A new ranking of “Best States” places Missouri just below the middle of the pack.
The survey by U.S. News & World Report, which is best known for raking colleges and universities, places Missouri at number 30, just below neighboring Kansas. The analysis examined each state in eight different categories to come up with its final result.
The Show-Me State ranked highest, 10th, in Fiscal Stability, which tracks states’ government credit ratings, liquidity, pension fund liability and budget balancing. The survey gave Missouri a solid rating in the category, even though some services such as higher education have suffered cuts in recent years due to a shortage of state money.
The state also ranked relatively high, 15th, in Quality of Life which emphasizes air quality, pollution and voter participation among other factors.
Weighing the state down in the survey was Crime and Corrections, where Missouri ranks 45. Violent crime has been well documented in the state’s urban areas, especially St. Louis and Kansas City. St, Louis recorded its highest murder rate in more than two decades last year.
Missouri also ranked low, 39th, in Health Care, which looked at adults and children who go without medical and dental care and considered the cost of services.
The U.S. News & World Report analysis weighted education and health care as the most important categories, giving each one 16% of the overall score.
The category of Opportunity was allocated 13% followed by Infrastructure 12%, Crime and Corrections 11%, Fiscal Stability 10% and Quality of Life 8%.
The political leaning of individual states didn’t appear to have a significant influence on the rankings. Minnesota, which votes Democratic in Presidential elections was number 2 on the list, followed by solidly Republican Utah at number 3.
Neighboring Iowa topped the U.S. News & World Report “Best States” rankings, while another bordering state to Missouri, Nebraska, was also in the top 10 at number 2.
See the full “Best States” rankings here.