They Put Their Money On …

Four Chicago suburbs made Money Magazine’s annual list of America’s 100 best small towns.
Guess which ones. I’ll do it too.
Give up?
OK, I’ll tell you.
With populations between 50,000 and 300,000, the Chicago suburbs that made Money Magazine’s list of America’s best small cities are:
#43 Bolingbrook
#54 Naperville
#56 Mount Prospect
#59 Arlington Heights
Get any right? I guessed Naperville, so that’s one for me.

The Promenade Bolingbrook

This is the first appearance for Bolingbrook, and it topped all local cities on the list.
Money reports that this southwest suburb has a median age of 29 and a median home price of $155,000.
Bolingbrook also came in at #8 on Money’s Where Homes are Affordable list, which ranks 25 growing towns whose residents see their incomes go the furthest.
The only other Illinois town to make that list was Joliet and its median home value of $152,000.
Back to the small-towns list.
Next to be ranked is Naperville, which is funny because it’s Bolingbrook‘s neighbor.
I assumed Naperville would make be ranked, seeing that it made Money’s list at #2 in 2006 and #3 in 2005 and 2008.
In Money’s profile of Naperville, with a median home price of $330,000, the magazine reports the highlight of this southwest suburb to be its annual Ribfest barbeque party.
No wonder it has fallen so far.

Mount Prospect star Lee DeWyze

Lee DeWyze winning American Idol must have helped Mount Prospect make the list; Money made a point to mention the availability of cookies with his likeness in the northwest suburb.
The magazine had no median home value for Mount Prospect, but according to the Village profile, it is $217,700.
Last to make the best small cities list is Arlington Heights, which shares a high school with Mount Prospect.
Two more neighbors. Interesting.

One of Arlington Heights' restaurants

In Money’s report, Arlington Heights has a median home price of $270,000, a median age of 40 and more than 6,300 restaurants within 15 miles.
Guess everyone doesn’t want to wait tables: According to Money, Arlington Heights also has a high unemployment rate.
The #1 small city in America, according to Money Magazine, is Eden Prairie, Minnesota, the home of the Minnesota Vikings.
Eden Prairie boasts an unemployment rate four points below the national average, top schools, safe streets, 17 lakes and 125 miles of hiking trails.
Residents in this city rank among the healthiest people in the nation, according to Money.
It’s also #1 on Money’s Best Home Deals in Top 10 Towns.
The only two Chicago suburbs to make Money’s best small cities 2009 list — Batavia at #56 and Buffalo Grove at #65 — did not make the list this year.