10 Small Towns In Kansas Where You’d Never Want To Live


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in KS are the pits.

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Most Americans have never been to Kansas. However, as the people who live there know, Kansas is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Kansas has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Sunflower State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 316 of Kansas’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Kansas where you’d never want to live:

  1. Belpre
  2. Neosho Falls
  3. Ramona
  4. Longton
  5. Kincaid
  6. Manchester
  7. Hepler
  8. Walnut
  9. Severy
  10. Westphalia

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Kansas has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

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How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Kansas, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 316 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

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1. Belpre

Belpre, Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 122
Median Income: $19,286
Median Home Price: $27,500

We begin our tour of small places in Kansas that you’d probably dislike with Belpre, a speck of a place along Route 50, a bit east of Kinsley. If you moved here, just about all of your neighbors would be broke, and many (14%) wouldn’t have a job.

Part of the high jobless rate is because half this community is a school dropout. However, that’s no excuse for being jobless – there are many hard working Kansas farmers who can attest that a formal education is merely a formality.

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2. Neosho Falls

Neosho Falls, Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 160
Median Income: $23,750
Median Home Price: $30,000

Now, we’re not here to knock small Kansas towns without paved roads. We’re sure some of these places have some really humble, honest folks. But there are far better places in the state to make home than in Neosho Falls, where crime is just about as high as you’ll see in the state, and almost a quarter of the population is unemployed.

Plus, for fun, you’d have to drive a long, long ways to Iola, KS. And if you’ve ever been to Iola, you’d know that isn’t exactly a rip roarin’ good time, either.

3. Ramona

Ramona, Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 140
Median Income: $22,500
Median Home Price: $21,100

Here in Ramona, crime is also pretty high, and most folks live in poverty. And the home prices indicate there is absolutely no demand to live here. In fact, you might have enough money in your checking account to run down and snap up a home in Ramona tomorrow morning.

Buyer beware: Besides the stats listed above, you’d have to truck up to a place called Herrington (Pop. 2,449) to stock up your fridge or get a decent meal once in a while.

4. Longton

Longton, Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 464
Median Income: $31,167
Median Home Price: $23,400

If you moved to Longton, there would be some good news and bad news.

The good news: There’s actually a few things to do in town. They have a Drive-In and the reviews are pretty good at Rick & Debbie’s Cafe in town.

The bad news: Crime is high, and 14% of residents don’t have jobs. And not even one of Debbie’s famous sandwiches would be enough to take your mind off of how bad the local economy is here.

5. Kincaid

Kincaid, Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 143
Median Income: $22,813
Median Home Price: $22,900

From the looks of the images captured by Google Street View a couple of years ago, poor little Kincaid could sure use some TLC. If you moved here, you might be dragged down by the poverty levels and high crime yourself.

But if you had $22,000, and wanted to move way out along Route 59 near Missouri, than there are likely a few dozen homeowners in Kincaid who would like to talk to you pronto.

6. Manchester

Manchester, Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 144
Median Income: $17,083
Median Home Price: $12,500

Don’t let the photo above fool you. There are actually real houses along Main Street in Manchester. But based on the absurdly low prices ($12,000), you might not think so.

Just about all 144 people in town live far below the poverty line, and 1 in 5 hasn’t worked in years. The most surprising part is Manchester is halfway between Salina and Manhattan, meaning it’s not too far away from large swaths of people.

7. Hepler

Hepler, Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 152
Median Income: $27,917
Median Home Price: $19,000

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The home prices in Hepler aren’t much higher, nor are the incomes. But at least most folks here (95%) have a job, and that’s sayin’ something about people’s character.

To get there, take Route 54 west from Fort Scott and ask for directions. You can’t miss it.

8. Walnut

Walnut, Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 286
Median Income: $32,917
Median Home Price: $23,400

Walnut is just about the next town over from Hepler. If you thought this place sounded desirable, and you weren’t a farmer, your two choices for work would be at the Walnut Express or the Farmers National Bank of Kansas, right along Main St.

When you look at the average incomes in Walnut, there probably aren’t many job openings at the bank, so you might want to brush up on your cashier skills.

