Why is Missouri so cheap?

Missouri is cheap because of its bad reputation: it is considered dangerous, boring, and poor. Missouri is not an attractive state at all, making it very affordable. Finally, the poor weather and high crime areas in Missouri lower both the cost of living and the price of the houses.

Let’s now explore the three reasons why Missouri is cheap. After that, you will be able to understand what Missouri looks like, and if it is a great place to live.

Why is Missouri so poor?

Missouri is poor because the median household income is $55,461, ranking it number 40 poorest state in the United States based on this metric. Compared to its neighbor Kansas, Missouri is 9 places below in the ranking.

The Southern part of Missouri is the poorest, with over 25% of people living in poverty in some counties in the South East of Missouri.

poverty in cheap missouri infographic
Credits to Missouri Community Action Network and Missourians To End Poverty. Data from: 2018 US Census Bureau Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates.

Why is Missouri so dangerous?

Missouri is dangerous because the violent crime rate is 502.1 per 100,000 people. There were 607 murders in 2018, making it the 8th most dangerous state in the United States. St. Louis is the most dangerous city in Missouri.

Now it is important to mention that it’s not the whole state that is dangerous, but more specific places. For example, there are great places to live in St. Louis. However, the North of St. Louis is quite dangerous. Here is a video to help you understand which are the places to avoid in Missouri.

Credits to Nick Johnson for this great video explaining in detail why you should avoid some places in Missouri.

Now that we narrowed down all the places you should avoid in Missouri, let’s see what this state really looks like. Indeed, Missouri is a cheap state, meaning that you could choose to live there to save money. And it’s not as if you will be in danger everywhere in the state. So, what does Missouri look like?

What does Missouri look like?

Missouri is a very diverse state: In the North, there are fields. In the South, there are hills. Then, in the East, you can find vines and caves. In the West, you can find lakes and fishing areas. The cities are well distributed inside Missouri, even if the three most populous ones are in the South of Missouri.

St Joseph is the biggest city in the Northern part of Missouri. St. Joseph is considered a dangerous city, especially when it comes to robbery. In the North East, you can find Hannibal, which is a much calmer city.

Then, the more Southern you go, the more green and hilly it gets. You will find cities like Jefferson City or Columbia for example among small and quiet towns. But if there is one place that is not calm, it’s the Lake of the Ozarks. This lake is in the middle of Missouri and is a very active resort for people who want to party during summer. In the Eastern part of the state, you can find caves and vines. It is quite a rocky place.

Is Southern Missouri a good place to live?

Southern Missouri is the cheapest and poorest part of Missouri. It is split into two parts: in the South-East, it is quite dangerous and poor. In the South-West, it is less dangerous and more active. In both parts, the landscapes are quite similar, with lots of hills.

Then, if you keep going South, you will find many different places: the landscapes will get even hillier and southern looking. However, the cities will start looking poorer and poorer, especially in the South-East. This is where “Misery” (Missouri is sometimes named “Misery”) has its reputation: in the small cities of South-East Missouri, the crime is very high and there’s a lot of drug trafficking.

Finally, there is the South West. In this part of the state, there is less poverty and more cities. It is one of the most actives parts of Missouri, with lots of things to do both in and out of the cities. For example, you can go to the fair in Branson and go fishing in the lakes around the city. Fishing is a popular activity in South Missouri, whereas, in North Missouri, people enjoy both fishing and hunting. Indeed, there is a lot of deer hunting in the North of Missouri.

What are the biggest cities in cheap Missouri?

The biggest cities in Missouri are:

  1. Kansas City
  2. St. Louis
  3. Springfield

They are all located in the South of the state.

Is Springfield Missouri cheap?

Springfield is the biggest city in the South-West of Missouri. It is the third-largest city in Missouri. Springfield is a conservative and religious city. It is also considered a dangerous city.

If you want to get there and you are not living close, the best would be to fly to either St. Louis or Kansas City and then rent a car in the city to drive to Springfield.

Is St. Louis Missouri cheap?

North St. Louis is cheap and poor. It is home to crime and insecurity. South St. Louis is much calmer. However, the cheapest prices in St. Louis are in the North.

St. Louis is the second-largest city in Missouri after Kansas City. There are around 300,000 people living in St. Louis. Located in the East of the state along the Mississippi River, St. Louis is a very special city. We can almost say that it’s split into two parts. The Northern part of St. Louis is very poor and dangerous. You can find incredibly affordable houses in this part of the city. However, not a lot of people would recommend moving to the North of St. Louis. In the South of St. Louis, the city is much safer and richer. The richest part of the city is the West, where you can find expensive houses and calmer neighborhoods.

Here are prices you can expect to find for hotels in St. Louis:

Is Kansas City Missouri cheap?

Kansas City Missouri is not cheap compared to other cities in Missouri. For example, restaurant prices are almost 20% higher in Kansas City than in St. Louis.

Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri. There are around 500,000 people living in Kansas City. Crime is still quite high compared to other cities with the same amount of people, but it is still lower than in North St. Louis. In Kansas City and St. Louis, the culture is great: a lot of sports, music, and events. Kansas City is a good place to find a job, as there are lots of tech companies moving here. This makes Kansas City the most active town in all of Missouri by far.

The Southern part of Kansas City is the safest part to live in. The best neighborhoods in Kansas City are Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, and Raytown.

kansas city in cheap missouri
A view of Kansas City in Missouri. Credits to Daniel Thomas

Is Missouri boring?

Missouri is considered boring by some people because the weather is poor, the small cities are shrinking, and the landscapes are mainly fields and hills. However, the cities in Missouri are quite active. Of course, some neighborhoods are dangerous inside Missouri’s cities, but there are also active not boring neighborhoods.


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