St. Louis area residents - why live in Illinois?

I’m curious about why someone who lives in the St. Louis area would choose to live in “East County” … the area east of the Mississippi River, in St. Clair County, Illinois.

My impressions of the Illinois side: yuk! Boring topography, East St. Louis blight, working class suburbs (probably populated with hardcore Illinois residents that wouldn’t dream of living on turf where radio station call letters begin with K) truck stops, warehouses, truckstops in the middle of flat farmland, and lots of power lines. I have a feeling that St. Clair County is the St. Louis equivalent of Northwest Indiana to Chicago.

Why live in St. Clair County, when one can live west of the Mississippi on the more prosperous, more interesting Missouri side? Lower taxes? Cheaper real estate? Families who have always lived on the Illinois side, who are reluctant to break geographic tradition, much like the historical divide between Northtowners and Southtowns in Buffalo, East Siders and West Siders in Cleveland, or KCMO, JoCo and Northland residents in Kansas City?

Missouri? Interesting? I don’t know about that.

I have always liked Chicago (a lot) and Chicago is in Illinois. So I like Illinois, because, well, Chicago is there. And there are Trader Joes in Chicago, and that’s important. Then again, I’ve always liked St. Louis too (but I haven’t visited it as much as Chicago).

But I don’t live in the area, so I have no other insights on what you are asking. But Missouri = “more interesting”—hmmm…does not compute. (Sorry, I don’t wish to be mean, but … well, sorry!) I am sure you are talking about local differences, rather than the entire state, so, sorry. I’ll just shut up now.


yosemitebabe, I followed your link to discover that the Trader Joe’s is going to open up right by my house! EEEEEE! Thanks!

[end hijack]

The shopping in Fairview Heights?

My uncle lives in Metro East. I’ll ask him why he’s there. He’ll probably say it’s his job–lieutenant on the police force.

Remember, I’m not talking about Chicago … I’m talking about St. Louis. The Illinois-side suburbs of St. Louis are about four hours from Chicago.

I could paraphrase the question for the Chicago audience … why live in Merrillville or Portage, Indiana as opposed to a suburb on the Illinois side?


Well, I’ve met a number of Valparaiso residents, and I think one reason is property values. It’s also relatively quiet and much less packed here. Less traffic and lower sales tax, too.

Of course, I’m here because my school’s here…so…yeah.

      • I live and school near Fairview Heights IL, though my current internship and any future job will probably be in St Louis. … The IL side is less commercially & residentially developed, but if you want a house in a reasonably-rural setting, in IL you can be only 30 mins from the arch. In MO, you have to drive about three hours north, west or south to get to a relatively unpopulated area.