Two-thirds of Chicago-area residents would stay in the Chicagoland area, even if money were no object, according to a new poll from Charles Schwab.
That’s despite the fact that about three-quarters of Chicagoans rate the metropolitan area as “one of the worst” in the country in terms of crime and tax rates.
The Charles Schwab poll, “The View from Chicago,” was conducted with a representative sample of 1,000 Chicago-area residents, ages 21-75.
Chicagoans rated their city highest on diversity, innovation, and opportunities for young professionals. They rated the region lowest as a place to raise a family, get an education, and retire. And Chicagoans are proudest of their dining, arts and culture. More than 80 percent of poll respondents rated those things “one of the best” compared to the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.
Younger residents were more optimistic about the Chicago economy and long-term job prospects.
57 percent of “Millennials,” those between the ages of 21 and 33, said that there are plenty of job opportunities in the Chicago area, while only 33 percent of “Boomers,” ages 50 through 68, agreed.
Millennials were also most likely to say that Chicago is a good place for the middle class and to spend your retirement years. One-quarter of Millenials said Chicago is a good place to retire, compared to only 14 percent of Boomers.
Perhaps that’s why 40 percent of Millenials would live in the city of Chicago if money were no object, and only 18 percent would move away from the area altogether. Among “Boomers,” the ratio is practically flipped: 36 percent would live somewhere else and only 14 percent would live in Chicago. Roughly one-third of all respondents would live in the Chicago suburbs.
Despite that, Chicagoans seem to be here to stay. Three-quarters of survey respondents have lived here since birth (not including college or military service). Of those who didn’t grow up here, the average “newcomer” has been here for 23 years.