These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Illinois For 2019

We used science and data to determine which places in the Prairie State are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the worst places to live in Illinois.

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Illinois. America’s heartland. The Land of Lincoln. Green summers, cold winters. Farmers and gangsters. And everything in between.

It’s not a flyover state. In fact, when you consider Chicago is possibly the best city in America, Illinois can make a case that it’s the most important state in the entire midwest.

Where you’ve got corn fields, corn hole, and some of the hardest-working, down-to-earth people in the country.

But is it all roses in Illinois? Of course not. Just like every other state, Illinois has its issues. The sore spots, if you will. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which Illinois cities need a little tender loving care.

After analyzing 325 of the Prairie State’s most populous cities, we came up with this list as the 10 places that could use a hug right about now:

  1. Centreville (Photos)
  2. Harvey (Photos)
  3. Cahokia (Photos)
  4. East St. Louis (Photos)
  5. Dolton (Photos)
  6. Hoopeston (Photos)
  7. Markham
  8. Kankakee (Photos)
  9. Riverdale (Photos)
  10. Benton (Photos)

What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case.

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Illinois? That would be Centreville.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Illinois reading, check out:

How we determined the worst places to live in Illinois for 2019

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 325 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 325 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score” with the lowest score being the worst city in Illinois — Centreville. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Illinois.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

Centreville, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,094
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $47,900 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.9% (2nd worst)
More on Centreville:  Data | Photos

When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in Illinois, Centreville ranks 1st worst. Let’s see why.

Here in Centreville, crime is the 24th highest in the state, and 1 out of 22.9 residents was robbed here according to the latest FBI numbers.

That’s not the first place you think of making home, is it?

Additionally, you have a 1 in 113 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which includes rapes, attacks or murders. That’s really high.

When you look at adult education in Illinois, the folks in Centreville have the 65th highest drop out rate. And other factors that make Centreville undesirable are the low median incomes and home prices.

The unemployment rate is the 2nd highest in Illinois, at 19.9%. That’s actually on par with the national average, which means Illinois has some hard workers.

Harvey, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,685
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $72,400 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.5% (6th worst)
More on Harvey:  Data | Photos

Out of all the places to live in Illinois, Harvey ranks as the 2nd worst — not something to brag about.

Harvey’s unemployment rate stands at 18.5%. While the income levels out here are some of the lowest in the state. Residents earn a combined $24,343 a year in salaries. That’s not enough to really get ahead in life.

Additionally, the homes are the 19th cheapest in the entire state at $72,400. Again, some people like the cheap cost of living, but housing is priced on demand, and the fact is, there’s not a lot of demand to live way out in Harvey. Plus, what do you do for fun here anyway?

Crime is the 8th worst in the state. You have a 1 in 2.2 chance of being robbed here and a 1 in 24 chance of being attacked or raped. Yikes.

Cahokia, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,408
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $48,700 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (22nd worst)
More on Cahokia:  Data | Photos

Cahokia has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 31st-highest in the state of Illinois. And residents earn far less than it takes to live a normal life. The unemployment rank is also higher than almost every other city in the state at 13.2%.

Additionally, 30.9% of the population lives below the poverty line.

East St. Louis, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,678
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $55,000 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.0% (10th worst)
More on East St. Louis:  Data | Photos

Don’t even try and argue about this one. The only thing controversial about East St. Louis being this high is that it wasn’t number one.

East St. Louis needs some tough love.

The unemployment rate is 12% which is the second-highest in the state of Illinois. And residents here make a paltry $19,278 a year. That’s well below the poverty line. Home values are barely above $40,000, which is the 4th-lowest in the state.

And crime. There isn’t a more dangerous city in the state. Not even close.

The only thing keeping East St. Louis from topping this list is the fact that its public school system is actually decent — meaning student spending and teacher-student ratios are a main focus in trying to turn this community around.

Hopefully, the next generation of kids growing up in this city can step it up and talk some sense into the older generation.

