023, if you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Kansas.
Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Kansas according to the data:
- Prairie Village
For more Kansas reading, check out:
The cheapest places to live in Kansas
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