Rockford ranks at the top of a list it doesn't want any part of Forbes Magazine's most miserable cities. Most of the people 13News talked to were happy with our community and disappointed by being called the number three most miserable city in America.
"It's a great city with a lot to offer," says Michael Schmidt.
"I don't know about the most miserable place to live in," says Tom Bolin.
Forbes magazine does not agree. Last year, it ranked Rockford as 9th most miserable this year 3rd. Magazine editors put part of the blame on a 30 year decline in manufacturing causing Rockford's economy to struggle and high unemployment. Political science and economic professor at Rockford College, Bob Evans says the way Forbes is calculating what makes people miserable is keeping Rockford high on the list.
"Service industries are coming into Rockford, health care industries are expanding there are certain industries that are expanding but they're not looking at those industries. They are looking at manufacturing smoke stack industries unfavorably and high tech industries favorably," says Evan.
Evans points out Rockford's low cost of living, a park district that was just named the best in the nation and a city filled with green spaces and a beautiful river. But not everyone agrees with that assessment.
ON FACEBOOK ROSE TERRONEZ SAYS "It clearly deserves the title. There is enormous amounts of poverty, drug trafficking, homelessness, and unemployment and that's just what you see on the streets everyday," says Rose Terronez on the WREX Facebook site.
"Forbes is right on the money. High crime, high taxes, terrible schools, almost no redevelopment, low property value, no jobs, bad roads and no attractions for tourism," says Anthony Sanders, also on Facebook.
"I think you make your life whatever you want it to be and there's tons of people who complain about Rockford but they don't do anything about it. If we could all just come together and just do one tiny thing, if every person could do one tiny thing good for the city or even for your neighborhood or your community things would start looking up," says Britney Lindgren, Rockford Art Deli co-owner.
Other factors that played a part in Forbes ranking were the violent crime rate, work commute time, and the weather.
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