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A neighborhood in Lee's Summit.

Several local communities rank high in survey of family-friendly Missouri cities

Missouri boasts a number of great places to raise a family, but its two largest cities are not among them. Kansas City ranked 71st in a recent WalletHub survey, while St. Louis brought up the rear.

The survey compared more than 80 of the state’s biggest cities across 21 key indicators of family-friendliness. The dataset ranges from housing affordability to quality of school system to unemployment rate. Although Kansas City scored high on options for family life and fun, the grades for other categories fared poorly.

Several suburbs, however, did much better:

    • Raymore, No. 12
    • Lee’s Summit, No. 13
    • Grain Valley, No. 19
    • Liberty, No. 20
    • Blue Springs, No. 30
    • Gladstone, No. 53
    • Raytown, No. 66
    • Independence, No. 67
    • Grandview, No. 69

While St. Louis hit the bottom of the list, many surrounding suburbs ranked at the top. Dardenne Prairie was first, followed by Eureka, Wentzville, Webster Groves and Wildwood rounding out the top five.

(See the full list of Missouri cities below)

Overall, WalletHub praised Missouri for its family friendliness:

“Combining Midwestern sensibility with Southern charm, Missouri balances urban and rural traits well with its richly diverse culture, economy and landscape. Two major U.S. cities, Kansas City and St. Louis, border the eastern and western sides of the state, while a popular tourist destination, the mountainous Ozark region, dominates its southern half. The plains to the north are perhaps what many outsiders imagine when Missouri comes to mind. But each of these areas serves an important role and contributes heavily to the state’s strong economy.

“Missouri boasts the 15th lowest unemployment in the United States, while personal-income growth remains healthy. And with the fourth-lowest cost of living in the United States, affordability in Missouri puts more money back in parents’ pockets — perhaps to save for a comfortable retirement in the state or invest in long-term educational goals for their children. Missouri is home to several of the best and cheapest colleges and universities in the Midwest.”

Here’s the complete Missouri Cities List

Overall Rank
(1 = Best)
CityTotal Score‘Family Life & Fun’ Rank‘Education, Health & Safety’ Rank‘Affordability’ Rank
1Dardenne Prairie, MO70.3454421
2Eureka, MO69.832485
3Wentzville, MO68.21221314
4Webster Groves, MO67.662778
5Wildwood, MO67.3437484
6Fort Leonard Wood, MO67.271369
7O’Fallon, MO67.1135236
8Chesterfield, MO66.2664512
9St. Peters, MO65.7867303
10Ballwin, MO65.2160911
11Creve Coeur, MO65.1357242
12Raymore, MO64.18451620
13Lee’s Summit, MO63.96402627
14Clayton, MO63.53361118
15Town and Country, MO63.198247
16Kirkwood, MO62.86622013
17St. Charles, MO62.56312921
18Crestwood, MO62.3571129
19Grain Valley, MO62.20181744
20Liberty, MO61.07393626
21Lake St. Louis, MO60.18762216
22Nixa, MO58.9633649
23Warrensburg, MO58.53102143
24Republic, MO58.44211453
25Columbia, MO58.34143539
26Manchester, MO58.16663325
27Maryland Heights, MO57.98484631
28Jackson, MO57.9352251
29Ozark, MO57.78501052
30Blue Springs, MO57.35464733
31Webb City, MO57.26321837
32Jefferson City, MO56.93194434
33Kirksville, MO56.87261923
34Concord, MO56.24706528
35Farmington, MO55.81581550
36Marshall, MO54.31112758
37Maryville, MO54.1234176
38Troy, MO53.25512864
39Harrisonville, MO53.10174366
40Florissant, MO52.55595322
41St. Joseph, MO52.2386147
42Washington, MO51.84634548
43Excelsior Springs, MO51.70474138
44Oakville, MO51.67847024
45Rolla, MO51.6653472
46Belton, MO51.62426235
47Joplin, MO51.5166968
48Cape Girardeau, MO50.88433857
49St. Ann, MO50.86445019
50Affton, MO50.78807617
51Mexico, MO50.31552540
52Moberly, MO50.27415129
53Gladstone, MO49.90735236
54Hazelwood, MO49.77776415
55Neosho, MO49.26134975
56Lemay, MO49.18296046
57Old Jamestown, MO49.08858010
58Lebanon, MO48.7745674
59Carthage, MO48.6426767
60Fulton, MO48.57163960
61Bolivar, MO48.55493179
62Arnold, MO48.33743754
63Hannibal, MO48.15235859
64Festus, MO47.93793265
65Bridgeton, MO46.61687132
66Raytown, MO46.27567841
67Independence, MO45.90536855
68West Plains, MO45.80284078
69Grandview, MO45.80257771
70University City, MO44.88755962
71Kansas City, MO44.4897961
72Mehlville, MO44.29838342
73Poplar Bluff, MO43.36125482
74Sedalia, MO43.14207273
75Springfield, MO43.0478281
76Branson, MO43.0037484
77Overland, MO42.69726345
78Union, MO42.45615577
79Sikeston, MO40.74155780
80Spanish Lake, MO39.46307363
81Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO36.33818130
82Kennett, MO35.15696683
83Ferguson, MO34.26787556
84Jennings, MO31.13658570
85St. Louis, MO28.25388485

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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