10 Pros and Cons of Living in Missouri Right Now

Good Things To Know Before Moving To Missouri

Let’s dig into the pros and cons of living in Missouri today. Because “The Show-Me-State” has plenty to offer.

Whether you are considering retiring in Missouri. Or moving to Missouri for its recreational and economic opportunities.

But, before you make a move, learn the benefits of living in Missouri. Also, the bad things about Missouri.

Then you can answer this all-important question. Is Missouri a good place to live?

So, no further delays. Because living in Missouri pros and cons await us…

pros and cons of living in Missouri

Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

10 Pros And Cons Of Living In Missouri

Here are 5 advantages and 5 disadvantages of living in Missouri:

  • Low cost of housing
  • Low cost of living
  • Good job market & economy
  • Plenty of fun things to do
  • Good food, barbeque & beverages
  • Below-average wages
  • High state & local taxes
  • Severe weather
  • High crime rate
  • Low quality of life rankings

The list provides an outline for the rest of the article. But first, allow me to discuss a few interesting facts about Missouri and me…

Interesting Facts About Missouri And Me

I don’t live in Missouri. And never have.

But, I have a strong bond with the state. Here’s why…

First, my Grandparents on my mother’s side. They lived in a small town in Illinois. Across the state’s border and near St. Louis.

It was rural Illinois living. At its finest.

They later moved farther north into central Illinois. But the family still had strong ties to the St. Louis area.

Next, my Dad. He served in the military for 2 years. And was located at the Fort Leonard Wood, MO army base.

He married my Mom during his time in the service. And, they honeymooned near the base. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?

Because my Dad only had the weekend off. Else, he would have been considered AWOL.

And, he was not a rule breaker. Not even for the true love that resulted in yours truly!

Then there’s my wife. Yes. I was accepted by the female subclass of the human race.

I’m still not sure why. But that’s beside the point.

First of all, my wife grew up near St. Louis, MO. Furthermore, she received her undergraduate degree and MBA from universities located in the state. Finally, she still has extended family in this great region of the country.

As a result, I have spent plenty of time in Missouri. Even more, the Mrs. and I have discussed retiring to Missouri someday.

So, just like you. I too am interested in the pros and cons of Missouri living.

But, that’s enough about me.  It’s time to dive into the important things to know about living in the Show-Me-State.

My top 5 reasons to move to Missouri…

5 benefits of living in Missouri

1. Low Cost Of Housing In Missouri

Why move to Missouri? Here is the first good reason.

If you prepare a monthly budget. And I strongly encourage you to do so.

You understand what I’m going to say next. Specifically, housing will almost always consume the largest portion of your spending.

But in Missouri, your housing costs will be less expensive. Because the median home value in Missouri is about 30% less than the national average.

This makes Missouri housing one of the cheapest places in the United States. Since it routinely ranks in the top 10 most affordable. Based on housing prices.

Furthermore, when you aren’t ready to commit to ownership. Single-family homes can be rented for about $1,000 per month. And, 2-3 bedroom apartments rented for even less.

Mortgages & Credit Checks For A Move To Missouri

Finally, do you need a mortgage for that new Missouri home? Then consider LendingTree. They have fast, affordable online options.

And make sure you monitor your credit score. Whether renting, buying, or applying for a new job.

Because your credit score will be reviewed by your lender or landlord. And probably your new Missouri employer too.

Check your credit for free using Credit Karma. You can learn more about Credit Karma here.

But wait, there’s much more.  The cost savings do not stop with housing when living in Missouri…

2. Low Cost Of Living In Missouri

Expenses for groceries, health care, utilities, and transportation all check-in lower than national averages. Further placing Missouri as a low cost of living state.

So, similar to housing expenses. The overall average cost of living in Missouri falls in the top 10 lowest of all states in America. This, according to U.S. News.

Save More On Groceries

Speaking of groceries, you can save even more on your food bill by using the Ibotta app. It’s fast to sign up. And, easy to use.

You can learn more about Ibotta here.

Save On Everyday Purchases

And if you are on the hunt to save even more money. Then do so, on all your online purchases.

My wife and I use the cash back app, Rakuten. And receive rebates on everything we buy online.

Just like Ibotta, this little secret works anywhere you decide to live. But, why not make it even less expensive to live in Missouri.

You can learn more about Rakuten here. And for a limited time, Rakuten offers $10 cash. Just for signing up and making your first purchase.

