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+8.7% since 2010
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Home to the University of Kansas, Lawrence is considered one of the more progressive and attractive cities in the state. It is a classic college town with a typical layout and set of college-town amenities, including a pleasant self-contained campus high up on a hill overlooking downtown, plenty of entertainment and a handful of interesting museums. The Kansas Jayhawks basketball team, perennially one of the best, provides a great deal of winter and early spring excitement. To the southwest, manmade Clinton Lake provides recreational opportunities.
The university provides research and medical facilities, and employment is fairly strong. The area has become attractive to professional willing to commute the 30 miles or so east to the western Kansas-side, or “KCK” suburbs of Kansas City, home to numerous corporate enterprises. These commutes take 30 minutes to an hour depending on location, and those who do it experience the best of both worlds – high incomes while living in a classic small town environment. That said, home prices exceed state averages but are attractive on a national scale and are affordable for most.
The land rises into gently rolling prairie, mostly given to agriculture. The climate is variable continental. Summer conditions vary, but may include prolonged periods with temperatures over 100 degrees. Winters are cold with frequent wind and snow. Spring can be windy and stormy mixed with periods of pleasant weather. Strong storms and severe weather generally happen during spring and summer. First freeze is mid-October, last is late April.
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