Missouri, known for its diverse landscapes and rich history, is a state where the decision of where to reside can significantly impact your lifestyle. As we venture into 2024, many are exploring the best cities in the Show-Me State to call home. Selecting the ideal city is a highly personal choice, influenced by various factors such as cost of living, safety, education, and cultural offerings.
Here, we spotlight five cities in Missouri that are strong contenders for those seeking a new place to live this year.
1. Clayton (St. Louis County)
Clayton stands out with its highly-rated schools in the Clayton School District, ensuring top-notch education. This affluent community is known for its low crime rates, offering a safe environment for residents. The vibrant downtown area is a hub for upscale shopping and dining, and its proximity to St. Louis means you’re never far from the city’s amenities.
However, Clayton’s high cost of living, especially housing with a median price of $751,000, and its smaller, suburban feel might not be for everyone.
2. Webster Groves (St. Louis County)
Webster Groves is characterized by its family-friendly atmosphere and excellent schools within the Webster Groves School District. It boasts diverse, walkable neighborhoods and a charming historic district known as “Old Webster.” Close to Forest Park, it offers a blend of urban and suburban living. It also has very low crime rate.
The downside? Housing costs are above average, with the median home price at $384,000, and nightlife options are limited compared to larger cities.
Springfield is a great choice for those seeking a lower cost of living, with a median home price of $391,000. The city has a thriving arts and culture scene and provides easy access to the Ozarks for outdoor enthusiasts. Springfield is also known for being family-friendly with good public schools.
However, it does have higher crime rates than some other Missouri cities and limited public transportation options.
Columbia offers the unique vibrancy of a college town, being home to the University of Missouri. Its downtown area is lively with diverse dining and entertainment options, and the city has a strong job market. With an affordable median home price of $279,000, Columbia is an attractive option for many.
The downsides include potential congestion and noise near the university, and higher crime rates compared to some suburbs.
5. Kansas City
Kansas City is for those who desire major city amenities. It boasts a vibrant culture and entertainment scene, diverse neighborhoods, a strong job market, and a growing tech scene. The median home price in Kansas City is just above $250,000, which makes it affordable compared to some other cities.
However, the cost of living here is higher than in other cities on this list. Also, some areas of Kansas City have higher crime rates.
How to choose the best city in Missouri
Each of these cities in Missouri has its unique charm and drawbacks. While Clayton offers upscale suburban living, Kansas City brings the pulse of a major city. Webster Groves and Columbia blend family-friendly environments with cultural richness, whereas Springfield appeals to those seeking affordability and a connection to nature.
Ultimately, the best city depends on individual preferences and priorities. While no city is perfect, each of these top five offers a distinct lifestyle and community, making Missouri a state with a place for everyone.