Best counties to live in Missouri

Missouri

What makes a particular county the best? Oftentimes, it’s a good mix of opportunities for fun outdoor activities and cultural attractions. Throw in some historical sites, good schools, job opportunities, and affordable housing, and the county will most likely have happy residents.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to live in Missouri using rankings from Niche. Niche ranks counties by a variety of factors including: public schools, educational attainment, cost of living, and housing.

Many counties on the list are experiencing growth due to their job opportunities, education, or home values. Others are adored for their historic or well-designed value, or devotion to cultural opportunities. Keep reading to see if your county made the list.

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Cass County

– Population: 103,597
– Median home value: $181,000 (77% own)
– Median rent: $975 (23% rent)
– Median household income: $69,433
– Top public schools: Creekmoor Elementary School (A), Hillcrest STEAM Academy (B+), Timber Creek Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Blue Ridge Christian School (A), Heartland High School & Academy (B+), Harrisonville Christian School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Lake Winnebago (A), Raymore (A), Peculiar (B)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Ste. Genevieve County

– Population: 17,848
– Median home value: $166,200 (80% own)
– Median rent: $729 (20% rent)
– Median household income: $60,129
– Top public schools: Ste. Genevieve Middle School (A), Ste. Genevieve Elementary School (A), Ste. Genevieve Senior High School (A)
– Top private schools: Valle Catholic Schools (B), St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School (unavailable), St. Joseph Elementary School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Ste. Genevieve (A), Union Township (B+), Bloomsdale (B+)

Onegentlemanofverona // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Callaway County

– Population: 44,889
– Median home value: $157,400 (73% own)
– Median rent: $708 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $56,938
– Top public schools: Bartley Elementary School (A), Bush Elementary School (B+), McIntire Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: Kingdom Christian Academy (unavailable), St. Peter Catholic School (unavailable), Callaway Child and Family Development Center (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Holts Summit (B+), Fulton (B), Summit Township (B+)

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#22. Jefferson County

– Population: 223,951
– Median home value: $161,800 (79% own)
– Median rent: $855 (21% rent)
– Median household income: $65,454
– Top public schools: Festus Elementary School (A), James E. Freer Elementary School (A), George Guffey Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: St. Pius X. High School (A), Twin City Christian Academy (B+), Christian Outreach School (C+)
– Top places to live: Arnold (B+), High Ridge (B+), Festus (B)

Paul Sableman // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Cooper County

– Population: 17,660
– Median home value: $132,900 (73% own)
– Median rent: $664 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $52,735
– Top public schools: Boonville High School (B+), Blackwater Elementary School (B), Bunceton Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: Ss. Peter & Paul School (unavailable), St. Joseph Elementary School (unavailable), Zion Lutheran School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Boonville (B+), Windsor Place (B+), Boonville Township (B+)

JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Atchison County

– Population: 5,229
– Median home value: $84,900 (70% own)
– Median rent: $529 (30% rent)
– Median household income: $50,236
– Top public schools: Rock Port Elementary School (A), Fairfax Elementary School (B+), Tarkio Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools:
– Top places to live: Polk Township (A), Rock Port (A), Clay Township (B+)

Nja1985, retouched by Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Johnson County

– Population: 53,682
– Median home value: $156,500 (61% own)
– Median rent: $806 (39% rent)
– Median household income: $55,273
– Top public schools: Whiteman Air Force Base Elementary School (A), Knob Noster Elementary School (A), Leeton Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Johnson County Christian Academy (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Warrensburg (A), Knob Noster (B+), Warrensburg Township (A)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Howard County

– Population: 10,058
– Median home value: $130,100 (78% own)
– Median rent: $601 (22% rent)
– Median household income: $52,700
– Top public schools: Laurence J. Daly Elementary School (B), New Franklin Elementary School (B), New Franklin Middle/High School (B)
– Top private schools: St. Mary’s Catholic School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Fayette (B+), New Franklin (B+), Moniteau Township (B+)

