Best Chicago Suburbs To Live For 2020


We analyzed over 165 places around Chicago to identify the most in demand places to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best Chicago suburbs.

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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...

What's the best suburb of Chicago? Western Springs ranks as the best suburb of Chicago for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. 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.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.
Or feel free to check out some more reading about Illinois:

The 10 Best Chicago Suburbs To Live For 2020

Western Springs, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,227
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $161,563
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.2%
More on Western Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Western Springs is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Chicago area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Western Springs."

Everyone here is rich; families average $161,563 a year, which is the 9th highest in the Chicago region. And only 2.45% are out of work. Homes average more than $590,800 each.

Review Of Western Springs by HomeSnacks User

Their is no crime in that town and the neighborhood is nice. Their are a lot of things to do in that town and have a nice ice cream shop called Oberweis Dairy. Their are also Metra trains their too.

Spring Rock Park is a nice park with baseball fields and a hockey rink. Oberweis Dairy has good ice cream.

Winnetka, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 12,481
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $220,577
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Poverty Rate: 2.8%
More on Winnetka: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Winnetka is the second best 'burb we looked at near Chicago for 2020.

It ranks 1st for incomes in the area and only 1.86% of residents lack insurance, good for 13th best.

Wilmette, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 27,419
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $154,738
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Wilmette: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Wilmette, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Chicago metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Wilmette.

Review Of Wilmette by HomeSnacks User

I love living in Wilmette. People are so friendly and the town is well run offering many activities. It is a same place to live.

I love being close to Lake Michigan Beach and the pool in Wilmette is fantastic.

River Forest, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 11,064
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Income: $121,908
Unemployment Rate: 2.3%
Poverty Rate: 3.9%
More on River Forest: Real Estate | Data | Photos

River Forest ranks as the 4th best suburb of Chicago for 2020.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in River Forest and the schools are some of the best around.

Glencoe, IL

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,919
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $209,143
Unemployment Rate: 1.6%
Poverty Rate: 2.3%
More on Glencoe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Glencoe.

Glencoe gets kudos for having the 3rd most expensive homes in the Chicago area, where houses sell for an average of $918,600. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Review Of Glencoe by HomeSnacks User

I am from Glencoe and I do NOT appreciate being called the snobbiest town in Illinois, thank you very much. I would also say that nobody else who lives here likes it either. Yes, we are a wealthy town, but there is a fine fine line between s****y and wealthy.

Plus, since the houses get more expensive as they get closer to the lake and Glencoe is right on the lake, the houses will obviously be expensive!!!! That comment that you said about the art galleries and theatres, that's just because we all like performing arts!!

Hinsdale, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 17,654
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $188,684
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 2.9%
More on Hinsdale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hinsdale is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 3.17% which is 16th best in the area.

According to online reports, Hinsdale is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Chicago area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Deerfield, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 18,930
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Income: $144,229
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Poverty Rate: 2.7%
More on Deerfield: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Deerfield.

Deerfield schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 24.3 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Clarendon Hills, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 8,711
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $126,500
Unemployment Rate: 1.9%
Poverty Rate: 5.0%
More on Clarendon Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Clarendon Hills is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 3.81% of people lack insurance, good for 45th in the area.

La Grange, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 15,632
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Income: $121,425
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
More on La Grange: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In La Grange?'

Almost.

It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Inverness, IL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,747
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Income: $180,541
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Poverty Rate: 1.2%
More on Inverness: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2020 is Inverness.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Chicago for 2020

Figuring out the best suburbs 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
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2014-2018 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Chicago.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 168 suburbs to evaluate around Chicago.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 168 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. You can download the data here.

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.

