The Show-Me State has a great deal to show visitors and residents--including fertile plains, picturesque hills, rolling prairies and historic rivers. The Mississippi River forms the state's eastern border, while the Missouri river winds across the state. These waterways made Missouri a land of travel early in its history, sending supplies west with the pioneers. And these days, there are many factors that make Missouri a land worth traveling to and calling your home!
Today, Missouri's economy is diversified into a variety of industries. Manufacturing, retail and agriculture are all significant components. Leading products include automobiles, beer and other beverages, and defense and aerospace technology. However, it is the service industries, of which tourism is a leading figure, that provide more income and jobs than any other sector.
Tourist and residents alike are drawn to Missouri's numerous attractions, located all over the state. Popular sites include the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the country music of Branson, Mark Twain's boyhood home in Hannibal and the Harry Truman home and library in Independence. Not all of Missouri's attractions are man-made, though; of equal interest is the natural beauty of the Ozark region, numerous lakes and great rivers.
Missouri is a welcoming state in many ways, one of which is its affordability. It has the 11th lowest cost of living in the nation, with housing costs at 20% below the national average. If you're looking for apartments for rent, here's more good news: Across the state, average apartment rentals are 700 square feet and go for an average of $500 rent per month.
Missouri's early settlers, who formed a trading post in 1821 on the land that would become Kansas City, probably couldn't have guessed that less than 200 years later, the area would be home to 440,000 residents (1.8 million in the greater metropolitan area). Kansas City is the nation's 36th largest city in population and 13th largest in land area. It's known as the "Heart of America," and its most famous attributes are pure American: steaks, barbecue and jazz. Residents here have their pick of more than 60 barbecue restaurants and numerous hotspots for enjoying the local jazz. As if good food and good music weren't enough, the cost of living here is 21% below the national average, and apartment rentals are relatively affordable. The least expensive neighborhoods are in the East and South portions of the city, with one-bedroom apartments going for an average of $425 per month and two-bedroom places averaging $575. You'll find the nicest apartments for rent in the North and Plaza sections of town, with one-bedroom apartments going for approximately $550 and one-bedrooms averaging $675.
With a population of 330,000 and a cost of living 23% below the national average, St. Louis has a great combination of big-city amenities with small-town costs, and friendly people to boot. The most recognizable feature of St. Louis is the Gateway Arch, symbol of the city and the nation's tallest man-made monument. Other attractions stretch the gamut from museums and galleries to wineries and eclectic restaurants, as well as riverboat gaming and pro sports (baseball and football are represented by the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Rams). When it comes to looking for apartments for rent, you can take your pick of a cool loft downtown, a posh condo in the Central West End or a variety of other styles of apartments in one of St. Louis's 79 neighborhoods.