Best Cities 2010: Chicago, IL

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Best Cities 2010: Chicago, IL

Chicago is where you find the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of three major free zoos in the country, more than 200 theaters and nearly 200 art galleries, and 15 miles of bathing beaches

City: Chicago

State: Illinois

Best Cities Overall Rank: 90

About Chicago:

The first Ferris Wheel appeared in Chicago in 1893. The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of three major free zoos in the country.

The city has more than 200 theaters and nearly 200 art galleries. Also, 15 miles of bathing beaches.

County: Cook

Population: 2853114

Official website for city visitors’ bureau/city: Explore Chicago

Newspaper with the largest circulation: Chicago Tribune


Chicago blogs:

Mommy Instincts
Chicago Moms’ Blog
The Cosmo Mom


Chicago‘s Facebook page: Follow Chicago on Facebook

Chicago‘s Twitter page: Follow Chicago on Twitter


Education rank:73

High School graduation rate 2008: 54.3%

Blue Ribbon Schools, 2003-2009: 8

Blue Ribbon Schools per 100,000 people: 0.28

NEAYC-accredited preschools: 148

NAEYC schools per 100,000 people: 5.18

NAEP State proficiency reading, grade 8: 265

Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 19.5

Total Expenditures Per Student: $11,051


Health rank: 87

Quality children’s hospitals: 3

Hospitals per 100,000 people: 0.10

Quality Pediatricians: 23

Quality Pediatricians per 100,000: 0.80

Average number of Unhealthy Air Quality days between 2006-2008, by county: 0.66


Safety rank: 60

Violent Crimes, 2008: 35,764

Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 1,253.50

Sex Offenders: 2,802

Sex Offenders per 100,000: 98.208


Economy rank: 89

Travel time to work, 2006-2008, in minutes: 34.10

Percent of labor force unemployed, January 2010: 11.7

Best Performing Cities Job Index: 1,195.34

Median Home Sale Price: $221,500

5-Year Home Value Index: -3.54%

Percent of homes sold for a loss: 33.07%

Recreation Rank: 96

Parkland acreage, 2008 (includes pools and playgrounds): 7,557

Parkland per 100,000: 264.87


Photo courtesy of mindfriezemindfrieze