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Quality of Life
With great schools, a low cost of living and vibrant communities, Kansans enjoy an amazing quality of life. We have cities that offer an array of excellent cultural options from food and music to sports and art. Of course, we are also famous for our friendly small towns, scenic natural beauty and wide-open spaces.

It's no surprise then that no matter what our interests are, Kansans know how to have fun. Yes, we are known for hard work and being passionate about our businesses, but we know how to balance work and play, progress and history, urban and rural to create a quality of life you can't find anywhere else. As every Kansas resident can tell you, that's a unique combination that makes our state stand out.

Kansas at a Glance

With a population of just over 2.9 million, Kansas packs a heavy economic punch. A proactive legislative and regulatory environment and major advantages in costs, taxes, skilled workforce and major transportation assets have combined to make the Sunfllower State a haven for investment and innovation. The state has built a diverse industry base that includes:
  • bioscience especially in the animal health area
  • logistics/distribution due to our central U.S. location and excellent transportation infrastructure
  • energy technology from the vast wind energy resources in our state
  • advanced manufacturing due to numerous aerospace and automotive products produced here
  • value-added food processing as Kansas has a long history in agriculture for producing many food products for consumers worldwide

The cost of living in Kansas is nearly 8.74 percent below the national average, ranking our state 6th lowest for cost of living in the U.S. From food and gasoline to property taxes and car insurance, most of what you need costs less here. Housing costs are especially low, with the median value of owner-occupied homes nearly 216.7 percent below the national average.

The bottom line is this - your dollar goes further here.

2014 Cost of Living


Kansans are famous for their modesty, but it’s hard not to brag about the state’s world-class communities.

Kansas is a blend of cosmopolitan and rural, with everything from thriving metro areas, downtowns and suburbs, to serene farm communities and quaint college towns. There are 2.9 million people in Kansas, including Wichita, the state’s largest city and the aerospace manufacturing capital of the world. Other large cities in our state include Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, and Kansas City, Kansas along with Topeka, the Capitol of the state. And don’t forget the state’s historic farm towns - places like Dodge City, Garden City, Salina, Hays and Great Bend - that have made Kansas the Heartland of America and one of the most prolific agricultural regions on earth.

Cost of Living Index
Individual Kansas Communities
Dodge City, KS                               95.0
Hutchinson, KS     90.8
Kansas City MO-KS 100.0
Manhattan, KS  93.8
Salina, KS  88.4
Topeka, KS  92.9
Wichita, KS 91.3
U.S. Average     100.0 
 Source: C2ER, Cost of Living Index, 2014 Annual Average


Kansas’ education system is one of the best in the nation and a powerful factor in the state’s economic growth. Ninety (90) percent of Kansas adults have a high school diploma, ranking Kansas No.17 in that category. Kansas is also among the top states for percent of adults with a college degree (17th). Over 30% of adults, 25 and over, in Kansas have a college degree. In some areas, Such as Johnson County in the Kansas City area, over 50% of the adults have a college degree. Educating our youth is highly valued in this state to provide a quality and skilled workforce to the businesses in Kansas.

State  Percent of Adults with High School Diploma 
(National Ranking) 
Percent of Adults
with Bachelor's Degree or Higher
(National Ranking) 
State and Local Education Spending
(National Ranking)
 Kansas                 90.1 (16)                      
31.1 (17)
32.7 (15)
 California  81.7 (51)
31.0 (18)
27.7 (43)
 New York 85.6 (38)
34.1 (10)
27.2 (45)
 Illinois 87.8 (31)
32.1 (14)
31.7 (20)
 Missouri 88.7 (27)
27.0 (33)
30.3 (26)
 Oklahoma 86.7 (34)
23.8 (43)
32.2 (19)
 U.S. Average 86.6 29.6 30.3
 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.


Few places can offer the outdoor life that Kansas does. We're famous for our sweeping prairies and the limestone bluffs of the Flint Hills, but the Sunflower State boasts a unique blend of distinct topographical features. From the wooded glacial hills in the northeast to the canyons and mesas of the southwest part of the state, residents and visitors can channel their inner explorer on any number off breathtaking drives, bike rides or hikes.

Sports enthusiasts will find few better options than Kansas. We're a destination state for hunters, and also feature rivers and lakes that offer great fishing and boating. Our state is home to two golf courses - Prairie Dunes and Flint Hills National - ranked in Golf Digest's top 100, and a number of other enjoyable courses in communities across our state. If you prefer spectator sports, we've got that covered too. Kansas is home to elite college athletics, with teams that are routinely featured in the biggest games and on the national stage. In addition, the Kansas Speedway hosts multiple NASCAR races each year.

Soccer occupies a special role in Kansas City, Kansas, the Soccer Capital of America. Sporting Kansas City, the 2013 Major League Soccer champion, plays before sellout crowds in one of the best soccer stadiums in the country. Nearby, a state-of-the-art training center is being constructed and will host the U.S. National Teams at all levels. That training facility and Johnson County's outstanding youth soccer facilities will help make Kansas a hub for youth soccer development.

Sports and outdoors are an integral part of Kansas' quality of life, but the state also boasts a wide variety of options in arts and entertainment. Art museums and smaller galleries dot the state in a celebration of local art and culture. There is always a concert to attend, including the spectacular Symphony in the Flint Hills and other classical options, a number of country music festivals and Kansas City's famous jazz performances. The performing arts are important in communities across Kansas, ranging from national touring companies to outstanding community theatre.

Our state's unique background provides historical attractions to interest families and history buffs alike. From the Brown vs. Board historic site to the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Kansas has locations commemorating some of the most important events and figures in U.S. history. The Kansas Cosmosphere features many famous artifacts from the Space Race, including the Apollo 13 command module. Due to a rich military background, Kansas is home to forts and museums celebrating the history of America's armed forces. Of course, the state is also known for its role in the Wild West, and places such as Dodge City offer reenactments and museums dedicated to this distinctive part of American history.

Finally, as the breadbasket of America, Kansas boasts outstanding food options. We're home to fine dining as well as some of the most famous BBQ restaurants in America. And that's just in our biggest cities. Those who venture off the beaten path will discover a plethora of small town restaurants serving delicious local cuisine. If you love cooking your own meals, farmers markets offer the freshest locally grown ingredients to residents all across the state.

Kansas know how to relax and have fun, and we hope you'll join us. To discover more of the amazing things to do in the Sunflower State, visit


The average commute time in Kansas is less than 18 minutes - the fourth-shortest commute in the country. Moreover, Kansas has consistently been ranked as having some of the best roads in the country, meaning you can count on a safe, worry-free drive whenever you get in your car. In 2013, Kansas' state highway system is ranked the nation's second best in overall highway performance and efficiency in a report released by the Reason Foundation.

Got weather? Kansas is ranked 10th for percentage of sunny days and is in the top one-third of states for clean air. The average daily temperature is 56.4 degrees Fahrenheit. And while there’s no official index of “crystal-clear days that fade into tranquil starry nights,” we think we’d rank pretty high on that one, too.

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Kansas Department of Commerce, 1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100, Topeka, KS 66612-1354
(785) 296-3481      TTY - 711      Fax (785) 296-5055