First I will say, I don't' know where the numbers were calculated from to come up with the initial index for the cities, but as far as Chanute, Kansas goes, they are Way Off.
Chanute is becoming the unfortunate victim of a serious lack of pride and ownership. Over the past several years, I have observed a serious decline in just about ever aspect from the local government to the local citizens. Many residents are leaving or wish they could. Few are moving to Chanute unless they are looking for bargain housing and a lackluster attitude.
Change is not something that comes easy for Chanute. Most are change resistant and stubborn when it comes to upsetting their comfort zone and behavior culture. You'll find a great deal of negativity growing within the community. Most have nothing but complaints regarding just about everything, and of course nearly all refuse to do anything (other than complain).
Inconsistency is very common throughout the community, especially within local government. Chanute is on the verge of bankruptcy, business is suffering, the downtown is dying and no one really seems to care.
If you are a "click" type of person a like the "good ol' boy" network, you may find Chanute, Kansas your cup of tea. Chanute is a small rural community becoming smaller all the time. Everyone is in your business and the rumor mill is out of control. You like Drama ? You'll Love Chanute.
If you are looking for cheap housing (price and quality), you'll find no shortage here. Many have chose to just let their property go and become rundown. Every week more and more homes and property shifts to the condemned list and scheduled for demolition.
In all fairness, Chanute is not solely to blame. The entire South East Kansas region is dying at a rapid rate. Most just choose to ignore these conditions or are fine living with what is happening.
If you are looking for a lot of activity to keep yourself and family business, you may want to think twice about living in Chanute. Less and less activities are planned and those that are experience very low turn out. Very few draw much of a crowd and even those are showing declining numbers.
When you read about Chanute, it makes it look like there is a lot going on, plenty of places to stay and eat and have fun. In reality, Chanute can barely host a class reunion.
As a long term resident (seriously considering moving), it greatly saddens me to watch all this happen to what was a great little SEK town.
It is likely within the next 10 years, Chanute could become a ghost town with little pockets of good and bad.
As far as schools. If you are not into sports, don't bother. There is little to no support for the arts in Chanute. The student attitude is terrible and morale throughout the school system is very low.
If you are visiting Chanute or passing through the area, the best place to stay is the Super 8 at 35th Street and Santa Fe. If you have an RV, you can park Free for the first 48 hours, then $10/day on the honor system. There is electric and water with a dump station.
The Tioga Hotel (now Nest Extended Stay) used to be a very nice historical experience. Unfortunately, the owners have not kept up the building and many rooms may not have heat or AC or hot water. You will not get much customer service either. If you like bugs, you'll greatly enjoy your stay there.
The Guest House (used to be Best Western) is a no frills older hotel and good for some place to rest passing through. Pretty much same with Knights Inn.
Eating is usually not much of a challenge if you are not overly picky. A good variety from fast food to mom and pop cafe. You'll find Mexican, Asian, American establishments at fair prices and mixed quality.
Shopping is pretty limited to WalMart (which is under terrible management), Dollar stores, small private stores downtown (which is pretty much ignored).
Chanute does have its own flavor of uniqueness and history. Old historic homes and buildings, Art Gallery, Safari Museum, Chanute Historical Museum (open Sat and Sun Only from 1-4).
For someone who has visited and / or traveled a great deal, you'll find Chanute about a 3-5 on a 10 scale. One would be surprised at the number of people who have not ventured outside the city limits.
If you have not experienced a visit to Chanute, Kansas and happen to be traveling through the area, I would encourage a stop to look around and experience for yourself.
Hope this review was helpful and informative.
Happy Trails !