Study names best, worst Illinois cities for families

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Want to spend more quality time with your family? Personal finance website WalletHub has released a list of the best and worst Illinois towns for that.

To identify the most family-friendly Illinois cities, WalletHub's analysts compared 162 cities in the Prairie State across 21 categories, including the percentage of families with young children, to median family income, to housing affordability.

North suburban Deerfield was named second-best in the state for families, with six other suburbs around the Chicagoland area also making the top 10.

Best Cities for Illinois Families

1 Morton

2 Deerfield

3 Washington

4 Libertyville

5 O'Fallon

6 Hinsdale

7 Cary

8 Lake in the Hills

9 Frankfort

10 Naperville

South suburban Harvey was named as second-to-last on the list of worst cities for families, with the city of Chicago and several suburbs making up most of the worst ten cities for families in the state.

Worst Cities for Illinois Families

153 Country Club Hills

154 Chicago

155 Kankakee

156 Calumet City

157 Bridgeview

158 Blue Island

159 Maywood

160 Dolton

161 Harvey

162 East St. Louis

The downstate cities of Morton, near Peoria, and East St. Louis were named as best and worst cities for families in the state, respectively.

The study also ranked towns on various socioeconomic aspects - families with children, crime rates, school systems, divorce rates and medical care availability.

The study says west suburban Montgomery has the highest percentage of families with children younger than age 18, twice as many as in northwest suburban Bloomingdale, the place with the lowest.

Downstate Mount Vernon has the highest property-crime rate, which is 13 times greater than in Charleston, home to Eastern Illinois University, the town with the lowest property-crime rate.

East St. Louis has the highest divorce rate, which is six times greater than in southwest suburban Frankfort, the place with the lowest. East St. Louis also has the highest percentage of families receiving food stamps. Northwest suburban Huntley has the lowest. East St. Louis was also ranked as having the lowest-quality school system in the state. West suburban Hinsdale has the highest.

Northwest suburban Woodstock has the highest number of pediatricians per capita; downstate Decatur has the lowest.