A Publication of WTVP

Quality of life is in the stars for the Peoria-Pekin MSA, according to the quality of living quotient from Expansion Management Magazine. Classified only as a four-star community for the past several years, 2003 brings the desirable Five Star status to the Peoria-Pekin area. 

The change didn’t come about overnight. While this is the first year the Peoria-Pekin MSA has received the Five Star recognition, it’s a result of many long-term developments that have consistently contributed in increasing magnitude to the quality of life in this region.

The Five Star status isn’t for everyone. This ranking-the highest of the Quality of Life Rankings-places the Peoria region among the top 15 percent of all evaluated MSAs in the nation. All 329 MSAs are evaluated for the quality of life quotient, with nearly 50 different statistical classes. The different areas are compared on factual data including quality of life, cost of living, and education to gain an understanding of the style of living and workforce environment available in communities around the country. Other sub-categories include Best Metros for Peace of Mind, Housing Affordability, and Standard of Living.

Peoria has something special. Although some of the admirable features that contribute to our quality of life aren’t unique to the Peoria area, Peoria also has other interesting and even culturally significant differences that give us special distinction. The citizens of Peoria can, in one night, attend a symphony and a monster truck rally. Not many metropolitan areas of our size can claim this level of cultural diversity. This level also includes a new baseball stadium for the Peoria Chiefs, top-notch restaurants on the riverfront, the Shoppes at Grande Prairie, three major health care providers, and the quality programs available through Bradley University.

"To us, quality of life means being able to take part in the ’American Dream,’ to be able to afford to buy the average-priced home in your community, to feel safe and relatively free from crime, to be able to send your children to good schools that will enable them to better climb the ladder of success," said Bill King, chief editor of Expansion Management Magazine.

The description is a perfect fit for the Peoria-Pekin community. Central Illinois is known for a hardworking, honest, and dependable workforce. Low cost of living, low crime rate, higher-education facilities, and low taxes are all major players in the keys to success. The high ranking among other communities is representative of the efforts and progress the area has made in the past few years.

The stars will continue to shine on the Peoria-Pekin MSA as the EDC and other regional organizations work to improve the quality of life in central Illinois. Our hard work has paid off and will continue into the future as central Illinois grows. Clearly, this area has the resources, assets, and commitment necessary to achieve even greater economic prosperity. IBI