The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Missouri For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in Missouri that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Missouri does this very well. Families love the Show Me State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Missouri that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Missouri for 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Missouri? That would be University City.
the 2015-2019 American Community Survey for the 128 places in Missouri with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Missouri for 2021:

  1. University City
  2. Sunset Hills
  3. Weldon Spring
  4. St. Robert
  5. Columbia
  6. Branson
  7. Valley Park
  8. Maryville
  9. Maplewood
  10. Rolla

What's the most expensive place to live in Missouri? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that University City is the most expensive place to live in Missouri.

So hopefully Richmond (the cheapest place to live in Missouri) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Missouri and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Missouri For 2021

1. University CityUniversity City, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 34,498
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.5x (35th most expensive)
More on University City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in University City comes in at $61,274 and the median home value is $273,500 for 2021.

2. Sunset HillsSunset Hills, MO

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 8,472
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.9x (4most expensive)
More on Sunset Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Sunset Hills comes in at $106,094 and the median home value is $392,200 for 2021.

3. Weldon SpringWeldon Spring, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,531
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.9x (46th most expensive)
More on Weldon Spring: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Weldon Spring comes in at $107,875 and the median home value is $397,300 for 2021.

4. St. Robert

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,122
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.2x (27th most expensive)
More on St. Robert: Real Estate | Data

The median income in St. Robert comes in at $52,434 and the median home value is $188,700 for 2021.

5. ColumbiaColumbia, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 121,230
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.8x (40th most expensive)
More on Columbia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Columbia comes in at $51,276 and the median home value is $191,800 for 2021.

6. BransonBranson, MO

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 11,416
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (18th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.0x (20th most expensive)
More on Branson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Branson comes in at $46,319 and the median home value is $157,500 for 2021.

7. Valley ParkValley Park, MO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,799
Rank Last Year: 29 (Up 20)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (22nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.9x (33rd most expensive)
More on Valley Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Valley Park comes in at $56,786 and the median home value is $179,700 for 2021.

8. MaryvilleMaryville, MO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,696
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.5x (14th most expensive)
More on Maryville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Maryville comes in at $34,258 and the median home value is $130,500 for 2021.

9. MaplewoodMaplewood, MO

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,051
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 63.3x (60th most expensive)
More on Maplewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Maplewood comes in at $48,278 and the median home value is $189,600 for 2021.

10. RollaRolla, MO

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 20,169
Rank Last Year: 10 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.0x (11th most expensive)
More on Rolla: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Rolla comes in at $37,600 and the median home value is $131,100 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Show Me State For 2021

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Missouri
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 2015-2019 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 Missouri to figure out which is the most 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 128 places in Missouri that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Missouri according to the data is University City. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Missouri For 2021

Well there you have it, the places in Missouri that have the highest cost of living, with University City ranking as the most expensive city in the Show Me State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Missouri according to the data:

