Thank God for Mississippi

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Thank God for Mississippi’ is a common adage in the US, particularly in the south, that is generally used when discussing rankings of states (e.g. educational achievement, overall health, poverty rate, quality of life). Since the state of Mississippi generally ranks at the bottom of such lists, residents of other states ranking near the bottom frequently proclaim, ‘Thank God for Mississippi,’ for sparing them from the shame of finishing in last place.

The saying has been attributed since before the induction of Alaska and Hawaii as states in 1959, and is especially common in Alabama, which shares significant cultural and historical ties with its neighbor and former Mississippi Territory co-constituent. Its use is also noted in nearby Arkansas and other frequently low-ranking states such as West Virginia and Texas.

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