9 Safest Cities in Kansas (2023 Update)
Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
Crime is shockingly high in Kansas, despite its image as a wholesome, salt-of-the-earth farming state. As with any dangerous state, however, there are plenty of safe places to visit and call home. Below we’ll be listing the safest cities in Kansas, as well as relevant info about each of them.
The 9 Safest Cities in Kansas: A Quick Look
1. Valley Center
|Property crime rate:||515.2 per 100k people|
|Violent crime rate:||81.3 per 100k people|
|Poverty rate:||354 (7.16%)|
|Average household income:||$101,131|
Valley Center is the quintessential Kansas small town as envisioned by most people. Located just outside Wichita, the town is surrounded by golden wheat fields and hosts a Fall Festival every year. As you might imagine, high school football is a big event in the area, and folks likely flock to the numerous burger shacks in town after games are over.
Valley Center enjoys the position of the safest town in Kansas by virtue of its extremely low violent and property crime rates. With strong education and a growing jobs market, V.C is a small-town force to be reckoned with.
If you value proximity to the city but prefer the peaceful life of the suburbs, Valley Center is the most ideal place in Kansas. Just minutes from Wichita but with none of the crime, it’s a perfect spot to settle down and raise a family.
|Property crime rate:||857 per 100k people|
|Violent crime rate:||15.6 per 100k people|
|Poverty rate:||394 (6.6%)|
|Average household income:||$79,104|
Basehor is a nice suburb of Kansas City, with tons of farms and orchards abound. In fact, the town’s agricultural roots are so strong that they have the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame! If that’s not enough, they have a Renaissance Festival every year and tons of golf courses to visit on the weekends.
Basehor has a supreme sense of safety compared to surrounding towns, and especially the neighboring Kansas City. The town itself feels almost rural, but you can drive less than 30 minutes and have the city at your fingertips.
If you prefer a laidback rural suburb as your base of operations, Basehor is a great option. Whether you commute to the city, work at home, or farm yourself, it’s an incredibly safe place to call home.
3. Mission Hills
|Property crime rate:||202 per 100k people|
|Violent crime rate:||27.9 per 100k people|
|Poverty rate:||826 (4.8%)|
|Average household income:||$427,739|
Mission Hills was recently ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 3rd most affluent neighborhood in America, and Ernest Hemingway wrote his acclaimed book A Farewell To Arms while staying here. Driving through the community, you’ll see numerous fountains, statues, and other beautiful public works, and you can’t forget the golf courses and country clubs!
Wealthy cities are typically safe, and Mission Hills is no exception. With very low violent and property crime alike, you’d be hard-pressed to imagine a crime occurring in this picturesque slice of Americana.
Mission Hills is an amazing place to live, but you’d better make sure you make enough money to afford living here—the average income of the residents isn’t far from half a million dollars, so you can imagine what the houses go for around there!
|Property crime rate:||231.9 per 100k people|
|Violent crime rate:||16.5 per 100k people|
|Poverty rate:||126 (4.5%)|
|Average household income:||$79,760|
Goddard is another small suburb of Wichita, featuring the Tanganyika Wildlife Park, which is a zoo dedicated to breeding endangered animals like giraffes, lemurs, sloths, and many other rare species. In addition, there are two great parks in town and an observatory that’s open on the weekends.
Goddard has vanishingly little violent crime and not much more property crime, with thefts making up most of the crimes reported. You don’t have to worry about being mugged or attacked at the park, and your valuables are safe here as well.
Goddard is an awesome place to live if you enjoy nature, animals, and looking at the stars. If that’s not enough, it’s fairly close to Wichita too for all your big city needs.
|Property crime rate:||1,071.2 per 100k people|
|Violent crime rate:||108.9 per 100k people|
|Poverty rate:||139 (2.6%)|
|Average household income:||$80,279|
Named after a local chieftain, Tonganoxie is another in the long list of Kansas City suburbs on this list. This town with the silly name lends its name to the ‘Tonganoxie split,’ an urban legend that claims inclement weather ‘splits’ around the town. The town may not be immune to tornadoes, but it is home to several beautifully landscaped parks.
