Tri-State Comparision The State of Missouri is very comparable to the majority of the United States based on several identical variables. In order to shorten the length of this study, three states, including Missouri, have been chosen to compare variables. The three states are Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. The first two states were chosen because of location to demonstrate the comparability of Missouri with bordering states. All three states have state debt and the following numbers are per capita. The state with the highest debt is Illinois with a debt of 1702 putting the state at number 18 on the ranking list of the United States.

The lowest debt goes to Iowa with a debt of only 651, ranking number 33. Missouri is in the middle of both states, but closer to Illinois, with a debt of 1245 per capita, leaving Missouri to place number 26 in the United States regarding state debt. The population of Missouri is 74. 3 people per square mile. This ranks number 27 in the United States. Iowa is the least populated of the three states with 49.

7 people per square mile, ranking number 33 in the United States. Illinois has the largest amount of people per square mile with a total of 205. 6 people per square mile and ranking number 11 in the United States. Missouri falls gracefully between both of these numbers.

After looking at the state s population, we should consider family income. All incomes that are presented are based on the median. Not surprising, the top family income will go to Illinois with an income of \$38, 664. 00, ranking 12 in the United States.

The middle will go to Missouri with an annual income of \$31, 838. 00, placing Missouri number 32 in the United States. And last and surprisingly, Iowa. Iowa has a whopping \$31, 659.

00 of family income leaving Iowa right behind Missouri in ranks. Illinois was the highest of the three states in family income so it is no surprise that they are the higher in income tax paid with \$2301 per capita. This leaves Illinois number 9 in the United States. The number 28 state is Missouri with \$1741. 00 per capita.

The last state, number 34 in the United States, is Iowa with an income tax of \$1604. 00. Now let s take a look at how much of the tax dollar is spent towards education. The following numbers are based on education spending per child for public elementary and secondary schooling.

Also included in these comparisons is class size, based on an average of number of pupils per teacher, in public elementary school. Illinois is, again, highest with \$4, 853. 00 per student. Class size is 16. 8 students per teacher. This leaves Illinois at number 20 in education spending and numbers 26 in class size compared to the United States.

Iowa is next with \$4853. 00 in education spending per student and they have the lowest class size with 15. 8 students per teacher. Iowa is number 24 in the United States with education spending and number 33 with class size.

Sadly, Missouri is last in education spending with \$4226. 00 per student, but in the middle of the three states on class size with 16. 2 students per teacher. This leaves Missouri at number 31 in the United States on education spending and numbers 31 in class size.

The last comparison to make between the two states is based on violent crimes that are committed per year. The following numbers are per 100, 000 people. The highest, and not surprisingly, is the state with the highest population, Illinois. Illinois is very high in the United States crime statistics ranking number 5 with 967.

4 crimes per 100, 000 people. Not too far behind is Missouri, ranking number 13, with 715. 3 crimes per 100, 000 people. And last, ranking number 39, is Iowa with a low 299. 7 crimes per 100, 000 people. This small comparison has shown some close similarities between the three states with Iowa leading the way in significant areas such as lower income taxes, smaller population, and lower acts of violent crime.

Illinois has several positive areas to consider like higher education spending and higher family income per year, but insistent negatives like higher taxes and excessive violent crimes. Missouri has both, decent education spending and class size, annual family income and income tax. The only major area of difference between the three states falls with violent crime. One would conclude that violent crime is higher in a more populated area, thus leading to the sharp difference between Illinois and Iowa. Yet Missouri is drastically less populated than Illinois, but has a higher rate of violent crime than Iowa. This study has been very interesting and has lead on to more question regarding the tri-state region.

Missouri does place in the middle of the United States in several of the above noted comparisons, and is also such within the tri-state area. Yet, the best choice between the three states to live in would not be Missouri, but Iowa. Iowa is a smaller state with more funding towards education and less income tax per family. And although the median family income is \$31, 659. 00 it is only \$179. 00 less then Missouri.

This is a small price to pay for higher education and safety.