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Quality of Life

Topeka is one of the most "livable" cities in the United States.

Recent national surveys rank Topeka high for quality of life attributes including:

  • Topeka was ranked as the 9th top well-being small community in 2012 by Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which measures physical health, emotional health, healthy behaviors, work environment, and more.
  • Topeka was rated 30th among all cities ranked in the Gallup-Healthways study of health and well-being. The Topeka MSA jumped up to the impressive ranking of 30 from 178 in 2009.  And, Topeka was ranked number five on the list of Top 10 Small Cities when all cities were divided by population.
  • The Topeka MSA was ranked #17 of the Top 25 Best Cities for the Next Decade by percentage of Workforce in the Creative Class. 
  • The United Way of Greater Topeka reports that per capita Topekans give 50% more than the average Kansan and 250% more than the average American.
  • Topeka ranks 7th among 75 mid-size cities for volunteers.

In addition to a cost of living that’s 8% to 10% below average, you’ll also find quality neighborhood schools, housing of all types and price ranges, a regional medical center that serves all of northeast Kansas, historic, educational and fun attractions, sidewalks in most neighborhoods, easy access to parks and trails throughout Shawnee County, civic organizations for every interest and myriad arts and culture activities.

The following Topeka, KS quality of life videos were created by GO Topeka, Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, Visit Topeka and Gizmo Pictures.

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712 Innovations

712 logo - web

The cowork & makerspace facility offers everything you could want to turn your dreams into reality. Our space welcomes artists, students, tinkerers, and entrepreneurs who need a productive environment that offers social support for your goals.

Members are encouraged to pursue creative ideas, products, and business opportunities. In addition to the space’s economic and workforce development benefits, our community’s most creative and scientific minds finally have a place to nurture a culture of thinking differently, and innovating. We welcome entrepreneurs, students, artists, and members of the public to join us.

712 Vision

To enhance the vitality of our community and economy by creating a hybrid makerspace/cowork space for entrepreneurs to start and grow by providing manufacturing tools, educational programming and business services to foster economic development.

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Topekans enjoy four distinct and very beautiful seasons. Spring often comes as early as March when the daffodils bloom. Summers pass with just a few days over 100 degrees. Nearly 70 percent of the annual precipitation falls between April and September. Autumn is a season of warm days, cool nights, and colorful foliage. Winter’s first storm usually strikes before the end of December.


Gage Park Rock Garden

Average Daily Temperature in April: 55 Degrees (2014)

2014 rainfall: 30.71 inches



Ensley Botanical Gardens at Lake Shawnee

Average Daily Temperature in July: 77 Degrees (2014)


Ward Meade Park

Average Daily Temperature in October: 59 Degrees (2014)


Gazebo at Memorial Park Cemetery

2013 -2014 winter snowfall: 23.2 inches

Average Daily Temperature in January: 28 Degrees (2014)

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Downtown Development

We are investing to make Topeka’s downtown bigger, better and even more vibrant. We’re most excited about celebrating our history through the renovation and repurposing of beautiful historic downtown buildings and our impressive Statehouse.

Below are some of the proposed changes to be made to downtown Topeka
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2130 SW 37th St. Topeka, KS 66611 785.267.3215

The Sunflower Association of Realtors maintains the multiple listing service for the Greater Topeka area.  Click their link to go to their MLS site or to find market stats about Topeka.




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A multitude of community outreach services, including neighborhood clinics, prevention programs, and services for children and low income individuals, are provided by our two general hospitals and five specialized hospitals that collectively employ over 8,000 persons.

Specialized infant care, rehabilitation services, surgical procedures, older adult programs and comprehensive heart services are offered in high-tech, newly remodeled facilities. Over 237 physicians from 42 specialties are members of the Shawnee County Medical Society. The Kansas Dental Board reports there are 75 practicing dentists in Shawnee County.

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The Historic North Topeka (NOTO) arts and business district. Near the Kansas River, this area is at the north end of the city’s main downtown corridor and boasts a number of original buildings from Topeka’s earliest days.