Dolton, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,091
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $94,700 (59th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.6% (1st worst)
More on Dolton:  Data | Photos

When you’re looking at science and data, the city of Dolton is the 5th worst place you can live in the state of Illinois. Let’s see why.

You may be surprised to hear that the crime here is the 8th-highest in the state per capita, according to the FBI data base.

Residents in Dolton had a 1 in 2.2 chance of being robbed in 2018. To put things into perspective, since the average person has 300 friends on Facebook, if everyone you friended lived in Dolton, statistically, 25 of them would have been the victim of a property crime, meaning a home robbery, car break in or a stolen wallet.

Dolton’s other issues are a very high unemployment rate (22.6%) and income levels of its residents ($44,075).

Hoopeston, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,186
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $64,100 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.7% (27th worst)
More on Hoopeston:  Data | Photos

If you’ve ever taken the backroads to or from Chicago, you might have passed through Hoopeston on Route 1. It seems to be a relatively quiet, clean place.

Here’s what science says about why Hoopeston needs some love: The unemployment rate is nearly 12.7%, residents earn about $41,313 a year, and home prices are just over $64,100. Across the board, those are in the bottom 10% in the state. Not absolutely horrible, but not desirable, either.

And there simply isn’t anything to do in Hoopeston. Don’t believe me? The city’s events calendar is…blank.

Maybe people in Hoopeston just need some friends. They don’t even have a Facebook page for their city. #FacebookforHoopeston

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,649
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $86,700 (51st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.4% (20th worst)
More on Markham:  Data

Sure, it’s in a beautiful area, and there’s lots of culture, especially in terms of music. But, if you’re measuring desirability, it’s the 7th worst in Illinois.

Markham residents had a 1 in 2.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime. Meaning lots of stolen laptops, cell phones and sports jerseys.

The unemployment rate in Markham is through the roof, as more than 13.4% of the population can’t get a job. At least their mortgages aren’t too high; at $86,700, Markham has the 51st-lowest home prices in the state of Illinois.

Kankakee, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,036
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $85,800 (47th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.5% (28th worst)
More on Kankakee:  Data | Photos

Kankakee is pretty much the first place you get to when you leave Chicago, south on I-57. And according to the data, it might be the first place you might want to pull over and spread some goodwill.

Kankakee has the third lowest student-teacher ratio in the state, and its public education system is in the bottom 10% as a whole when it comes to spending. The unemployment rate is 11%, which is nearly double the national average.

Factor in a very low median household income and the 16th-highest crime rate in the state, and you’ve got some real issues. Oh yeah, and there were four murders here in 2019. Yikes.

Kankakee has seen its ups and downs over the years. In the late 90s, it was rated as one of the best places to raise a family one year, and then two years later, rated as the worst place to live by Places Rated Almanac.

But it’s been consistently rated as having great golf courses. And they’re probably looking for a new friend to play with.

Riverdale, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,025
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $82,200 (38th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.5% (4th worst)
More on Riverdale:  Data | Photos

Riverdale places 9th in our ranking of the worst places to live in Illinois. Here, 13.2% of the adult population lack’s even a high school degree. That makes Riverdale have the 89th highest adult drop out rate in Illinois.

Income levels are also near the poverty line, and home prices are around $82,200 each — the 38th lowest in Illinois.

As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of demand to live here.

Benton, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,050
Rank Last Year: 28 (Up 18)
Median Home Value: $70,800 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (40th worst)
More on Benton:  Data | Photos

When you factor in the economy, crime and sheer number of things to do, Benton residents are in need of a hug more than any other place in the state.

Where is Benton, Illinois you say? It’s in Franklin County, on I-57 on your way to Carbondale. If you’re driving through town, stop by and give a friendly wave. They could sure use it right about now.

Benton has the 20th worse crime in Illinois, but most of those crimes are property crimes, meaning robberies and thefts. However, when you consider than Benton residents had a 1 in 40 chance of having something stolen from them last year, it’s a place where you can’t let your guard down.

Other issues with Benton: The unemployment rank is 9.4%, residents earn about $29,000 a year, and home costs hover around $62,000 on average. Meaning there’s not a lot of demand.

