Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Missouri
Most people overlook the Midwest when deciding where to move. This region doesn’t have ocean views, mountains, or the diversity found on the coasts, but it offers what most other states don’t have: a friendly, easy-going culture, low cost of living, and wide-open spaces that seem to go on forever.
Centrally located states like Missouri are especially appealing. People moving to Missouri get the perfect balance between a rural and urban lifestyle. You have easy access to all the great jobs, restaurants, and entertainment found in larger cities, plus the cheaper cost of living found in smaller towns.
And when you live in Missouri, you are never far from the nearest Kansas City barbecue joint, an exciting baseball game, or the natural beauty of the Ozarks.
There are great things ahead of you in Missouri, but before you move, it’s helpful to know a few essential details. In this article, you will learn everything from climate facts to the best places to live so you can have a smooth transition when moving to Missouri.
When living in Missouri, you need to be ready for all types of weather. Since it is in the southern part of the Midwest, close to Arkansas and Tennessee, Missouri experiences all four seasons.
With hot summers, breezy autumns, cold winters, and cool springs, you will get used to fluctuating temperatures throughout the year.
In the summer, you can wear shorts and a t-shirt. But in the winter, you better bundle up because it can get pretty cold.
Although the temperatures fluctuate, you won’t experience anything too intense. Temperatures over 100℉ are rare. The average high temperature in Missouri sits around 90℉.
During the colder months, freezing temperatures for prolonged periods are normal, so expect some snow and ice. However, you don’t have to worry about many subzero days. Missouri’s midland location helps regulate the temperature so it doesn’t get too hot or cold for an extended period.
Annual precipitation varies across the state. If you end up settling in the northwest, you can expect about 35 inches per year. The further southeast you live, the more the yearly rain increases.
As you near Mississippi and Arkansas, expect around 50 inches of rain. It is also common for tornadoes to run through the state when there are storms. Missouri averages 30-45 tornadoes per year, making it one of the top 10 states for tornadoes. If moving to Missouri, be ready for some extreme weather.
Missouri is located in Dixie Alley, which includes Lousiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Like Tornado Alley—which includes parts of the Southern Plains and the Central US—states in Dixie Alley are prone to tornadoes. Wherever you live, make sure you have a storm shelter on your property.
Overall, Missouri has an excellent tax system—it’s ranked 12th overall. Still, not all taxes in the state are modest.
- The individual income tax rating is 23rd in the country.
- Sales tax is relatively high, bringing Missouri in at 24th.
Depending on where you currently live, you may or may not have a state income tax. Regardless, Missouri does, and you’ll pay about 5.4% of your taxable income.
But there is a reason Missouri’s ranked 12th. If you own property or run a business in Missouri, you’ll save on taxes. Tax rates for both are lower than the national average, which means you can save money as a Missouri resident.
Cost of Living in Missouri
While Missouri might have high sales and income taxes, overall, it is drastically more affordable than other parts of the county. On a scale of 100 (with 100 being the average), Missouri has a cost of living index of 85.9.
The average salary is $63,037, or $30/hour, which is only $3,000 lower than the national average. With low housing costs, you’ll be able to live comfortably in Missouri with the state’s average salary.
Although Missouri is second only to Texas with 100,000 farms, and it is 3.8 times smaller than Texas, the biggest drivers of the economy are aerospace and transportation equipment manufacturing. Manufacturing dominates in the largest cities.
You’ll find mostly agricultural jobs in rural parts of the state. Agriculture is a large part of the state’s economy. Farms cover two-thirds of all the land in Missouri, and most farms in the state are family-owned and operated.
Overall, the health of Missouri’s residents is subpar. Missouri is ranked 42nd in the US.
The high obesity rate across the state is a cause for concern. However, the CDC has documented obesity rates nationwide, so it’s not just a health concern in Missouri. Obesity is high in both Southern and Midwestern states.
While this is undoubtedly a concern for healthcare workers, it is more of a regional problem than something specific to Missouri.
Living in Missouri might provide some healthcare obstacles depending on your income level. Between 2017 and 2019, Missouri lawmakers passed a bill that caused poor children from low-income families to lose their healthcare coverage.
But thankfully, there are some programs still available to help these households as well as pregnant women, disabled individuals, and seniors. If you fall into these categories, you may be eligible for medical coverage through MO HealthNet, the state Medicaid program.
Missouri is in the middle of the pack when it comes to education. It’s technically ranked 30th, but it has an above-average high school graduation rate.
The disparity is primarily due to the school districts and their locations. The best school districts in Missouri are near the major cities—in the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas.
The top three districts—Ladue School District, School District of Clayton, and Kirkwood School District—are all within the St. Louis metro area. When living in Missouri, you’ll notice that the schools in Jefferson City and some parts of Kansas City aren’t as strong.
But great schools don’t stop with high school.
Missouri is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the country. According to U.S. News, the top colleges and universities in Missouri are Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis University, and the University of Missouri, all nationally ranked within the top 125 schools.
Overall, Missouri residents can count on high-quality education in Missouri’s elementary schools, high schools, and university systems.
There are many important factors to consider when you move to a new state. While it’s essential to pay attention to the numbers and data about healthcare, climate, and education, don’t ignore the natural beauty of Missouri.
There are plenty of breathtaking hiking trails and historical sights, which you’ll have plenty of time to explore when living in Missouri. One of Missouri’s claims to fame is Lewis and Clark’s journey. The explorers started their trip in Charles, MO in 1804, a few miles outside St. Louis, and returned to St. Louis in 1806.
