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The 20 Worst Places to Live in Kansas


Every location has plus points and negative points, which means that they will appeal to some people but not others. Which are the most important features of an area will vary from one person to the next, depending on their personal preferences, their lifestyle, and their stage of life. However, places that have multiple negative features are considered undesirable locations in which to live. Some of the factors that can lead to a location being classed as undesirable include crime rates, below-average schools, high unemployment rates, and a lack of entertainment and leisure options for residents. Based on these factors, here are the 20 worst places to live in Kansas.


20. Winfield

Although there are some positives about this location, Winfield does have a crime problem. Property crime rates are the ninth highest in the state, while the city has the 17th highest violent crime rates. Overall, Winfield is the 15th most dangerous city in Kansas. While safety is a concern, there are some positive features of this Cowley County town that you should consider when deciding if it is a good location for you. If you can overlook the safety issues, Winfield has above average schools, good job opportunities, community diversity, a vibrant nightlife, and a good selection of leisure and entertainment options.


19. Atchison

Atchison is the 14th most dangerous place to live in Kansas, which is one of the primary reasons that it is included on this list. A further issue in this Atchison County town, which has a population of 10,675, is the below-par public schools. On the other hand, there is a decent choice of leisure activities, and there are job opportunities in a variety of industries. Therefore, there are both pros and cons to living in Atchison.


18. Hutchinson

Hutchinson is a town in Reno County with a population of 41,146. Like many of the locations on this list, Hutchinson has high crime rates, and this is one of the predominant reasons it is considered an undesirable place in which to live. It has the 11th highest property crime rates and the 14th most violent crimes in Kansas, so it ranks as the 13th most dangerous place to live overall. Despite these issues, there are some positive aspects of living in this area, including above-average public schools and good entertainment options.

Dodge City

17. Dodge City

Dodge City is amongst the most violent places in Kansas, as it has the ninth highest violent crimes in the state. Sadly, crime is not the only problem in Dodge City, as it is also a bad option for families due to the lack of family-oriented activities and the below-par public schools. There is also a lack of outdoor activities for the residents of this Ford County town to enjoy in their leisure time. On the plus side, there is a decent nightlife, and the community is diverse.


16. Newton

Violent crime is one of the biggest problems in Newton, as it has the eighth highest crime rates in Kansas. Another serious issue is education, as the public schools are significantly below average. However, there are also some good points to make about this town in Harvey County, which is home to 18,923 people. For example, there are plenty of things to do in Newton for people of all ages, the transport links are good, and there is a wide range of employment opportunities.


15. Augusta

Augusta is a town in Butler County that is home to 9,358 people, says Niche. It is only because it has some positive features that Augusta does not rank higher on the list, as it is the 10th most dangerous place in Kansas, according to FBI data. The positive elements of Augusta that have prevented it from ranking higher are the above-average public schools, the good transport links, and reasonable job opportunities.

Junction City

14. Junction City

Located in Geary County, Junction City has a population of 23,703 residents. As it is the ninth most dangerous place to live in Kansas, Junction City is deserving of its place on the list of the worst places to live in the state. It is a shame that the crime rates are so high in this location, as Junction City has many positive features. Not only are the public schools above average, but there is also community diversity and a vibrant nightlife.


13. Merriam

Merriam is a suburb of Kansas City, and it is home to 11,243 people. Property crimes are a big problem in Merriam, as it has the fourth-highest property crime rate in Merriam. It also has the 13th highest violent crime rate, so it ranks as the seventh most dangerous place overall. On the other hand, the public schools in Merriam are highly-rated, it has a lively night scene, and there are activities for people of all ages to enjoy.


12. Salina

Crime is one of the biggest problems in Salina, and it is the seventh-most dangerous city in Kansas. Property crime is the bigger problem, as Salina has the fifth highest property crime rate in the state, while it has only the 10th highest violent crime rate. If the crime rates were not so high, then this might not be a bad place to live, as the community is diverse, there are job opportunities in different sectors, and there is a good range of leisure activities to enjoy. Salina has a population of 47,230 residents, and it is in Saline County.

Arkansas City

11. Arkansas City

Arkansas City is in Cowley County, and it has a population of just under 12,000 people. When the statistics for property and violent crimes are combined, Arkansas City is the fifth most dangerous city overall. It also has public schools that are below average, so it is no wonder that this location is included on this list. However, life in Arkansas City is not all bad, as there are plenty of entertainment options, community diversity, and there are decent employment opportunities in the area.


