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Magazine names Joplin top MO town

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Joplin was named No. 1 on a Top 10 town list by Boonville-based lifestyle and culture magazine Missouri Life.

The towns that fall between 2,500 and 50,000 in population are called urban clusters, according to the magazine's Web site.

Joplin's population was listed at 45,504 in the 2000 U.S. Census and was up to 50,150 in the Missouri census numbers released last week. Missouri Life used 2000 Census figures in its study.

Beyond population counts, the magazine used several factors to determine the Top 10 urban clusters, including:
  • education - Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education blue ribbon standard recognition for school districts, the districts' frequency in the department's Missouri Assessment Program, and how often a school was on a Missouri Assessment Program listing;
  • crime - property and violent crimes weighted in relation to population, compiled through 2009 data from the Missouri Statistical Analysis Center;
  • unemployment - ranked on a 10-point scale, with the unemployment rate subtracted from 10; and
  • amenities - bookstores, restaurants, public libraries, movie theaters, performing arts, trails, parks, religious denominations, recycling, green energy, sales tax, median household income and air quality.
The complete Top 10 list is:
  1. Joplin
  2. Chesterfield
  3. Jefferson City
  4. Washington
  5. Kirkwood
  6. Liberty
  7. Clayton
  8. Creve Coeur
  9. Jackson
  10. Farmington
Missouri Life is issued six times a year and has a circulation of approximately 22,000, according to its site.
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