But Missouri is defined by more than its past. Since 2011, every major sports team—Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, and the St. Louis Blues—have won a championship. Missouri is a winning state.
You probably saw that Missouri is called the “Show Me” state. Although it’s a strange moniker with an uncertain origin, there is a popular theory behind the name. In 1899, US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver said, “Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri. You’ve got to show me.”
And show you I will. There are plenty of fun things to do in Missouri. You can attend games for the championship-caliber Kansas City Chiefs and cheer on a winning team.
If sports aren’t your thing, you will love Missouri’s art districts and all the outdoor recreation that comes with living in Missouri, from kayaking on the Missouri River to hiking in one of the state parks. Near the Oklahoma border, you can also stand on three states at once: Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
Exploring the City Museum is an excellent way for a family to spend the day together. A conglomeration of art, kid-friendly activities, and incredible technology, the City Museum has something for everyone.
St. Louis is well-known for many things, but the famous Gateway Arch takes the cake. This modern marvel is easily recognizable. And for those who dare, you can ride to the top of the arch and gaze out at the beautiful sights in St. Louis.
Speaking of beautiful topography, the Lake of the Ozarks covers 54,000 acres with 1,150 miles of shore. Whether you like hiking, camping, fishing, tubing, or any other outdoor activity, the Ozark Mountains meet your needs.
Missouri has been home to millions of people over time, but a few stand out. It is a place for all, from famous writers and poets to presidents and rappers. At one time or another, T.S. Eliot, Harry S. Truman, Kellen Winslow, Yogi Berra, and Eminem all called Missouri home.
One of the unique things about Missouri is its history. Yes, Lewis and Clark’s trip was both insightful and awe-inspiring, but people lived here before then. Missouri got its name from a tribe of Sioux Indians called the Missouris. The word “Missouri” means “wooden canoe people” or “he of the big canoe.”
Best Places to Live in Missouri
Missouri has a lot to offer its residents. One of the best offerings is excellent places to live. But before we talk about these top-rated locations, let’s quickly go over what you need to do in preparation for moving here:
- Missouri experiences all kinds of weather, so make sure to bring a little bit of everything to get through each season.
- Keep important documents with you, such as your travel and birth certificates, social security information, medical records, school records, banking information, and vehicle registration. These documents will help you secure your Missouri driver’s license.
- If you have one or multiple vehicles, you can make your move easier by shipping your car. Book your car transport ahead of time and cross one task off of your moving-to-Missouri list of things to do.
Once you complete those important tasks, it’s time to research the best places to live in Missouri. AreaVibes rates Glendale, Webster Groves, Kearney, Ballwin, and Brentwood as the best spots.
Glendale is a well-to-do area with almost no crime. With only 5,917 residents, Glendale is a tight-knit community, and most of the residents are families with children.
According to AreaVibes, Glendale is the best place to live in Missouri. Located on the outskirts of St. Louis, Glendale celebrates the city’s roots with lots of blues music. If you’re a music lover, you will enjoy the Jazzfest in Glendale—it’s been going on for over 21 years.
Located a few miles outside of St. Louis, Webster Groves is a growing community of over 20,000 residents. Known for its excellent school district and safe neighborhoods, you can rest assured your family will enjoy living here.
This suburb also provides excellent resources for families. The Webster Groves Recreation center facilitates dozens of activities a year to keep the community active and healthy. Whether you want to join a softball league, skate at the ice arena, or reserve a pavilion in a park for a birthday or anniversary, you can do that here.
While the first two towns are in the St. Louis metroplex, Kearney is north of Kansas City. This town is less urban than the previous cities but still offers a safe environment to raise a family.
Kearney was home to the famous outlaw, Jesse James, so the residents have a festival every year to recognize this iconic figure.
Ballwin is the largest city on this list, with over 30,000 residents, but that shouldn’t alarm you. Located west of St. Louis, your family is near several excellent schools and universities.
Although it is larger than the other towns on this list, Ballwin has a small-town feel. You can find most businesses on the main road—Historic US 66.
Missouri’s portion of Route 66 offers many historical stops and beautiful views. While driving to your new home in Ballwin, you can stop at the Chain of Rocks Bridge crossing over the Mississippi River, get a quick treat at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, and visit the Route 66 Museum.
Brentwood is one of the best places to raise a family. AreaVibes ranks it as a top ten city for education for big and small towns. Your children can learn from the best teachers in Missouri if you live in Brentwood.
Located in the heart of St. Louis, you will never have a shortage of things to do and fantastic restaurants to try. Be sure to include the Brentwood Days Festival on your list of things to check out in Missouri.
Missouri is one of the best-kept secrets in America. It has tons to offer families, couples, and singles. Whether you are looking to get into sports or send your kids to a great school, Missouri offers it all. And for business owners, Missouri is incredibly tax-friendly.
As you get ready to move into your new home, feeling overwhelmed is normal. That’s where Guardian Auto Transport can help. We can transport your vehicle, so you don’t have to worry about getting it to your new home.
Moving vehicles within a state or across state lines doesn’t have to be stressful. Let us take care of shipping your car to Missouri for you. We also can transport your car to any state as well. Contact us today for a free instant quote.
I was referred to the by the dealership I bought my car from. Guardian set up the transport of my car in an enclosed trailer. Car arrived in perfect condition. Highly recommended them if you're shipping a high end vehicle knowing they will take absolute care!
Guardian did a good job shipping my car! Will call them again to ship my return trip.