And 17% of the families live below the poverty line here.

Wrapping Up The Worst In Illinois

If you’re looking at areas in Illinois with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Centreville ranks as the worst city to live in Illinois for 2019.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Illinois:

  1. Hinsdale (Pop. 17,705)
  2. Western Springs (Pop. 13,187)
  3. Deerfield (Pop. 18,896)

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Illinois

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Centreville 5,094 19.9% $47,900
2 Harvey 25,685 18.5% $72,400
3 Cahokia 14,408 13.2% $48,700
4 East St. Louis 26,678 17.0% $55,000
5 Dolton 23,091 22.6% $94,700
6 Hoopeston 5,186 12.7% $64,100
7 Markham 12,649 13.4% $86,700
8 Kankakee 26,036 12.5% $85,800
9 Riverdale 13,025 19.5% $82,200
10 Benton 7,050 11.0% $70,800
11 Posen 6,371 19.2% $102,600
12 Metropolis 6,239 8.5% $74,300
13 Beardstown 6,004 9.8% $65,300
14 Danville 31,765 10.8% $64,700
15 Robbins 5,203 11.1% $68,800
16 Calumet Park 8,337 18.2% $110,200
17 Chicago Heights 30,292 14.4% $98,300
18 University Park 7,038 14.3% $114,800
19 Centralia 12,582 10.7% $63,200
20 Harrisburg 9,344 13.1% $67,800
21 Alton 27,037 13.2% $80,400
22 Blue Island 22,446 13.1% $113,800
23 Rockford 148,640 12.8% $89,500
24 Mount Vernon 14,723 9.7% $75,200
25 Salem 7,044 10.1% $71,600
26 Justice 12,973 9.5% $179,100
27 Zion 24,157 12.4% $115,200
28 East Alton 6,158 7.3% $81,400
29 Streator 13,241 12.4% $78,900
30 Murphysboro 7,952 6.7% $66,900
31 Kewanee 12,808 7.1% $59,700
32 Vandalia 7,013 8.8% $85,900
33 Lynwood 9,357 14.7% $141,200
34 Cicero 83,735 8.3% $139,100
35 Decatur 73,505 10.4% $80,600
36 Maywood 23,981 13.7% $138,700
37 Waukegan 87,999 9.7% $120,300
38 West Frankfort 7,867 11.8% $61,900
39 Herrin 12,886 9.1% $85,500
40 Richton Park 13,661 18.3% $142,900
41 Marseilles 5,058 10.6% $105,900
42 Harvard 9,482 11.6% $114,700
43 Lasalle 9,351 8.4% $82,700
44 Chicago 2,722,586 9.9% $234,500
45 Wood River 10,326 6.6% $83,900
46 Belleville 42,283 7.3% $96,000
47 Steger 9,505 9.9% $107,500
48 Freeport 24,537 11.6% $75,300
49 Paris 8,446 9.8% $72,600
50 Creve Coeur 5,532 7.7% $83,200
51 Galesburg 31,215 7.8% $73,500
52 Carbondale 26,196 10.2% $117,600
53 Robinson 7,589 9.5% $76,700
54 Lansing 28,308 12.5% $125,500
55 Olney 8,910 8.1% $82,200
56 Bellwood 19,165 11.5% $120,000
57 East Moline 21,302 8.2% $108,200
58 Country Club Hills 16,756 19.8% $131,900
59 Bridgeview 16,511 9.3% $164,300
60 Broadview 7,892 16.5% $148,400
61 Rantoul 13,190 6.4% $88,600
62 Mattoon 17,370 8.2% $82,500
63 Summit 11,398 10.0% $157,700
64 Mount Carmel 7,032 9.6% $76,400
65 Canton 14,187 6.7% $85,500
66 Peoria 115,424 10.6% $124,800
67 Du Quoin 5,876 8.6% $69,200
68 Hazel Crest 13,935 13.5% $107,100
69 Carlinville 5,327 9.9% $89,600
70 Clinton 7,260 9.2% $79,100
71 Pontoon Beach 5,881 7.7% $89,500
72 Hillside 8,151 9.3% $154,600
73 Milan 5,082 7.2% $97,000
74 Pinckneyville 5,412 8.8% $77,400
75 Watseka 5,359 6.1% $80,900
76 Monmouth 9,011 8.0% $71,100
77 Rock Island 38,560 9.2% $100,500
78 Jacksonville 18,812 7.7% $98,500
79 South Holland 21,991 15.7% $150,200
80 Litchfield 6,951 4.6% $76,900
81 Rochelle 9,293 8.1% $112,500
82 Chicago Ridge 14,338 7.1% $153,300
83 Matteson 19,277 13.5% $157,100
84 Park Forest 21,672 13.3% $69,400
85 Belvidere 25,358 8.7% $102,900
86 Pontiac 12,047 6.9% $99,600
87 Franklin Park 18,257 6.9% $180,700
88 Springfield 116,313 8.1% $125,600
89 Fox Lake 10,762 8.3% $142,400
90 Rock Falls 8,898 11.1% $75,000
91 Mendota 6,980 11.1% $110,400
92 Silvis 7,586 5.4% $113,400
93 North Chicago 30,013 9.4% $104,600
94 Joliet 148,172 7.4% $165,600
95 Macomb 18,684 9.9% $101,000
96 Berwyn 56,367 7.2% $179,800
97 Loves Park 24,320 7.4% $114,100
98 Northlake 12,376 6.9% $165,000
99 Crestwood 10,959 7.3% $126,600
100 Melrose Park 25,447 6.9% $173,700

