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Chicago ranks 21st in best cities for working mothers

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Chicago ranked 21st on Forbes magazine’s latest list of the top 50 U.S. cities for working mothers.

Forbes ranked metropolitan areas according to women’s income, cost of living, availability of pediatricians, safety, employment opportunities and spending on education.

Chicago ranked second in number of pediatricians, but that number was offset by coming in 38th in both cost of living and unemployment. Windy City women’s income rank blew in at 24th, making Chicago one of the less-affordable cities in the nation. The city ranked 25th in number of violent crimes and 17th on amount spent per pupil.

Minneapolis-St. Paul’s low crime and unemployment rates nudged the Twin Cities region past Washington, D.C., and Boston for the top spot. Pittsburgh and Baltimore rounded out the top five cities.

New York, last year’s winner, fell to eighth this year.

Sun Belt cities languished near the bottom of the survey, perhaps because they’ve been hard hit by the recession. Las Vegas finished last for the second straight year because of the city’s collapsed housing market and high unemployment and crime rates.

Florida metropolitan areas along with Memphis and Charlotte, N.C., floundered near the bottom of the Forbes list.

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