The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Kansas For 2022


We used data and science to determine which places in Kansas go easy on your wallet.

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What do 2.9 million Kansas residents know that we don’t? Well, besides how cool it is that Cawker City owns the biggest ball of twine and how much fun can be had at the Big Brutus Polka Fest in West Mineral, Kansans know that The Sunflower State has some of the most affordable places to live in America.

And lucky for you, HomeSnacks is here to unravel Kansas’ most affordable places for 2022.

The competition was fierce to say the least. 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. Not only does living in Kansas’ most affordable places free up cash for a better home, a safer community, and just your overall cost of living, it provides extra money for the fun ‘Kansas’ things to do and see. Like, catching a Kansas City Royals game or taking a road trip to Louisburg’s Dancefestopia Music Festival.

And it just so happens that some of Kansas’ most affordable are also on our top ten best places to live in The Jayhawker State. So, living in many of our most affordable places will make you feel like you’ve won the Kansas Lottery. Want to know more? We suggest you crank some Kansas, head to the top of Mount Sunflower in Wallace County, and read on.

The 10 Most Affordable Places To Live In Kansas

  1. Chanute
  2. Arkansas City
  3. Pratt
  4. Newton
  5. Mulvane
  6. Winfield
  7. Concordia
  8. Colby
  9. Wellington
  10. Parsons

What’s the cheapest place to live in Kansas according to the most recent census data? There can be only one most affordable place in Kansas for 2022, and that would be Chanute.

So, if you care about home values and affordability, take a look at the list below to see where your Kansas dollar will go the furthest. And if you don’t find your favorite there, head to the bottom.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Kansas and the cheapest places in the country:

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Kansas For 2022

Chanute is a city in Neosho County, Kansas, United States. Founded on January 1, 1873, it was named after railroad engineer and aviation pioneer Octave Chanute. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 9,119. Chanute is home of Neosho County Community College.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,044
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 15)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.6x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 75.6x (42nd cheapest)
More On Chanute: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Chanute, KS

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 $66,900. Even more importantly, residents of Arkansas City pay the 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.

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,767
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.4x (most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 70.5x (54th cheapest)
More On Arkansas City: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Arkansas City, KS

In terms of affordability, there’s nowhere better in Kansas than Pratt, a small city 80 miles west of Wichita. Pratt has the 13th cheapest homes on the market in Kansas, with a median price tag of $95,300. Even more importantly, Pratt residents pay the eighth 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.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,595
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.8x (8th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 74.3x (27th cheapest)
More On Pratt: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Pratt, KS

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 $109,100, while the median rent comes in at $735 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 $56,729. At the same time, they experience an unemployment rate of 2.71%.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 18,846
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (11th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 77.2x (13th cheapest)
More On Newton: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Newton, KS

A suburb of Wichita, Mulvane is the fifth least expensive city in Kansas. Mulvane scored an 8.5/10 on our overall Snackability scale, meaning the city has good schools, safe streets, a steady job market, and, of course, affordable housing.

Renting in Mulvane is absurdly cheap, with the median rent being $676/month. That’s about 60% less than the average rent in Kansas, which is already much lower than the national average. And coupled with a median income of $65,286, Mulvane has the most affordable rent in Kansas. Seeing as you’re already pretty lucky to live in such a great place for such a low price, consider letting your luck ride at the Kansas Star Casino.

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 6,025
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.0x (17th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 96.6x (40th cheapest)
More On Mulvane: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Mulvane, KS

Winfield is a city and county seat of Cowley County, Kansas, United States. It is situated along the Walnut River in South Central Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 12,301 and second most populous city of Cowley County.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,990
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 12)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (12th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 71.2x (47th cheapest)
More On Winfield: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Winfield, KS

Located in the Smoky Hills region of North Central Kansas, Concordia ranks as the seventh 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 $76,400, the eighth lowest in Kansas. And with residents earning a median income of $44,185, Concordia has the sixth best home price to income ratio in the state.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,005
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (6th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.9x (37th cheapest)
More On Concordia: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Concordia, KS

Colby is a city in and the county seat of Thomas County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 5,387.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,426
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (20th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 94.7x (4th cheapest)
More On Colby: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colby, KS

Ranking as the ninth most affordable place in Kansas is Wellington, a city about 30 miles south of Wichita. Homes in Wellington go for around $82,700, the ninth cheapest in the state. Having a median income of $48,279 gives Wellington the fifth 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.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,716
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.2x (24th cheapest)
More On Wellington: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Wellington, KS

Source: Public domain

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to Parsons, our tenth most affordable city in Kansas. The good news is that Parsons has the third cheapest homes for sale statewide at a median price of $64,600 and residents have the fourth 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.