In the community’s process for determining priorities and strategic planning, Heartland Visioning listened to the community’s desire for an “Arts District.” In a prime example of the leveraging community partnerships the Historic North Topeka district was chosen for NOTO Arts District. The first new business, national known artist, Barbara Waterman Peters moved into Studio 831 in 2010. In the fall of 2015 the 34th business moved into the district that now includes a mix of artists’ studios, antique, vintage, and collectible item shops. On a First Friday art walks you will see thousands of visitors strolling the streets, listening to local musicians, while checking out home furnishings or handcrafted local jewelry as well as browsing through antiques and collectibles. Visitors enjoy sipping wine at art galleries, eating from food trucks, and learning about ways to get engaged in the arts at the NOTO Arts Center in the old historic post office. We are Topeka and NOTO proud!

noto mosaic wallNOTO_WeThePeopleNOTO Blues & BBQ

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The arts are alive and well in Topeka!

Topeka’s First Friday event coordinated by ArtsConnect attracts hundreds of people to the multitude of art galleries throughout the city. Watch for details in the local paper each “First Friday” or pick up a copy of “City Arts” a brochure about arts in Topeka at the Chamber or galleries throughout the city.

The excitement of live theater can be experienced nearly every night at the Topeka Performing Arts Center, the Topeka Civic Theatre, the Helen Hocker Performing Arts Center in Gage Park or Washburn University.

The Kansas Expocentre provides the stage for performers such as Kenny Rogers, Oak Ridge Boys, Chicago, Aerosmith, REO Speedwagon and George Strait. The circus comes to town annually along with rodeos and shows such as Sesame Street Live.

The Topeka Performing Arts Center has many different performances every year including well-known singers and Broadway shows that appeal to audiences of all ages.

The Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy offers award winning dinner theatre performances (and non-dinner, too!), studio productions and a children’s academy.

The Topeka Symphony Orchestra, an 80-member professional orchestra, presents classical music and world-renowed guest artists in their annual concert series. The Topeka Community Concert Association, the Topeka Opera Society, the Fine Arts Society, and the Topeka Jazz Workshop also offer a variety of entertainment by local, regional, and national performers. The Sunflower Music Festival brings professional musicians from across the country to Washburn University each June and the city and county parks and recreation departments feature local musical groups in area parks and at Brown Bag lunches downtown during the summer months.

Topeka has over 20 art galleries devoted to furthering artistic expression and appreciation. The Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University and the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library maintain permanent collections and present exhibits monthly. Community events such as the Mulvane Mountain Plains Art Far, Kaw River Valley Art Festival and Cider Days offer area artists opportunity for display and sale of their works.

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Public Schools

The Greater Topeka area is served by six public school districts.

The six public school districts in Topeka/Shawnee County offer curricula that reflect current educational trends and technology for preschool through high school graduation. Computer labs, up-to-date science labs, interdisciplinary team teaching, award winning debate and library programs and championship athletic programs.

Topeka Public Schools (USD #501)

624 W 24th Street
Topeka, Kansas 66611
2013-2014 total enrollment: 13,458
General Area: Topeka

18 elementary (K – 5)
6 middle schools (6 – 8)
3 high schools. (9 – 12)
5 other schools reaching students
outside mainstream K-12

Seaman Schools (USD #345)

901 NW Lyman Road
Topeka, Kansas 66608
2013-2014 total enrollment: 3,951
General Area: North of Topeka

5 elementary (K – 6)
1 middle school (7 – 8)
1 high school (9 – 12)
1 alternative school (7-12)

Silver Lake Schools (USD #372)

200 Rice Road
PO Box 39
Silver Lake, Kansas 66539
2013-2014 total enrollment: 728
General Area: northeast of Topeka

1 elementary (K – 6)
1 junior-senior high school (7 – 12)

Auburn-Washburn Schools (USD #437)

5928 SW 53rd Street
Topeka, Kansas 66610
2013-2014 total enrollment: 6,055
General Area: southwest of Topeka

7 elementary (K – 6)
1 middle school (7 – 8 grades)
1 high school (9-12)
1 alternative high school

Shawnee Heights Schools (USD #450)

4401 SE Shawnee Heights Road
Tecumseh, Kansas 66542
2013-2014 total enrollment: 3,250
General Area: Southeast of Topeka

4 elementary (Pre-K – 6)
1 middle school (7 – 8)
1 high school (9-12)

Kaw Valley Schools (USD #321)

411 W Lasley
St. Marys, Kansas 66536
2013-2014 total enrollment: 1,282
General Area: northwest of Topeka, includes schools in Rossville (Shawnee County), and St. Marys, Delia, and Emmett (other counties).

3 elementary
2 junior/senior high schools

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