The website 24/7 Wall Street has ranked Rockford as the 16th in its list of the 50 Worst Cities to Live In, citing an unemployment rate far above the state and national average, and naming it the most violent city in Illinois.
Rockford ranked worse than Gary, Indiana (#18), but behind Milwaukee, Wisconsin (#10), and the Top 3: St. Louis, Missouri (#3), Flint, Michigan (#2) and Detroit, Michigan (#1).
The website says its metrics are based on an index of eight categories: crime, economy, education, environment, health, housing, infrastructure, and leisure. Some of the data is from as far back as 2015 and 2016 – including the unemployment rate.
The city of Rockford, Illinois, has an unemployment rate of 7.7%, the highest of any city in the state and well above the 4.9% annual U.S. jobless rate. The city also ranks as the most dangerous in the state, with a violent crime rate of 1,658 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2016 — which is more than four times the U.S. violent crime rate.
The week jobs picture and high crime likely depress property values in the city. The typical home in Rockford is worth just $89,200, less than half the median home value of $186,500 across the state.