Chicago Fourth Most Miserable City in America: Forbes

Rockford ranks third, Lake County ranks ninth

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    Crank up The Smiths, Chicago. We're miserable now.

    Thanks to its brutal winters, tough commutes and high foreclosure rates, Chicago was ranked the United States' fourth most miserable city in Forbes' annual list.

    Though a panel of experts acknowledged the city's world-class culture, top-ranked universities and restaurants, they said it's tough to live here without a lot of money and noted thousands are proving they don't want to.

    "Chicago residents must endure long commutes (31 minutes on average), plummeting home prices (37% the past five years), brutal winters and high foreclosure rates (3.3% of homes in 2012 says RealtyTrac)," according to the Forbes' list 2013 of America's Most Miserable Cities.

    "Many residents are giving up on the Windy City with a net migration out of the city of 107,000 people the past five years, according to Moody’s Analytics."

    Ouch. At least the Second City didn't make first on the list. Detroit took that honor for its violent crime, high unemployment, dwindling population and persistent financial crisis.

    Illinoisans should be familiar with the third most miserable city. Rockford ranked in the Top 5, because "a three decade decline in the manufacturing base has hurt Rockford's economy and kept unemployment high. Job fairs like the above are busy servicing the city's 11.2% unemployed, which is one of the highest rates in the U.S. Another burden: high property tax rates.

    In case Illinois wasn't feeling bad enough, suburban Lake County ranked ninth.

    "Lake County is one of the richest counties in the U.S., as measured by per capita income," Forbes explains. "But home prices are down 29% over the past 5 years. Other drawbacks: long commutes and lousy weather."