What it costs to live in Kansas City

We’ve broken down the cost of living in Kansas City, comparing it to other states and the US national average.

KC_downtown skyline plus Liberty Memorial

Can you put a price on views like this?

Photo by @kansasdroneguy

With KC constantly growing and undertaking multiple high-profile developments, we figured it was time to talk about the cost of planting some roots in The Heart of America.

The median household income in Jackson County is $56,960 (Johnson County, KS is $91,650) according to the US Census Bureau. State-wise, Missouri is No. 38 in the country for median income at ~$57,290 per household, and Kansas is No. 30 at ~$61,091.

KC_cost of living screenshot 1

The overall cost of living in KC is lower than the national average.

Screenshot via bestplaces.net

The overall cost of living in Kansas City, MO is lower than the national average, but higher than the rest of the state. On the Kansas side, Overland Park is actually above the national average.

In KCMO, the cost of healthcare is lower compared to other parts of the state, but it’s slightly higher than the rest of the US. However, the cost of groceries, housing, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses in the city have lower average costs than average in the US.

Breaking down the numbers

Hypothetically speaking, if you live in a household that brings in $50,000 annuallyaccording to experts — you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly gross income on rent and utilities. Don’t worry, we did the math for you — your max monthly budget would be $1,250. The average monthly rent for an apartment in KC is $1,202 — nearing the top of your budget.

According to Attom Data Solutions, it’s actually more affordable to buy a home in Jackson and Wyandotte counties than to rent. However, it’s more affordable to rent in Clay, Platte, and Johnson (KS) counties.

Take a look at the chart below to see how KCMO’s cost of living compares to that of St. Louis.

KC_cost of living table 2

Transportation is the only cheaper cost in Kansas City compared to St. Louis.

Screenshot via bestplaces.net

Interested in seeing KC’s cost of living compared to cities in other states? We played around on nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator, where you can put in any city along with your current pre-tax household income to find out what other cities you could actually afford to live in.

We took a look at the cost of living in Kansas City compared to Denver. Here’s what we found:

  • The cost of living is 18% higher in Denver.
  • To maintain our standard of living (based on $50,000), we would need to bring in $58,750 to our Denver household.
  • The median cost for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,538, which is $354 more than KC.

KCMO has entities such as the Affordable Housing Trust Fund + other government-funded programs to help develop more affordable units.

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