When reports are published that cast an unflattering light on a small town, I have to wonder how the folks in that town and its administrators feel about it.

Certainly, no data would be published by a reputable outfit if it wasn't true, but still, the REMINDER that things could be so much better could stick in the craws of the locals whose town has been called out. And even though facts are facts, they still might not tell the WHOLE story.

Some Unflattering Data About a Town in Southern Kentucky

I say all that because of something I saw in an online publication called 24/7 Wall Street. The financial news and opinion website conducted a study that revealed the worst cities in which to live in each state. You might be thinking, "Well, that's easy, it's probably the most populous one." And you'd be wrong. Not only are NONE of the largest cities in each of the 50 states listed, but I've actually never heard of most of them.

But because of the Kentucky town that made the list, I have to wonder when the study was conducted. Because less than a year ago, the town in question had this reason to celebrate:

You see, Somerset has been dinged as the worst city in which to live in Kentucky based on four factors: poverty rate - 30.6% (state: 16.3%); median home value - $117,000 (state: $155,100); median household income - $30,107 (state: $55,454); and drug-induced mortality - 42.4 deaths per 100,000 (state: 46.1 per 100,000).

No, those numbers--all below state averages--are not good. But again, I'm curious about the timing of the report. I'd say there's nothing like a film crew from a popular network descending upon your town to shoot six movies to pump up interest in tourism. And we all know that means money, money, money. Or maybe it will take the release of those films for that to happen.

However, I look at the See Somerset Facebook page, and all I see is a happy, thriving community.

Also, I've been to Somerset. I found it charming and comfortable, nothing like what a town sporting that data should be like.

Again, facts are facts. Got it. But then I saw this:

And after watching it--and I didn't NEED to--I feel confident this town of 11,000+ will lift itself off this list the next time around.

You Might Be From Kentucky If...

I'm sure there can be 50 versions of this concept, but we'll let the other 49 states deal with their own. We're here for the Bluegrass State.

Gallery Credit: Dave Spencer

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