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Downtown Kansas City, Kan.

Most “miserable city” in Kansas and Missouri listed

Do you live in a miserable city?

What makes a city miserable? Do you live in one of the most unhappy places in Missouri or Kansas? The website RoadSnacks organized information from the Census and dug deep into what they consider the most unhappy/miserable cities.

Recent polls reported in the news say that a third of Americans say they are truly happy. With an economy that continues to struggle and news media that seems to focus only on the negatives, it may be no wonder.

So along comes this ranking that tries to make sense of it all. After analyzing the largest cities, the website created a list of most miserable cities starting with THE most miserable community listed at the top.

For Missouri, Wellston was the most miserable and in Kansas it was Kansas City.

How do you decide if a city is miserable?

Now while the criteria used did not include spiritual health (which is a great determining factor), it isn’t a stretch to assume that happier people might not worry about money, are relatively stress free, and have a stable home life.

The Census’s American Community Survey 2010-2014 report for the criteria, flipped the list, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

The organization threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Level of education
  • Average commute times
  • Unemployment rates
  • Cost of living
  • Percent of married couples
  • Percent of home owners
  • Poverty rate

An interesting anecdote about the rankings. It appears that the more married couples and more homeownership a community has, the more happy its inhabitants seem to be. It could be that those are two of the most stable components of modern civilization and are seen as the best environment for raising a family.

After they decided on the criteria, RoadSnacks gathered the data for the 180 places in Missouri with over 2,000 people and 105 places in Kansas.

They then ranked each place from one to 180 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the most miserable (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, they averaged the seven rankings into a Index for each place with the lowest overall Miserable Index “earning” the title “Most Miserable City In …”.

Metro Voice took the rankings and created a list of communities surrounding Kansas City with some Kansas and Missouri towns outside the area thrown in for comparison.

Where does your city rank?

 

KANSAS (Note: #1 means most “miserable”, #105 is most happy)

Rank  Population   % Homeowner    % Married

Kansas City             1            147,598            50.6            40.7

Osawatomie            2            4,403               59.9               36.3

Lawrence                 5            90,194             42.2             35.0

Atchison                   7            10,920             59.4            37.4

Topeka                    12            127,660           50.9            43.6

Wichita                   16            385,518           54.2            47.7

Leavenworth          22            35,738            44.2            47.5

De Soto                    23            5,888              51.6            51.6

Merriam                  37            11,191              51.2            45.9

Edwardsville          42            4,367              66.2            48.6

Mission                    52            9,451              46.3            41.6

Bonner Springs      53            7,420              61.7            53.6

Garden City            54            26,924            58.8            51.8

Oswego                    55            2,018              66.3            53.0

Tonganoxie            59            4,802               53.1            58.9

Paola                       62            5,589                61.1            57.2

Lansing                   65            11,535              72.2            47.8

Lenexa                    66            49,573              58.8            55.5

Overland Park       71            178,945            60.9            55.5

Louisburg              72            4,313                 63.9            61.0

Spring Hill             74            5,618                 72.0            62.8

Gardner                  76            20,128              65.6            61.1

Roeland Park        78            6,799                 69.3            42.6

Olathe                    80            129,913             68.6            59.1

Shawnee                86            63,597               69.2            57.7

Prairie Village       99            21,730               75.8            56.9

Basehor                 100           4,831                 76.6            62.7

Leawood                103           32,842              90.4           69.7

Mission Hills        105           3,555                 95.5            72.0

 

MISSOURI (Note: #1 means most “miserable”, #180 is most happy)

Rank  Population   % Homeowner    % Married

Wellston          1            2,010                 20.6            12.1

Branson           22         10,942               20.2            44.5

Springfield      23         162,333             42.6            37.4

Riverside         25          3,023                26.2            36.9

Kansas City     28         465,005            47.4            40

Grandview       33        24,860               50.1            42.5

Harrisonville   34        10,019               54.7            44.4

Warrensburg   51         19,548               38.4           35.2

Richmond        55         5,702                45.7            45.8

Independence 58         117,160            57.9            45.9

Belton               72         23,197              58.5            49.9

Excel. Springs  77        11,391               59.1            46.3

Oak Grove         100      7,747               57.0            52.7

Raytown            101       29,520            62.5            46.1

Gladstone          113       26,032            63.0            48.7

Pleasant Hill     118       8,173               64.0            56.6

Liberty               126       29,806            70.5            53.4

Grain Valley     128       13,037             59.3            54.7

Blue Springs     133       53,053            65.4            54.8

Greenwood       146       5,322               87.7            61.5

Parkville            148       5,811                66.8            56.8

Lee’s Summit   153        92,813             71.6            59.2

Smithville          154        8,791               78.7            61.6

Kearney              156       8,845              66.9            58.4

Raymore            163       19,576             78.4            59.0

Ladue                 180        8,549              92.2            69.0