Unfortunately no matter what you do. There are still bills to be paid in Missouri.

So, how does the state stack up when it comes to making money?  Let’s see…

3. Jobs And Economic Opportunity

Missouri has a productive economy. Similar to another Midwestern state bordering Missouri to the North.

Living In Missouri: Employment Opportunities

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this state has low unemployment. Specifically, Missouri ranks in the lower one-quarter of all states in the U.S. As measured by the unemployment rate.

Furthermore, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, indicates the state has some large and well-known employers.

Some of these top employers include Walmart, Mercy Health System, BJC Healthcare, and Washington University (Wash U).

Wash U is where my wife got her MBA. She is much smarter than me. I could have never gotten into such a prestigious university.

What about specific jobs? Careers in the health care field offer some of the highest-paying opportunities in the state. And, it’s not surprising. By looking at the list of top employers.

Also, the state offers a rich job market in specialty areas like biotech. Also, plenty of opportunities in retail, service, and business management.

Living In Missouri: Business Opportunities

Finally, the state’s business climate is strong. Even during the unprecedented events of 2020-2021.

For example, Wallet Hub ranked Missouri as a top state. Specifically, for the most pandemic-proof small businesses.

Okay. We know you can live for less in Missouri. Also, find a new job. Or, start a business.

So, Missouri seems like a good place to achieve your important money goals.

But, is there anything fun to do in Missouri? The answer might surprise you.

Because what follows are some of my favorite things to know about Missouri. When it comes to recreation.

4. Plenty of Fun Things To Do In Missouri

That’s right. There are plenty of recreational and entertainment options to choose from in this state. They represent some of the best things about Missouri.

Outdoor Activities In Missouri

First of all, Missouri is home to 6 national parks. And almost 100 state parks. Furthermore, the park system in this state is outstanding.

If you are the outdoors type, check into the numerous options. You can float, canoe, camp, hike, and swim to your heart is content.

Furthermore, Missouri offers some of the best public hunting and fishing access in the Midwest region. Deer and turkey top the list of most hunted.

While bass, catfish, crappie, walleye, and trout are some of the catches of the day. From the freshwaters of the numerous lakes and streams that call Missouri home.

If enjoying the great outdoors is your thing. Then you might also want to consider moving to Tennessee. Missouri’s neighbor to the Southeast.

Professional Sports Teams In Missouri

Not the outdoors type? Then find a soft spot on the couch and take in the professional sports teams that Missouri has to offer.

Because the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, and St. Louis Blues are all located in Missouri.

Furthermore, each of these teams has raised the championship trophy of their respective sports in recent years.

Other Popular Things To Do In Missouri

Don’t forget to visit the iconic Gateway Arch. Also known as “the gateway to the West”.

I still remember a family trip when I was a kid. Riding to the top of the arch was an absolute thrill.

And be sure to check out the Missouri Botanical Garden. My mother-in-law was a member.

It is one of the best places in Missouri to visit. Peaceful and relaxing. With some popular summer events making fun for the whole family.

On the little less peaceful side of things. Also, consider a visit to Branson, MO.

It is a popular tourist destination. Known as the Live Music Capital Of The World. Mostly catering to country and gospel music lovers.

I’ve never been to Branson. But, my wife has.

She says Branson is much more commercialized now. From what she remembers in her youth.

Still can’t find enough things to do in Missouri? Then understand the state is centrally located in the U.S. Perfect for getting away.

Go to Kansas City or St. Louis. And you can fly almost anywhere in the United States in a matter of a few hours.

But, don’t travel on me just yet. Because the next area might be the best thing about Missouri…

pros and cons of moving to Missouri

5. Good Barbeque, Food, & Beverages In Missouri

So, we know we can work hard and play hard in Missouri. But, all this activity will likely make for a healthy appetite.

So, what about the food? Well, eating is another one of my favorite things to do in Missouri. Furthermore, this state has good food.

And, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a drink. Let’s discuss…

Living In Missouri Means Good Barbeque

We have yet another state that likes to brag about its barbeque. But, the bragging is different.

Depending on where you live in Missouri. Because Kansas City and St. Louis represent the 2 barbeque hubs in the state.

Kansas City barbecue is usually cooked at a low temperature. Over a long time. In large pits.

Burnt ends are considered a local specialty.  But the beef brisket, pork, ribs, chicken, turkey, and sausage are all top-notch.