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58 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Illinois For 2019

  1. I agree with a few towns on this list but you seem extremely biased against southern Illinois. Benton,Salem West Frankfort dangerous!?… I think you need a better way to compile data.Also if one truly looked at a map you would see Salem is almost 90 miles from St Louis doesnt sound nearby to me. Also you report that no place in chicago is dangerous…??? I would walk the streets of at least 4 of these town late at night before I would drive in chicago…in the daylight.

  2. I agree with you Ken Daily! I knew this article was going to be a total joke as soon as Chicago was referred to as “possibly the best city in America.” If you polled the people of Illinois living south of I95, I’m sure your “stats” would reflect a resounding disagreement to that claim. It sounds to me that the writer doesn’t know a thing about these towns except for the outdated stats found combing the interwebs.

  3. “In fact, Danville is the 5th most dangerous place in Illinois. Danville, many of you need to take a time out to think about what you did wrong. Then come back when you want to talk about it.”

    Pretty flip when you were talking about shootings. Stay classy.

  4. One of the factors was population density (lower being worse). That automatically biases this list toward small towns, as does the median income. Incomes are lower but then again so is the cost of living. I guess this is mostly a feel-good piece for the state of Chicago. I live in Herrin, #35 on the list but I am presently in Benton and I can tell you the place is full of friendly folks that enjoy the slower pace of life here.

  5. Maybe you should actually visit each of these towns and do some real live research and then report on them again. Your “data” doesn’t tell the whole story.

  6. You claim this is opinion based on facts, but your facts are quite limited, and focus on the negative. Hoopeston has a major festival over Labor Day weekend.. The Sweetcorn Festival. May not be your thing, but it includes a pageant that brings contestants from all 50 states. Danville has an amazing local arts community: Red Mask Theater, Danville Light Opera, Danville Symphony Orchestra, and the Danville Art League.

    I know this is a piddly site, but I felt compelled to defend my community. Oh, and as others have said…to not consider Chicago (at least some parts) dangerous is ludicrous.

  7. All of the bad places to live listed are south of I-80 and the best places to live are all in the Chicago area. I am not sure what criteria was used to make this determination but it is hard to believe that the Chicago area has the best places to live and that there are no good places to live in downstate Illinois. How about the lack of bad places to live in the Chicago area despite areas of high crime and unemployment? What a completely biased article.

