10 Pros and Cons of Living in Kansas

Kansas, often called the “Sunflower State,” offers a unique blend of tranquil rural life and small-town charm. Nestled in the heart of the American Midwest, this state is known for its vast expanses of prairies and farmland, where the horizon seems endless. Life in Kansas is characterized by a strong sense of community, with friendly neighbors always willing to lend a helping hand. However, with every state, there are downsides to living in Kansas. So whether you’re drawn to homes for sale in Wichita or an apartment in Kansas City, here are ten pros and cons of living in Kansas to help you decide if Kansas is a good place to live.

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Quick Facts about Kansas

Population 2,937,880
Median home sale price $275,500
Average rent in Kansas $929
Largest cities in Kansas Wichita, Overland, Kansas City

1. Pro: The cost of living is low

Kansas is a haven for those seeking a low cost of living. For example, the cost of living in Wichita is 11% lower than the National Average, so residents enjoy significant savings on their day-to-day expenses. Not only that, but the state’s housing market is equally affordable, with a median sale price of just $275,500, notably lower than the national average of $439,716. This affordability extends beyond housing, making Kansas an ideal choice for those looking to maximize their purchasing power and enjoy a comfortable, budget-friendly lifestyle. Check out the most affordable places to live in Kansas to get started.

2. Con: Rural living

Kansas’ predominantly rural nature, while appealing to many, can also be perceived as a drawback for some. The state’s extensive agricultural landscapes and open spaces contribute to its peaceful and uncluttered atmosphere. However, the rural nature of Kansas means that access to the conveniences, amenities, and job opportunities found in larger metropolitan areas can be limited, particularly in smaller towns and remote regions. This may require residents to travel longer distances for essential services or to reach urban centers.

Kansas beauty

3. Pro: Amazing BBQ

Kansas is renowned for its mouthwatering barbecue, a culinary masterpiece deeply ingrained in its culture. The state takes its barbecue seriously, and the results are excellent. Kansas-style barbecue is all about slow-cooked, tender meats, often slathered in a rich and tangy sauce. Iconic dishes include succulent burnt ends, tender ribs, and flavorful pulled pork sandwiches, all perfectly cooked. The smoky flavors, unique rubs, and signature Kansas City barbecue sauce make it a true delight.

4. Con: Extreme weather

Kansas is known for its unpredictable weather, particularly during tornado season, which can lead to destructive storms and occasionally pose a significant safety risk. The state also experiences hot and humid summers, along with bitterly cold winters, making it imperative for residents to adapt to a wide range of temperatures. While the ever-changing weather can provide excitement, it also necessitates vigilance and preparedness, which may not be suitable for those who prefer more temperate and predictable climates.

Kansas hiking

5. Pro: Beautiful natural scenery

The state’s landscapes are as diverse as they are stunning. In the eastern regions, you’ll find lush, rolling hills and dense forests that transform into a breathtaking display of fall colors. Journeying westward, the iconic Flint Hills greet you with their sweeping prairies, adorned with a sea of tall grass waving in the breeze. Kansas is also home to serene lakes, meandering rivers, and enchanting wildlife, offering ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to hike, fish, and immerse themselves in nature.

6. Con: Only a few major metropolitan areas

Kansas is a state characterized by its spacious landscapes and wide-open horizons. However, one factor that might be considered a downside by some is the limited number of major metropolitan areas. While Kansas City, Wichita, and Topeka stand out as key urban centers, the state generally lacks the bustling metropolises that are more prevalent in some neighboring states. Residents seeking vibrant cultural scenes, diverse job markets, and large-scale entertainment options typically associated with significant cities may find their choices somewhat limited.

Kansas rural

7. Pro: Low traffic congestion

One of the hidden gems of living in Kansas is the blissful lack of traffic congestion that residents enjoy. Whether you’re in the bustling city of Wichita or cruising through the picturesque countryside, you’ll often find that your daily commute is refreshingly stress-free. With wide, open roads and shorter commute times, navigating the state is a breeze. You can reach your destination without the usual gridlock and long queues that can be common in more densely populated areas. This not only saves you time but also lowers the stress level associated with daily commuting, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle.

8. Con: You’ll need a car to get around

Unlike some more densely populated states, Kansas has a less comprehensive public transit system, particularly in rural areas. While major cities like Overland Park, which has a transit score of 16, offer some public transportation options, the network is not as extensive as in larger urban centers. This limited public transportation can pose challenges for those who rely on it for their daily commutes or simply prefer not to drive.

Kansas remote

9. Pro: Various outdoor recreational opportunities

Whether you’re an avid hiker, water sports enthusiast, or a nature lover, the state has something to offer everyone. The expansive Flint Hills beckons with its serene hiking trails and breathtaking vistas. In the southwest, you can explore rugged canyons and the stunning Cimarron National Grassland. For water lovers, Kansas boasts numerous lakes and rivers, perfect for fishing, kayaking, and boating. Wildlife enthusiasts will find the state’s diverse ecosystems a haven for birdwatching and wildlife photography.

10. Con: Long distance between cities

One aspect of life in Kansas that can be both an advantage and a disadvantage is the considerable distance between cities within the state. While this “wide-open spaces” characteristic lends the state its peaceful and uncluttered ambiance, it can also mean that residents often need to travel long distances to reach neighboring towns and urban centers. This can translate to longer commutes and less accessibility to amenities, services, and job opportunities, particularly in the more remote rural areas.


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