What's it like to live in Springfield, MO?

Sony Hocklander

Profile written by local expert:

Sony Hocklander

Nicknamed the "Queen City of the Ozarks" and known as the birthplace of Route 66, Springfield is the metro hub for southwest Missouri. Home to higher education institutions and the headquarters of some major corporations, Springfield is attracting younger residents looking to earn a degree or start a career. 

But that doesn't mean Springfield is an all-work-and-no-play town. Residents have plenty of opportunities to enjoy music, dining, art, theater and nightlife in the historic downtown area. A network of trails and plenty of green space appeal to outdoorsy types, while city events bring the community together.

Springfield residents have a strong sense of social responsibility and don't ignore the area's problems, including homelessness and poverty. The community's many nonprofit, volunteer and social service organizations work hard to help those in need while developing proactive long-term solutions.


U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Springfield, Missouri is ranked:

#82 in Best Places to Live

#123 in Best Places to Retire




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

Springfield, MO Quick Stats

  • 458,834

    Metro Population

  • $41,610

    Average Annual Salary

  • N/A

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 36.8

    Median Age

  • $151,967

    Median Home Price

  • N/A

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 2.9%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $745

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 21.9 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in Springfield, MO?

Springfield and the surrounding area have plenty to offer residents, from a robust arts and music scene to lively nightlife to college and minor league sports and outdoor recreation.

Historic downtown and Commercial and Walnut streets are annual festival spots – and Ozarkers love their festivals. The Birthplace of Route 66 Festival, Artsfest and Cider Days are among the traditional favorites. Summer also ushers in Tent Theatre, a longtime tradition that once featured then-student actors John Goodman and Kathleen Turner.

Downtown Springfield is home to a variety of shopping and dining experiences; residents can spend their free time sampling beer at local breweries or participating in the area's monthly art walk. More shopping and entertainment districts, including Farmers Park, are found on the south side of Springfield. The Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store complex is a tourist attraction in itself; in addition to shops, the complex also houses the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum.

Springfield has dozens of city park locations and a network of bikcycling and walking trails, with more trails found at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center and nearby Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. Residents can boat and fish on Fellows and Springfield lakes and the James River. For residents who prefer to watch instead of participate, the Springfield Cardinals, a minor league affiliate of the MLB's St. Louis Cardinals, play at the Hammons Field stadium downtown.

What's the cost of living in Springfield, MO?

Overall, the cost of living in the Springfield metro area is significantly less than in some other areas of the country, with everyday expenses like groceries, utilities, transportation and health care all costing less than the national average. Folks who move here from larger metro areas may be surprised by how much house they can buy.

Looking for financial advice? Find a local financial advisor in Springfield, Missouri.

Value Index

Index Score: 7.2 /10

How we calculate this.

Springfield offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2019



Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Springfield, MO.

What's the weather like in Springfield, MO?

The Ozarks region enjoys all four seasons. Spring and fall seasons can bring regular thunderstorms and the occasional tornado warning. Midsummer days can be hot and humid, while winter brings ice and snow.

What's the best way to get around Springfield, MO?

Residents living in the suburbs of Springfield or surrounding communities will need access to a car. Streets are laid out in a north-south, east-west grid and are relatively easy to navigate, although Springfield doesn't use a numbered street name system, so residents must become familiar with major thoroughfares. Freeways run along north, south and east boundaries of Springfield; no freeways cut across the city proper, which can sometimes result in slow commutes during rush hour. 

City Utilities operates a public bus system that travels throughout central Springfield seven days a week. Springfield is also relatively bike- and pedestrian-friendly. Many residents, particularly those living downtown or in central areas, use bikes for work and school commutes thanks to miles of on-street bike routes, in addition to a network of bike and foot trails throughout the city proper.

Travel from Springfield to other parts of the country is convenient, with interstate systems for road trips and a Greyhound bus terminal. Travel by air is accessible via the Springfield-Branson National Airport, which is serviced by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Allegiant Air. 

Commuting in Springfield, MO

Means of Transportation
Above national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Below national average
Average Commute Time

21.9 minutes

4.7 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Springfield, MO?

Springfield attracts families because of its good school system. Meanwhile, the job market, universities, an active downtown and close proximity to outdoor recreation appeal to students and young professionals, while access to health care, low housing costs and tax breaks for seniors draw retirees. 

Residents in this area plant deep roots, and it's not uncommon to find multiple generations of the same family living in Springfield. Yet industry expansion attracts a steady stream of newcomers to the community. People here are neighborly, value traditions and are proud of being "Ozarkers."

The Assemblies of God church is headquartered in Springfield, and the region is considered part of the Bible Belt. 

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

About the same number of single people in Springfield as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.