  8. This is bull e stl the worst place in us in less your black it is full of houses that were once the most beautiful 3 story and now it is run down taken over by crime the worst crime rape murder theft donate leave your car out of sight fraud child touched it is the home of the devil im not a i live in stl and brakes my heart to see what was once one of the best place to live and now i wouldn’t make a rouch live there these little towns there talking about are great places to live and raise your kids and i dont care what data proves I’ve live in several of these little towns and never locked my door or took the keys out of my car left it run most places do that in e stl or chcgo and your calling a taxi

  9. Illinois is a giant armpit, end of story. I live a town over from Benton and my husband is from Chicago area, we can both attest that it is a shit hole no matter where you go in this state. Nothing but addicts and rednecks. We are in the process of building our credit so that we can move out of this poop shoot as soon as possible. This article is as correct as it gets. Those of you offended probably have no teeth and no life.

    1. I would practice better grammar and punctuation, if I were you, before accusing people of being of a lower class than one in which you reside.
      If you can’t find grammatical errors in your sentences; you may want to group yourself in the same class you are bashing……better build more credit before you move from the proverbial “shit hole”. Oh! You might want to receive more educatation while you’re at it!

    2. Your an idiot. I’m from Jerseyville. I now live in Ohio and have traveled all over the US. We grew up poor. Garden fed. My grandpa and grandma was very hard-working. Born with morals values and ethics. Obviously northern Illinois or maybe lack of respect is your failure. I love southern Illinois. Beautiful, homegrown, hearts full of family, love and consideration.
      the scenery. Thank God for opinions huh???

  10. Ask anyone in Danville where many people from closed low income housing in Chicago we’re sent. Ask people in Danville where GE, Hyster, Esco, and General Motors went. I sure am glad Chicago looks nicer and companies have found cheaper places to manufacture there goods. Oh by the way, the sarcasm was not computer generated.

  11. I tend to agree with the article. If you look at what the author is saying, population versus the crime spree we seem to be having. Yes, I want to be able to defend our community, but think about it. For our small communities, we have a rather large crime activity, and it’s getting worse lately. And our school systems? They suck ass, big time. They don’t offer education like they used to, with budget cuts, and lack of caring educators…all the decent ones having retired or moved to other locations. And the housing demands? Look around, to buy a decent, sound house, the majority of the homes around here that are decent and livable, are out of most of our budgets, the ones that our citizens can afford are dumps.
    The fact of the matter us, truth hurts. It hits you in the gut.
    You can’t turn on the news anymore without seeing those trusted educators turning into pedophiles, or decent human beings being murdered or left in streets to die alone, thefts, rape, etc…and this isn’t Chicago news I’m talking about…it’s WSIL.
    I’m surprised Herrin didn’t make this list.

  12. Dear Nick James and the RoadSnacks Team,

    Decatur would like for you to use correct data for your rankings. Our unemployment rate is 6.2%. Please issue a new ranking for us! Speaking of rankings…

    We were recently voted:
    Top 12 Best Illinois Cities for Families
    Top 50 Best Cities for Global Trade
    Top 50 Safest Cities in Illinois (Our crime rates are lower than Champaign, Bloomington, Peoria, and Springfield – our major surrounding cities.)
    Runner Friendly Community

    While we were recognized by Forbes Magazine for our growing agribusiness economy and career opportunities last month, we were busy raising $20,000 to send Girl Scout cookies to our troops overseas. In the fall, we raised 1,040,000 pounds of food and cash in one day to fill our local food pantries, and we’ll do it again this year.

    I could go on and on, but I’ll stop and invite you to check out the transformation happening in Decatur and Macon County:

    1. RE: City Limitless – Decatur & Macon County

      As a person who was born and raised in Decatur, attended Millikin University, and whose family still lives in the area, thanks for sharing the promising information and the link.

    2. Decatur is absolutely horrible. Riddled with crime and abandoned houses full of druggies, plus the whole city STINKS to high heaven due to the noxious fumes being spewed everywhere.

