As Bible Belt as you can get, no diversity
I grew up here, moved to the west coast a year ago. If you're a caucasian white person who is an evangelical Christian, ultra conservative and care more about your personal liberties than the greater good, this place suits you perfectly. It's situated in the deepest red pocket of the state- nothing wrong with that but I'd go so far to say the city is quite radical in its political leanings. Personally, I prefer well educated, accepting populations who embrace residents where and as they are- Springfield could not be farther from this. A few years ago (2011?) the city council passed a non descrimination policy for LGBTQ people. Then, a councilor (a local 'big whig' pastor) brought it up again and convinced the council to repeal it. There is an overwhelming Bible Belt infuence, to the point that people assume you're a radical Christian; there are public prayers, billboards with advertisements that have Bible verses on them, commercials for local real estate brokers that are basically 60 second sermons. So don't expect any religious diversity, and the specific brand of religion will be shoved down your throat constantly. As far as urban amenities go, there really are none- almost no diversity of restaurants, it's mostly fast food, American and southern cooking; don't even try to find a vegan restaurant, this is drive through country. I got on Uber eats one time during a visit at 9:30 pm, and it said "there's nothing open near you." Yup. There's a reason college students come here to go to MSU, get their degree and get out ASAP. I will say, the nature of the Ozarks is unparalleled in its beauty- so that is likely to be a draw for some. You can really get out into the wilderness and forget about the world. But for me, the purposeful lack of any diversity- spiritual, racial, ethnic- is a deal breaker.
Matt | Portland, OR