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:
- Western Springs (Photos)
- Clarendon Hills (Photos)
- Wilmette (Photos)
- Winnetka (Photos)
- Glencoe (Photos)
- River Forest (Photos)
- Hinsdale (Photos)
- La Grange (Photos)
- 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.
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.
1. Western Springs
Population: 13,066Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Median Home Price: $500,600
Median Income: $140,361
2. Clarendon Hills
Population: 8,548Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Median Home Price: $499,100
Median Income: $106,604
Population: 27,345Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Median Home Price: $609,200
Median Income: $126,471
Population: 12,366Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Median Home Price: $941,800
Median Income: $207,540
Population: 8,824Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Median Home Price: $863,400
Median Income: $171,250
6. River Forest
Population: 11,211Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Median Home Price: $569,000
Median Income: $108,563
Population: 16,898Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Median Home Price: $799,000
Median Income: $163,558
Population 2014: 12,653 Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Median Home Price: $365,600
Median Income: $95,680
9. La Grange
Population: 15,675Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Median Home Price: $424,900
Median Income: $98,971
Population: 8,915Unemployment 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:
- These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Illinois
- These Are The 10 Places In Illinois Where Marriages Are On The Rocks
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Illinois
Detailed List Of The Best Burbs To Live Around Chicago
|La Grange Park||35|
|Elk Grove Village||74|
|Lake In The Hills||126|
|Country Club Hills||172|