This City Has Been Named the Worst City to Live in Illinois

This City Has Been Named the Worst City to Live in Illinois

Illinois boasts a rich history, diverse culture, and numerous attractions. However, not all its cities provide a high quality of life for residents. Livability can be influenced by factors such as crime, poverty, education, health, and the economy. Among Illinois cities, Cahokia emerges as the least desirable place to live based on these criteria.


Cahokia, as per iheart, is deemed the most dangerous city in Illinois. It boasts a staggering violent crime rate of 2,133 incidents per 100,000 people, surpassing the national average by over fivefold.

Moreover, the prevalence of property crime is alarming, with a rate of 5,530 incidents per 100,000 people—more than twice the national average. Residents of Cahokia face a 1 in 47 likelihood of falling victim to violent crime and a 1 in 18 likelihood of experiencing property crime.


Cahokia ranks among the least affluent cities in Illinois, boasting a poverty rate of 35.4%, surpassing the state average of 12.6% by more than double.

The median household income in Cahokia stands at $29,403, less than half of the state median, which is $65,886. Additionally, the city grapples with a notable unemployment rate of 9.9%, nearly doubling the state rate of 5.1%.

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Cahokia’s educational system faces challenges, displaying subpar performance in terms of test scores, graduation rates, and funding. The city’s public schools allocate a mere $9,467 per student, falling below the state average of $15,741.

Additionally, the student-teacher ratio in Cahokia stands at 17:1, surpassing the state average of 15:1. Graduation rates tell a similar story, with only 77% of Cahokia students completing high school compared to the state average of 87%.

Furthermore, the educational attainment of Cahokia adults is notably lower, with only 10% holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, in contrast to the state average of 34%.

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Cahokia faces significant health challenges, marked by elevated rates of obesity, diabetes, and premature mortality. The city exhibits a 38% obesity rate, surpassing the state average of 31%. Additionally, its diabetes rate stands at 14%, exceeding the state rate of 10%. Notably, the life expectancy in Cahokia is 73 years, trailing behind the state average of 79 years.

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This City Has Been Named the Worst City to Live in Illinois


Cahokia is facing economic challenges marked by limited growth, diversity, and opportunities. The median home value in the city stands at $50,900, significantly below the state median of $195,300, reflecting a 9.4% decline over the past decade. In contrast, the state has experienced a 3.4% increase in home values.

The city’s economy heavily relies on a small number of sectors, including manufacturing, retail, and health care, which collectively contribute to over half of the city’s employment. Cahokia’s job growth rate is currently at -0.6%, in contrast to the state’s positive rate of 0.6%.

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How Can Cahokia Improve Its Livability?

Cahokia faces numerous challenges, encompassing high crime rates, poverty, inadequate education, health issues, and economic struggles. To enhance its overall quality of life, the city may consider implementing the following strategies:

1. Promote Public Transportation: Encourage the use of public transport over private vehicles by enhancing the frequency, affordability, and accessibility of public transit services. Additionally, create safe walking and cycling routes to transport stops.

2. Shift to Sustainable Transport: Reduce reliance on motorized vehicles in favor of public and active transport options. This shift can mitigate air and noise pollution, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, lower road accidents, and enhance the city’s aesthetic and environmental quality.

3. Control Pollution from Various Sources: Regulate emissions from industries, power plants, and waste management to improve air and water quality. This initiative can minimize health risks and costs associated with pollution-related diseases.

4. Improve Governance and Reduce Corruption: Enhance transparency, accountability, and efficiency in public services to build trust and engagement among citizens and stakeholders. Reducing corruption can contribute to overall governance improvement.

5. Implement Smart Technologies for Cost-Efficiency: Integrate smart technologies to streamline city services, allowing for resource allocation towards enhancing public transport, emergency services, and the maintenance of public spaces. This, in turn, makes the city more appealing for residents.

6. Stimulate Economic Growth and Diversity: Foster economic development by attracting and retaining businesses, industries, and talent. Support innovation and entrepreneurship to create a diverse and robust economic environment.

Cahokia must tailor these strategies to its unique context, addressing specific needs and aspirations, and actively involve the community in the decision-making process.

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Cahokia encounters numerous challenges, encompassing elevated crime rates, poverty, subpar education, health issues, and a struggling economy.

As per iheart, these factors collectively contribute to Cahokia being labeled as the least desirable city to reside in within Illinois. It is imperative for the city to confront these issues head-on and enhance the quality of life for its residents.

Nonetheless, there exist potential avenues through which Cahokia could enhance its livability, drawing insights from evidence and examples observed in other cities. It is crucial to acknowledge, however, that each city is distinct and intricate, and thus, there is no universally applicable solution.


With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.