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Survey: Resident Say Illinois Worst Place to Live

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 8:27 p.m. CDT

By Sally Deneen

One in four Illinois residents call the Prairie State the worst place to live in the United States, according to a new Gallup survey.

"Illinois has the unfortunate distinction of being the state with the highest percentage of residents who say it is the worst possible place to live," states the Gallup report. Next worst, as deemed by their residents, are Rhode Island and Connecticut, where 17 percent of people polled used the "worst" label.

Texans, by contrast, are likeliest to view their state as the very best place to live. Forbes earlier deemed Dallas and Houston, the Lone Star State's largest city, among the Best Places for Businesses and Careers.

"Houstonians are blessed when it comes to affordable housing and abundance of jobs," effused CNN Money, which named the Houston Heights neighborhood to its "Best Big-City Neighborhoods" list. Yet the Gallup report points to other factors for Texans' high ranking of their state, including a high standard of living.

"Throughout its history, Illinois has been rocked by high-profile scandals, investigations and resignations from Chicago to Springfield and elsewhere throughout the state," states the Gallup report. "Such scandals may explain why Illinois residents have the least trust in their state government. Additionally, they are among the most resentful about the amount they pay in state taxes. These factors may contribute to an overall low morale for the state's residents."

But there’s no need to find a new home in another state yet.

Illinois ranks among the best on some other lists, so it's not all gloom and doom. Buffalo Grove makes CNN Money's list of "Best Places to Live – America's small towns."

Chicago is home to the nation's best hot dog, as deemed by The Daily Meal. Downers Grove makes Livability's list of "Top 10 Best Cities for Kids."

And not one, but two, Chicago executive MBA programs place among "the world's best" executive MBA programs, according to rankings by Poets&Quants. At No. 1 is University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, while Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management ranks third.

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