Best Places to Live

Lawrence, KS

Population: 91,305
Photo: KU Marketing Communications

Visit the Lawrence, KS demographics page for more info on the city. 

The college town of Lawrence, KS, home of the University of Kansas and the heart of the Jayhawk nation, is nestled in the Heartland. While the ratio of college students to residents isn't as high as some of the other cities on this list, (about one student for every three residents) a low cost of living and amenities earned Lawrence big points. Residents here pay about five percent less than the rest of the country for housing, food and clothes.

The benefits of living near KU include access to the college's Natural History Museum, the Spencer Museum of Art. and the 2,000-seat Lied Center for concerts and performing arts programs. Off, but near, campus there are several coffee shops, two micro breweries and an impressive library – Lawrence Public Library.

Lawrence has an excellent bus system and a good network of bike lanes and paths. Many locals enjoy swimming and fishing in Clinton Lake or hiking in nearby forests. The city hosts a one-day event called Burns Night, which features Scottish music, food and poetry.


City Population (2010 Census): 87,643

Student Population: 30,000

College(s): University of Kansas, Haskell Indian Nations University

Don't Miss: Replay Lounge for live music, Pabst Blue Ribbon for drinks, Massachusetts Street for fun

Check out our previous College Towns Lists:

Top College Towns in 2011

Best College Towns in 2010