10. Topeka

There are many reasons why Topeka makes it into the top ten worst places to live in Kansas. The only surprise here is that Topeka does not rank in a higher position, as it is the third most dangerous place to live in Kansas. This city has the fourth highest violent crime rates, and the second-highest property crime rates. Other statistics that show this is an undesirable area are that Topeka has the 17th highest unemployment rate, it has the 17th lowest median household income and the 20th worst median home values in the state.


9. Chanute

Although Chanute is only a small city with a population of 9,119 residents, it has some big problems that have landed it with the label of an undesirable place to live. Some of the biggest issues are that Chanute has the fourth-lowest median home value, the eighth-worst unemployment rate, and some of the lowest household incomes in the state. However, there are some good points to make about this city. Not only is there a good community spirit, but the schools also have some of the highest funding anywhere in Kansas.


8. Liberal

Despite not making it onto the list of the 20 most dangerous places in Kansas based on FBI data, Liberal has enough negative points to leave it in the eighth position on this list. Unemployment is a big problem, as the unemployment rate is the 16th worst in the state. It also has the 17th lowest median home value in Kansas, which reflects the lack of demand for housing in the area. It is not a great place to live for families, as there is a lack of family-oriented activities, and the public schools are below par.


7. Iola

This city is the ninth most dangerous place to live in Kansas, and the crime rates are one of its most significant problems. Unfortunately, they are not the only area of concern. The home values in Iola are the eighth-worst in the state, and the city has the ninth-worst unemployment rate. Also, the median household income stands right on the line of what the US classifies as the poverty line for a family of four at $24,600 a year.

Bonner Springs

6. Bonner Springs

Bonner Springs is a city in Johnson County, with a population of 7,796. It may surprise some people that Bonner Springs is in this position on the list, as it is only the 20th most dangerous place to live in Kansas. It has the 23rd most violent crimes and the 19th most property crimes in the state. However, it also has some other concerning statistics. For example, it has the 10th highest unemployment rate in Kansas, and 11.3 percent of the population are living below the poverty line.

Great Bend

5. Great Bend

Great Bend is one of the locations on this list that does not rank in the top 20 most dangerous places to live in the state. However, it has some economic issues that make it an undesirable place to live. Not only does it have the 24th highest unemployment rate, but it also has the 15th worst median home value in Kansas. Great Bend is a poor option for people with children, as the schools are below average and there is a lack of activities for families to enjoy.


4. Wichita

It is no surprise that Wichita is so high on the list of the worst places to live as it is the most dangerous location in Kansas, says Road Snacks. It has the highest crime rates for both violent and property crimes. Sadly, crime is not the only problem in this city, which is home to 389,563 people and is the largest city in Kansas. Wichita has the 12th highest unemployment rate in Kansas. Other issues are overcrowded schools and a median household income that is below the state average.


3. Parsons

Parsons is a town in Labette County that has 9,876 residents. Although Parson is not ranked in the top 20 most dangerous places to live, the city has many other issues that have earned it the third position on the list. Income levels are significantly below the state average, the median house value is the third-lowest in the state, and 22.7 percent of the population is living below the poverty line. On the other hand, there are above average schools, and there are things for people to enjoy in their leisure time.


2. Independence

Independence is the second-worst place to live in Kansas and the second most dangerous place to live in the state. Other issues in Independence, which has a population of 8,847 people, is high unemployment rates and low house values. The combination of these factors means it is an undesirable place to live. On the other hand, the schools in the area receive above-average funding. Therefore, those on a low income that value good education for their children are potentially drawn to the area.


1. Coffeyville

The worst place to live in Kansas is Coffeyville. There are many reasons why this city ranks at the top of the list, and crime rates play a significant part. Coffeyville has the fifth-highest crime rates in Kansas, and it is also the fifth-worst location for violent crimes. Unfortunately, crime is not the only issue, as there are also some economic issues in this area. One of the most notable statistics is the unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, which is the second-highest unemployment rate in Kansas. It is also worth noting that the undesirability of the area is reflected in the median home values, which are the worst in the state at $53,000. Furthermore, the median household income is low, and there is a lack of things to do in the area.

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Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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