  13. A lower population density is worse? Chicago is the best? That really speaks to the credibility of this screed. :p

  14. You forgot Du Quoin il. Its a horrible place where the rich and middle class are snobby and the poor folk are crooks…ppl ride lawnmowers because of DUI’S and city court is a joke as well as most of city citations……it’s a laughable little pile that I was raised in…

    1. Pinckneyville as well. I was on my riding lawnmower to go cut grass like I have done my whole life an one day police pull me over an arrest me for driving on revoked license an take me to jail an impound my lawnmower. They that fucking petty.

  15. What about Marion, ILL?? It has very good qualities, good schools, and plenty to do. Yea, it has its crime and drama but still a good place. I born and raised there

  16. This article is a bunch of crap, but not as big a turd as this website. Buzzfeed wanna be’s. The author has probably never been to any of these cities. Bogus statistics as well. Amateurs.

  17. 83 shootings in 499th of July in Chicago and you sound out all the southern cities. The rest of the state pays for Chicago’s reckless political criminality.along with extreme povety and crime. Your an idiot

    1. Couldn’t agree more! The News media, big Newspapers cater to the whims of the urban big city, while they ignore small towns.

  18. This article doesn’t mean much to anyone outside of Chicago but I’d like to point out that Benton ‘ s highschool superintendent was awarded with the states “Superintendent of the year” award just last year. Correct me if I’m wrong but the worst place in Illinois probably wouldn’t get an award like that.

    1. Ah yes, the illustrious school system where they have to keep laying off teachers. Certainly something to be proud of, yes.

  19. I know this is supposed to be for fun, but my community of Decatur has worked VERY hard on improving it’s image. One trip to our downtown area or a weekend visit will show you it’s a great place to live. I am currently raising 3 kids here and we just don’t have the ability to participate in all te community events we’d like to. Our Park District will rival any others north of I-80, if not blow them out of the water. Thank you to our “City Limitless” campaign for correcting your data as well!

  20. Am I wrong about Cairo? Is it still part of Illinois? (Maybe Illinois gave it to Kentucky.) Has it had a complete turn around so it is not in the over 300 cities rated as the worst? Maybe it is just so far south the “scientist” who performed the analysis didn’t look at it, because I looked at the whole list. I was there a few years ago…it is a s#!÷hole.

  21. What about Cairo and Murphysboro? Maybe too far south for you to know they existed? I moved to Salem 45 years ago and have never wanted to leave. Salem’s problem has been the economy and loss of jobs. The people are wonderful and are always there to help one another. A growing problem in this area now is all the baby-mommas trying to live off the goverement and charities. This situation is reaching epic proportions.

  22. you are ignorant, look it up in the dictionary-you are just like a politician, the more comments, the more you think people will take you as somebody that expand their business, i won’t read your ignorance again

  23. Consider North Chicago,the ghetto of Lake county,lots of crumbling industry.The people act and treat you like scum.

  24. Don’t a have a lot to say but just want to know how Cairo did not make this list. Do some research on Cairo an rewrite this article trust me Itiwill make the list.

  25. I’m from Illinois and this article is so accurate. My girlfriend and I knew Decatur and Danville would be on this list. And rightfully so Illinois is an aweful state in general.

  26. Miracle Whip I so agree with you. It is a salad dressing closely related to mayonnaise. MMMM I want some Miracle Whip on my ice cream

  27. I am sure glad to live in the Northwest Suburbs of Illinois. Its clean, great schools and beautiful. I really like Palatine, very nice. The people are friendly family oriented. You can always find jobs but there has been a decline with employment in many areas everywhere. The rent and housing is expensive. Plenty of good transportation and wonderful places to go for recreation.

    1. Try going out, a little bit past Palatine, maybe like towards Harvard, Marengo, check out those wonderful little towns! I’d say Palatine is a white collar town, that’s why it’s half way decent. It’s not one of the factory/warehouse working man’s town.