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 9,648
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.6x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.7x (17th cheapest)
More On Parsons: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Parsons, KS

Cheapest Places To Live In Kansas FAQs

What county in Kansas has the lowest cost of living?

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.

What is the cost of living 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.

What is the cheapest housing market in Kansas?

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 2022

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Kansas
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2016-2020 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Kansas to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 62 places in Kansas that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Kansas according to the data is Chanute. You can download the data here.

Summary: There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Kansas Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Kansas, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Kansas for 2022.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Kansas according to the data:

  1. Manhattan
  2. Prairie Village
  3. Lawrence

For more Kansas reading, check out:

The Most Affordable Places To Live In Kansas

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Chanute 8.0 9,044 1.6x 75.6x
2 Arkansas City 10.33 11,767 1.4x 70.5x
3 Pratt 13.0 6,595 1.8x 74.3x
4 Newton 14.33 18,846 1.9x 77.2x
5 Mulvane 15.67 6,025 2.0x 96.6x
6 Winfield 16.0 11,990 1.9x 71.2x
7 Concordia 16.33 5,005 1.7x 65.9x
8 Colby 16.67 5,426 2.1x 94.7x
9 Wellington 17.33 7,716 1.7x 65.2x
10 Parsons 19.67 9,648 1.6x 60.7x
11 Atchison 19.67 10,561 2.1x 71.9x
12 Coffeyville 20.33 9,343 1.5x 54.1x
13 Ulysses 22.0 5,518 2.3x 86.8x
14 Dodge City 22.67 27,186 2.0x 67.1x
15 Fort Scott 22.67 7,715 1.7x 53.2x
16 Independence 23.33 8,595 1.9x 56.5x
17 Eudora 23.67 6,551 2.0x 78.7x
18 Great Bend 24.0 15,224 2.2x 69.6x
19 Lansing 24.0 11,955 2.0x 78.6x
20 Park City 24.0 7,654 2.0x 69.7x
21 Emporia 25.67 24,631 2.3x 66.9x
22 Haysville 26.33 11,260 2.0x 64.5x
23 Abilene 26.67 6,258 2.4x 72.2x
24 Iola 27.0 5,322 1.9x 51.7x
25 Hutchinson 27.17 40,669 2.1x 63.9x
26 Bel Aire 27.67 8,082 1.9x 66.1x
27 Tonganoxie 28.33 5,357 2.2x 74.8x
28 Derby 29.0 24,428 2.3x 76.1x
29 Mcpherson 29.33 13,066 2.5x 75.9x
30 El Dorado 30.0 12,976 2.1x 56.4x
31 Topeka 31.33 125,819 2.1x 60.9x
32 Valley Center 33.33 7,843 2.4x 68.5x
33 Liberal 34.33 19,025 2.3x 62.9x
34 Kansas City 34.5 153,014 2.2x 52.6x
35 Olathe 34.67 139,216 2.6x 90.2x
36 Spring Hill 35.0 6,992 2.7x 88.0x
37 Andover 35.67 13,609 2.2x 67.8x
38 Leavenworth 36.33 36,129 2.2x 62.9x
39 Augusta 36.67 9,363 2.5x 63.7x
40 Pittsburg 37.0 20,096 2.5x 47.3x
41 Ottawa 37.0 12,308 2.4x 61.5x
42 Shawnee 37.0 65,844 2.8x 87.0x
43 Bonner Springs 37.0 7,846 2.6x 71.5x
44 Wichita 37.67 390,566 2.6x 65.1x
45 Basehor 37.67 6,225 2.8x 80.6x
46 Gardner 38.0 21,936 2.6x 71.1x
47 Salina 39.0 46,706 2.7x 64.9x
48 Leawood 39.33 34,702 3.0x 96.1x
49 Garden City 39.33 26,403 2.8x 67.2x
50 Hays 41.33 20,855 3.5x 72.4x
51 Lenexa 42.0 54,804 3.1x 76.5x
52 Maize 42.67 5,044 2.9x 65.6x
53 Paola 43.0 5,634 2.9x 64.8x
54 De Soto 43.67 6,374 4.0x 76.1x
55 Junction City 44.0 22,616 2.7x 59.3x
56 Roeland Park 45.0 6,747 2.6x 64.1x
57 Overland Park 45.33 193,412 3.4x 73.0x
58 Merriam 45.67 11,191 3.0x 65.5x
59 Mission 50.67 9,618 3.1x 63.7x
60 Lawrence 55.0 97,348 3.7x 58.3x
61 Prairie Village 55.67 22,255 3.6x 63.6x
62 Manhattan 57.33 55,045 4.2x 55.9x

How Is The Area In ?

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Kansas.

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.