Just when you thought you knew the poorest cities in America.

I say that only because my experience creating content around the best and worst cities usually highlights each town's income.

I was stunned to see this city considered the poorest in Illinois.

Have you ever been to Gurnee? No, the home of Six Flags Great America is NOT the poorest city in The Land of Lincoln, but reports say the town directly east of them is.

I'm talking about Waukegan.


Reviews of Waukegan on Niche haven't been nice; a current resident said the place was a "good town before 1995." while adding, "If you have a choice to live here, don't."

The reviewer also said Waukegan is not a place for families or single people "unless you like depression."

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While I'm sure there's a certain amount of hyperbole in that commenter's review, they might be onto something when you consider the most recent survey from Go Banking Rates' list of The Poorest Cities in America, which called Waukegan the most broke city in Illinois.


With a population of nearly 90,000 and a median household income of just over $65K, Waukegan's percentage of citizens below the poverty line is at a stunning 15%, while the per capita income is at an incredibly low $30K.

That doesn't mean Waukegan lacks redeeming value. Its highly regarded Lewis Fresh Market is well-reviewed online, and let's not forget how close it is to one of the best amusement parks in America.

I guess I'm saying I can't believe Waukegan is considered the poorest town in Illinois.

Wisconsin's poorest city? Janesville. See every city on the list HERE.

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