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Illinois falls short in overall well-being

Finding itself falling to the bottom of yet another state comparison ranking, Illinois ranked 34th nationally in well-being in a recently released report published by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). However, the report stressed that there was “cause for optimism,” praising the state’s “tremendous assets” and successes of neighboring states.

Using the BCG’s Sustainable Economic Development Assessment, Illinois was compared nationally based on four categories: economics, investments, sustainability and equality.

Illinois’ strongest score was in investments, ranking 17th overall when considering health, education and infrastructure factors. The report praised the state’s investment in health and education, underscoring this reflects “a solid commitment to supporting the well-being of its residents.”

Upon comparison, Illinois ranked in the bottom 15 in three of the four categories, earning the 44th spot in economics “despite its significant wealth,” 38th in sustainability due to factors like “violent crime, low voter turnout and poor air quality,” and the 39th position in equality. The report stressed that Illinois “fairs poorly” in both racial and income equality, allowing some residents to prosper while others struggle to get by.

Despite the challenges facing Illinois, the report emphasized there is “a strong foundation on which to build”—pointing to the state’s large and diverse economic base, a well-educated workforce, and abundant human capital.  As Senate GOP lawmakers and the Governor have stressed, these benefits will only be further boosted by reforms to attract employers to Illinois, boost the economy and stem the tide of jobs and residents from the state.

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