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Best Small Towns

Small-town living doesn’t get much better than McHenry County, analysts find.

McHenry County is should be proud to have not one, but four towns ranked among the best small cities in America by personal finance website Wallet Hub. Out of 1,268 cities ranked,  City of Crystal Lake came in at No. 10; Village of Algonquin, No. 25; McHenry, No. 45 and Lake in the Hills, No. 65.

Of Illinois towns, Crystal Lake ranked No. 1; Algonquin No. 2; McHenry No. 3; and Lake in the Hills No. 5.

“America’s little towns commonly attract newcomers or returnees for the same reasons: Tighter communities, less competition, shorter commutes and an actual backyard with a white picket fence,” Wallet Hub explained. “And from a purely financial standpoint, living in a small city creates a sense of greater wealth because of cheaper cost of living — one of the main draws for in-movers, especially those seeking to raise a family.”

Study factors include housing costs, cost of living, unemployment rate, income growth, population growth [and] quality of school systems.

The site’s data set includes a total of 22 metrics ranging from housing costs to school-system quality to the number of restaurants per capita. Find the complete ranking, a detailed methodology and additional expert commentary here.


Crystal Lake
Crystal Lake, IL, United States
Algonquin, IL, United States
McHenry, IL, United States
Lake in the Hills
Lake in the Hills, IL, United States

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