Illinois ranked 39th-best U.S. state by Americans in new poll

Americans preferred 38 other states above Illinois in a YouGov poll of the nation’s residents.

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Chicago skyline seen from Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, Thursday, March 18, 2021.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Illinois doesn’t have the oceanfront beaches of Hawaii or mountain ranges of Colorado, but how does it compare to the rest of the U.S. states in the minds of Americans? Apparently not all that well: Illinois ranks just 39th out of 50 in a poll of the nation’s residents published Tuesday.

YouGov, a market research and data company, says it “asked people to choose the better of two states in a series of head-to-head matchups” including all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Each state received a winning percentage based on how often they won those head-to-head matchups in polling.

Hawaii topped the rankings, followed by Colorado, Virginia, Nevada and North Carolina to round out the top five. D.C. finished last, with Alabama, Mississippi, New Jersey and Arkansas in the bottom five.

Illinois came in 39th with a 44% winning percentage, sandwiched between Wisconsin and Idaho. Many of the states at the bottom of the rankings were located in the South or Midwest.

Here’s a full look at the rankings:


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