Pick a county, any county. In the State of Illinois, you've got 102 of them to choose from, but according to a new study, 25 of them are better than the other 77. Our own Winnebago County finds itself in the top 24.

Stacker.com, a website that excels in research and data analysis, put together a list of the best Illinois counties in which to live, based upon rankings by Niche.com. Niche.com based their rankings on several factors, including public schools, educational attainment, cost of living, and housing.


Many counties on the list are experiencing growth due to their job opportunities, education, or home values. Others are adored for their historic or well-designed value, or devotion to cultural opportunities.

Let's take a look at some of their findings, starting with Winnebago and neighboring counties.

Winnebago County comes in at #21 on the list of the top 25 counties. I know, a higher ranking would be nice, but hey, we're in the top 25, which is more than a lot of Illinois counties can claim. Stacker.com's description of Winnebago County says this:

  • Population: 284,819
  • Median home value: $120,400 (66% own)
  • Median rent: $799 (34% rent)
  • Median household income: $54,489
  • Top public schools: Hononegah High School (A), Ledgewood Elementary School (A), Willowbrook Middle School (A)
  • Top private schools: Keith Country Day School (A+), Boylan Catholic High School (A), Rockford Lutheran Junior/Senior High School (A)
  • Top places to live: Rockton (A), Roscoe (A), Loves Park (B)

Looking over the rest of the list, the closest county to Winnebago to make the top 25 is Dekalb County coming in at #19. After that, you've got McHenry County at #14, and Kane County at #7.

Check out the rest of the list and the rankings by clicking here.

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