On the other geographic extreme within Missouri state.  St. Louis barbeque can come off the smoker. Or, the grill.

With spare ribs and pork steaks being a couple of favorite cuts of the locals.

My wife has fond memories of her Dad grilling up pork steaks in the backyard. Smothered in his secret homemade sauce.

I think she has the sauce recipe. But I can’t recall her ever making it. Hmmm. Maybe that needs to go on her to-do list! Just kidding.

Speaking of sauce. Missouri barbeque sauce has a personality of its own.

It’s kind of thick and sweet. Using a tomato-base. Whether you are enjoying your BBQ in St. Louis or Kansas City.

Other Good Foods In Missouri

But there’s more to Missouri dining than barbeque. Other local traditions include toasted ravioli, and St. Louis style pizza.

St. Louis-style pizza? Really?

Yep. It has a special cheese blend that makes it unique. The special cheese is called provel.

It adds a slightly sweet, smoky flavor to the cheese. That goes on top of a cracker-like thin crust with a tasty slightly sweet sauce.

I must confess that I’m a pretty big fan of St. Louis-style pizza. And that’s coming from a guy (me) who spent 10 years in the pizza industry.

Ready for dessert? Then try the gooey butter cake.

It’s a fan favorite.  At least it was at the bakery my wife’s grandmother worked at in Kirkwood, MO.

Popular Beverages In Missouri

Maybe you like to kick off a good meal with a drink or two? I know I do. And drink options are another one of the good things about Missouri.

Rich in heritage from German immigrants with beer on their mind. The iconic beer brand Budweiser was founded in St. Louis.

Finally, believe it or not. Here is another interesting fact about Missouri.

The state also has a substantial wine industry. With about 125 independent wineries located throughout.

So grab a locally sourced glass of your favorite variety. Pull up a chair, and relax.

Because all good things must come to an end. Thus, it’s time for the disadvantages of living in Missouri…

5 disadvantages of living in Missouri

1. Wages Are Below Average In Missouri

Well, it’s a good thing the cost of living is low in the state of Missouri. Why? Because wages are below average too.

First of all, the median household income in Missouri is about 12% less than the national average.

On the other hand, the state has made progress with its minimum wage law. Up until more recent years, Missouri had one of the lowest minimum wage rates in the country.

But, recent increases have made it more competitive. So, a sub-par minimum wage is no longer one of the worst things about Missouri. Like it used to be.

On the other hand, there is no comparison. When looking at a state with overall high wages. California, for example.

2. State And Local Taxes Are High In Missouri

There are no bargains to be found when it comes to taxes in Missouri. Like the below-average wages, taxes take another bite out of the low cost of living Missouri has to offer.

Living In Missouri: Income Taxes

The state has a progressive income tax system. Where rates start at 1.5%. And increase to 5.40%.

The highest income tax rate applies to incomes over about $8,000. So, it doesn’t take much income to pay the highest Missouri income tax rate. On every extra dollar, you earn.

Living In Missouri: Sales Taxes

Furthermore, you can’t hide from sales taxes in Missouri. The state-wide rate is more than 4%.

And the average local tax rate tacks on another 4%. Thus, the total sales tax on your purchases is approximately 8%.

So, if you plan on making a lot of money in Missouri. And spending the money you make. Then Missouri is going to take its share of income taxes and sales taxes.

Furthermore, taxes are an important item to consider when deciding where to live. They are right up there in your budget with housing costs and groceries.

Would you rather live in a low-tax state? If yes, set your sites to the South and consider moving to Texas.

So, it’s clear that Missouri will impact your pocketbook in some good. And, not so good ways.

Here’s a recommendation for you…

Managing Your Money In Missouri

Maybe you need to fine-tune your finances before the big move to Missouri? We use Personal Capital to manage our total financial picture online.

Including spending, budgeting, and investments. It’s a great way to get your financial house in order. And best of all, Personal Capital is free to sign up and use.

You can learn more about Personal Capital here.

But enough about money. Let’s cover some non-financial things about Missouri next…

3. Extreme Weather Is Typical For The State

Starting on a positive note, you can enjoy 4-season living in Missouri. But that’s where the good news stops when it comes to the weather.

Because depending on your preferences and location. The weather can be a good reason not to move to Missouri.

A Brief Missouri State Geography Lesson

Mad of mid-South states

Missouri can be divided up into three major sections.

First of all, there are the southern Ozarks. Where Springfield is the biggest city.

