America's 50 Best Cities - The Best Places to Live - Businessweek: "Chicago--Rank: 28; Population: 2,679,998--The Windy City, America’s third-largest metropolis, would rank much higher if it were evaluated purely on its strong universities and thriving entertainment. Chicago is as hot as any city, thanks to its fine dining in such neighborhoods as Lincoln Park, nightlife in its more than 800 bars, and strong acting chops honed at such places as Second City and the Steppenwolf Theatre Co. To climb higher in the list, however, Chicago must address its increasing gang violence and high crime, as well as poor air quality and major economic issues. Bars: 807; Restaurants: 6,438; Museums: 76; Libraries: 99; Pro sports teams: 8; Park acres per 1,000 residents: 4; Colleges: 42; Percent with graduate degree: 9.3; Median household income: $56,121; Percent unemployed: 9.8"
I might add that any city where only about 50% of public school students graduate from high school (54% in 2004), is a city destined not for greatness, but decline. If something isn't done, I'm afraid Chicago (and other U.S. cities) will succumb to the Detroit disease.