So, you’re thinking about moving to Wichita?
While “diversity” might not be the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Kansas, Wichita has many successful black-owned businesses and can be perfect for your next move.
Here are some of the top neighborhoods and suburbs around Wichita for black families, young professionals and African American singles.
3 Best Wichita Suburbs for Black Families
Park Meadows is on the east side of Wichita and is only three miles from downtown.
Its location makes it a solid option for families who enjoy both urban and suburban life.
Park Meadows is fairly diverse and includes an 11% African American population.
Niche rates Park Meadows #11 on their list of “Best Neighborhoods to Buy House in Wichita.”
The average home value is right under $140,000, and rent averages $1,300 a month, making it an affordable area for many families.
Wrapped around Harrison Park, this neighborhood has added appeal with the many other parks and family-friendly activities located nearby.
The Kansas Aviation Museum is great for families interested in learning about flight. It also offers seasonal events like “Play on a Plane!” where visitors can walk through different plane models, jump in a bounce house, and enjoy lunch from local food trucks.
All Star Adventures has bumper cars, go-karts, miniature golf, and other children’s rides for families that like a little thrill on their outings.
The Sedgwick County Zoo has over 3,000 different animals and is less than a 20-minute drive away.
The Park Meadows neighborhood is close to several clinics, a children’s hospital, and even a midwife group allowing for easier access to health care and birthing options.
The nearby Animal Clinic assures that even the furriest or scaliest family members have access to close-to-home care if needed.
For religious families, there are many different types of churches and places of worship in the area.
There are many public school options in Park Meadows, and the classroom size averages about 15 students per teacher.
The neighborhood has several shopping strips for quick stops and a large nearby indoor shopping mall, Town East Square.
Located just 10 miles east of downtown Wichita, Bel Aire has many of the same location benefits as Park Meadows.
Families wanting to buy or rent can expect to pay about $161,000 or around $1,200 dollars a month.
Athletic students can hone their skills at Wichita Hoops Premier Athletic Facility. It features 12 full-size basketball courts, 14 volleyball courts, and year-round sports classes, camps, and training.
Active families will enjoy the Aviate Extreme Air Sports Trampoline Park. Kids can bounce, climb, and do their best ninja impersonations through the obstacle course.
Bel Aire hosts a popular annual fall festival at their recreation center too. The festival includes live music, vendors and food trucks, a car show, and even a petting zoo!
Bel Aire has good public school ratings and options for private Christian or Catholic schooling.
Greenwich Place and Bradley Fair are two local shopping centers that have many various shops and restaurants.
Foodie families won’t have trouble finding delicious eats here. Everything from authentic Italian to smoky BBQ and even Cajun-style seafood can be found in town.
Derby is southeast of Wichita, about 15 miles from downtown.
Its population of more than 25,000 people makes it the city’s largest suburb.
Despite its large population, Derby has a rural charm that is great for families that want the peace of country living but city conveniences nearby.
Derby does rank lower for diversity than Park Meadows and Bel Aire, with only 2.5% of people being Black or African American.
Like other neighborhoods in Wichita, Derby has plenty of parks and outdoor recreation.
High Park is Derby’s largest park. It has fishing, accessible walking paths, a playground, and open fields for play.
Dinosaur enthusiasts will love Field Station: Dinosaurs. The park has over 40 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, an 18-hole Jurassic-themed miniature golf course, and a Raptor Maze.
Rock River Rapids water park is another family-friendly destination in the summer. It has a zero-depth pool that’s great for toddlers, water slides for the older kids, and a lazy river for relaxing.
Derby Marketplace and nearby Town Square at the Oaks have plenty of shopping and dining options.
A local Kansas favorite restaurant and dairy store is Braum’s, which is famous for having more than 100 ice cream flavors.
The Derby Unified School District has a low student-to-teacher ratio of 14:1 and is a good choice for parents looking for smaller class sizes.
2 Best Wichita Neighborhoods For Young Black Professionals & Singles
Northeast Heights is located beside Highway 96 and I-135, making it a convenient neighborhood for professionals and singles commuting to work or school.
Wichita State University is just a few miles south of Northeast Heights, and the McConnell Air Force Base is just over 9 miles away.
It is also one of the most diverse areas in Wichita—49% of the neighborhood’s population is Black, Hispanic, Asian, or mixed race.
Charles Koch Arena is just south of Northeast Heights and is excellent for catching a college basketball game.
The neighborhood has many bars, clubs, and even a hookah lounge, giving singles a place to meet up and professionals a place to unwind.
Northeast Heights housing is reasonable for both renters and buyers. Rent averages under $800 a month, and the average home value is just under $160,000.
Riverside might not be the most diverse neighborhood in Wichita—only 15% of the population are people of color—but hear us out.
Riverside is one of the best Wichita neighborhoods to live in as a young professional for many reasons.
Not only is it affordable—rent averages $800 a month, and home values average $135,000—but it is a hub of art and culture.
The Kansas African American Museum is just across the east bank of the river and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Black American history and culture.
Riverside also has many of Wichita’s main attractions, including the Wichita Art Museum, the Wichita Gardens, Old Cowtown Museum, and Botanica.
Active adults can feel at home here too. Riverside parks have many jogging paths with gorgeous water views, and the Ralph Wulz Riverside Tennis center has both indoor and outdoor courts.
Is Wichita Safe?
We all want to know that we can live and work safely without becoming the victims of crime.
Unfortunately, with higher populations come higher risks of crime.
City-Data reports crime in Wichita is surprisingly higher than 97.3% of other U.S. cities.
Crime Grade has a useful map that shows all the safest and most dangerous areas of the city.
Knowing where high crime areas are can help you make the best choice of where to live.
Most of the crime in Wichita is property crime or theft, so it might be smart to install a home security system.
It may help to know that Kansas was ranked 27th for peacefulness overall out of the entire United States.
States like Alaska, South Carolina, and Arkansas all have higher violent crime rates than Kansas.
What Is Wichita’s Demographic?
Wichita is the largest city in Kansas and is home to more than 331 million people.
If you’re looking for a large amount of racial or ethnic diversity, Kansas might not be the first place that comes to mind.
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, the majority of the population in Wichita—over 76%—is White.
Black or African Americans are the second highest minority represented in the city—with a 13.4% estimated population.
People who are Hispanic or Latino and Asian are just before, making up 18.5% and just under 6% of Wichita’s population, respectively.
Gender ratios are just about even—but single people looking for a female partner could have a slight advantage. Women make up 50.8% of the population in Wichita.
Families moving to the area will be pleased to know they shouldn’t have any shortage of playdate options. Over 32% of the population is under the age of 18.
The median age for a Wichita resident is 35, which is good news for both parents and professionals wanting to network with others in the same stage of life.
Top Wichita Neighborhoods For Black People, Conclusion
We might think of cornfields or The Wizard of Oz when we hear the name “Kansas,” but there’s much more to Wichita.
Wichita can be a great place for black families, young working professionals, and single people looking for “the one.”
The neighborhoods are affordable, have good schools, and many options for recreation and entertainment.