Sometimes, it's all in your perspective. Yesterday we talked about how Illinois is number one in the nation at losing its citizens to other states, but today we'll look at a report on the best and worst places in Illinois to raise a family. The way I figure it, some of us must plan on sticking around--or why bother about where to raise your family?

The outstanding numbers-crunchers at personal finance site WalletHub took a look at the Land of Lincoln to see where (despite the many challenges our state faces) you should be thinking about setting down roots for growing your family.

Here's what WalletHub looked at:

To determine the best places in Illinois for families to put down roots, WalletHub compared more than 222 cities in the state across 21 key indicators of family-friendliness. Our data set ranges from the share of families with young children to median family income to housing affordability.

Before we get to the immediate local area, here are the top 5 best places to raise a family in Illinois, going by WalletHub's methodology:

1. Naperville

2. Libertyville

3. Troy

4. Washington

5. Columbia


And the bottom 5 (or, worst places):


218. Markham

219. Riverdale

220. East St. Louis

221. Dolton

222. Harvey


As for Rockford, we come in at #201, ahead of Danville and behind Bridgeview. Here's WalletHub's breakdown of Rockford's numbers:

Family Life in Rockford (1=Best; 111=Avg.)
77th – % of Families with Young Children
191st – Median Family Income (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
194th – Quality of School System
220th – High School Graduation Rate
201st – Violent-Crime Rate
53rd – Housing Affordability
201st – % of Families in Poverty
92nd – Unemployment Rate
191st – Divorce Rate
92nd – Playgrounds per Capita

As for our neighboring communities, here are some of their rankings:

  • Roscoe is the highest ranking nearby community at #23
  • Dixon is not far behind at #27
  • Sterling is #87, while Sycamore is #89
  • Belvidere is #105
  • Freeport holds the #135 spot
  • Machesney Park comes in at #140
  • Loves Park is at #145
  • Dekalb is #176

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