I like to be a positive person, but even the optimistic side of me has a list of Missouri towns that I try to avoid whenever possible and I was born in the Show Me State.

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This topic comes up every now and then as pretty much all of my friends know I was born in and live in Missouri. Often I'll get a "hey, I'm thinking of moving to Missouri...any places to avoid?" questions.

How did I come up with this list? Sure, there's more than a little bit of my opinion baked into this, but I've also included some science including Missouri places with high crime rates, low cost of living, etc. You won't hurt my feelings if you disagree, but these are the 10 Missouri towns I'd stay away from. Let's begin.

Sikeston, Missouri
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Generally speaking, avoid the Missouri bootheel unless you'd like to live close to Arkansas and the worst parts of Tennessee. I did have a friend at boy's state in Missouri who was from the bootheel area, but I'm not sure even a strong guy like him survived it.

Ferguson, Missouri
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Let's be clear that there are some good souls in Ferguson, Missouri. But, when your Missouri place is synonymous with protests, riots and buildings on fire, you probably want to avoid it.

Thayer, Missouri
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Thayer may someday be annexed by Arkansas or just flat out invaded. This is a Razorbacks only part of Missouri. Seriously.

St. Joseph, Missouri
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There's some real science in why you want to avoid St. Joseph, Missouri especially if you're a woman. It was recently ranked as the most likely place in America (not just Missouri) to be raped. That's reason enough to put this place on the "NEVER EVER" list.

Kansas City, Missouri
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I am as big a Chiefs fan as anyone, but even I would avoid Kansas City. Let me be specific. I'm talking about the metro part of Kansas City only which is actually losing a massive part of its population. The suburbs of Kansas City are great. Don't live in the city part though.

Kennett, Missouri
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On the positive side, Kennett, Missouri was the birthplace of Sheryl Crow. On the negative side, it's become the burglary capital of Missouri.

Boonville, Missouri
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When your town is almost always said with the words "correctional center", maybe don't embrace that as your Missouri home.

Kingdom City, Missouri
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If you love I-70 traffic in your ears 24/7, Kingdom City is outstanding. The 75 gas stations there are awesome, too.

Nevada, Missouri
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When you mention Nevada to most people, they think of gambling in the desert. Mention Nevada in Missouri and they think of skyrocketing crime rates where you're gambling with your life perhaps if you live there.

Branson, Missouri
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Controversial pick here. Some of my favorite family vacations were in the Branson area and I LOVE southwestern Missouri. LOVE IT. The key word is "area" and not Branson proper. Too many lights. Too many tourists. Too much Branson. My apologies to Wayne Newton. Sorry, not sorry.

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Gallery Credit: Missouri Department of Revenue

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