11 Pros and Cons of Living in Missouri

Can amazing BBQ and two major metro areas win out over higher crime rates? Let’s look at the pros and cons of life in Missouri.
Written by Jennifer Justice
Reviewed by Shannon Martin
Updated on Nov 07, 2022
There are many reasons to love Missouri—nicknamed the “Show-Me State”—from its lower cost of living to world-famous BBQ! But can that outweigh the downsides, like the weather or lower average wages? We’ll look at pros and cons of living in Missouri here.
If you’re eyeing the Show-Me state as your next stomping grounds, you’ll want to know more about Missouri before you move. But, let’s face it, every state has good and bad points, so we’ll go over some details to help you decide before you buy a home in this Midwestern state.
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Pro: low cost of living

Missouri ranks 7th among all 50 states for the cost of living, which is a plus. Missouri’s cost of living index averages 88.6 out of 100. Some areas, like housing, are even better at 79.5 out of 100. 
While the median household wages are $56,447, you have a lot of rural vs. city locations to pick from, which can make a big difference in your housing costs. According to Zillow, the average home value is $234,924, while rent averages $1,178 per month based on Rent.com.
When it comes to driving, you’ll want a car to get to other parts of the state, and gas prices are below national rates. You can expect to pay about $0.40 lower per gallon. Even better,
Missouri car insurance
premiums are almost $300 cheaper in Missouri than the average.

Pro: food, food, and more food

Missouri has several signature-style foods, from BBQ to pizza. It has two distinct styles of BBQ, Kansas City-style and St. Louis-style. If you’ve never heard of burnt ends or St. Louis ribs, then you don’t know what you’re missing! From
Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que
Salt + Smoke
and everything in between, you’ll have no shortage of options.
Missouri also has its own specialty pizza, the St. Louis pizza. For the uninitiated, it’s got a cracker-like crust and uses Provel cheese – a combo of cheddar, swiss, and provolone. You can find it from one side of the state to the other, from
. You must try this unique style of pizza that you won’t find anywhere else.

Con: below-average wages

No state is perfect, and Missouri has its flaws. One downside is that the per capita income is $55,159, below the $63,444 national average. It can be hard to make ends meet if your wages are falling behind.
This is where location becomes important—living in
St. Louis
Kansas City
means the cost of living is higher, so living outside a major metro area will make a difference. 

Pro: you’re never far from a major city

You can choose between Kansas City and St. Louis or just bounce back and forth between them – and it only takes about four hours to get across the state. So you have double the big-city options when it comes to activities.
Both metro areas offer various museums, sports events, dining, music venues, zoos, retail therapy, and more. You can pick between kid-friendly events or a night on the town for two. In fact, Kansas City was even selected as one of the host cities for the upcoming
2026 FIFA World Cup

Con: high crime rate

While the high crime rate is tied to the major metro areas, it’s something to consider. Unfortunately, St. Louis is ranked #1 in the US among the most dangerous cities, while Kansas City didn’t trail too far behind in the #9 spot, based on a recent article by
However, it’s important to note that these high crime rates are tied to the two major metro areas and that crime occurs in select areas at select times. Many other locations throughout the state (including parts of these cities themselves!) do not reflect these statistics. 

Pro: central location

It’s not called the Midwest for nothing—Missouri is not too far East or West, and just shy of the Gulf of Mexico or the Great Lakes. 
The location means several major airports are nearby, from Kansas City to St. Louis. It’s in the middle of two major rivers, the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, so shipping, railroads, and retail distribution hubs are everywhere.

Con: healthcare access

Unfortunately, Missouri also has limitations when it comes to healthcare, including being ranked #42 in overall healthcare by
US News
. Their report looks at a combination of factors, like affordability and the number of insured adults. In Missouri, about 34% of all adults do not have medical insurance, which affects a variety of health-related concerns.

Pro: college education initiatives

Missouri has multiple programs to help students achieve college degrees.
Education initiatives
such as 15 to Finish and Core Curriculum Transfer (CORE 42) help students graduate on time and transfer classes between colleges. Other programs, such as Talent for Tomorrow, look at the connections between education and the future workforce.
Missouri offers students a wide range of options for what
type of college
they want. The state has 13 universities, 14 two-year colleges, 24 independent colleges, 11 technical colleges, and 17 theological institutions. 

Pro: sports events

Yes, really—you can pick from professional football, baseball, hockey, and soccer teams, plus many NCAA Division I and II college teams if you are a sports fan. The Kansas City Chiefs recently won the Super Bowl. And in case you missed it earlier, Kansas City will be a host city for the upcoming
2026 FIFA World Cup
If you like watching sports, you’ll be able to find a game somewhere in Missouri. There are plenty of sports bars if you want to follow the game on tv while chowing down on wings or ribs, or you can attend a live event in one of the many stadiums around the state.

Con: the weather

Yep, the weather outside can be frightful! Like any Midwest state, Missouri experiences all four seasons; it just happens all on the same day sometimes! Okay, so complaining about the weather is a national pastime, but you still want to know what to expect.
You might get flooding, tornadoes, rainy patches, high humidity, and high summer temperatures at some point. Missouri does have a higher flooding risk compared to nearby states. It also ranks up there for tornado risk—but
actually has a higher number of tornadoes per year! 
The biggest weather factor is the high humidity during the summer. You will want to stay indoors with some nice A/C going. However, the temperature is not as high as in surrounding states, which helps a bit. 
On the upside, winter weather tends to be warmer than in other Midwestern states, while snowfall is often minimal. You do need to watch out for the occasional ice or snowstorm. Just be sure to get to the grocery store early to buy the mandatory loaf of bread and carton of milk—any winter weather predictions mean a run on certain items.
Key Takeaway Like any midwestern state, Missouri’s weather can be unpredictable and risks weather-related events like flooding.

Pro: the great outdoors

Missouri has countless outdoor activities to pick from, including hiking, camping, boating, biking, fishing, and more. If national parks are your thing, you have seven parks to pick from, like the Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis. Or you can try a famous state park, like Lake of the Ozarks.
If you like fishing, boating, or other water sports, you can do that as well. Trout and bass
are common, but you’ll find muskellunge, catfish, sturgeon, and crappie. Just don’t forget your fishing permit – you can pick a one-day or season-based option.
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Is Missouri a good state to live in?

Yes, overall, Missouri is a good place to live, but every state has its pluses and minuses. You’ll want to consider Missouri from multiple angles. Missouri is a good choice if:
  • You love food, especially BBQ
  • You like a lot of outdoor or sporting events options
  • You like accessing two major metro areas
  • You want to live in the Midwest without going too far north
  • You want plenty of excuses for weekend road trips
Still, you might want to avoid living in Kansas City or St. Louis if you are concerned about the high crime rates. You also want to reconsider Missouri as an option if you need regular access to health care.

How to upgrade your car insurance in Missouri

Let’s face it, major life decisions and moving to a new state are never easy! There’s a lot to do and even more expenses when looking for a new place to live. 
can help you cut down on some of those costs (sorry, you’ll have to pack your own boxes). Jerry can help you switch your
car insurance
or home insurance when you move to a new state! And even if you don’t move, we can still help you find the best insurance options around. 
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