9. Severy

Severy, Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 250
Median Income: $24,375
Median Home Price: $30,800

About 30 minutes east of Wichita along Route 400 is a blip of a town called Severy. Judging on how the local economy has been doing lately, and the fact that many residents are dropouts and/or out of work, we’re guessing most Kansans would take a pass on living here, thank you very much.

There aren’t really any pictures of this place online, and Google Street View didn’t even take a pass down their way. Maybe there’s a reason for that.

10. Westphalia

Westphalia, Kansas

Source: Google Maps

Population: 124
Median Income: $21,471
Median Home Price: $31,300

We finish up our tour of small Kansas towns you probably wouldn’t want to move to with Westphalia, which is somewhere at the end of that road in the picture above. Again, no Google view. What a diss!

The only bright side to living in Westphalia is that you’d certainly qualify for government assistance, and there’s a place in town called Kettle & Keg, which has one actual (5 star) review online.

“It’s a great getaway place for being in a small township.”

There you have it folks.

There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Kansas

If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Sunflower State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Kansas, according to science.

Best: Mission Woods
2nd Best: Assaria
3rd Best: Westwood Hills
For more Kansas reading, check out:

Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In Kansas

City Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Belpre 1 122 $19,286 $27,500
Neosho Falls 2 160 $23,750 $30,000
Ramona 3 140 $22,500 $21,100
Longton 4 464 $31,167 $23,400
Kincaid 5 143 $22,813 $22,900
Manchester 6 144 $17,083 $12,500
Hepler 7 152 $27,917 $19,000
Walnut 8 286 $32,917 $23,400
Severy 9 250 $24,375 $30,800
Westphalia 10 124 $21,471 $31,300
Arcadia 11 358 $19,773 $26,400
Piqua 12 170 $11,409 $18,400
Formoso 13 146 $33,036 $20,400
Garfield 14 238 $30,417 $27,800
Toronto 15 283 $19,917 $24,300
Woodston 16 177 $33,750 $22,500
La Harpe 17 656 $26,780 $36,300
Hamilton 18 305 $20,375 $23,400
Quenemo 19 514 $23,750 $31,600
Kickapoo Tribal Center 20 185 $26,500 $32,800
Kickapoo Site 1 21 160 $31,875 $51,700
Altoona 22 509 $34,375 $30,800
Preston 23 185 $43,750 $23,500
Buffalo 24 296 $39,167 $27,000
Wilroads Gardens 25 269 $29,821 $70,200
West Mineral 26 250 $35,962 $27,900
Florence 27 475 $27,740 $34,600
Windom 28 138 $27,917 $38,100
Alton 29 99 $35,938 $21,200
Hazelton 30 111 $32,604 $25,000
Mulberry 31 627 $31,250 $32,300
Mound Valley 32 405 $33,529 $46,400
Atlanta 33 260 $37,115 $31,400
Sylvia 34 203 $34,063 $32,100
Burr Oak 35 127 $25,000 $26,400
Grenola 36 180 $30,833 $24,200
Louisville 37 272 $28,056 $53,300
Turon 38 386 $23,929 $28,200
Chase 39 446 $31,458 $34,400
Munden 40 158 $31,875 $24,900
White Cloud 41 189 $23,125 $46,400
Kirwin 42 159 $38,182 $28,100
Protection 43 474 $26,902 $34,800
Mullinville 44 293 $34,625 $53,400
Galesburg 45 105 $31,250 $56,000
Soldier 46 123 $32,083 $34,000
Morrowville 47 143 $36,667 $25,800
Coats 48 125 $31,250 $22,500
Bronson 49 283 $25,625 $32,500
Elk City 50 524 $28,750 $38,400
Howard 51 669 $24,931 $41,500
McCracken 52 273 $36,250 $36,300
Barnes 53 143 $32,000 $27,100
Greenleaf 54 338 $35,833 $40,500
McCune 55 429 $31,406 $43,700
Pawnee Rock 56 230 $32,250 $34,800
Fall River 57 186 $37,250 $30,800
Durham 58 119 $44,583 $44,400
Prescott 59 418 $27,000 $44,400
Burns 60 224 $36,875 $46,600
Strong City 61 623 $25,769 $51,100
Republic 62 138 $39,107 $20,400
Miltonvale 63 585 $26,875 $34,700
Geneseo 64 321 $39,583 $26,600
Dearing 65 484 $37,206 $46,200
Scranton 66 803 $40,769 $54,200
Savonburg 67 110 $36,563 $35,400
Latham 68 133 $43,611 $24,200
Alden 69 123 $43,750 $49,400
Cedar Vale 70 468 $27,188 $31,700
Esbon 71 134 $33,571 $25,000
Thayer 72 436 $38,438 $46,300
Natoma 73 297 $36,250 $31,000
Beverly 74 208 $33,333 $56,700
Horace 75 103 $40,750 $34,500
Wilsey 76 151 $47,500 $37,500
Easton 77 375 $39,453 $46,500
Jamestown 78 372 $37,679 $40,000
Otis 79 266 $36,806 $32,300
Whiting 80 200 $36,023 $67,200
Bird City 81 449 $30,078 $62,900
Norcatur 82 186 $33,750 $41,900
Englewood 83 57 $35,833 $34,200
Jennings 84 177 $32,344 $23,600
Summerfield 85 146 $29,063 $51,700
Mapleton 86 221 $45,000 $33,200
Moline 87 327 $20,139 $36,800
Coldwater 88 711 $26,000 $42,400
Powhattan 89 109 $25,000 $43,100
Niotaze 90 125 $42,500 $38,600
Ford 91 219 $46,250 $45,800
Lenora 92 263 $36,250 $56,300
Bazine 93 423 $41,071 $27,200
Neosho Rapids 94 273 $45,000 $45,700
Lebanon 95 334 $35,114 $23,000
Dorrance 96 149 $38,750 $51,300
Blue Mound 97 260 $47,917 $52,900
Franklin 98 452 $31,597 $66,200
Linwood 99 213 $40,000 $81,000
Attica 100 642 $31,164 $36,100
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14 thoughts on “10 Small Towns In Kansas Where You’d Never Want To Live

