These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Kansas


We used science and data to determine which places in Kansas are the unhappiest of all.

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Do you live in one of the most miserable places in Kansas?

According to a Harris Poll taken in October of 2015, only a third of Americans say they are truly happy. That’s too bad, considering that Americans – especially folks in Kansas – don’t really have it too bad, in the grand scheme of things.

But, we were curious – which Kansas cities might be the most miserable? We’re about to find out, using science and data.

After analyzing the largest cities, we sadly present the most miserable cities in the Sunflower State:

  1. Kansas City
  2. Osawatomie
  3. Emporia
  4. Independence
  5. Lawrence
  6. Garnett
  7. Atchison
  8. Kingman
  9. Coffeyville
  10. Arkansas City

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. If you have a smile on your face, you probably don’t live in one of these cities.

Oh, and by the way, Mission Hills is the happiest place in KS.

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How do you decide if a city in Kansas is miserable or not?

In order to rank the unhappiest places in Kansas, we had to determine what criteria makes people happy. It isn’t a stretch to assume that happy people earn great salaries, are relatively stress free, and have a stable home life.

So we went to the Census’s American Community Survey 2010-2014 report for the criteria, flipped the list, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Percentage of residents with a college degree
  • Average commute times
  • Unemployment rates
  • Cost of living
  • % of married couples
  • % of home owners
  • Poverty rate

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 105 places in Kansas with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 105 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the most miserable (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Miserable Index for each place with the lowest overall Miserable Index “earning” the title “Most Miserable City In Kansas”.

If you’d like to see the complete list of states, most miserable to happiest, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the unabridged chart.

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1. Kansas City

Miserable Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 147,598
People Who Own Their Home: 50.6%
Married Adults: 40.7%

2. Osawatomie

Miserable Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 4,403
People Who Own Their Home: 59.9%
Married Adults: 36.3%

3. Emporia

Miserable Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,787
People Who Own Their Home: 44.5%
Married Adults: 40.4%

4. Independence

Miserable Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 9,282
People Who Own Their Home: 51.3%
Married Adults: 44.7%

5. Lawrence

Miserable Kansas

Source: Lawrence City Hall with the Shunganunga Boulder. Wikipedia.

Population: 90,194
People Who Own Their Home: 42.2%
Married Adults: 35.0%

6. Garnett

Miserable Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 3,345
People Who Own Their Home: 50.6%
Married Adults: 48.0%

7. Atchison

Miserable Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,920
People Who Own Their Home: 59.4%
Married Adults: 37.4%

8. Kingman

Miserable Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 3,151
People Who Own Their Home: 52.7%
Married Adults: 47.0%

9. Coffeyville

Miserable Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 10,034
People Who Own Their Home: 51.1%
Married Adults: 42.9%

10. Arkansas City

Miserable Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,316
People Who Own Their Home: 50.2%
Married Adults: 45.4%

There You Have It

Like we said earlier, trying to determine the most miserable cities in Kansas is usually a subjective matter. But if you’re analyzing cities where people are not stable, where you’re stuck in traffic, and no one spent the time to go to college, then this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the happiest cities in KS, according to science:

Most Happy: Mission Hills
2nd Most Happy: McPherson
3rd Most Happy: Leawood
For more Kansas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Miserable Places In Kansas

