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Joe Holleman is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Welcome to Missouri sign

It's not the official Missouri slogan, but "show-me state" appears on numerous state objects, from vehicle license plates to websites. Here, it was used on welcome signs along highways. (Missouri Department of Transportation)

Forget for a minute those lists about which state is best in some specific area: Let's stick with the basics:

The "2019 Best States To Live In" list from personal finance website WalletHub.

And no, Missouri did not shine.

The Show-Me State showed up at a lowly No. 33, right behind Ohio and barely ahead of Delaware.

That's not to say Missouri bombed in all of the five categories by which the list-lovers judged each state, finishing in the top half in three of those five.

We came in at No. 11 for affordability, focused mainly on coast-of-living figures and housing cost; No. 22 in quality of life, which dealt mainly with recreation and entertainment opportunities; and No. 24 in economy, which centered on employment and taxes.

The two categories which hurt us the most were education/health, where we clocked in at No. 32; and safety, in which we ended up near the bottom at No. 44.

Looking around at our bordering states, we finished behind those generally north of us: Iowa (8); Nebraska (10); Illinois (21) and Kansas (30).

Finishing behind us were our mostly southern neighbors: Tennessee (37); Kentucky (41); Oklahoma (42); and Arkansas (47).

The list's picks as the five best states, Nos. 1-5: Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Colorado.

The worst states, Nos. 46-50: Alabama (though No. 1 in affordability), Arkansas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Mississippi.

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