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St. Louis ranked as worst city in state for raising family

St. Louis ranked as worst city in state for raising family

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St. Louis City children dying of gun violence

More than a dozen children have been killed in gun violence in St. Louis City in 2019. CrimeStoppers offered increased rewards in four of the cases, all for children 10 or younger: Jurnee Thompson, 8; Kayden Johnson, 2; Kennedi Powell, 3; and Eddie Hill IV, 10. Children in this city have been killed at 10 times the national rate for decades, according to a Post-Dispatch analysis of FBI homicide data.

Mary Norwood, the grandmother of 7-year-old murder victim Xavier Usanga, addresses the crowd during a vigil at Herzog Elementary School for all the children killed in the St. Louis area in 2019 on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

St. Louis is the worst city in Missouri for raising a family.

That was the pull-no-punches pronouncement from personal-finance website WalletHub, which put our fair burg at the bottom of "Best Cities for Families in Missouri."

The barrel-bottom finish on the state level should come as little or no surprise, given that the website in July lplaced St. Louis at No. 169  out of the 182 largest U.S. cities.

To put a finer point on our poor placement, St. Louis was one of the state's five worst cities in three of four categories.

We were dead last, No. 85, in affordability, which looked at the cost of housing and other consumer items. Missouri's other major muny, Kansas City, was No. 61.

Thanks to Jennings, St. Louis did not finish last in the "education, health and safety" category. We finished second-last, No. 84. (Kansas City, No. 79.)

The Post-Dispatch has previously reported that more than a dozen children have been killed in gun violence in St. Louis city in 2019.

St. Louis came in at No. 81 in the "socio-economics" category, which took into account factors such as divorce rates, unemployment, foreclosures and share of households getting food stamps. (K.C. was No. 69.)

Our only saving grace, according to the list, is our offering of "fun and family life." We were No. 38. (K.C. was No. 9.)

Overall, the five best cities in Missouri for raising a family were: Dardenne Prairie; Eureka; Wentzville; Webster Groves; and Wildwood.

After Ft. Leonard Wood at No. 6, the top 10 was filled out by O'Fallon, Chesterfield, St. Peters and Ballwin.

The bottom five were (Nos. 81-85): Bellefontaine Neighbors, Kennett, Ferguson, Jennings and St. Louis.

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