These Are The 10 Best Chicago Suburbs For 2019


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

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth 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…

Here are the 10 best suburbs around Chicago for 2019:

  1. Western Springs (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Wilmette (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Winnetka (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Deerfield (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Glencoe (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. River Forest (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Hinsdale (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Kenilworth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Clarendon Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Northbrook (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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.

Or feel free to check out some more reading about Illinois:

Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the best in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Chicago for 2019

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
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data (2013-2017) 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.

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.

Western Springs, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,187
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $150,880
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Poverty Rate: 2.2%
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 $150,880 a year, which is the 9th highest in the Chicago region. And only 290.0% are out of work. Homes average more than $553,300 each.

Wilmette, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 27,393
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $148,678
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Wilmette: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Wilmette is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Chicago for 2019.

It ranks 10th for incomes in the area and only 2.3% of residents lack insurance, good for 14th best.

Winnetka, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 12,504
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $216,875
Unemployment Rate: 2.3%
Poverty Rate: 3.2%
More on Winnetka: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Winnetka, 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 Winnetka.

Deerfield, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 18,896
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Income: $142,621
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 1.7%
More on Deerfield: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Deerfield ranks as the 4th best suburb of Chicago for 2019.

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

Glencoe, IL

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,923
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $203,235
Unemployment Rate: 1.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.0%
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 $940,600. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

River Forest, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 11,215
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $106,947
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 4.6%
More on River Forest: Real Estate | Data | Photos

River Forest 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 320.0% which is 14th best in the area.

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

Hinsdale, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 17,705
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Income: $171,453
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Hinsdale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Hinsdale 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 12.9 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Kenilworth, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,547
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 6)
Median Income: $203,750
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
Poverty Rate: 2.5%
More on Kenilworth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kenilworth 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 1.9% of people lack insurance, good for 9th in the area.

Clarendon Hills, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 8,680
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $113,447
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 5.8%
More on Clarendon Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is ‘Everything Better In Clarendon Hills?’

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.

Northbrook, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 33,591
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $119,568
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Poverty Rate: 2.9%
More on Northbrook: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2019 is Northbrook.

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.

Welcome to the Best Chicago ‘Burbs of 2019

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 13,187 $150,880
2 Wilmette 27,393 $148,678
3 Winnetka 12,504 $216,875
4 Deerfield 18,896 $142,621
5 Glencoe 8,923 $203,235
6 River Forest 11,215 $106,947
7 Hinsdale 17,705 $171,453
8 Kenilworth 2,547 $203,750
9 Clarendon Hills 8,680 $113,447
10 Northbrook 33,591 $119,568
11 Park Ridge 37,810 $98,219
12 La Grange 15,721 $117,610
13 Inverness 7,723 $173,828
14 Long Grove 7,980 $187,212
15 Lake Forest 18,931 $169,122
16 Elmhurst 46,139 $104,222
17 Buffalo Grove 41,551 $106,564
18 Winfield 9,641 $102,750
19 Wheaton 53,577 $95,238
20 Glenview 47,066 $103,773
21 Oak Brook 8,108 $132,500
22 Naperville 146,431 $114,014
23 Arlington Heights 75,911 $87,790
24 Glen Ellyn 27,983 $105,609
25 Northfield 5,459 $105,929
26 Indian Head Park 3,829 $82,767
27 Mokena 20,313 $101,587
28 Burr Ridge 10,783 $134,706
29 St. John 16,391 $103,701
30 Lincolnshire 7,328 $116,554
31 La Grange Park 13,587 $90,890
32 Highland Park 29,796 $137,450
33 Oak Park 52,229 $87,271
34 South Barrington 4,829 $143,571
35 Palos Park 4,909 $84,609
36 Riverside 8,838 $99,063
37 Frankfort 18,572 $118,508
38 New Lenox 25,701 $104,621
39 Itasca 8,692 $84,726
40 Downers Grove 49,649 $85,546
41 Darien 22,206 $84,359
42 Lemont 16,780 $91,056
43 Lincolnwood 12,637 $93,226
44 Roselle 22,925 $81,346
45 Homer Glen 24,403 $97,254
46 Riverwoods 3,683 $203,125
47 Brookfield 18,937 $78,481
48 Morton Grove 23,391 $79,978
49 Westchester 16,687 $76,784
50 Orland Park 59,161 $85,802
51 Evanston 75,557 $74,901
52 Lisle 23,024 $83,745
53 Willow Springs 5,677 $92,031
54 Palos Heights 12,545 $80,259
55 Olympia Fields 4,970 $97,014
56 Lombard 43,776 $73,145
57 Schaumburg 74,427 $77,022
58 Woodridge 33,447 $80,757
59 Bloomingdale 22,196 $78,720
60 Mount Prospect 54,493 $71,925
61 Hoffman Estates 51,631 $87,608
62 Lockport 25,198 $85,023
63 Evergreen Park 19,796 $67,482
64 Orland Hills 7,226 $85,855
65 Tinley Park 57,107 $76,061
66 Willowbrook 8,598 $67,780
67 Willowbrook 8,598 $67,780
68 Willowbrook 8,598 $67,780
69 Willowbrook 8,598 $67,780
70 Munster 23,005 $78,251
71 Dyer 16,077 $79,167
72 Norridge 15,083 $63,378
73 Homewood 19,252 $72,955
74 Flossmoor 9,440 $101,412
75 Skokie 64,773 $70,544
76 Palatine 69,099 $76,633
77 Villa Park 21,867 $72,098
78 Monee 5,125 $73,485
79 Oakbrook Terrace 2,699 $74,500
80 Oak Forest 28,027 $73,765
81 Carol Stream 40,231 $76,078
82 Des Plaines 58,805 $67,415
83 Westmont 25,040 $60,437
84 Streamwood 40,615 $80,152
85 Niles 29,823 $58,293
86 Schererville 28,778 $68,166
87 Highwood 5,375 $55,427
88 Crete 8,210 $70,904
89 Oak Lawn 56,754 $61,398
90 Bolingbrook 74,548 $83,419
91 Forest Park 14,127 $55,359
92 Warrenville 13,373 $84,194
93 North Riverside 6,966 $61,304
94 Countryside 6,000 $52,892
95 Prospect Heights 16,345 $60,929
96 Wood Dale 13,897 $69,250
97 Stickney 6,775 $62,652
98 Elmwood Park 24,831 $55,772
99 Rolling Meadows 23,418 $65,173
100 Romeoville 39,682 $73,033

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