Believe it or not, Illinois has been ranked as one of the most fun states in America.

WalletHub looked at the most fun states in America for 2023. To come up with this, they did number crunching on a few main metrics in two categories: Entertainment & Recreation and Nightlife. Here are a few of the things they looked at:

  • Number of attractions
  • Variety of Arts, Entertainment & Recreation Establishments
  • Ideal weather
  • Restaurants per capita
  • Amusement parks per capita
  • Golf courses & country clubs per capita
  • Movie theaters per capita
  • Arcades per capita
  • Fitness centers per capita
  • Skiing facilities per capita
  • Marinas per capita
  • Shoreline mileage
  • Beach quality
  • Access to scenic byways
  • Number of State Fairs and events per capita
  • Access to national parks
  • Personal Spending on Recreation Services per Capita
  • State & Local Direct General Expenditures on Parks & Recreation per Capita

For the Nightlife category, they looked at:

  • Average beer & wine price
  • Movie costs
  • Nightlife options per capita
  • "Access to Bars" grade (number of bars per capita & bars per square mile)
  • Time of last call
  • Music festivals per capita
  • Performing arts theaters per capita
  • Casinos per capita

So between events, stuff to do like movie theaters and bars, they pretty much covered a lot of the bases of "fun".

Illinois Is Very Fun


Illinois ranks as the 5th most fun state in America for 2023. According to WalletHub, it ranked really high in several of the metrics:

  • 5th – Restaurants per Capita
  • 10th – Movie Theaters per Capita
  • 9th – Golf Courses & Country Clubs per Capita
  • 4th – Performing-Arts Theaters per Capita
  • 7th – Fitness Centers per Capita
  • 29th – Casinos per Capita
  • 12th – Variety of Arts, Entertainment & Recreation Establishments

Iowa is apparently not as fun, though it did rank 4th in the number of movie theaters per capita. Iowa ranked 34th in most fun states.

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