City Rank Population People Who Own Their Home Married Adults
Kansas City 1 147,598 50.6% 40.7%
Osawatomie 2 4,403 59.9% 36.3%
Emporia 3 24,787 44.5% 40.4%
Independence 4 9,282 51.3% 44.7%
Lawrence 5 90,194 42.2% 35.0%
Garnett 6 3,345 50.6% 48.0%
Atchison 7 10,920 59.4% 37.4%
Kingman 8 3,151 52.7% 47.0%
Coffeyville 9 10,034 51.1% 42.9%
Arkansas City 10 12,316 50.2% 45.4%
Pittsburg 11 20,336 39.6% 35.5%
Topeka 12 127,660 50.9% 43.6%
Great Bend 13 15,942 55.2% 49.0%
Iola 14 5,650 51.0% 41.2%
Concordia 15 5,327 56.3% 39.8%
Wichita 16 385,518 54.2% 47.7%
Parsons 17 10,307 50.8% 45.1%
Manhattan 18 55,112 35.3% 33.8%
Baldwin City 19 4,552 60.5% 42.5%
Goodland 20 4,879 44.0% 50.2%
Ottawa 21 12,548 53.8% 49.2%
Leavenworth 22 35,738 44.2% 47.5%
De Soto 23 5,888 51.6% 51.6%
Galena 24 3,022 59.5% 53.9%
Winfield 25 12,324 55.2% 42.4%
Lyons 26 3,746 57.9% 57.7%
Liberal 27 20,846 58.9% 49.4%
Eudora 28 6,152 56.9% 55.3%
El Dorado 29 12,931 51.9% 46.6%
Dodge City 30 27,950 56.8% 51.4%
Hays 31 20,886 50.1% 40.7%
Junction City 32 24,691 40.8% 56.0%
Chanute 33 9,194 53.6% 47.0%
Augusta 34 9,239 61.2% 52.4%
Eureka 35 2,449 58.2% 48.5%
Columbus 36 3,244 52.4% 56.5%
Merriam 37 11,191 51.2% 45.9%
Hutchinson 38 41,946 55.2% 49.2%
Fredonia 39 2,400 55.8% 47.0%
Girard 40 2,779 52.2% 53.7%
Frontenac 41 3,456 60.4% 55.7%
Edwardsville 42 4,367 66.2% 48.6%
Holton 43 3,298 51.9% 50.1%
Wellington 44 8,028 59.3% 52.3%
Salina 45 47,894 59.4% 47.1%
Fort Scott 46 7,957 47.8% 45.3%
Park City 47 7,194 65.1% 52.6%
Sterling 48 2,333 56.3% 49.6%
Baxter Springs 49 4,161 57.6% 53.3%
Fort Riley 50 7,444 0.7% 49.1%
Hiawatha 51 3,144 52.9% 50.1%
Mission 52 9,451 46.3% 41.6%
Bonner Springs 53 7,420 61.7% 53.6%
Garden City 54 26,924 58.8% 51.8%
Oswego 55 2,018 66.3% 53.0%
Newton 56 19,144 59.6% 52.8%
Burlington 57 2,648 56.7% 52.3%
Minneapolis 58 2,160 64.2% 60.1%
Tonganoxie 59 4,802 53.1% 58.9%
Ulysses 60 6,010 68.2% 58.4%
Haysville 61 11,235 67.2% 50.3%
Paola 62 5,589 61.1% 57.2%
Anthony 63 2,340 65.9% 53.1%
Wamego 64 4,401 64.6% 54.5%
Lansing 65 11,535 72.2% 47.8%
Lenexa 66 49,573 58.8% 55.5%
Hugoton 67 3,903 70.5% 65.9%
Phillipsburg 68 2,556 63.8% 51.2%
Larned 69 4,044 54.6% 44.8%
Russell 70 4,513 62.5% 55.5%
Overland Park 71 178,945 60.9% 55.5%
Louisburg 72 4,313 63.9% 61.0%
Pratt 73 6,889 56.6% 51.7%
Spring Hill 74 5,618 72.0% 62.8%
Elkhart 75 2,298 56.5% 48.8%
Gardner 76 20,128 65.6% 61.1%
Maize 77 3,984 73.0% 56.8%
Roeland Park 78 6,799 69.3% 42.6%
Ellsworth 79 3,097 65.7% 42.0%
Olathe 80 129,913 68.6% 59.1%
Hillsboro 81 2,940 59.7% 45.3%
Abilene 82 6,729 63.8% 54.7%
Norton 83 2,878 66.5% 49.5%
Lindsborg 84 3,473 59.3% 48.9%
Marysville 85 3,301 56.0% 54.1%
Shawnee 86 63,597 69.2% 57.7%
Scott City 87 3,631 72.4% 71.1%
Valley Center 88 6,449 73.5% 55.0%
Fairway 89 3,946 82.3% 46.8%
Clay Center 90 4,280 62.2% 53.3%
Colby 91 5,411 62.6% 51.3%
Goddard 92 4,583 73.4% 63.5%
Clearwater 93 2,525 68.2% 59.2%
Beloit 94 3,927 57.7% 55.9%
Hesston 95 3,621 68.7% 62.9%
Derby 96 23,419 66.3% 58.2%
Andover 97 12,113 75.0% 58.5%
Mulvane 98 6,000 77.2% 60.4%
Prairie Village 99 21,730 75.8% 56.9%
Basehor 100 4,831 76.6% 62.7%
Bel Aire 101 6,923 82.6% 62.4%
Rose Hill 102 4,009 78.1% 62.8%
Leawood 103 32,842 90.4% 69.7%
McPherson 104 13,205 69.5% 59.2%
Mission Hills 105 3,555 95.5% 72.0%

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