Most Americans have never been to small town Kansas. However, as the Kansan who live there know, small town Kansas is an awesome place to call home.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Kansas has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using Saturday Night Science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Sunflower State. Don’t freak out, we will use data to show which places have high crime, poverty, and unemployment.
After analyzing more than 142 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:
These are the worst small towns in Kansas for 2023:
- Osage City
- Yates Center
So what is the worst small town to call home in Kansas for 2023? According to the most recent census data, Chetopa is the worst small town to live in Kansas.
While many of these small towns have seen better days, they have wonderful communities and people. This report in no way means to knock the folks that call towns like Chetopa home. Everyone
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Kansas For 2023
Median Home Value: $54,200 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.5% (5th worst)
Median Home Value: $71,000 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (47th worst)
Median Home Value: $64,200 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (17th worst)
Median Home Value: $70,800 (23rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.9% (worst)
Median Home Value: $52,400 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (4worst)
6. Osage City
Median Home Value: $110,400 (84th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (12th worst)
Median Home Value: $47,200 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (23rd worst)
8. Yates Center
Median Home Value: $39,300 (worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (11th worst)
Median Home Value: $55,000 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (62nd worst)
Median Home Value: $95,500 (63rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (4th worst)
Methodology: How do you decide if a small place in Kansas is lousy or not?
To rank the worst small towns to live in Kansas, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. Assuming that people like low crime, solid education, things to do, and a stable economy isn’t a stretch.
We then analyzed the criteria using Saturday Night Science, the thinking you’d use at a bar. It seems like even your crazy Uncle would agree that a town with high crime is worse than a town with low crime; all else the same.
- 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 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which there were many – 142 to be exact.
We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets them from the cities. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
We base all our research on facts, which is meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2023, which is our tenth time ranking the worst small places to live in Kansas.
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:
- Westwood (Pop. 1,834)
- Mission Hills (Pop. 3,579)
- Fairway (Pop. 4,147)
For more Kansas reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Kansas