  1. This person (Roadsnacks) like most people, think everything they see on the internet is true. Well Mr. Roadsnacks next time you should take a road trip in your car NOT on your computer and see what these small towns are about. Severy is located 60 miles east of Wichita on 400 not 30 miles. One of the most beautiful drives you will every take. You would know that if you drove it in your car as I did for the last 20 years going back and forth to work at Beech Aircraft Co. Severy has one of the largest Food Pantrys in the region serving both Elk & Greenwood County at the Nazarene Church. There is a free community dinner every Thursday night at the Methodist Church. It is a community of hard working farmers that puts food on your table. Here in Severy we are one big family that takes care of one another. We use what we have and make it work. Oh we may not have A QT on every corner but we have Tripco Station! It has the best cup of coffee, sub sandwiches & pizza a person could want. In Sept. we have about 2000 people show up here in Severy for our Severy Labor Day Celebration with a Family Movie Night, Fising Derby, Mud Volleyball, Singspiration, Ice Cream Social, Softball Games, Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast, Parade, Car Show, Talent Show, Lawn & Tractor Pull, Kids Activities, Entertainment, Arts and Crafts, and Food Vendors. In Oct we have one of the best Haunted Hay Rack Rides around with about 300 people attending. In Dec we have a soup and chile feed with the kids getting the night before Christmas Story read to them by Mrs Clause. Kids have there pictures taken with Santa while Mrs Clause Hands them a sack of candy followed by a drawing for gifts… For Easter the Easter Bunny hides Easter Eggs for the kids in the park. Ya thats what it is like to live in Severy!!!!!!!!!!

    1. That’s great that you have the largest food pantries??? In otherwards not many people work or support themselves?? Not a great attribute to a towns survival

      1. Like I said we have the Largest Food Pantry in the region that is worked, supported, and financed by the people of this small town and other small town around us. Jesus said feed my sheep. Jesus said the poor will always be with you. I don’t care if you live in a small town or the big city the poor will always be with you. Feed them!!

    2. Sandy Rroberts, great response. The best things about small towns are not appreciated by computer trolls, because it includes human interaction, like you said (one big family), neighbors helping neighbors. I hope people that don’t appreciate small towns just move on down the road and don’t mess with our slow paced life style. By the way the small town I live in does have some unemployment, but by far more professional people that still work or have retired. So we are not all uneducated, lazy, slobs.