Photos BrianScantlebury // Shutterstock

#17. Marion County

– Population: 28,608
– Median home value: $123,400 (65% own)
– Median rent: $665 (35% rent)
– Median household income: $48,784
– Top public schools: Oakwood Elementary School (A), Marion County Elementary School (B), Mark Twain Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: Holy Family School (unavailable), St. John’s Lutheran School (unavailable), Hannibal Christian Academy (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Palmyra (B+), Hannibal (B), Miller Township (A)

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Buchanan County

– Population: 88,460
– Median home value: $122,200 (62% own)
– Median rent: $779 (38% rent)
– Median household income: $51,916
– Top public schools: Field Elementary School (B+), Oak Grove Elementary School (B), Ellison Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: Bishop LeBlond High School (B+), St. Joseph Christian School (B+), St. Francis Xavier School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: St. Joseph (B), Tremont Township (B+), Washington Township (B)

Lilith Munck // Shutterstock

#15. Taney County

– Population: 55,114
– Median home value: $139,800 (62% own)
– Median rent: $816 (38% rent)
– Median household income: $46,031
– Top public schools: Kirbyville Elementary School (A), Kirbyville Middle School (A), Branson Junior High School (A)
– Top private schools: School of the Ozarks (B+), Trinity Christian Academy (A), Riverview Bible Baptist Christian School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Branson (B+), Hollister (B), Merriam Woods (B)

Andrew.Belair // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Adair County

– Population: 25,369
– Median home value: $126,800 (60% own)
– Median rent: $646 (40% rent)
– Median household income: $41,929
– Top public schools: Kirksville Senior High School (A), William Matthew Middle School (B), Brashear High School (B)
– Top private schools: Life Church School (A), Faith Lutheran School (unavailable), Mary Immaculate Elementary School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Kirksville (B), Benton Township (B+), Liberty Township (B)

Peek Creative Collective // Shutterstock

#13. Jasper County

– Population: 119,920
– Median home value: $118,400 (64% own)
– Median rent: $776 (36% rent)
– Median household income: $48,357
– Top public schools: Eugene Field Elementary School (A), Mark Twain Elementary School (A), Harry S. Truman Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School (A+), McAuley Catholic High School (B+), College Heights Christian School (B+)
– Top places to live: Carl Junction (A), Webb City (A), Oronogo (B+)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Phelps County

– Population: 44,630
– Median home value: $135,000 (60% own)
– Median rent: $727 (40% rent)
– Median household income: $44,154
– Top public schools: Harry S. Truman Elementary School (A), Wyman Elementary School (A), Mark Twain Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: St. Patrick School (unavailable), Immanuel Lutheran School (unavailable), Great Circle – St. James (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Rolla (A), St. James (B), Rolla Township (A)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Pulaski County

– Population: 52,425
– Median home value: $159,200 (49% own)
– Median rent: $993 (51% rent)
– Median household income: $53,492
– Top public schools: Thayer Elementary School (A), Partridge Elementary School (B+), Waynesville Senior High School (B+)
– Top private schools: Maranatha Baptist Academy (A)
– Top places to live: Waynesville (B+), St. Robert (B+), Cullen Township (A)

Semipaw // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Christian County

– Population: 85,658
– Median home value: $169,000 (74% own)
– Median rent: $816 (26% rent)
– Median household income: $60,645
– Top public schools: East Elementary School (A), North Elementary School (A), Ozark Junior High School (A)
– Top private schools: Faith Christian School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Fremont Hills (A), Ozark (A), Nixa (A)

Jose Kevo // Wikicommons

#9. Greene County

– Population: 289,756
– Median home value: $146,000 (56% own)
– Median rent: $767 (44% rent)
– Median household income: $46,086
– Top public schools: Central High School (A), Schofield Elementary School (A), Strafford High School (A)
– Top private schools: Greenwood Laboratory School (A+), Springfield Catholic High School (A), The Summit Preparatory School (A)
– Top places to live: Battlefield (A), Willard (B+), Republic (B+)

Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

#8. Cape Girardeau County

– Population: 78,491
– Median home value: $160,500 (65% own)
– Median rent: $808 (35% rent)
– Median household income: $53,732
– Top public schools: Blanchard Elementary School (A), Russell Hawkins Junior High School (A), Alma Schrader Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Notre Dame Regional High School (A), Saxony Lutheran High School (A), Eagle Ridge Christian School (B)
– Top places to live: Jackson (A), Cape Girardeau (A), Randol Township (A)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Clay County

– Population: 242,516
– Median home value: $174,900 (69% own)
– Median rent: $965 (31% rent)
– Median household income: $70,510
– Top public schools: Chapel Hill Elementary School (A), Nashua Elementary School (A), Bell Prairie Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: St. Pius X High School (A), Northland Christian Schools (B+), Eagle Heights Christian School (B+)
– Top places to live: Liberty (A), Shoal Creek Valley (A), Gladstone (A)

Katherine Dowler // Wikimedia

#6. Cole County

– Population: 76,723
– Median home value: $162,300 (66% own)
– Median rent: $661 (34% rent)
– Median household income: $60,066
– Top public schools: Blair Oaks Elementary School (A), Blair Oaks Middle School (A), Cole R-1 Middle School (B+)
– Top private schools: Helias Catholic High School (A), Calvary Lutheran High School (B+), Lighthouse Preparatory Academy (B)
– Top places to live: Jefferson City (A), St. Martins (B), Jefferson Township (A)

Jon Kraft // Shutterstock

#5. Jackson County

– Population: 696,216
– Median home value: $147,400 (58% own)
– Median rent: $910 (42% rent)
– Median household income: $55,134
– Top public schools: James Walker Elementary School (A+), Cordill-Mason Elementary School (A+), Voy Spears Jr. Elementary School (A+)
– Top private schools: The Pembroke Hill School (A+), The Barstow School (A+), Rockhurst High School (A+)
– Top places to live: Lee’s Summit (A+), Blue Springs (A), Country Club / Waldo (A)

Rob Neville Photos // Shutterstock

#4. St. Charles County

– Population: 394,290
– Median home value: $219,100 (81% own)
– Median rent: $1,041 (19% rent)
– Median household income: $84,978
– Top public schools: Francis Howell Middle School (A), Becky-David Elementary School (A), Independence Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Lutheran High School of St. Charles County (A), Christian School District (Living Word Christian School) (A), Duchesne High School (A)
– Top places to live: Dardenne Prairie (A+), Cottleville (A+), St. Peters (A)

TommyBrison // Shutterstock

#3. Platte County

– Population: 100,682
– Median home value: $226,500 (66% own)
– Median rent: $1,019 (34% rent)
– Median household income: $80,393
– Top public schools: Park Hill South High School (A), Park Hill High School (A), Plaza Middle School (A)
– Top private schools: Faith Christian Academy (A), St. Therese School (unavailable), Clay-Platte Montessori School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Parkville (A+), Weatherby Lake (A+), Line Creek Valley (A)

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#2. Boone County

– Population: 177,651
– Median home value: $185,700 (56% own)
– Median rent: $876 (44% rent)
– Median household income: $55,328
– Top public schools: Rock Bridge Senior High School (A+), David H. Hickman High School (A), Ulysses S. Grant Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Columbia Independent School (A+), Christian Fellowship School (A), Fr. Tolton Catholic High School (A)
– Top places to live: Columbia (A), Ashland (B+), Centralia (B)

Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

#1. St. Louis County

– Population: 996,919
– Median home value: $198,800 (69% own)
– Median rent: $983 (31% rent)
– Median household income: $67,420
– Top public schools: Ladue Horton Watkins High School (A+), Clayton High School (A+), Lafayette High School (A+)
– Top private schools: John Burroughs School (A+), Thomas Jefferson School (A+), MICDS – Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School (A+)

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