  1. Richmond
  2. Trenton
  3. Bonne Terre

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Missouri

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 University City 19.0 34,498 4.5x 57.5x
2 Sunset Hills 20.33 8,472 3.7x 57.9x
3 Weldon Spring 22.0 5,531 3.7x 58.9x
4 St. Robert 25.17 6,122 3.6x 55.2x
5 Columbia 27.67 121,230 3.7x 57.8x
6 Branson 30.67 11,416 3.4x 54.0x
7 Valley Park 31.67 6,799 3.2x 56.9x
8 Maryville 33.0 11,696 3.8x 51.5x
9 Maplewood 33.0 8,051 3.9x 63.3x
10 Rolla 33.67 20,169 3.5x 51.0x
11 St. Louis 35.33 308,174 3.2x 53.0x
12 Kirksville 38.0 17,554 3.5x 52.2x
13 Creve Coeur 38.0 18,538 4.2x 77.4x
14 Cape Girardeau 38.33 39,566 3.3x 57.6x
15 Warrensburg 38.67 20,139 3.5x 59.9x
16 Springfield 38.67 167,051 3.2x 49.5x
17 Olivette 39.33 7,849 3.9x 76.1x
18 Clayton 41.33 16,588 5.9x 86.1x
19 Ellisville 43.67 9,661 3.2x 70.4x
20 Kansas City 45.33 486,404 2.9x 57.6x
21 Sikeston 46.33 16,200 3.1x 55.9x
22 Brentwood 46.67 8,005 2.8x 65.4x
23 Waynesville 46.67 5,257 3.1x 67.7x
24 Harrisonville 47.0 10,043 2.9x 56.1x
25 Town And Country 47.0 11,077 3.8x 161.5x
26 Shrewsbury 47.33 6,150 2.9x 64.8x
27 Warrenton 47.83 8,226 2.9x 54.6x
28 Poplar Bluff 48.33 17,023 3.0x 44.9x
29 Des Peres 48.67 8,619 3.0x 80.6x
30 Kirkwood 49.0 27,708 3.5x 84.5x
31 Bridgeton 49.33 11,606 2.8x 60.5x
32 Caruthersville 49.67 5,616 3.0x 51.2x
33 St. Charles 50.33 70,171 2.9x 69.5x
34 Richmond Heights 50.67 8,500 3.1x 79.5x
35 Chesterfield 51.0 47,605 3.4x 94.4x
36 Sullivan 51.67 6,564 2.9x 52.3x
37 Manchester 52.33 18,110 2.9x 73.5x
38 Bolivar 53.33 10,880 2.9x 55.0x
39 Webster Groves 53.67 22,951 2.9x 76.2x
40 Glendale 54.33 5,891 3.0x 99.6x
41 Lake St. Louis 54.33 15,989 3.0x 81.7x
42 De Soto 55.0 6,380 2.8x 54.6x
43 Parkville 55.67 6,724 3.0x 191.0x
44 Monett 56.67 8,984 2.7x 51.3x
45 Farmington 57.0 18,515 2.9x 65.0x
46 Joplin 57.67 50,386 2.8x 57.6x
47 Ozark 60.67 19,767 2.8x 66.7x
48 Troy 61.33 12,079 2.7x 65.3x
49 Nixa 62.33 21,544 2.7x 70.0x
50 Pacific 63.0 6,339 2.9x 70.7x
51 Wildwood 63.33 35,459 2.8x 111.7x
52 Union 65.33 11,475 2.8x 72.4x
53 Maryland Heights 66.33 27,080 2.4x 63.9x
54 Ballwin 67.0 30,252 2.7x 86.8x
55 Pleasant Hill 68.67 8,510 2.5x 72.5x
56 West Plains 69.0 12,233 2.7x 59.1x
57 Raymore 70.0 21,196 2.4x 73.3x
58 O'fallon 70.67 87,242 2.5x 81.6x
59 Washington 70.67 14,014 2.7x 79.9x
60 Jackson 71.0 14,872 2.6x 73.3x
61 Neosho 71.33 11,990 2.4x 54.1x
62 Gladstone 71.67 27,126 2.4x 66.1x
63 Excelsior Springs 72.0 11,640 2.7x 72.2x
64 Eureka 72.33 10,666 2.5x 100.4x
65 Festus 72.33 11,982 2.5x 66.3x
66 Clinton 72.67 9,118 2.6x 59.7x
67 Grain Valley 73.33 13,966 2.4x 70.6x
68 Perryville 73.33 8,451 2.6x 68.7x
69 Wentzville 73.33 38,841 2.5x 89.6x
70 Lee's Summit 73.67 97,275 2.5x 83.5x
71 Jefferson City 74.0 42,919 2.8x 82.4x
72 Charleston 74.33 5,614 2.4x 47.8x
73 Odessa 74.67 5,210 2.6x 73.1x
74 Battlefield 74.83 6,240 2.6x 79.4x
75 Grandview 75.33 25,069 2.3x 56.8x
76 Lebanon 75.67 14,652 2.5x 59.9x
77 Arnold 75.83 21,146 2.4x 69.8x
78 Belton 76.0 23,425 2.2x 58.8x
79 Marshall 76.67 12,949 2.6x 65.8x
80 Fulton 76.67 12,779 2.7x 72.4x
81 Crestwood 76.67 11,865 2.5x 89.0x
82 Greenwood 77.0 6,247 1.9x 62.8x
83 Hannibal 77.67 17,320 2.5x 60.5x
84 Dexter 77.67 7,862 2.5x 57.4x
85 St. Joseph 77.83 75,913 2.4x 61.6x
86 Moberly 78.0 13,707 2.5x 60.8x
87 Independence 78.5 117,084 2.3x 58.6x
88 Republic 79.67 16,247 2.3x 65.6x
89 Marshfield 80.0 7,318 2.6x 71.2x
90 Peculiar 80.33 5,139 2.3x 70.5x
91 St. Peters 80.67 57,273 2.3x 79.6x
92 Liberty 80.67 31,328 2.4x 83.1x
93 Ferguson 81.0 20,738 2.1x 43.1x
94 Dardenne Prairie 81.33 13,293 2.3x 112.6x
95 Black Jack 82.17 6,932 2.2x 62.7x
96 Overland 82.33 15,715 2.0x 46.1x
97 Sedalia 83.33 21,633 2.3x 56.5x
98 Savannah 83.67 5,159 2.3x 65.1x
99 Boonville 83.83 8,418 2.4x 68.5x
100 Carl Junction 84.0 8,072 2.2x 68.5x

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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.