It Turns Out That Illinois is a Lot More Fun Than You May Have Thought
We've said it before, and it will be said many more times: "Illinois is too hard on itself." To be fair, many times we're hard on ourselves for good reasons--high property taxes, ineffective state government, massive pension debts, crime, corruption, to name just a few. But even with those negatives, it seems that Illinois is still fun. And, a lot more fun than many other states.
Personal finance site WalletHub did what they do best, and crunched numbers, looking to see where the most opportunities for a good time in all 50 states could be found. Here's what they looked at:
With pure enjoyment in mind, WalletHub’s number crunchers compared the 50 states across 22 key indicators of a jolly good time that won’t break the bank. They range from movie costs to accessibility of national parks to casinos per capita.
If you were thinking that we here in Illinois live in the midst of a "fun-free zone," you would be mistaken. While not at the top of the good time list, we're certainly not bringing up the rear. First, the top 5 most fun states in the U.S.:
2) South Dakota
4) North Dakota
5) New York
Is anyone else surprised to see both Dakotas in the top five? The Dakotas are more fun than Florida or California? Really? I'll believe that when we see Bismarck building a Disney theme park. Here are the bottom five, or least fun states:
49) West Virginia
That hardly seems fair. I mean those five states are the epicenter of college football and basketball! Not to mention that, they've also got...uh....er....okay, I see WalletHub's point. Speaking of Florida and California as I did earlier, they don't fare much better than we do right here in Illinois, and they both have theme parks galore, beaches, skiiing, water sports, and more. Florida comes in at the #13 spot, while California comes in at #15. Our home state, the Land of Lincoln, is #16! Here's a breakdown of our numbers:
Total score out of 100: 40.04
Entertainment and recreation rank: 10th
Night Life rank: 24th
Access to National Parks: 48th
Skiing facilities per capita: 34th