Welcome to Kansas! Although its official nickname is the Sunflower State, this great state is known by many other names, including the Jayhawk State, the Midway State and the Wheat State. With a nickname like the Wheat State, there's no need to guess what this state's major crop is.
Kansas's rolling prairies and fertile soil grow more wheat than any other state in the nation, in addition to other crops like corn, oats and potatoes. But there's more to Kansas than farmland; this state also attracts newcomers and intrigues residents with attractions like ancient dinosaur bones, the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, the Rolling Hills Zoo and the Old West locale of Dodge City.
Historically an agricultural state, Kansas's economy today relies more heavily on manufacturing and service. The overall cost of living is 92% of the national average, with housing costs 13.4% less than the national average, so finding affordable apartments for rent shouldn't be too difficult, at least in the major cities: Wichita, Topeka and Lawrence.
With a population of over 350,000, Wichita is the largest city in Kansas and is generally considered its economic hub. As the "Air Capital of the World," Wichita is home to several major aircraft manufacturers, including Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna and Raytheon. But it's the community that makes this city a great place to live; Wichita has affordable and varied options for apartments, excellent schools, comfortable weather and some of the friendliest people around. When you search for apartments for rent, be sure to take a look at the Old Town area. With its nightclubs, movie theaters, interesting restaurants and live music, this is an exciting area to live. Throughout Wichita, you can easily find decent apartment rentals starting at $300-$400 a month. If you have the luxury of a bigger budget, you may want to consider springing for a townhouse or luxury apartments. These tend to run about $800 and up, depending on the area of town you're looking in.
As the state capital, Topeka is a bustling community playing a major role in government, transportation and health care. In addition to the state government, major employers include Hill's Pet Nutrition and Payless ShoeShource. More importantly, this is a close-knit community with plenty of hometown hospitality. Topeka offers affordable housing options, with apartment rentals ranging from about $400-$800.
Lawrence is a true college town, housing the prestigious Kansas University on the historic Mount Oread campus, which has been called "one of the most gorgeous in the United States." Lawrence's population of college students and faculty gives it a more sophisticated and edgy feel than you may find in much of the rest of the state. World-class museums, clubs with live music, eclectiv restaurants and other urban treats are in plentiful supply. Plenty of apartments are available too, with rental prices starting in the $300 range.