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For comedian Jerry Seinfeld, coming in second place is the worst.

"You win the gold, you feel good," he said in is stand-up routine. "You win the bronze, you think, well, at least I got something. But you win that silver, that's like, 'Congratulations, you almost won. Of all the losers, you came in first of that group. You're the number one loser.'"

Well, unlike Seinfeld, we're proud to be No. 2 here in Jefferson City.

Business Insider ranked Jefferson City as the second best place to live in the country after the coronavirus pandemic. Only Abraham Lincoln's hometown of Springfield, Illinois, ranked higher. Columbia was No. 10.

The website created the list because it said many people are considering moving while working remotely. It used nine criteria for its rankings: pre-coronavirus unemployment rate, ability to work from home, population density, housing affordability, monthly household costs, cost of living, weekly two-way work commute, total elementary- and secondary-school spending per student, and share of residents ages 25 and older who have at least a bachelor's degree.

The biggest factor for Jefferson City's high ranking was the city's cost of living.

Jefferson City has a stable economy, low unemployment and a cost of living that's about 18 percent lower than the national average, said Missy Bonnot, Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce economic development director and interim president and CEO.

We're not always sure how much credence to give to the different city rankings done by various websites. But this ranking doesn't surprise us.

Many Jefferson City residents are state workers, whose jobs have historically been known more for benefits and stability than pay.

Our city has never had explosive growth like Columbia or the shopping and cultural offerings of St. Louis and Kansas City. But we're still large enough to have significant cultural and historic offerings, as well as good options to eat and shop. Yet we're small enough to have a sense of community.

We don't need a ranking to affirm what we already know about our city. But we admit, we're biased. So it's nice to see others also recognize the good things we have going on here.

News Tribune

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