Should I Move to Wichita, KS? 12 Pros and Cons to Consider

Have you been asking yourself, “Should I move to Wichita?” If you’re looking for a city that offers a high quality of life and a welcoming atmosphere, this city may be the perfect place for you. Located in the heart of the Midwest, Wichita offers a special blend of urban amenities and small-town charm. From its dynamic arts and culture scene to its rich aviation history, there’s always something to explore in this bustling city. So, before making the move to Wichita, it’s important to know if your lifestyle is compatible with the area. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of living in Wichita to help you decide if it’s the right place for you. Let’s jump in.

Wichita at a Glance

Walk Score: 35 | Bike Score: 44 | Transit Score: 20

Median Sale Price: $232,000 | Average Rent for 1-Bedroom Apartment: $860

Wichita neighborhoods | Houses for rent in Wichita | Apartments for rent in Wichita | Homes for sale in Wichita

Pro: Affordable cost of living

This city stands out for its affordability with the cost of living in Wichita 11% lower than the national average. This allows many residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. This affordability extends to various aspects of life, including groceries, utilities, and entertainment options. Additionally, the median home price in Wichita is about $200,000 less than the national average, making homeownership more accessible to a broader range of people.

Con: Limited public transportation

With a Transit Score of 20, one of the drawbacks of Wichita is the limited public transportation options. The city relies heavily on buses, with a lack of extensive subway or tram systems found in larger cities. This can make commuting challenging for those without a vehicle, particularly in areas not well-served by the existing bus routes. Additionally, the frequency and coverage of bus services can be limited, especially on weekends and evenings, further complicating mobility for residents without cars.

Pro: Cultural attractions

Wichita is home to an exciting cultural scene boasting a variety of museums, galleries, and theaters. For example, the nearby Wichita Art Museum houses one of the largest collections of American art in the country. There are also numerous festivals and events throughout the year, including the Wichita River Festival, which attracts visitors from all over with its concerts, food, and fireworks. These cultural attractions provide residents with enriching experiences and opportunities to engage with the community.

Con: Weather extremes

Residents of Wichita must be prepared to face weather extremes throughout the year. The city experiences hot, humid summers with temperatures often soaring above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while winters can be bitterly cold and snowy. Additionally, Wichita is located in an area prone to severe weather. This includes thunderstorms and tornadoes, particularly during the spring and early summer months. These weather extremes can be a significant drawback for those not accustomed to such variability.

Pro: Strong job market

Wichita possesses a strong job market, especially in the aviation, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors. The city is known as the “Air Capital of the World,” hosting numerous aerospace companies, including Spirit AeroSystems and Textron Aviation. This specialization has created a wealth of job opportunities for engineers, mechanics, and other skilled professionals. Additionally, the city’s healthcare system is a major employer, providing a range of career options for those in medical and allied health professions.

Con: Limited nightlife options

For those seeking a bustling nightlife, Wichita may fall short of expectations. While there are bars and entertainment venues, the variety and scale of nightlife options are limited compared to larger cities. However, the city has been making efforts to revitalize its downtown area. These efforts have introduced new venues and events aimed at enhancing the nightlife experience.

Pro: Strong community spirit

Wichita boasts a strong sense of community spirit, with friendly residents and a welcoming atmosphere. The city holds volunteerism and community events, which foster a sense of belonging and involvement among locals. Neighborhood associations and local groups are active in organizing events, beautification projects, and other initiatives that enhance the quality of life. This community-minded approach makes Wichita a great place to live for those who value connectivity and a supportive environment.

Con: Limited diversity in dining options

While Wichita has a growing food scene, the diversity in dining options can be limited compared to larger metropolitan areas. Residents looking for international cuisine might find the choices somewhat restricted, with a heavier focus on traditional American and barbecue fare. However, the city has seen an influx of new restaurants and food trucks in recent years. This has been slowly broadening the culinary landscape to include more varied and international dishes.

Pro: Access to outdoor activities

Wichita is surrounded by natural beauty and offers numerous parks and recreational areas.The city’s location along the Arkansas River includes scenic paths and parks perfect for walking, biking, and picnicking. Sedgwick County Park and the Great Plains Nature Center offer additional spaces for hiking, bird watching, and connecting with nature. These green spaces are a significant advantage for those who enjoy spending time outdoors.

Con: Perception as a “flyover” city

Wichita sometimes struggles with the perception of being a “flyover” city, overlooked by those traveling between the coasts. This perception can impact the city’s ability to attract new businesses and tourists, who may not realize the cultural, recreational, and economic opportunities available. However, those who take the time to explore Wichita often discover a vibrant community full of surprises and hidden gems.

Pro: Innovative business environment

Wichita’s economy is not only strong in traditional sectors like aviation and healthcare but is also fostering an innovative business environment. The city is becoming a hub for startups and entrepreneurship, supported by initiatives like the e2e Accelerator and Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus. These efforts are creating a dynamic atmosphere for business development and innovation, attracting new talent and investment to the city. This entrepreneurial spirit is a significant pro for Wichita, signaling a bright future for its economy.

Con: Sparse public spaces in some areas

While Wichita offers beautiful parks and outdoor areas, the distribution of these public spaces can be uneven across the city. Some neighborhoods lack easy access to parks or recreational facilities, which can affect residents’ quality of life, particularly in more densely populated or underserved areas. Efforts are underway to address this imbalance, with plans for new parks and improvements to existing ones, aiming to ensure all Wichitans can enjoy the benefits of public spaces.


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