These Are The 10 Best Chicago Suburbs


We analyzed over 209 places around Chicago to identify the most kickass place to live.

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Big city living isn’t for everyone–but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There’s the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There’s traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing–pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you’re looking at.

But that’s where the suburbs come in–they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Chicago are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado, here are the 10 best suburbs around Chicago:

  1. Western Springs (Photos)
  2. Clarendon Hills (Photos)
  3. Wilmette (Photos)
  4. Winnetka (Photos)
  5. Glencoe (Photos)
  6. River Forest (Photos)
  7. Hinsdale (Photos)
  8. Lincolnwood
  9. La Grange (Photos)
  10. Riverside (Photos)

If you happen to be a resident of Western Springs, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 Chicago ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology.

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How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Chicago

Figuring out the best ‘burbs around Chicago was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people

Then we used the 2010-2014 American Community Survey to research each suburb. FYI: We defined a suburb based on the Census’s designation of being part of an “Urban Cluster,” but not the main city of said urbanized area. For example, the Census considers all of these places to be part of the Chicago, Il–In Urbanized Area.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to non-CDPs that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 209 suburbs to evaluate around Chicago.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 209 in each category, where 1 was the “best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the “Best Suburb near Chicago.” We’re lookin’ at you, Western Springs.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

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1. Western Springs

Western Springs, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,066
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Median Home Price: $500,600
Median Income: $140,361

2. Clarendon Hills

Clarendon Hills, Illinois

Source: Flickr

Population: 8,548
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Median Home Price: $499,100
Median Income: $106,604

3. Wilmette

Wilmette, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,345
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Median Home Price: $609,200
Median Income: $126,471

4. Winnetka

Winnetka, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,366
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Median Home Price: $941,800
Median Income: $207,540

5. Glencoe

Glencoe, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,824
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Median Home Price: $863,400
Median Income: $171,250

6. River Forest

River Forest, Illinois

Source: Flickr

Population: 11,211
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Median Home Price: $569,000
Median Income: $108,563

7. Hinsdale

Hinsdale, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,898
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Median Home Price: $799,000
Median Income: $163,558

8. Lincolnwood


Population 2014: 12,653
Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Median Home Price: $365,600
Median Income: $95,680

9. La Grange

La Grange, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,675
Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Median Home Price: $424,900
Median Income: $98,971

10. Riverside

Riverside, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,915
Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Median Home Price: $364,400
Median Income: $97,900

Welcome to the ‘Burbs

We said it once and we’ll say it again–life in the big city isn’t for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you’re hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Chicago, but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.
For more Illinois reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Burbs To Live Around Chicago

City Rank Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
Western Springs 1 13,066 5.3% $500,600 $140,361
Clarendon Hills 2 8,548 3.4% $499,100 $106,604
Wilmette 3 27,345 4.3% $609,200 $126,471
Winnetka 4 12,366 4.8% $941,800 $207,540
Glencoe 5 8,824 3.5% $863,400 $171,250
River Forest 6 11,211 4.1% $569,000 $108,563
Hinsdale 7 16,898 6.1% $799,000 $163,558
Lincolnwood 8 12,653 5.8% $365,600 $95,680
La Grange 9 15,675 6.7% $424,900 $98,971
Riverside 10 8,915 7.8% $364,400 $97,900
Burr Ridge 11 10,678 5.2% $670,900 $113,576
Oak Brook 12 7,967 4.2% $795,500 $148,173
Deerfield 13 18,476 5.8% $494,600 $135,754
Lake Bluff 14 5,867 5.7% $597,900 $133,179
Park Ridge 15 37,511 5.5% $388,900 $87,626
Lake Forest 16 18,914 6.2% $833,200 $151,000
Glenview 17 45,400 5.5% $469,200 $92,304
Lake Zurich 18 19,849 6.9% $316,500 $108,294
Oak Park 19 51,988 8.1% $354,400 $78,895
Buffalo Grove 20 41,613 6.6% $295,500 $96,768
Elmhurst 21 45,105 7.3% $366,900 $95,240
Libertyville 22 20,398 5.2% $394,700 $112,572
Northfield 23 5,332 3.7% $648,900 $102,424
Glen Ellyn 24 27,394 9.1% $386,400 $91,051
Naperville 25 144,108 6.6% $377,900 $109,512
Lincolnshire 26 7,270 6.8% $492,900 $111,250
Barrington 27 10,830 7.8% $475,400 $110,469
Campton Hills 28 10,908 5.8% $409,500 $117,556
Vernon Hills 29 25,535 6.3% $315,900 $89,667
Brookfield 30 19,022 6.7% $237,900 $76,735
Wheaton 31 53,406 6.9% $336,500 $84,833
Evanston 32 75,282 8.2% $342,800 $69,347
Northbrook 33 33,396 5.4% $522,300 $115,085
Inverness 34 7,516 7.4% $611,200 $156,938
La Grange Park 35 13,624 7.4% $316,800 $70,399
Arlington Heights 36 75,577 6.6% $317,600 $78,865
Plainfield 37 40,641 5.7% $289,300 $111,536
Gilberts 38 7,256 4.6% $251,600 $108,352
Downers Grove 39 49,372 6.9% $332,800 $85,020
Mokena 40 18,804 7.1% $281,800 $100,887
Oswego 41 31,723 5.4% $227,100 $97,323
Frankfort 42 18,100 7.0% $348,600 $110,829
Hawthorn Woods 43 7,727 7.6% $484,800 $154,505
Morton Grove 44 23,424 8.0% $293,000 $73,939
Sugar Grove 45 9,096 5.6% $261,700 $103,609
West Dundee 46 7,367 5.6% $259,700 $80,914
Highland Park 47 29,819 6.3% $511,500 $115,382
Highwood 48 5,400 9.3% $368,400 $54,176
Flossmoor 49 9,339 7.8% $242,500 $100,373
Batavia 50 25,905 8.3% $272,800 $92,015
Cary 51 18,115 8.0% $226,200 $104,343
Roselle 52 22,951 7.5% $239,600 $77,071
Mount Prospect 53 54,589 6.6% $290,800 $69,155
Norridge 54 14,713 7.1% $246,600 $55,707
New Lenox 55 24,747 5.8% $270,700 $96,327
Carol Stream 56 40,136 8.5% $229,100 $74,026
Niles 57 29,939 7.5% $257,100 $48,666
Long Grove 58 8,017 7.2% $679,600 $190,966
Lisle 59 22,626 7.2% $315,100 $74,041
Palos Heights 60 12,572 9.9% $285,300 $77,575
Orland Hills 61 7,252 10.4% $216,500 $71,681
Huntley 62 25,200 5.6% $227,200 $75,792
Munster 63 23,325 6.5% $200,100 $72,532
St. Charles 64 33,422 4.1% $277,800 $83,997
Homer Glen 65 24,322 6.9% $309,300 $92,547
Lombard 66 43,853 8.0% $235,300 $70,415
Palatine 67 69,015 7.6% $269,200 $72,180
South Elgin 68 22,126 5.6% $205,200 $86,600
Hampshire 69 6,053 2.4% $203,000 $81,837
Hoffman Estates 70 52,271 6.6% $255,200 $83,518
Darien 71 22,251 8.4% $297,400 $77,188
Winfield 72 9,368 9.2% $288,000 $96,464
Wheeling 73 37,886 6.7% $178,000 $57,543
Elk Grove Village 74 33,288 6.2% $261,600 $68,188
Bloomingdale 75 22,208 6.9% $268,600 $71,032
Mundelein 76 31,498 9.4% $225,000 $78,635
Shorewood 77 16,186 8.6% $228,100 $90,882
Lemont 78 16,376 8.1% $342,100 $87,410
Schaumburg 79 74,560 6.6% $240,200 $72,745
Wauconda 80 13,189 7.3% $200,300 $72,987
Geneva 81 21,662 7.6% $309,300 $93,588
Skokie 82 65,056 9.2% $280,400 $66,586
Willow Springs 83 5,692 8.4% $312,100 $75,038
Tinley Park 84 57,099 6.7% $225,200 $75,991
Villa Park 85 22,073 9.1% $230,600 $70,334
Orland Park 86 57,802 7.4% $275,700 $79,334
St. John 87 15,456 3.9% $255,200 $93,802
Woodridge 88 33,227 8.3% $252,300 $77,164
Westchester 89 16,786 7.5% $222,600 $68,017
Itasca 90 8,579 6.5% $290,700 $77,269
North Aurora 91 16,927 7.8% $237,600 $81,350
Manhattan 92 7,017 7.2% $202,200 $80,490
Gurnee 93 31,182 7.9% $254,800 $85,141
Bolingbrook 94 74,112 8.4% $209,500 $78,230
Bartlett 95 41,529 7.0% $260,400 $94,919
Des Plaines 96 58,802 6.7% $236,800 $65,953
Willowbrook 97 8,607 8.6% $215,800 $58,970
Stickney 98 6,810 6.4% $162,000 $50,150
Wood Dale 99 13,882 8.7% $218,500 $62,240
Minooka 100 11,225 8.1% $201,300 $84,453
Lyons 101 10,667 8.5% $165,700 $51,281
Olympia Fields 102 5,022 11.8% $234,900 $89,688
Algonquin 103 30,189 10.0% $242,200 $100,534
Dyer 104 16,322 7.6% $190,100 $79,859
Westmont 105 25,236 10.4% $273,600 $57,547
Grayslake 106 20,863 5.0% $217,400 $87,967
Monee 107 5,133 6.1% $161,900 $73,473
Franklin Park 108 18,389 9.0% $179,900 $56,985
Crystal Lake 109 40,598 7.1% $204,700 $80,136
Prospect Heights 110 16,344 6.4% $258,600 $62,013
Homewood 111 19,642 10.4% $167,300 $68,998
Harwood Heights 112 8,656 8.7% $258,000 $47,321
Channahon 113 12,422 6.5% $193,000 $90,859
Elburn 114 5,733 12.2% $222,800 $85,833
Glendale Heights 115 34,436 10.5% $173,900 $60,879
Pingree Grove 116 5,062 7.6% $165,900 $76,211
Streamwood 117 40,746 9.7% $181,800 $72,720
Montgomery 118 18,780 7.6% $183,200 $76,207
Justice 119 13,001 12.6% $179,900 $52,203
Yorkville 120 17,980 6.1% $229,200 $86,387
Highland 121 23,429 5.9% $152,000 $62,738
Hanover Park 122 38,302 9.6% $179,400 $66,359
Rolling Meadows 123 23,646 9.2% $225,200 $62,609
Winthrop Harbor 124 6,744 10.0% $193,200 $74,448
Lockport 125 25,063 9.2% $207,700 $79,845
Lake In The Hills 126 28,926 8.8% $205,100 $83,149
Bridgeview 127 16,550 11.2% $167,600 $51,270
Palos Hills 128 17,584 8.9% $195,100 $53,892
Hickory Hills 129 14,117 11.6% $212,800 $57,880
Oak Forest 130 28,104 11.8% $191,200 $71,082
Evergreen Park 131 19,924 11.4% $185,700 $65,744
Island Lake 132 8,033 9.4% $157,400 $64,583
Schererville 133 29,082 6.7% $209,500 $69,011
Romeoville 134 39,675 8.8% $167,300 $66,705
Midlothian 135 14,901 13.9% $155,700 $62,036
Bensenville 136 18,457 7.8% $209,300 $60,578
Elmwood Park 137 24,960 10.4% $215,800 $55,905
Oak Lawn 138 56,969 11.8% $190,600 $57,567
North Riverside 139 6,940 9.8% $221,700 $52,753
Chicago Ridge 140 14,410 11.3% $156,400 $46,819
Broadview 141 7,956 16.6% $154,500 $53,393
Burbank 142 29,097 10.8% $184,400 $56,869
Addison 143 37,215 11.7% $228,700 $53,469
Hillside 144 8,192 10.6% $167,300 $52,175
Calumet Park 145 8,189 24.3% $112,400 $47,212
Berwyn 146 56,762 12.7% $173,200 $54,392
Forest Park 147 14,202 11.6% $230,200 $50,749
Chicago 148 2,712,608 13.2% $225,700 $47,831
Countryside 149 5,974 7.0% $220,600 $57,679
Aurora 150 199,878 9.9% $174,000 $63,569
River Grove 151 10,268 8.5% $193,500 $45,008
Matteson 152 19,097 15.0% $162,100 $67,170
Northlake 153 12,368 8.0% $165,400 $58,262
Alsip 154 19,385 12.6% $165,700 $53,584
Carpentersville 155 38,128 10.8% $155,100 $57,978
Melrose Park 156 25,514 11.4% $173,800 $45,697
Berkeley 157 5,219 10.3% $169,000 $64,914
Griffith 158 16,765 8.9% $139,500 $52,800
Elgin 159 110,906 9.6% $171,000 $59,832
Warrenville 160 13,361 9.6% $194,900 $74,716
West Chicago 161 27,416 9.7% $226,500 $69,252
Richton Park 162 13,718 16.1% $151,300 $54,887
Chesterton 163 13,894 8.8% $168,300 $66,919
Summit 164 11,367 13.9% $160,200 $47,975
Posen 165 5,934 18.5% $112,000 $41,496
Crown Point 166 28,259 8.6% $171,400 $64,250
Valparaiso 167 31,745 6.8% $165,500 $49,656
Lansing 168 28,486 13.2% $134,600 $49,684
Joliet 169 147,786 11.0% $166,200 $62,008
Park Forest 170 22,490 19.0% $82,200 $48,319
Beach Park 171 13,851 8.4% $161,600 $70,581
Country Club Hills 172 16,752 17.5% $132,900 $60,100
Robbins 173 5,221 20.8% $74,300 $23,099
Bellwood 174 19,149 15.1% $126,600 $50,316
Cicero 175 84,423 13.6% $131,800 $41,882
Crestwood 176 11,006 10.4% $153,700 $54,330
Schiller Park 177 11,842 11.3% $191,400 $45,646
Dolton 178 23,262 24.1% $99,900 $46,184
Worth 179 10,827 13.2% $164,800 $51,080
North Chicago 180 30,760 16.2% $120,000 $41,866
Crete 181 8,284 8.4% $168,400 $69,337
Cedar Lake 182 11,653 11.8% $157,500 $64,071
Calumet City 183 37,197 19.0% $105,100 $39,530
South Holland 184 22,123 16.6% $154,300 $65,478
Maywood 185 24,148 18.5% $141,300 $43,884
Glenwood 186 9,040 17.8% $132,600 $52,181
Merrillville 187 35,262 11.2% $127,600 $49,711
Waukegan 188 88,671 11.6% $130,900 $45,983
Blue Island 189 23,453 15.6% $123,500 $39,023
Hazel Crest 190 14,102 19.6% $123,600 $50,042
Crest Hill 191 20,444 8.5% $156,100 $48,842
Park City 192 7,551 11.9% $23,600 $41,376
University Park 193 6,852 18.1% $116,000 $46,026
Sandwich 194 7,513 10.0% $167,200 $56,657
Zion 195 24,292 15.3% $132,500 $50,485
Portage 196 37,008 11.0% $135,300 $51,180
Hobart 197 29,136 10.1% $132,600 $55,840
Lynwood 198 9,260 17.3% $133,800 $46,984
Riverdale 199 13,278 18.2% $88,200 $39,623
Hammond 200 79,585 13.7% $90,200 $39,771
Plano 201 11,371 11.1% $134,300 $54,514
Steger 202 9,569 13.0% $107,500 $40,821
Chicago Heights 203 30,410 18.5% $111,400 $44,272
Harvey 204 25,225 25.6% $81,000 $25,074
Sauk Village 205 10,545 22.8% $81,200 $42,278
Markham 206 12,625 21.9% $103,200 $34,055
East Chicago 207 29,387 17.0% $83,000 $27,215
Lake Station 208 12,369 16.5% $79,800 $35,625
Gary 209 79,165 18.8% $65,500 $27,458

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