Thanks for giving me the go-ahead to address your challenging question.
What it seems to come down to is this. If you're looking for a
Leave-it-to-Beaver kind of a place, then Winnebago, IL it is. If
you're more interested in exposing your son to bit of almost-urban
diversity, then stick with Dover.
It's hard to beat the numbers on Winnebago: its population is more
well-off than Dover, unemployment is lower, and it's a safer community
However, as a parent of two young boys, I wouldn't want to live in
Winnebago myself, since I value so highly the experiences one can gain
from exposure to life in the big city (I live in Washington DC, FYI).
It really does boil down to a judgment call.
A site called City-Data.com is a good reference source for comparing
data on different cities. You can find it youself at:
The statistical profile on Dover, Delaware can be found here:
You should spend some time looking over the information at the link
above, but here are some of the salient statistics:
population 2002: 32,581
Land area: 22.4 square miles
Median resident age: 32.9 years
Median household income: $38,669
Median house value: $111,300
Races in Dover:
White Non-Hispanic (53.3%)
United States (3.9%)
Subsaharan African (2.5%).
Education: (For population 25 years and over in Dover)
High school or higher: 83.3%
Bachelor's degree or higher: 28.8%
Graduate or professional degree: 11.3%
Single-family new house construction building permits
2003: 134 buildings, average cost: $79,900
Industries providing employment: Educational,health and social
services (23.4%), Retail trade (14.0%), Public administration (13.6%).
Crime in Dover
City-data.com crime index = 381.0 (higher means more crime, US average = 330.6)
1 murder (3.0 per 100,000)
15 rapes (45.3 per 100,000)
50 robberies (151.0 per 100,000)
117 assaults (353.4 per 100,000)
105 burglaries (317.1 per 100,000)
1,528 larceny counts (4614.9 per 100,000)
107 auto thefts (323.2 per 100,000)
For Winnebago, the comparable stats are here:
population in 2002: 2,996
Land area: 1.4 square miles
Median resident age: 33.9 years
Median household income: $59,891 (year 2000)
Median house value: $110,600 (year 2000)
Races in Winnebago:
White Non-Hispanic (97.0%)
United States (7.3%).
High school or higher: 90.4%
Bachelor's degree or higher: 19.6%
Graduate or professional degree: 6.6%
2003: 13 buildings, average cost: $115,500
Industries providing employment: Manufacturing (28.3%),
Educational,health and social services (19.2%)
Crime in Winnebago
0 murders (0.0 per 100,000)
1 rape (33.8 per 100,000)
0 robberies (0.0 per 100,000)
2 assaults (67.6 per 100,000)
7 burglaries (236.6 per 100,000)
24 larceny counts (811.4 per 100,000)
0 auto thefts (0.0 per 100,000)
City-data.com crime index = 76.1 (higher means more crime, US average = 330.6)
Winnebago compared to Illinois state average:
Median household income above state average.
Black race population percentage significantly below state average.
Hispanic race population percentage below state average.
Foreign-born population percentage significantly below state average.
Renting percentage significantly below state average.
Number of college students below state average.
[a similar sity-to-state comparison is not available for Dover]
A few things worth noting:
--Dover is about ten times the size of Winnebago in terms of
population and area, although it's still a fairly small city.
--Although Winnebago has a higher percentage of high-school graduates
among its population, it has a smaller percentage with college degrees
--Dover is much more racially and ethnically diverse; Winnebago is
very homogenous and Eurocentric in this respect.
--Manufacturing is a big employer in Winnebago, while Dover tends much
more to service industry employment. However, Dover has higher
--Crime -- while not quite non-existent -- is very low in Winnebago.
--Incomes are generally higher in Winnebago, on average, probably a
reflection of areas of poverty in Dover.
Information about schools in the two communities can be compared at a
handy website made available by the US Department of Education:
CCD public school district data for the 2002-2003 school year
A search for school district data for Winnebago turns up the following
(I can't link directly to the results, but you can see them yourself
by entering Winnebago, IL in the appropriate city and state search
Winnebago C U Sch Dist
304 E Mcnair Rd
Winnebago, IL 61088
Total Staff (teachers + others): 118.5
High School Completers:
Total -- 107
White -- 103
Amount spent per Student: $8,435
Total Schools: 5
Total Students: 1,679
Student/Teacher Ratio: 15.6
In Dover, the figures look like this:
Capital School District
945 Forest Street
Dover, DE 19904
Total Staff (FTE): 806.1
High School Diploma Recipients
Total -- 267
White -- 144
Black -- 105
Amount spent per Student -- $11,893
Total Schools: 12
Total Students: 6,115
Student/Teacher Ratio: 14.6
Two things jump out of the numbers:
--One, is the same diversity vs homogeneity comparison that emerged
from the census figures.
--and two, Dover spends considerably more per student than does
Winnebago, although I think this is fairly typical of larger vs
smaller towns, and probably doesn't reflect much on the quality of the
--Overall, the two systems seem fairly comparable, at least as far as
the data goes.
I hope these comparative data help you in your decision about your
son. As far as I'm concerned, there's no clear-cut answer to where he
should be, nor is there a clear-cut advantage to one town over the
other in terms of living situations and raising children. Still,
having the facts at your fingertips should help to think through the
pros and cons, and make an informed decision.
I trust this information answers your question in the best way
possible. However, please don't rate this answer until you have
everything you need. If you would like any additional information,
just post a Request for Clarification to let me know how I can assist
you further, and I'm at your service.
All the best,
search strategy -- Used bookmarked sites on cities and school systems