  2. I grew up in Severy, KS graduated High School there and love that small town. For the people in Severy it should be rated one of the best small towns. They have 2 quilt shops located there and are the best in the 4 state area.

  3. Like I said we have one of the largest Food Pantries in the region. Which is supported worked and financed by people of this small town and other small towns in this area. Jesus said feed my sheep. Jesus said the poor will always be with you. I don’t care if you live in a small town or the big city the poor will always be with you feed them!

  4. How do you decide if a place is lousy or not? Well, I’m guessing you make decisions like this by “googling” them. You might use a thesaurus as you write your opinion trying to use Google’s own “knowledge” when they obviously have no knowledge. In fact, Severy, Kansas, IS shown in Google Maps, with real streets with real street signs, but while taking pictures there Google may not have known where they were because their main goal was to get their pictures and get outta town to collect a paycheck. Did they stop for cup of coffee at Tripco? Did they speak to anyone IN Severy? Uh-huh. That’s the new way of “telling it like it is”. Oh well, you certainly do miss a lot, you are in such a hurry. Slow Down and Look Around. Why do people always want to pick on the State of Kansas, it is such a beautiful state, with skies that position themselves above Kansas like no other place. Pink and Blue skies.
    Tell us now, How many cities can you count in the USA where you truly feel safe walking down a street, alone, at night? How many gangs are located in Severy?

  5. If the authors of this article would have “googled” legendsofamerica.com they would have found several pictures of downtown Severy.

  6. All places in Kansas that are outside the Big City are horrible. Stay away and leave us to suffer in peace. There are no loving communities, giant whitetails, fish-filled ponds and streams, stunning sunsets, wooded trails, hometown diners, safe and clean streets. None. Stay far away.

  7. Being from Neosho Falls, I’d be hard pressed to find fault in your numbers. Wait. No. I meant it’s fairly EASY to twist stats around to formulate an idea or biased opinion on unsubstantiated claims.

    Primary issues:
    -Small town with many elderly.
    -Property value being low is more of an issue in location. We are not a suburb. However, if you want to purchase a piece of ground in this vicinity, you better start out at $3,000/acre and continue up.
    -This is a low income area as you mentioned prior in your not so subtle comment about the drive towards Iola. Out of this small community, I know 5 people who would be designated millionaires solely on their yearly income, over a dozen making $100k+ (the group I’m in), and many more making $25k+ (which is why it hovers around the $23k mark). If you knew how a dba business runs, you’d understand the point of lowering your net income. We are not 9-to-5ers here.
    -Yet, we have our fair share of unemployed and, again, elderly/retired, which brings it down substantially. You’ll find that in most communities. You’ll also find that our “criminal record” substantiated primarily from a local with a severe mental health disorder (which we accept as a community and help to the best of our ability; new roof, repaired water pipes, food handouts, etc) who happens to break things. Do you know how to turn things into insurance? You report it.

    We are not like other towns that want to glorify ourselves. We don’t want you to move here. We find most people come in and trash our town anyway. We have great hunting, fishing, friends, and church. Our work is here along with our happiness. We’d rather be a known as a “ghost town” not to visit.

    Also, as someone with a science related degree, your use of the scientific method is horrible. Equating finances, property value, and paved roads (which runs 1/3rd the length of the town, thank you!) as town quality is horrendous. Unemployment, crime, and such is better, but again, use offsetting factors such as age of the community, crime detail (malicious or did someone just drink too much?), and community involvement. Just 2 cents, however.

  8. This is hillarious! Not much of Western Kansas on here. Maybe none past Great Bend? Well, I live in a shitty tiny town in the SW corner of KS. Let me tell you, this place is a stones throw from hell. Our property values are high but only because this town is filled with greedy dicks. We have more non-whites here. So we couldn’t be on the white trash list either. That’s what you get for not running away straight outta high school!

    Life is funny people! It’s not a serious poll, they’re obviously not making fun to hurt your feelings. Getting all bent outta shape over a comical column is useless! I honestly wanted our town to be on one of the list!

    Here’s a list for ya! Top 10 towns in Kansas with the most pompous dicks, without the slightest right to feel superior! Yep, that’ll do donkey, that’ll do!

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