Thursday, June 7, 2018

Some Shitty Website Says St. Louis Is the Third Worst Place to Live in the U.S.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 12:56 PM

click to enlarge Just another shitty corner of a terrible place to live, or so say some content farm writers. - FLICKR/PAUL SABLEMAN
  • FLICKR/PAUL SABLEMAN
  • Just another shitty corner of a terrible place to live, or so say some content farm writers.

A crappy website no one has heard of thinks St. Louis is the third worst city in the U.S. to live in, just behind Detroit and Flint, Michigan.

Which makes us wonder: Has no one at this website ever visited Gary, Indiana? Or Newark, New Jersey?

We all know that St. Louis has its issues. But can we take any list seriously that would steer its readers to opt for Albuquerque?

Still, lest anyone has been losing any sleep over this listicle, we're going to provide you with some important context.

First, it comes from a site called 24/7 Wall Street, which is basically a content farm that exists to get clicks, as well as apparently provide shitty content to daily newspapers who are too broke to fill their own websites. The content is expressly designed to get either your rah-rah or your outrage, because who bothers to share anything on social media that doesn't a) reinforce existing biases, such as telling us how great our food scene is or how much Donald Trump sucks or b) get our blood boiling, often by extrapolating which metropolitan city is the "best" or "worst" based on a host of statistical factors that have nothing to do with quality of life or if the cityscape looks like this or, well, like this? (Sorry, Albuquerque!)

click to enlarge Ah yes, St. Louis is truly one of the worst places to live in the nation. - FLICKR/PAUL SABLEMAN
  • FLICKR/PAUL SABLEMAN
  • Ah yes, St. Louis is truly one of the worst places to live in the nation.

24/7 Wall Street says it based its list on crime, economy, education, environment, health, housing, infrastructure and leisure. Those metrics sound reasonable, yes. But like all quantitative-based lists looking at qualitative topics, the various statistics that go into those categories quickly devolve into both the trivial and the bizarre.

Don't take our word for it. Here's some of the ridiculous factors that 24/7's Wall Street authors admit went into their silly stew:
  • The number of airports nearby. Because it's so much better being served by New York's three major ones than Detroit's one major one, apparently. And because the authors were too lazy to determine whether it's better to have a small and convenient airport like St. Louis', or a giant (and well-connected) one like LAX, why not just count the number and leave it at that?
  • Average monthly rainfall. Because why?
  • High school standardized test scores relative to state test scores. So if you've got good schools in a state with good schools, you suffer. If you've got good schools in a crappy state, you somehow are a better place to live. Good luck explaining that one to visiting out-of-towners.
  • Housing values, but again as relative to the rest of the state. Because St. Louis should surely be penalized for being in a super cheap state.
  • "The rate at which individuals were readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of being discharged." Huh?
  • "30-day risk-adjusted mortality rates of heart attacks, COPD, heart failure, pneumonia, and stroke." Because how can anyone live happily in a city where seniors are dying of the things seniors die of?
  • The number of ski resorts in the area surrounding the city. Yes, really.
To save you clicking through thirteen pages of clickbait, here's a link to the complete list of places that these fools find shitty, one that doesn't give 24/7 Wall Street a dime of revenue. Read it with skepticism. Would you rather live in Miami Beach than Trenton, New Jersey? If not, why do you care what they say about St. Louis?

And if you're still on the fence, tempted to let this inanity give the city a bad self-esteem day, let us remind you of this little factoid: Just last year, 24/7 Wall Street pronounced O'Fallon, Missouri, the eighth best place to live in the entire country.

They were wrong, as we explained in painstaking detail. But you might want to ask yourself this: If Winghaven is right, does St. Louis really want to be right?

Sarah Fenske is editor in chief of the Riverfront Times. Follow her on Twitter @sarahfenske or email her at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

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