Key findings

  • Wichita has a Livability Score of 61/100, which is considered below average
  • Wichita crime rates are 137% higher than the Kansas average
  • Cost of living in Wichita is 2% higher than the Kansas average
  • Wichita real estate prices are 11% lower than the Kansas average
  • Rental prices in Wichita are 5% lower than the Kansas average

Best Places to Live in and Around Wichita

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      Wichita, KS

      Wichita, Kansas, located near the Arkansas River, is the largest city in Kansas. Although it began as a trading post in the 1860s, it earned its nickname “cowtown” from becoming a cattle destination for those traveling from Texas. Not only is it known for its rich history, but Wichita is often considered a regional center for culture.

      Home to large museums, parks and theater, Wichita, Kansas has lots to offer. While many cities offer museum tours for cultural art events, Wichita has a “Final Friday Gallery Crawl.” This event allows visitors to tour many small art galleries for free on the last Friday of each month. To boost creativity, conversation and relationships, this event has been a great benefit to socializing in the city.

      Thunderstorms are frequent during the spring and summer. Although hail can occur, many people enjoy sitting outside on a screened in porch or deck to watch the storms roll in. Uniquely positioned between Canada and the Gulf of Mexico makes for a wide variety of weather. For those who prefer to experience a full spectrum of seasons, this is a particularly attractive place to live.

      For $40,000 a year, the majority of families can live quite comfortably in Wichita. Renting a one-bedroom apartment to enjoy living in a big city costs substantially less than most metropolitan areas. Since there a variety of options for public transportation including trolleys, public bicycles and buses, the cost of owning a car can also be eliminated.

      Wichita is unlike many other cities in its ability to retain small-town charm. Even though it is home to a large downtown area of art museums, concert venues, it still has the coveted Midwestern feel to it. The Old Cowtown Museum recreates a variety of vintage buildings from the late 1860s with hands-on exhibits for children. Although the metropolitan area has much to offer in the way of shopping and cuisine, it’s not hard to find relief from city life. The botanical gardens and zoo are an easy way to transported into exotic nature.

      Since 1972, the Wichita River Festival has been held in the Old Town area of the city. Not only are there music events, but sporting and historical activities are also held on a regular basis. Because Wichita, Kansas has a hometown feel to a big city, there are still many activities for children to enjoy. Interactive events for children include parades, plays and historical activities that can all be found downtown.

      As with any established city, the public library is a staple. The Wichita Public Library offers an Academy Awards Shorts program that hosts a public screening completely free to the public. Short films include those that are nominated by the Oscars. In Wichita, there are many ways to enjoy culture without spending money. Whether attending free gallery meetups or perusing library gatherings, a rich culture is not hard to find.

      Wichita, Kansas has much to offer at any age. Children, college students and older adults can all enjoy both downtown and nature-filled locations in the city. For a range of weather and interesting activities, Wichita is one of the biggest cities with a home-town feel.

      Top Rated Schools in Wichita

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Wheatland ElementaryPK - 543776%
      Bostic Traditional Magnet ElementaryPK - 527872%
      Oatville ElementaryPK - 543067%
      Maize South ElementaryKG - 566363%
      Circle Greenwich ElementaryPK - 626862%
      Explorer Elementary SchoolPK - 448062%
      Wineteer ElementaryPK - 543357%
      Mccollom ElementaryPK - 548554%
      See all Wichita schools

      Wichita Reviews

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      Overall a Pretty terrible city

      the only good thing about Wichita is the insane amount of restaurants. so if you are a lard-ass who likes to eat then its great here, but for everybody else it sucks ass. Wichita has a homeless problem whenever you go near downtown then its bum city. there isn't anything interesting here or any good scenery. if you plan on moving here avoid it at all cost the only good thing is the affordable homes and the amount of restaurants. terrible city i plan on moving out as soon as i can because if i stay here i feel like im going to go insane
      • 47 -3
      Octapharma Plasma TERRIBLE

      This place is very slow, I swear every time I come it gets a little worse. If your not in like for the physical forever your sitting in a chair forever. I have now been sitting in a chair with no stick for 23 minutes. I arrived here at 11:10 and was in line for a physical at 11:40. Just now at 11:24 am I actually getting stuck. I just wish their employees would look at us as a good thing and not a burden. Also would suggest better organization. I have seen now 6 people whom were behind me in line get stuck before myself.
      • 37 -4
      Not a Nice Place to Live

      Wichita has become a mini detroit/chicago over the last several years. crime just keeps going up and up. I don't believe all crimes reported to police are counted in their numbers. If you're looking for a place with plenty of crime and lots of Mexican food, the Wichita is for you. If I had the money I would be gone so fast that it would make your head spin.
      • 42 -6
      Hot In Wichita, KS

      I lived in Wichita, Kansas for four years while attending college at Wichita State University. I lived in the dorms for my first two years and eventually moved out near Waco Avenue. Housing was very cheap in Wichita. I was able to rent a 1 bedroom apartment for under $1000. The area was fairly nice and quiet. The people living there were friendly. I never feared for my safety, the crime rate in this area was very low. I never heard about any crimes while living there.

      Everything was very accessible from where I lived. Everything was about a 20 minute drive and public transportation was available. As a student, I saw a lot of tourism spots to check out. There is a zoo, a drive-in, a movie theater, botanical gardens, and plenty of museums. Aside from that, I did not do much.

      The weather here was unpredictable. There were days in which the weather was fine, but other days it was very unpredictable. The summer weather can get quite hot. Being originally from California, it was hard to get adjusted. The temperature just gets too hot. This was only during the summer, which made living there possible.

      College students near the university would go to the local bars and venues. The club scene is okay, it could be better. The clubs are only open to those who are over 21 years old. They also would charge a cover charge every time I went. I could not access the clubs without a car.

