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Poll: 1 In 4 Illinois Residents Say State Is Worst Place To Live

By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Residents of Illinois apparently are pretty miserable.

According to a new Gallup poll, 25 percent of residents say it is the worst state to live.

That's easily the highest rate in the United States.

In fact, only seven states rated in double digits for the worst place to live.

Rhode Island was second at 17 percent.

"Throughout its history, Illinois has been rocked by high-profile scandals, investigations, and resignations from Chicago to Springfield and elsewhere throughout the state," Gallup said.

"Such scandals may explain why Illinois residents have the least trust in their state government across all 50 states. Additionally, they are among the most resentful about the amount they pay in state taxes. These factors may contribute to an overall low morale for the state's residents."

Two former governors sent to jail in the past decade, a 66 percent income tax hike and a multi-billion dollar state pension mess that has led to lowered bond ratings would cover that.

Only 19 percent of Illinois residents say the state is the best place to live. Only Rhode Island was worse.

"Residents with the most pride in their state as a place to live generally boast a greater standard of living, higher trust in state government, and less resentment toward the amount they pay in state taxes."

The best places to live: Alaska and Montana. The poll found 77 percent of residents say its a great place to reside.

Gallup measured whether residents view their states as "the best possible state to live in," "one of the best possible states to live in," "as good a state as any to live in," or "the worst possible state to live in."

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