Updated May 26, 2022 - News

Chicago is no hellhole to us

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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

At the recent GOP gubernatorial debate, downstate candidate Darren Bailey derided Chicago as a "hellhole."

Why it matters: For starters, the comment rankles unabashed Chicago-lovers like us.

  • But it could also prove a questionable strategy in a state where three-quarters of the population resides in the Chicago metro area, and almost a fourth lives in the city.

By the numbers: Chicago ranked as the 10th most popular place to move in the nation in 2021, according to a recent analysis of truck rental data by Penske. It's the first year our hellhole has cracked the top 10 since 2015.

  • And last fall Chicago was voted best big city by readers of Condé Nast Traveler for the fifth year in a row.

Violence view: We do have way too much. But when it comes to per capita murder and gun homicides, Chicago doesn't even make the top 10.

  • Instead, our city ranks 26th in the category.

💭 Monica's thought bubble: As a professional gadfly, I get the need to push for improvements. But after 50 years here, I'm still proud to call this hole my home.

💭 Justin's thought bubble: Could you imagine if a Chicago Democrat called downstate a hellhole? Maybe Bailey is just a "Spinal Tap" fan.

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