Residents who live in these 25 growing towns see their incomes go the furthest.
What the heck happened to Joliet? As early as the 1980s the one-time steel town's unemployment rate tipped past 25% and it was hemorrhaging people. No more. Now the joint is jumping with a population increase of 37% since 2000.
The key is its transformation into a bedroom community for Chicago, 40 miles northeast. Many affluent migrants have made the move, and there's a fine choice of reasonably priced homes. A typical 2,000-square-foot home in good condition now costs less than $190,000.
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