Furthermore, we have Eastern Missouri. St. Louis is the cornerstone of this section of the state.

Finally, Western Missouri has Kansas City. Located next to its sister city. That being Kansas City, Kansas, another state with pros and cons.

Missouri’s capital is Jefferson City. It is centrally located in the state. And resides in the middle of a triangle formed by St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield.

Each section has some different weather patterns. But overall, the big picture trends remain the same when it comes to extreme weather.

Living In Missouri Means Summer Heat & Humidity

First of all, summers are hot in this state. And, humid. And, I’m not a big fan of hot weather. So, it makes me think twice about retiring in Missouri.

July is the hottest month. Average high temperatures range from the upper 80s to the lower 90s.

However, days in the low 100s are not uncommon. And humidity readings are frequently above 90%.

This sounds a little like summer time living in the state of Florida. Absent the hurricanes of course.

Winter Is No Picnic In Missouri

Furthermore, winters feel colder than the temperatures indicate. Not just because the temps routinely fall below freezing.

But, because of the higher humidity. Making for a penetrating chill.

During the winter, there is plenty of snow in this state. But the worst thing is freezing rain.

Because high temperatures in the low to mid-30s are perfect for icing things over. When precipitation occurs.

This combination of weather events? Let’s just say they make for dangerous travel conditions.

Do you want a little warmer winter climate? Then consider moving to Arkansas. Missouri’s neighbor to the South.

Tornados Are Part Of Living In Missouri

Finally, the state is susceptible to tornadoes in the spring. Nearly 50 per year have been recorded.

The state is not located in the heart of tornado alley. Like other Mid-Western states.

But still registers enough activity each year. Ranking Missouri state in or near the top 10 states based on tornado count annually.

4. Missouri Has A High Crime Rate & Gang Activity

Fighting crime in St. Louis, MO

As with any part of a state-wide review, crime rates depend on exactly where you live.

But overall, Missouri has a high crime rate. And a propensity for gang activity. Overall, Missouri has higher crime rates than most of the US.

When compared to the other 50 states, Missouri ranks in the top 10 for its violent crime rate. And top 15 for highest property crime rate. So a good insurance policy to protect your belongings is a must.

In particular, St. Louis, Springfield, Kansas City, and Bridgeton often have high criminal activity rankings. And, as I mentioned part of the crime rate is gang-related.

On a personal note, my wife’s family has never felt threatened by crime in Missouri. So, do your homework when thinking about living in Missouri.

And pick a safe place to live. Because there are plenty.

5. Missouri Is Poorly Ranked In Quality Of Life Surveys

Despite all the good things about living in Missouri. The state often comes up short in overall quality of life rankings.

It is frequently scored in the lower one-third of all the states in America. And, sometimes worse. Showing up near the bottom. It all depends on what survey or research report you may be looking at.

Certainly, the high crime rates have an impact here. Also, Missouri receives relatively low marks for health care. Specifically, affordability and access.

Okay. Let’s start to sum things up. Going back to the question of the day. Then I will wrap this up.

Is Missouri A Good Place To Live?

Yes. I believe Missouri is a good place to live.

Residents benefit from economic opportunities in this state. They also save money because of the low cost of living in Missouri. And enjoy plenty of fun, food, and entertainment options.

On the other hand, residents have to endure some challenging weather. And, pay their fair share of taxes. In addition to watching out for crime. And finding a safe place to live.

But, all in all, I think you can make a good life after moving to Missouri.

So, let’s wrap it up with a point-by-point state summary. About the best things and bad things about Missouri.

Is Missouri a good place to live?

Pros And Cons Of Living In Missouri: Wrap Up

Here is a summary list of the pros and cons of living in Missouri.

Benefits Of Living In Missouri

  • Low cost of housing
  • Low cost of living
  • Good job market & economy
  • Plenty of fun things to do
  • Good food, barbeque & beverages

Disadvantages Of Living In Missouri

  • Below-average wages
  • High state & local taxes
  • Severe weather
  • High crime rate
  • Low quality of life rankings

Whether living, working or retiring in Missouri. These are some of the top pros and cons you should consider before your move to “The Show-Me-State”.

Finally, should I move to Missouri?  Well, we haven’t decided yet.

If and when we retire in Missouri. I will certainly let you know!

More Reading About Living Life, Money, & Finances

Resources To Make The Most Of Your Money In Missouri

I mentioned several money-saving tools, apps, and resources throughout the article. They are summarized here for your convenience.

