Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri, with a population of 488,943.
There are over 2 million people in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, which straddles the border of Missouri and Kansas, creating two cities named Kansas City, with the larger one in Missouri and the lesser-known one in the state of Kansas.
Most of the Kansas City area is in Jackson County, but it spills over into several neighboring counties.
The city is named for the Kaws or Kansa Native American tribe that lived here. Kansas City was founded in 1830 as a shipping port, and it had a big role to play as people moved west during that time.
The city is known for its jazz heritage, its fantastic barbecues, and over 200 fountains.
It is reckoned that the Kansas area has gained more than 100,000 new residents since 2010, and the population is expected to increase more in the near future.
Kansas City has become a seller’s market but prices here are still quite reasonable compared with other major U.S. cities.
Nickname(s): "City of Fountains"
Population: 488,943 (2017 estimated)
Land: 314.95 sq. miles
Urban: 584.4 sq. miles
Metro: 7,952 sq. miles
The prevailing attitude in Kansas City is widely considered to be one of hospitality and generosity. The vast majority of people speak English, but in recent years a Spanish-speaking population has begun to emerge. There are activities and events to be enjoyed year-round, for example Oktoberfest, the Weston Irish Fest, and the American Royal—a famous horse show, rodeo and barbeque competition.
A bus system connects many parts of the city and it has recently been augmented by the KC Streetcar. Walking is embraced in neighborhoods such as Downtown, and for those who prefer two wheels there is a bike-share program.
Jazz is more than entertainment here—there is even a sub-genre of the music named after Kansas City. Authentic jazz performers can be heard today at clubs, nightspots, and other music venues. A flourishing art community is evident across the city with many galleries, shows, and shops. Restaurants and drinking spots offer a variety of local food, but the city is most renowned for its Kansas City-style barbecue—over 100 restaurants here serve up this world-famous feast.
Over 220 parks, 100 playgrounds and 29 lakes provide countless outdoor recreation possibilities, while the historic sites help visitors connect with the area’s fascinating past. Sports of all kinds are popular here, whether for watching or participating in— the city is the home of the MLB baseball team the Royals.
Kansas City is made up of more than 240 neighborhoods, and it can also be divided up into wider regions. Below you will find some of the most interesting:
Downtown Kansas City serves as the area’s central business district and it has an impressive array of tall buildings. In addition to the office space, it also has a large population of residents, and has seen quite a lot of investment in recent years. The Power and Light District is just south of the central business area and is known as "Entertainment District" due to the number of restaurants, bars and live music venues.
River Market is a historic neighborhood that lies along the river and which used to be known as Westport Landing. One of the largest farmer’s markets in the Midwest’s is held in this neighborhood, and there are also a number of restaurants and bars. The area is a favorite with young professionals, who like the lofts and condominiums available here, though people of all ages enjoy living in this active community.
Northeast Kansas City is a large area that encompasses neighborhoods such as Penguin Park, Gladstone, Oakwood Park, Maple Park West and Highland Gardens. Pendleton Heights is one of the more historic neighborhoods here, having been founded in the late nineteenth century as the city’s first developed suburb. Sherwood Estates is known as a vibrant neighborhood which strives to maintain a good community atmosphere for residents.
Westside is an area with a strong Mexican and Latino/Hispanic presence which contributes to the increasingly multi-cultural aspect of the city. This diversity extends to the cuisine and the variety of shops that are to be found. The area actually divides into two districts, Westside South and Westside North.
Currently, there are fewer houses on the market than buyers, making Kansas City a seller’s market. In 2017 the housing market figures showed there were 14 percent fewer homes on the market than in 2016. This contrasts with a national figure of 5 percent.
The strong market here for single-family homes and rental properties can be attributed to the steady rise of the economy and a growing population of both white-collar and blue-collar workers. In Kansas City, rental properties are the primary form of investment in real estate, with over 60 percent of rentals being single–family properties.
Some factors that currently make Kansas City an attractive real estate market include the short average commute time (approximately 22 minutes compared to similar cities at nearly 30 minutes) and the wide range of properties available in different areas of the city.
Property sales figures source: the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS®, January 2019.
There are several Kansas City public school districts in operation, most of them based in Jackson County. The city has at least 27 high schools and many middle and elementary schools. In addition, there are 3 Head Start schools, 2 Montessori sites and 7 signature schools.
Over 40 colleges serve local and out-of-state students alike. Kansas City is home to Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, University of Missouri, Kansas City Art Institute, Rockhurst University, Truman Medical Center School for Nurse Anesthesia, Avila University, the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and many more.
Kansas City has been in a growth pattern for the last 7 years, and this is continuing, with many new projected to be added in 2019. It is expected that there will be more opportunities in production, government, utilities, transportation, insurance and construction, for example.
The cost of living in Kansas City is lower than in many town of a similar size. However, wages and salaries also tend to tend somewhat lower than in many other places. The unemployment rate here is around the national average. The city has had an initiative in operation called KC Rising, which aims to build the city’s economy by encouraging business and innovation in the region.