  28. You guys forgot Harvey Posen Blue Island south Holland Phoenix, Ford Heights,Chicago Heights Joliet I can go on for a while all the little towns I mentioned are worse then 9 out of ten of these other towns it’s sad what the media doesn’t say

  29. I’ve read the comments & the way people get so defensive over the town/city they live or lived in is ridiculous,lol!! I have been though out this whole state of Illinois. This state is just unbalanced. You got Chicago with 2.7 million people. The way Chicago is bashed is crazy. Of course every town is going to have crime, there is no stopping that. Most towns, the police try there best to keep news of committed crimes quit to keep the population from being in a panic so it keeps chaos from happening.. The way the media now covers crime & shootings is very exaggerated. The fact is, they can bring up 1 shooting a day & that’s a very small number for a city that big. You figure out of the 2.7 million people, they claim 600 shootings is a lot. In reality it’s not a big percentage at all. 1% of 1 million people is 10,000 people, so by that alone 600 people getting shot in a city that big in one year is very small. This list just shows the math, the numbers don’t lie. I’m sorry for the people that are exploding over there town/city being on this list, relax!!! My goodness people are so hateful when they see, hear or read something they don’t like! I hate that some of these towns/cites are on this list too. But it’s nothing to go bananas over. Illinois is now a mismanaged state to live in, with the funding being unbalanced. This state feels like it should be 2 states once you pass into Southern Illinois, which I lived in for about 12 years. From the Carbondale area to the surrounding towns of the Capital of Southern IL, Belleville. The culture in that part of IL is so different. This state does have towns that are like ghost towns. So many empty businesses, houses & apartment complexs, I couldn’t imagine living in some of these towns personally. It is also scary the way Illinois water is so toxic with lead in the southern part of IL. Instead of people being memorized by the idiot box, oh I mean television. Maybe with people reading this, hopefully can get it together & change the imagine of these towns/cities. Which a lot of these people are so quick to praise & defend.

  30. I’ve been to a lot of them towns and cities, let me say pretty much of them all are terrible. If its not the violence, its racism and corniness. How can the people from these places make it better when most have never leaves nowhere else.I think there has to be some type of trend, that’s why we are the USA. Pretty much all the mid Central states suck in everything. I like to use trees, its hardly any. We all know what produces oxygen. Either you’re a alcoholic,druggie or lame. Which one?

  31. I cannot believe that Ford Heights or Chicago Heights did not make the top 10 list. Then to have Decatur on the list and neighboring MT Zion, way down the list is crazy as well.

  32. Peotone Ill is the worst most poor excuse for a town!! I lived there 2 months before I got so bored beside seeing a town with no growth nor up-keep! The town is dirty beside filthy! I now live one town over in manteno and must say I glad I did it! It’s a big change from peotone and one thing I do say at least the people are alot me friendly out here!

  33. Gotta admit that West Frankfort deserves to be on this list….. The 5 worst cities in Southern IL are probably: 1.Carbondale, 2. Cairo, 3. West Frankfort, 4. Murhphysboro, and 5. Mt. Vernon. East St. Louis, Chicago, and Harvey are all far worst though

  34. Quincy illinois should be somewhere on this list because the people’s attitudes here in quincy are really shitty and dont even get me started on quincy school system, the town really is a hell hole and it should be exposed

  35. Seems one of the worst was left out, TRENTON. From the outside it looks like a quiet and safe little town. What you don’t see until it is too late is the “Payton Place” it really is. These are some of the most awful humans on the earth that live her. You would expect if you are from here people would be accepting of you, not the case. I was born to this town and moved at an early age and returned to raise my family. BIG mistake! This really must be some evil burial ground that runs straight to the fiery depths of hell. It makes Benton look normal. Mean spirited evil so called “Christians” around every corner preying on the demise of the happy and removal of the outsiders. God help this town!

  36. Litchfield has an awesome lake for boating, fishing and swimming. It also has a horse park for camping with horses and magnificent trails that people travel for 3-4 hours to enjoy. An indoor gun shooting range, first class all weather track, bowling alley and just about every fast food restaurant franchise known to mankind. Pizza Man serves some of the best pizza on the planet. Many factories, car dealers and a big hospital. Niehaus Cycles is one of he biggest Honda dealers in the nation. Who to hell is rating these towns?

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