Welcome to the Best Chicago 'Burbs of 2020

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 Chicago Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Western Springs, IL 13,227 $161,563
2 Winnetka, IL 12,481 $220,577
3 Wilmette, IL 27,419 $154,738
4 River Forest, IL 11,064 $121,908
5 Glencoe, IL 8,919 $209,143
6 Hinsdale, IL 17,654 $188,684
7 Deerfield, IL 18,930 $144,229
8 Clarendon Hills, IL 8,711 $126,500
9 La Grange, IL 15,632 $121,425
10 Inverness, IL 7,747 $180,541
11 Northbrook, IL 33,463 $123,457
12 Park Ridge, IL 37,764 $102,416
13 Buffalo Grove, IL 41,329 $111,435
14 Winfield, IL 9,708 $107,216
15 South Barrington, IL 4,872 $158,393
16 La Grange Park, IL 13,491 $95,466
17 Kenilworth, IL 2,512 $212,750
18 Elmhurst, IL 46,331 $113,207
19 Burr Ridge, IL 10,795 $144,609
20 Highland Park, IL 29,731 $147,962
21 Lake Forest, IL 19,219 $167,404
22 Naperville, IL 147,411 $118,187
23 Mokena, IL 20,720 $106,291
24 Glenview, IL 47,333 $110,402
25 Oak Brook, IL 8,122 $137,059
26 Glen Ellyn, IL 27,958 $110,669
27 Long Grove, IL 7,978 $208,250
28 Arlington Heights, IL 75,724 $90,835
29 Wheaton, IL 53,480 $98,544
30 Lincolnshire, IL 7,469 $114,826
31 Northfield, IL 5,536 $120,125
32 Oak Park, IL 52,225 $91,945
33 Indian Head Park, IL 3,812 $82,967
34 Downers Grove, IL 49,644 $88,105
35 St. John, IL 16,839 $105,198
36 Frankfort, IL 18,850 $128,309
37 Lemont, IL 16,935 $95,221
38 Palos Park, IL 4,907 $92,143
39 Riverside, IL 8,810 $113,025
40 Itasca, IL 9,042 $88,878
41 New Lenox, IL 26,032 $108,638
42 Riverwoods, IL 3,656 $209,825
43 Roselle, IL 22,873 $85,070
44 Brookfield, IL 18,858 $81,192
45 Orland Park, IL 59,100 $88,585
46 Evanston, IL 75,157 $77,848
47 Palos Heights, IL 12,534 $85,481
48 Darien, IL 22,126 $90,904
49 Morton Grove, IL 23,256 $85,476
50 Lisle, IL 23,435 $87,106
51 Westchester, IL 16,573 $80,412
52 Homer Glen, IL 24,467 $103,048
53 Lombard, IL 43,904 $79,684
54 Munster, IL 22,840 $81,234
55 Schaumburg, IL 74,569 $79,740
56 Orland Hills, IL 7,181 $87,068
57 Hoffman Estates, IL 51,282 $89,666
58 Evergreen Park, IL 19,666 $72,054
59 Lincolnwood, IL 12,539 $93,250
60 Bloomingdale, IL 22,138 $85,105
61 Woodridge, IL 33,493 $85,192
62 Mount Prospect, IL 55,127 $73,652
63 Norridge, IL 14,888 $64,631
64 Dyer, IL 16,006 $84,375
65 Olympia Fields, IL 5,055 $98,564
66 Lockport, IL 25,226 $84,147
67 Willowbrook, IL 8,576 $71,574
68 Willowbrook, IL 8,576 $71,574
69 Willowbrook, IL 8,576 $71,574
70 Willowbrook, IL 8,576 $71,574
71 Villa Park, IL 21,893 $71,918
72 Skokie, IL 64,395 $74,272
73 Palatine, IL 68,847 $76,776
74 Oak Forest, IL 27,843 $75,991
75 Homewood, IL 19,592 $73,106
76 Tinley Park, IL 56,898 $76,183
77 Flossmoor, IL 9,427 $106,794
78 Willow Springs, IL 5,696 $84,321
79 Westmont, IL 25,036 $63,309
80 Carol Stream, IL 39,989 $79,909
81 Oakbrook Terrace, IL 2,912 $71,719
82 Schererville, IL 28,698 $68,558
83 Monee, IL 5,124 $69,547
84 Rolling Meadows, IL 23,229 $68,445
85 Highwood, IL 5,361 $57,321
86 Streamwood, IL 40,413 $80,072
87 Des Plaines, IL 58,694 $67,636
88 North Riverside, IL 6,813 $62,998
89 Hickory Hills, IL 14,018 $66,413
90 Forest Park, IL 14,041 $59,361
91 Harwood Heights, IL 8,552 $60,643
92 Stickney, IL 6,732 $59,467
93 Bolingbrook, IL 74,448 $85,643
94 Oak Lawn, IL 56,420 $62,455
95 Elmwood Park, IL 24,680 $58,333
96 Warrenville, IL 13,311 $81,296
97 Prospect Heights, IL 16,250 $67,620
98 Crete, IL 8,184 $73,736
99 Niles, IL 29,640 $60,672
100 Wheeling, IL 38,424 $66,243

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.