      After finishing college, I moved back to California. In Wichita, there were not that many things to do besides going to the museums during the day or clubs at night. I saw it as a good city to raise a family, but not a permanent place for a post-college student.
      • 35 -5
      Not a Place to Live Permanently Unless You Like a Lot of Noise

      I think that Wichita needs to have noise laws that are enforced so that people can enjoy the peace and quiet of their home. I don't think that having a "juvenile" beating on the drums next door around 7 or 8 times a day should be legal. I think the city should require that the room the drums are in be soundproofed. For those of us wanting some quiet time at home, it is impossible. Also, when you live near a school, be prepared to have lots of trash in your yard from the kids that go to the school and also from the people that drive them there or pick them up. As far as restaurants go, Wichita seems to have mostly Mexican Restaurants. While I like Mexican food, I would dearly love to find good BBQ.
      • 27 -5
      Good city to live in and visit

      I don't live in wichita, but in salina about 85 miles up 135 highway. i visit there once in a while about every 3-4 months and i like it. There seems to be some type of food or shopping on every block. I was walking down a road and the people are nice, but dogs when they see you make a lot of racket and it can get annoying, as with any city. I have one small problem with any where in central kansas. Unpredictable weather. It can be sunny and 105 one minute and the next minute it can be pouring rain. The traffic is good but try not to go out during rush hour. There is a lot of attractions in every part of the city. I don't know much about the nightlife but i think there is bars and late night events in wichita.
      • 6 -28
      Lived many places- like Wichita best- great for family

      I have lived in some great cities (Denver, Boulder, Seattle, Portland, Ojai, Austin, Dallas & Houston) The more I live in bigger cities the more I appreciate Wichita. It is an ideal size for livability- nothing is more than a 20 min easy drive. I like the size- enough to have many events & amenities but small enough to be "in the know", get reservations anywhere at the drop of a hat and the value of the homes are amazing. I know our home would cost over a million and a half in any other city I have ever lived in before. We have an amazing home & enormous lot overlooking a lake- could never afford in Dallas/Austin/ Denver/Ojai etc!!!

      The people here are genuine and good people. I was surprised to see the poor crime rating for this city & all I can say is that it must be very isolated to specific areas in town because I feel VERY safe in Wichita & don't hear crime stories from my friends at all. My children attend a wonderful school, as well.

      My only complaint is that the mid summer temp. can be unbearable but we have learned to take advantage of the BEAUTIFUL long spring weather so we only have to find indoor activities for the worst heat in late June & July. There is plenty to do in the heat- we attend the Open Bounce at PURE Entertainment for fun & awesome exercise in air-conditioning. My children play for 4 or 5 hours for under $8 & I work at a table supervising their play with friends while using my laptop, going through my mail & completing busywork. It is a real win win situation!

      We take advantage of a wonderful facility called "My Gym" on the East side, as well. My children not only go to classes there but also attend "Kids Night In" Events so we parents can hit the town. We also take advantage of their summer camp events & older children pizza parties. These things keep them happy & busy for hours with their friends. "My Gym" is top notch. The academic element in the pre-school lessons prepped my children for success in school (colors/shapes/taking turns/cheering on friends/polite words etc etc) Best value = learning + safety +exercise + cheaper than babysitters & the kids have more fun there, too boot!!!

      The night life is super in Wichita- something for any age & any style. Great tickets available for any concert or local event. We really love living in Wichita & would never move unless we were forced to do so. Here to stay & happy to be here!!
      • 3 -28
      Wonderful Wichita, KS!

      The big city of Wichita, Kansas has a lot to offer the people that inhabit the area or chose to visit for vacation! The nightlife down to the sports are pure amazement and nothing but a good time for all! The people that live in this area are very friendly and extremely colorful! The city encapsulates the true spirit of America and represents that in the architecture, food, and citizens. It truly is a city made for everyone!

      The first thing you'll notice when entering into Wichita is the skyline. The buildings that line the city can be seen from miles away and give you that big city vibe with the feeling of small town attitudes. The main attraction that Wichita offers and one place you'll have to visit is The Keeper of The Plains. This statue surrounded by water has a fire show nightly that represents the history of the American Indian. The spectacular statue and fire show happens just as the sun goes down out on the water with a huge platform going around so that all can see. Nightly you'll find people out at Keeper of The Plains enjoying the show and the culture of the American Indian.

      The next thing you'll be dying to see is the Intrust Bank Arena. This arena is always jam packed for different events that take place there. From big music stars to local hockey games, you'll be sure to have nothing but a good time! This venue is always jam packed and sold out for all the lovers of entertainment.

      All in all the city of Wichita has a big time feel with the personality of a small town. Come down and visit Wichita today and see what everyone that inhabits this area loves and appreciates day to day.
      • 3 -25
      Life In Wichita, Kansas

      Since I have relatives in Wichita, I visit this city once each year. Wichita has many activities for visitors, and there are a few restaurants that everyone should try. In fact, the Old Town red brick district in downtown Wichita offers many venues to provide an evening full of entertainment and enjoyment for visitors. The shops, restaurants, and clubs in this district provide a lively, intriguing atmosphere.

      Every time I find myself in Wichita, I dine at the Scotch & Sirloin, an upscale steakhouse that provides diners with an incredibly delicious experience. Another personal favorite is the Old Mill Tasty Shop, where you can treat yourself to a great old-fashioned malt. Also, the Sedgwick County Zoo is home to a breathtaking tiger exhibit.

      However, Wichita simply cannot compare to cities such as Los Angeles or New York City. There simply is not enough diversity in Wichita. It is a friendly city, to be sure, but it lacks the excitement expected in a city of its size. If not for family, I probably would not keep returning.
      • 3 -24
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Wichita, KS data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).