Sterling can count itself among the state's top half of towns in which to raise a family, according to WalletHub’s “2016 Best & Worst Cities for Illinois Families" list.
Sterling ranked 69th out of 162 cities that the personal finance company evaluated, using four criteria: Family life and fun (Sterling ranked 33 of 162); education, health, and safety (69); affordability (79); and socioeconomic environment (115).
Public agencies and private companies provided the data, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, FBI, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and WalletHub research, according to the company's website.
A weighted scoring system factored multiple components. Second-place Deerfield had the best affordability rating, but came in at 40 for education, health, and safety.
Schools, salaries, divorce rates, crime rates, and the number of playgrounds and attractions in a community, among other factors, were used to determine an overall score.
The best towns for families are Morton (1), Deerfield (2), Washington (3), Libertyville (4), and O’Fallon (5). The worst are Blue Island (158), Maywood (159), Dolton (160), Harvey (161), and East St. Louis (162).
No other Sauk Valley towns are listed. Other regional towns include Ottawa (79), and Freeport (102). Some cities were excluded because of limited data.
Go to http://shawurl.com/2d0l see the rankings and to read more about the methodology.