Several Illinois cities rank high on list of best places to live after pandemic

The pandemic has prompted more Americans to consider moving to less populated areas and continuing to work from home and a new analysis from Business Insider found Illinois is well suited for post-pandemic refuge seekers.

The business publication came up with the best places in the country to live in after the pandemic. The publication used nine economic, educational and demographic metrics for its ranking, including population density, housing affordability, commute times, and school spending per student.

Springfield topped the list. Bloomington was fourth, Champaign was fifth, Peoria placed 28th, and Danville ranked 30th in the nation, according to the analysis.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said he was ecstatic with the designation.

“The City of Springfield is proud of its designation as the No. 1 best city in the United States to live in after the coronavirus pandemic. Springfield is a resilient community, consistently meeting and rising from any challenges we face due to our strong local economy and our human capital,” he said. “Our community is known to lift one another up during difficult times. This health pandemic showed how truly strong and resilient our city is because of our ability to come together and help our neighbors.”

Champaign Mayor Deborah Feinen said people get more bang for their buck in her town.

“Champaign has a lot to offer, and we have lower housing prices than you would find in the suburbs or in Chicago, so your dollar goes further,” she said.

A Harris Poll found that about one-third of Americans said they were thinking about moving to less densely populated places, and recent research from Moody’s Analytics found that less densely populated places with a larger share of jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher were likely to recover faster from the economic impact the coronavirus pandemic.

Danville has experienced some hard economic times since the General Motors plant closed in the mid-1990s, but Mayor Ricky Williams Jr. said the town is coming back and would welcome new residents with open arms.

“I think if you come in just for a visit or whether you were going to move here, you will find the people in our city are very open-minded and welcoming and there’s a lot of love here,” he said.

The Center Square – Kevin Bessler



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