Before 2020, Tonganoxie wasn’t even in the top 10 of Kansas’s safest cities. They must have got their act together, though—now it has some of the lowest crime rates in all of Kansas, with only a few violent crimes committed each year.
If you travel by air frequently but prefer to live in the suburbs, Tonganoxie is an excellent choice: the Kansas City International Airport is only 30 minutes away.
|Property crime rate:||1,144 per 100k people|
|Violent crime rate:||54.2 per 100k people|
|Poverty rate:||480 (1.4%)|
|Average household income:||$157,515|
In case you haven’t noticed a trend, here’s yet another Kansas City suburban city. With only 25% of its land developed, Leawood is expected to boom in the next few years. Of particular note is the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, which regularly hosts congregations in excess of 13,000 members. Add in a nationally ranked school system, and you have a great family spot.
As many affluent communities tend to be, Leawood is a very safe community. There’s virtually no violent crime at all, and property crime is much lower than the national average. Chances are you don’t even need to lock your car when you go to church—but I would anyway.
If you value family and have religious leanings, Leawood is a growing suburb that’s expected to blow up—get in while the real estate prices are good!
|Property crime rate:||787.3 per 100k people|
|Violent crime rate:||144 per 100k people|
|Poverty rate:||1,420 (6.7%)|
|Average household income:||$78,180|
Gardner is another, you guessed it, Kansas City suburban city. The town’s government boasts there are over 100 activities to help stay active, and the two major trails where the town was founded probably help, too. Gardner is a place that seriously values education, and the local school district is the largest employer in the town.
As to be expected by a town with an emphasis on education, Gardner enjoys very low crime rates across the board; both property and violent crimes are far below the national average. The cherry on top is that poverty and income levels are above the national average too.
If you’re interested in a city that values education with plenty of ways to stay active, Gardner is the perfect slice of suburbia for you. It doesn’t hurt that you’re pretty close to K.C here as well.
8. Bel Aire
|Property crime rate:||1,526.9 per 100k people|
|Violent crime rate:||133.3 per 100k people|
|Poverty rate:||417 (5.3%)|
|Average household income:||$90,795|
With an educated populace and numerous festivals throughout the year, Bel Aire is a Wichita suburb with a strong sense of small-town community. There’s the local recreation center, two senior centers, and five, count ‘em, five parks packed into this small city. Several of them have playgrounds, and two sit on local lakes.
As if the awesome community wasn’t enough, Bel Aire has almost no violent crime at all. The downside is that there is some property crime, but it’s ranked well below the national average. So, lock your doors, but don’t worry about strolling around the various parks with your family.
Bel Aire is a great spot to settle down and raise a family or a place to get away from harried city life. You’ll never lack fun activities and beautiful scenery in this city!
|Property crime rate:||1,339 per 100k people|
|Violent crime rate:||229 per 100k people|
|Poverty rate:||411 (8.1%)|
|Average household income:||$51,324|
Last but certainly not least on our list is Paola, one of the only cities on this list that’s not a suburb. Paola’s pride and joy is its City Square, which is home to several celebrations throughout the year: there’s the Roots Festival in August and the Heartland Car Show, and Paola’s Historic Park has an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, complete with sleigh rides for kids.
Paola is the most improved city on this list from its past years, going from subpar crime levels to one of the lowest rates of violent crime in Kansas. Property crime is admittedly higher, but still well below national averages.
If you crave a small-town feel without the close proximity to a city, Paola is one of the best choices on this list.
Why Are These Towns So Safe?
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why any given city is safer than another, but there are often common factors shared by the safest cities. In Kansas, you can see many of the same variables contributing to the safest towns.
- Towns with strong community ties tend to be safer. This can especially be seen in places like Goddard and Bel Aire, but most small towns have this ‘It Factor’ as well.
- Affluent cities tend to be safer by virtue of high property taxes contributing to local public services. Great examples of this are Mission Hills and Leawood, but this isn’t ironclad by any means.
- Low poverty rates are strong indicators of crime rates. Cities with lots of poverty tend to have higher unemployment, and therefore more property and violent crimes.
Kansas may not be the safest state in the U.S, but it has some extremely safe cities. Many of these tend to be suburbs of major cities, but all of them are great places to live.
Featured Image Credit: Downtown paola kansas2 2009, Ichabod, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported