10 Best Places to Live in Illinois

10 Best Places to Live in Illinois

We will cover how is live in Illinois the cost of living, population, school rankings, crime rates, jobs, and other things in each of these cities where you can live in Illinois. Compare the best suburbs in Chicago based on livability, safety, and more. Apply custom filters and explore specific rankings to find the best suburb for you. Explore the best places to live in Illinois 2021.

Illinois is as diverse a state as its cities and people. Located in the heartland of America, the Land of Lincoln may have cultivated a reputation as one of the worst run states, but it still remains a great choice for anyone looking to put down roots. And we’ll tell you why.

Illinois was once regarded as an economic juggernaut, but poor governance has seen its stock fall significantly. Regardless, the Midwest state still boasts a strong economy and is indeed the fifth-largest state economy by GDP.

The unemployment rate is one of the major causes of the high migration rates out of the state in recent years, but Illinois continues to prove its economic resilience.

Illinois is also home to dozens of cities with revitalized downtowns, excellent entertainment venues, and endless outdoor recreation opportunities.

The state’s universities, including Northwestern University and the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana, are considered some of the best when it comes to R&D, ranking favorably on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

With many options on ideal places to live, it can be difficult to decide where to pitch camp in Prairie State.

1. Springfield

Springfield Illinois

Population: 113,010 people.
Home value: $131,786.
Average income: $97,967 for married families.
Unemployment rate: 5.9%.

Springfield, Illinois is the state’s capital and it is perhaps most famous for the fact that Abraham Lincoln, America’s most iconic president, spent two decades of his life there. While it’s much much smaller than Chicago, it’s a good and affordable option for folks moving to Illinois who aren’t interested in taking on the behemoth on Lake Michigan.

The capital of the state is Springfield. It is located in Sangamon county for those looking for reasonable housing costs in the state, people also help make the city a fantastic place to live. On average homes here go for 120,400$ with a rent averaging 700,032$, both of which are well below the national average.

There are several bars, restaurants, and parks in Springfield. Many families and young people tend to live in Springfield, public schools may not be the best in the state, but they are good with three universities also playing host to the region. The state’s capital means you will find great diversity with 17,000 residents working in state government jobs with a crime rate of 5.3% per 1000 residents.

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2. Clarendon Hills

Clarendon Hills

Population: 8,680 people.
Home value: $530,300.
Average income: $177,878 for families.
Unemployment rate: 3.4%.

This is another name you will frequently find in many best places lists revolving around Illinois, and that’s just because Clarendon Hills has it all.

Clarendon Hills scores lowly in every category, the crime rates are minimal, job opportunities are excellent and it’s easy to commute, there are diverse choices for both the city and housing and it has a lower cost of living than many of the other cities in Illinois. It offers a compact suburban feel with under ten thousand people with a higher median home value of over 500,000$. The median household income is approximately 126,000$ Clarendon Hills is a trustworthy and safe town to buy a home in and provides one of the best school districts in the state.

The public school system is one of the best in the nation, the area ranks exceptionally well when it comes to crime & safety (eighth safest in Illinois) and generally, the suburb of 8,600 residents is as ideal for families as you are likely to find.

Such a small population means you are likely to get acquainted with quite a number, but if a town where everyone knows everyone doesn’t sound like your kind of spot, Clarendon Hills might not work for you because this is an area with a strong sense of community.

3. Buffalo Grove

Buffalo Grove park

Population: 39,932 people.
Home value: $339,497.
Average income: $136,150 for families.
Unemployment rate: 4.7%.

It doesn’t get any better than Buffalo Grove when it comes to cities in Illinois, a suburb it is described as a mix of suburban and urban living situated 30 miles outside the city around 80% of residents own homes with a median value of 324,000$. The annual household income is 111,435$.

The crime rate is extremely low and the public education system is one of the best in the country with a high school graduation rate of 95% and a solid ranking of 9 out of 10 on great schools Buffalo Grove is one of the locations that help hold the state average high in a state that has been accused of having a reasonably high unemployment rate the city is well known for its outstanding services for education and park districts that deliver a wide range of programs if you want your home to be in Illinois you need to be the first to look here.

4. Evanston

Population: 72,439 people.
Home value: $458,724.
Average income: $154,772 for married families.
Unemployment rate: 5.90%.

Evanston is in Cook County and is one of the best places to live in Illinois. Living in Evanston offers residents an urban feel and most residents own their homes. You will find many young professionals living in the area that have graduated from Northwestern. If you like the atmosphere of a city minus the huge population Evanston is the city for you due to the excellent schools, the many outdoor spaces, and the events that are geared towards family life.

Families are attracted to the city because of job opportunities and easy commuting young professionals opt to live in this region.

5. Naperville


Population: 149,167 people.
Median home value: $435,491.
Average income: $154,724 for families.
Unemployment rate: 7.1%

Naperville is one of the largest and most well-known cities in Illinois and has a population of over 140,000 with a perfectly positioned train station you can commute to the city in less than an hour.

The average household income is around 120,000, with 130 parks and sports complexes located here not to mention several shopping districts this is one of the safest cities in America it is worth noting that this is one of the safest cities to live not only in Illinois but also in the united states employment opportunities are good especially for those working in engineering, electronics, science, and technology fields.

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