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Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Overland Park.
So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?
Today, we'll use science and data to determine which Overland Park 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Overland Park area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Overland Park proper, although Fairway certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Overland Park are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..
We examined the 42 biggest suburbs of Overland Park to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Kansas lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Overland Park in terms of quality of life.
What's the worst suburb of Overland Park? Sugar Creek ranks as the worst suburb of Overland Park for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Overland Park that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Overland Park too.
Editor's Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it's because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.
For more Kansas reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Overland Park Suburbs To Live For 2022
1. Sugar Creek
We'll get the ball rolling with Sugar Creek, the absolute worst place to live around Overland Park according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Sugar Creek beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 2nd worst in the Overland Park area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks worst when it comes to home values.
But hey, at least it's cheap to live there. But there's a reason for that... it's Sugar Creek.
You won't feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren't a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $44,592 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $77,200 (lowest)
More on Sugar Creek:
Welcome to Kansas City. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 11.0 miles to Overland Park. Income levels here are the 3rd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $46,424 a year, which doesn't go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.
But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Overland Park suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Harrisonville on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that's an understatement.
In terms of numbers, it's in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school drop out rate is poor compared to other Overland Park suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $49,920 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $140,800 (8th lowest)
More on Harrisonville:
If you live in Grandview, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 4th lowest Overland Park suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 9th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Overland Park. Remember, we looked at 42 cities for this study.
Grandview is about 9.0 miles to downtown.
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $47,670 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $117,700 (4th lowest)
More on Grandview:
Independence has the distinction of being a Overland Park suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Independence has the 5th lowest home values in the metro Overland Park area, where the median price is $121,200. To put that into perspective, in Fairway, the median income is $250,001, which is the best in the area.
Independence has an unemployment rate of 5.56% which ranks 11th worst.
Kansas City has 491,158 residents that probably know it's a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you've ever been there, you don't need to look at the data.)
Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 15.271546170513348%.
Ah, Riverside. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Overland Park.
It's the place with the 15th most out of work residents in the Overland Park metro area (4.81%).
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Income: $36,012 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $233,900 (30th lowest)
More on Riverside:
8. Pleasant Hill
Pleasant Hill is a city about 23.2 miles from Overland Park, but Overland Park probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.
You'd be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. Pleasant Hill has the 18th most uninsured people, 17th worst incomes, and has the 8th highest unemployment rate (5.97%) in the entire Overland Park metro area.
Homes only cost $196,200 for a reason. That's cheap for Overland Park standards.
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $72,630 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $196,200 (25th lowest)
More on Pleasant Hill:
If you absolutely have to live near Overland Park, then Bonner Springs might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Overland Park suburb.
About 3.9% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst Overland Park suburbs to call home is Raytown.
Located 14.2 miles outside the city, Raytowns is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 17th highest unemployment rate (4.71%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $55,940 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $113,100 (3rd lowest)
More on Raytown:
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Overland Park for 2022
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2016-2020, this is the criteria we used:
- High unemployment rate
- Low median household incomes
- Low population density (no things to do)
- Low home values
- A lot of high school drop outs
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Overland Park.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 42 suburbs to evaluate around Overland Park.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 42 in each category, where 1 was the "worst".
Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.
And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the "Worst Suburb near Overland Park." We're lookin' at you, Sugar Creek. You can download the data here.
Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.
Summary: The areas around Overland Park where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022
Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Overland Park with Sugar Creek casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Overland Park aren't all bad. Fairway takes the cake as the best place to live around Overland Park.
- Mission Hills
For more Kansas reading, check out:
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Detailed List Of The Worst Overland Park Suburbs