When it comes to natural amenities, DeKalb and Stephenson counties are really boring....at least according to the USDA. Scenery and climate in the Stateline don't quite measure up.

The USDA describes this study as the   "natural aspects of attractiveness". The federal government has compiled the "natural amenities index". It is a measure of the physical characteristics of a county area that enhance the location as a place to live.

The data took into account factors like scenic beauty and variation, climate and proximity to bodies of water.

The Washington Post reports:

The index combines "six measures of climate, topography, and water area that reflect environmental qualities most people prefer." Those qualities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, include mild, sunny winters, temperate summers, low humidity, topographic variation, and access to a body of water.

The Stephenson and DeKalb Counties ranked behind 97 percent of the 3,111 counties in the continental U.S.

Stateline Counties Rankings with Low Natural Amenities:

  • 1. Stephenson County: 3048 out of 3111 RANK: Very Low (WORST IN the Stateline)
  • 2. DeKalb County: 3020 out of 3111, RANK: Very Low
  • 3. Boone County: 2972 out of 3111, RANK: Very low
  • 4. Ogle County: 2867 out of 3111, RANK Very Low
  • 5. Rock County, WI: 2822 out of 3111, RANK:Very low
  • 6. Walworth County, WI: 2768 out of 3111, RANK: Very low
  • 7. Winnebago County: 2786 out of 3111, RANK: Very Low
  • 8. McHenry County: 2739 out of 3111, RANK: Very Low
  • 9. Green County, WI 2698 out of 3111, RANK: Very Low
  • 10. Jo Davies County: 1754 out of 3111, RANK: Low
  • 11 Carroll Country: 1508 out of 3111, RANK: low
CHRISTOPHER INGRAHAM/THE WASHINGTON POST

View the full interactive Washington Post map HERE

In case you are wondering, Ventura County in California was ranked #1.