Mid America Regional Council

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Moving to a new place can be hard and exciting. It can be a good decision — or the worst of your life.

Kansas City residents may love the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, restaurants, the Royals, four distinct seasons and summer thunderstorms. But they may also resent the allergies, car culture, crime and the absence of mountains and a coast.

So what makes our city a place people want to live — or leave?

Kansas City is beginning to catch up with the nation when it comes to employment growth, according to the director of research at the Mid-America Regional Council.

“The new data says that over the last year we actually grew at the same rate as the rest of the U.S., instead of lagging as we had for the last several years,” Frank Lenk told Up To Date host Steve Kraske on Monday.

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

About 2 million people live in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The region is almost equally divided by the Kansas-Missouri state line geographically (land that is considered the metro) and by population. But that line doesn’t keep us from moving around a bit.

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Communities around the Kansas City metro are taking part in programs to install LED street lights.

Participating cities saw significant energy savings after switching to the high-efficiency lights, and felt they got more light for less cost. The initiative was funded by the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Conservation grant program.

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The REACH Healthcare Foundation recently released the Kansas City Regional Health Assessment, that analyzes health data from the area from 2000 to 2011, and offers a forecast of what’s in the future for health in Kansas City.

"The poverty rate has been increasing in the metropolitan area, and generally it's been especially increasing in suburban areas," says author and Government Innovations Forum Director for the Mid America Regional Council, Dean Katnerdahl. "So there's sort of a suburbanization of poverty."