One of the four geographic regions representing the United States, the Midwest occupies the northern central part of the country and is often referred to as the American heartland.
Specifically, the states that make up the Midwest are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
The total population of the American Midwest is 65,377,684; the most populous state is Illinois, while the least populated is North Dakota. Major cities in the region include Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha, Cleveland, and St. Louis.
Economically, the Midwest relies heavily on farming. The region has long been one of the biggest agricultural producers in the world, a major boon for the financial health of the U.S.
In recent years, many states in the Midwest have faced economic downturn as manufacturing companies have either closed down due to international competition or have moved their factories to foreign nations.
This has made the entire region a crucial political battleground as politicians scramble to turn around the financial misfortunes of the Midwestern people.
LendEDU sought to analyze how all of the recent economic trends in the Midwest have impacted the individual towns and cities. To do this, we licensed Experian’s Premier Aggregated Credit StatisticsSM dataset to find the average credit score for over 8,500 cities in the Midwest.
>> Read More: What is a good credit score?
Average credit scores can be a good indicator of a city’s economic health for a few reasons. Cities with a high average credit score have usually experienced rising incomes, falling unemployment, and a decreasing number of defaults on loans and mortgages amongst the residents.
Interactive Map Featuring the Best Credit Scores in the Midwest
Complete Rankings of the 250 Midwestern Cities with the Highest Average Credit Scores
Which Midwestern state had the most cities in LendEDU’s top 250?
- Illinois – 61
- Wisconsin – 46
- Michigan – 38
- Ohio – 36
- Minnesota – 32
- Iowa – 15
- Indiana – 11
- Missouri – 4
- Nebraska – 3
- North Dakota & South Dakota – 2 each
Which Midwestern state had the best average rank based on their cities that made the top 250?
- South Dakota – 82.5
- Nebraska – 90.7
- Ohio – 114.5
- Missouri – 114.7
- Illinois – 115.1
- Wisconsin – 123.6
- Minnesota – 123.7
- Iowa – 134.3
- Indiana – 144.4
- Michigan – 148.7
- North Dakota – 218.5
Which Midwestern state had the best average credit score based on their cities that made the top 250?
- South Dakota – 753.2
- Nebraska – 751.4
- Missouri – 749.4
- Illinois – 748.6
- Ohio – 748.5
- Wisconsin – 747.9
- Minnesota – 747.2
- Iowa – 746.6
- Indiana – 744.7
- Michigan – 744.1
- North Dakota – 734.5
All data used in this study is under license from Experian and Onboard Informatics. Onboard Informatics’ dataset was used for location purposes and the most recent population figures. Experian’s Premier Aggregated Credit Statistics dataset was used to find the average VantageScore 3.0®1 credit score for every single town and city in the Midwest U.S. Originally, over 8,500 Midwestern towns and cities were to be analyzed, but a population cutoff was established at 10,000. Any town or city with a population below 10,000 was eliminated from further analysis.
Some of the larger cities like Chicago had multiple ZIPTM2 codes, and thus, multiple average credit scores. To aggregate all of a city’s average credit scores into one average, we had to weight each average credit score according to the population of that ZIP CodeTM. ZIP codes in a given city with a greater population were given more weight when averaging together a city’s multiple average credit scores and vice versa. Once this happened for all cities containing multiple ZIP codes, we were able to move forward with the rankings.
Each city in the Midwest was given a weighted average VantageScore 3.0 credit score. The greater the credit score, the higher a city was placed in the rankings and vice versa. The 250 Midwestern cities listed in the above table are the 250 cities that posted the highest average credit scores in the entire Midwest.
1. VantageScore® is a registered trademark of VantageScore Solutions, LLC.
2. Experian is a nonexclusive full-service provider licensee of the United States Postal Service®. The following trademarks are owned by the United States Postal Service®: ZIP and ZIP Code. The price for Experian’s services is not established, controlled or approved by the United States Postal Service.