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15. Overland Park, KS Search Best Cities
Population: 162,592
COST OF LIVING INDEX: 101.1
 
KEY EMPLOYERS: Accenture; Applebee's International, Inc.; Ash Grove Cement; Black & Veatch; Blue Valley School District; BV Solutions; Data Systems International; Employers Reinsurance Corporation; Farmers Insurance; Gentiva Health Services; Health Midwest Johnson County; Johnson County Community College; Marley Cooling Tower; Midland Loan Services; PRIMEDIA Business Magazines and Media; Shawnee Mission School District; Sprint Corporate Campus; Sprint Publishing & Advertising; Universal Underwriters; Waddell & Reed; Yellow Corporation
 
HOUSING COSTS: Average home price is $202,863.
TAXES: Sales tax is 2.275 percent.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE: 3.7 percent
PROJECTED JOB GROWTH THROUGH 2008: 18.4 percent
EDUCATION: Three public school systems and several two- and four-year colleges and universities, including Johnson County Community College and University of Kansas Edwards Campus.
HEALTHCARE: There are six major medical centers in the area.
ARTS: New Theatre Restaurant; Johnson County Museum of History; Harry S. Truman Home, Library & Museum; Johnson County Community College - Yardley Hall at Carlsen Center
RECREATION: Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead, Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Oceans of Fun Water Park, World of Fun Theme Park, Hallmark Cards Visitors Center
CONTACT Overland Park Chamber of Commerce at (913) 491-3600; www.opks.org
 

Overland Park was officially incorporated on May 20, 1960. At the time, it had approximately 29,000 residents and 13 square miles of land. Today, Overland Park is the 38th fastest-growing city in the United States, encompassing more than 56 square miles. Located in the southwestern portion of the Kansas City metropolitan area, Overland Park has a work force population of more than 300,000 and an established reputation as one of the nation's most dynamic corporate office centers.


Business in Overland Park is booming. Companies are from a wide variety of industries, including insurance and financial services, health services, publishing, telecommunications and education. Since 1990, more than 19.5 million square feet of commercial and industrial development, with an estimated cost of $1.75 billion, have been built in Overland Park. Overland Park serves as the regional, national and world headquarters for many companies. Among the city's many employers are Sprint, Yellow Corporation, Farmers Insurance Group and Applebee's International.


Education is top-notch here. Overland Park is fortunate to have three of Johnson County's award-winning public school systems within its border. All three school districts offer a variety of special education, learning disability, gifted child, music, arts and sports programs. Overland Park is also home to the University of Kansas Edwards Campus and Johnson County Community College. Being just 12 miles outside of Kansas City, residents in Overland Park enjoy many of the area's attractions, including professional sports, live theater, art museums, amusement parks and petting zoos. With several parks in the area, there are also plenty of recreational activities, including biking, hiking and boating.


Overall, Overland Park presents an excellent work environment, an educated and skilled labor force, an attractive housing market, award-winning schools, low crime rates, short commute times and many recreational and cultural activities.

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