How affordable is Kansas City? Residents are paying more than average on these bills
This article originally appeared on The Kansas City Star
By Natalie Wallington
In Kansas City, long known for its comparative affordability, residents on average pay a little less for housing and utilities than others around the country.
But they are on average paying hundreds of dollars more for car payments, as well as higher bills for insurance, phone and internet service, according to a new market analysis tool created by the bill paying company Doxo.
The study shows the overall cost of living in Kansas City is just slightly lower than the national average. The average Kansas City resident has monthly household bills totaling $2,013, just below the national average of $2,046.
However, not all household expenses have the same impact on the cost of living. While Kansas Citians pay slightly less on rents and mortgages than those in other cities, they spend an average of 40% of their household income on housing alone.
The U.S. Census Bureau considers a household to be cost-burdened if it spends more than 30% of its income on housing expenses — a condition more common among renters than among homeowners.
Kansas City’s car payments are also higher than the national average. A typical Kansas Citian pays $839 every month on car loan payments and auto insurance combined, compared to the national average of $674.
While utility bills in Kansas City are slightly lower than the typical bills across the U.S., Kansas Citians also pay above-average prices for health insurance, phone bills and internet and cable bills.
Here’s a breakdown of how the cost of living compares in the cities and counties around the metro.
WHICH KANSAS CITY AREA CITY HAS THE HIGHEST HOUSEHOLD BILLS?
Many of the cities in the Kansas City area have high household bills compared to the rest of their respective counties and states.
The most expensive city in the metro is Leawood, ranking highest in Kansas with average monthly expenses of $2,686. The top five most expensive cities in the state are all in Johnson County — the other four are Prairie Village, Lenexa, Overland Park and Olathe.
Kansas City, Kansas, is the 12th most expensive city in the state, with average monthly expenses of just $1,891 — lower than the national average.
Lee’s Summit is the most expensive city on the Missouri side of the metro, with average monthly living expenses around $2,364. It’s also the fourth most expensive in the state, after Wildwood, Chesterfield and Lake St. Louis.
Kansas City itself is the 10th most expensive city in Missouri. Other local cities that ranked high on Missouri’s list include Grain Valley, Belton, Blue Springs, Liberty and Raymore.
WHICH KANSAS CITY AREA CITY HAS THE LOWEST HOUSEHOLD BILLS?
Independence is the city with the lowest household bills in the metro area, with residents paying just $1,565 per month on average. The city ranks 57th most expensive on a list of 78 Missouri cities.
The next most affordable city in the metro is Grandview, where household bills are around $1723 per month — the 33rd most expensive in Missouri.
On the Kansas side, the most affordable city in the metro is Leavenworth, with household bills averaging $1,784 per month. It ranks 17th most expensive out of a list of 35 Kansas cities, putting it squarely in the middle of state affordability rankings.
WHICH KANSAS CITY AREA COUNTY IS MOST AFFORDABLE?
Wyandotte County has the lowest household bills in the five-county metro area.
You can expect to pay around $1,844 per month, making it the eighth priciest county in Kansas. Clay County is close behind — it’s the 7th most expensive county in Missouri with average monthly household bills around $1,892.
Jackson County ranks in the middle with average monthly expenses of $1,938, the fourth highest in Missouri.
The second most expensive county is Johnson County, with average expenses around $2,199 per month. Johnson is the second most expensive county in Kansas after Miami County, with average expenses just a few dollars higher at $2,202.
Finally, Platte County is the most expensive county in the metro area, with average monthly household bills of $2,244. This also makes it the most expensive county in Missouri.