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News / City Life

Chicago named the world’s best city for having it all

Chicago named the world’s best city for having it all

You know that feeling you get when something you’ve always known is backed up by numbers and facts? We firmly believe that Chicago is the absolute best place to live, but now we have the receipts to prove it. For the second time in a row, Chicago was ranked the best city for having it all through Time Out’s extensive City Life Index. We surveyed 15,000 people in 32 cities—from Austin to Hong Kong to Tel Aviv—and asked in-depth questions about sex, dining, neighborhoods, affordability, happiness and so much more. Each city was then scored across those facets to reveal the winner. It only makes sense that Chicago took the No. 1 spot.

That’s not the only honor we snagged. Our Midwestern city beat out dozens of other metro areas as the second best place to eat in the world (after Tel Aviv). With new restaurants opening what feels like every day, it didn’t surprise us to hear that the average Chicagoan eats out almost once a week. And though there are plenty of options, 36 percent of you said you would wait over an hour for a table. (We’re a persistent bunch, too!)

Great food and beer aren’t the only things that make this city tick. Ninety-one percent of you love Chicago and even more of you are proud to rep it. Despite our sub-zero winters, 89 percent of city-dwellers feel happy overall, making us one of the most content populations in the country. That might have something to do with the fact that most of you (a shocking 81 percent) are satisfied with the economics in Chicago. We’re not perfect, of course. Chicago fell short in safety with 39 percent of you saying the biggest problem facing our city is crime. (Are you listening, Rahm?)

Before our heads get too big, it’s worth mentioning that we’re in great company. Here’s a look at the top 10 cities in the world, all of which would make excellent vacation destinations in 2018—after all, 57 percent of you take a fun trip once every couple of months.

1. Chicago

2. Porto

3. New York

4. Melbourne

5. London

6. Madrid

7. Manchester

8. Lisbon

9. Philadelphia

10. Barcelona

Find even more interesting statistics about Chicago and other cities around the world at

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Lumen P

Give it up Justin. You have never even visited Chicago because if you had you would never have embarrassed yourself with your clueless comment about one of the greatest cities in the world.

Justin S

Chicago doesn't have it all. I'm from the Chicago area. Chicago has great food. However, I can think of many other cities that are better than Chicago. I have traveled to numerous countries and have visited 47 of 50 states. Chicago clings to Lake Michigan. Otherwise, Illinois contains mostly farms. This sounds like this article was published as an inside job to boost Chicago's economy. It's time to confess Chicago sucks!!! The food is excellent. Everything else is so expensive. Michigan is better than Chicago period. There is nothing to do in Chicago!!!! It's good for a weekend or day trip that's it.

Da M

Nothing to do in Chicago? Are you mad? I also am from Chicago and struggle to find time to do everything there is to do. I, too, am skeptical that Chicago is the best city in the world (I also think there is no such place as the best city). But there is no place I’d rather live and raise my family.

Expensive, yes. But a a steal compared to living in California or the East Coast. If you want to live in a city where you have access to great jobs, more than can be done in a lifetime, wonderful food, nice people, and decent public transportation, there are very few cities that meet criteria. Chicago is one of them.

Leentje D

@Justin S Time to explore the real Chicago - find out for yourself how many options you have here: world class museums, great theatre, top class music venues, and oh so many free entertainment (over 600 FREE events in Millennium Park during summer, free jazz, free blues, free opera, tons of kids festivals etc). I guess you have not really been to Chicago ...