Two cities in Kansas City region land on 2021 list of 100 best places to live

Kansas City News

Downtown Overland Park, Kansas.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Overland Park, Kansas, has once again been named one of the best places to live in the United States.

That’s according to Livability.com’s annual ranking that analyzed over 1,000 small to mid-sized cities on factors like safety, affordability, recreation and accessibility.

Last year, the giant Johnson County suburb came in at No. 7 on Livability’s list, but this year it’s climbed even higher — reaching the No. 3 spot. Only Madison, Wisconsin, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, were ranked higher.

Overland Park is praised for its great schools, affordable homes and entertainment and recreation options like the Rio Theater and the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.

Overland Park also ranked at No. 7 on Money’s list of the 50 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2021.

Home of the University of Kansas, Lawrence also landed on Livability’s 100 Best Places to Live list at No. 84. The site says even if you’re not a KU student, you’ll love living here.

“Lawrence has great schools, a strong economy, tons of entertainment and outdoor options, and an affordable cost of living – median home values here are around $204,000,” Livability writes.

Kansas City, Missouri, got dropped from the list this year. It was 49th on the list in 2019 and 90th in 2020, but didn’t make the top 100 this time. Last year, Livability said Kansas City was “having its moment” and that it’s “suddenly the place to be.”

Outside the Kansas City area, two other college towns in Kansas and Missouri were named among the 100 best places to live.

Columbia — home of the University of Missouri — ranked at No. 40, praised for its thriving downtown, arts and culture scene, and relatively low cost of living.

Manhattan, where the Kansas State Wildcats and Fort Riley Military Base call home, came in at No. 81. Livability notes this Kansas city appeals to college students just as much as it appeals to retirees and veterans.

“‘The Little Apple’ is an affordable place to live with high-quality health care and great access to education,” the site says.

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