Chicago Suburb Ranked 4th-Best City to Live the American Dream

Aurora fell from tying for first last year, but remains in the top five

Chicago residents looking for a top place to fulfill their aspirations of a nice house with a white picket fence may not have to go too far, according to a report from financial planning site

Aurora is the fourth-best city to live the American Dream in the entire country, the site said in its 2018 ranking of the best cities for living the American Dream.

It was the only Illinois city to make the top 25. The study ranked the country’s 257 largest cities based on diversity, economic mobility, homeownership rate, median home value and unemployment rate.

Aurora scored the highest in ethnic diversity in the top 10, and second-highest in the top 25, surpassed only by Palmdale, California. Out of all 257 cities, it ranked 22nd.

West Valley City, Utah, took the top spot with a nearly 70 percent homeownership rate and just a 2.9 percent unemployment rate. West Valley City in the 2017 ranking tied with Aurora for first place, but this year held onto the top spot while Aurora apparently became slightly less dreamy. 

What hurt Aurora this year, according SmartAsset, is that its unemployment rate jumped from 4.1 percent to 4.5 percent, putting it in the bottom half of the cities the study examined.

“If Aurora wants to jump into the top three spots, it will need to improve its unemployment rate,” the site wrote.

But Texas is apparently where dreams are truly made, according to the study. The Lone Star State alone has five cities in the top 10: Odessa, Midland, Round Rock, Fort Worth and Amarillo. It has a further eight within the top 25.

The only other Midwest city in the top 10 was Rochester, Minnesota, which took the 10th spot due to a low diversity score, despite its high homeownership and economic mobility rates.

But what city came in dead-last? Ironically, Washington, D.C., a SmartAsset spokeswoman told NBC 5 in an email.

The full top 10 was:

  1. West Valley City, Utah
  2. Odessa, Texas
  3. Midland, Texas
  4. Aurora, Illinois
  5. Round Rock, Texas
  6. Fort Worth, Texas
  7. Aurora, Colorado
  8. San Jose, California
  9. Amarillo, Texas
  10. Rochester, Minnesota
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