Illinois is leading the Midwest in investments in parks, recreation and education according to the most recent report on national rankings from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.


Illinois far outranked fellow Midwestern states in spending on parks and recreation. Illinois ranks third in the nation in overall spending on parks and recreation and fifth on a per capita basis. None of the other Midwestern states broke the top 20 in this category, with Iowa coming in next in the Midwest at 21st on a per capita basis. Indiana and Kentucky rank 50th and 48th respectively. Parks and recreation opportunities in the state enable residents to lead a more healthful and active lifestyle and can spur economic development through tourism.  


ClassroomThe most recent data shows that Illinois is spending above the national average on elementary and secondary education and is leading the Midwest in this category as well. Illinois ranks fifth in the nation for the amount spent on elementary and secondary education. This spending includes both money from the state and property tax revenues. Illinois is followed by Ohio and Michigan, ranked 8th and 10th respectively. By investing in our youth, Illinois is investing in our future.


The Commission publishes several reports each year, including special topic reports that have or could have an impact on the economic well‐being of Illinois. All reports are available on the Commission’s website.

To read the full report, click here.

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