Best of all, they are free to sign up and use to make the most of your money.

Ibotta for saving money on groceries
Lending Tree for mortgages and loans of all types
Credit Karma for monitoring your credit
Rakuten for saving on all of your online purchases
Personal Capital for managing your total financial picture
conclusions about "The Show-Me-State"

Author Bio, Disclosure, & Disclaimer: Please join me (Tom) as I try to achieve my goals, find my next place to live, and make the most of my money. But understand, I am not a licensed investment adviser, financial adviser, real estate agent, or tax professional. I’m a 50-something-year-old guy, CPA, retired finance professional, and part-time business school teacher with 40+ years of DIY investing experience. I’m just here because I enjoy sharing my findings and research on important topics. However, nothing published on this site should be considered individual investment advice, financial guidance, or tax counsel. Because this website’s only purpose is general information & entertainment. As a result, neither I nor Dividends Diversify can be held liable for any losses suffered by any party because of the information published on this blog. Finally, all written content is the property of Dividends Diversify LLC. Unauthorized publication elsewhere is strictly prohibited.

The Pros And Cons Of Living In Missouri

4 thoughts on “10 Pros and Cons of Living in Missouri Right Now”

  1. Missouri sucks. Its backwards and racist. The things you mentioned about good food can be found anywhere in the US. “Good food” is subjective. Why do you think there are so many fat people in the US.
    The wages are below national average and if you are not educated you will definitely make less money. Retail jobs are low paying jobs if you are not in management. Managers make good money in retail and they also have to work overly hard. Doctors and healthcare professionals consistently earn some of the highest wages. Other professionals, attorneys, engineers, IT and tech do well. CEOs do well everywhere. Sales and insurance people do well.

    Every place in the US has outdoor activities, parks, lakes, rivers etc. St. Louis has a good arts scene.

    It’s been a red state for about 15 years now. Diversity is limited and its NOT a true midwestern state. It has a southern/ border state, slave history. Made to fight with the union.
    If you are progressive leaning stick with parts of St. Louis County and City or Kansas City metro area. The rest of Missouri is rural and backwards and has only gotten worse.

    Nobody knows about St. Louis style pizza nationally, so who cares. NY and Chicago style pizzas are known nation wide and probably world wide. Provel cheese is disgusting.

    If you are single Missouri also sucks. Most people are coupled up or married with children. Busch beer is nasty and that’s the irony. How could German descent people make such nasty tasting beer. You can get all types of beer nowadays anywhere you go. The Busch heirs sold Anhesier Busch years ago to a Belgum company called InBev.

    The weather sucks, its either too cold or too hot. I hate humidity. Because of global warming Missouri has gotten warmer winters with less snow than when I was growing up here in the 70s, 80s.

    This is 2021 in the US, again good food, bars, restaurants, outdoor recreation, parks, museums, monuments, arts etc can be found in just about all 50 states. So those reasons alone should not be deciding factors. The job opportunities would be better if there were more diverse industries. Again if you are not from old money or educated, IT, doctor, lawyer, engineer, military career you will make low wages on average. Despite having a vibrant arts scene and music. You have to leave Missouri if you want to make it big in the entertainment industry. Brad Pitt knew he could not stay in Springfield and become an “A” lister. Lol

    Show me state. What the hell does that mean? Dumb slogan…
    If you want progressive, open minded people dont move to Missouri. I grew up in STL county, Kirkwood which was good. But having travelled to 5 of the 7 continents and lived in DC for college and later NYC, Westchester County NYand northern NJ Missouri will never catch up. It has gotten worse from when I grew up here.

    The US is regional. It’s like different countries depending on region and not too much is United either anymore.

    • Hi EJ. Wow. Thank you for your diverse and interesting perspectives about Missouri. I really appreciate you sharing your experiences here! Tom

    • Thank you EJ for the info. That’s what I wanted to hear about; diversity. Not that the article wasn’t informative but I’m about the diversity info too. I want the country but not the racism or lack of diversity. I met a Black woman who’s married to a White man, and they have several children, who live south of STL. They don’t have any issues and are very welcome there. It’s all so confusing. I just want to live in peace out in the country without racism.
      Signed, The open minded White girl from LA

      • Good luck finding your perfect place to live. I’m sure you can find it. And I totally agree, we all deserve a peaceful place to live where people are treated fairly and equally! Tom

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