Best Places To Raise A Family In Illinois For 2020

We used science and data to determine which cities in Illinois have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in Illinois.

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If you're looking for safe cities and neighborhoods, amazing schools, large green spaces, good food, and just overall good family friendly fun, you can stop your search: Illinois is one of the most family friendly states in the USA. Great family friendly Illinois cities are around every corner in The Land of Lincoln. You can have your family on a Lake Michigan beach, at an amusement park, and camping at a state park, all in the same day.

Your in luck parents, some of these family friendly cities have family friendly breweries for that end of the day family friendly fun. And lucky for you, they have many that are both kid and dog friendly. In all seriousness, Illinois has some of the best schools in the country. Blue Ribbon elementary schools, gold star high schools with focus in STEM and the Arts, and colleges like Northwestern and the University of Illinois have been delivering the next generation to work at major Illinois companies like Caterpillar, McDonalds, and Walgreens. (This is especially nice for those parents who don't want their kids to fly the coop for school or work.)

Now don't count yourselves out of the mix, parents, and definitely don't let Illinois' unemployment rate scare you. There are plenty of jobs available in Illinois for anyone who wants to work from Chicago down to Springfield. And with a $63,000/year household median, there's plenty of moneyto keep your family happy, healthy, and having fun. And speaking of healthy, Illinois has a lot of healthy options. The Prairie state is leading the way in agriculture, they have boatloads of Farmers' Markets, and plenty of space to run. They are one of the top states for life expectancy.

To take a closer look at the top ten cities on our family friendly Illinois cities for 2020, scroll on down.

To narrow down the most family friendly cities in Illinois, we looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities and percent of households that currently have children. The cities also had to have a population of at least 10,000.

What's the most family friendly place to call home in Illinois? Without further adieu, the most family friendly city in Illinois for 2020 is Hinsdale.

So, if you care about your family living where crime is low, schools are awesome, where you can lead an active, healthy lifestyle, take a look at the list below. This flyover state wants you to call it home.

Check out some more reading about Illinois and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Illinois For 2020

Hinsdale, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,654
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Chicago
Households with kids: 47.3%
More on Hinsdale: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Plano, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,766
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 33
Closest Major City: Aurora
Households with kids: 48.1%
More on Plano: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Plano is a city in Kendall County, Illinois, United States near Aurora, with a population of 10,856 at the 2010 census, nearly doubling its size from 2000. The city was home to the Plano Harvester Company in the late nineteenth century, as well as the Plano Molding Company more recently. In 2011, downtown Plano was used as a set for Man of Steel.

Winnetka, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,481
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: Chicago
Households with kids: 45.7%
More on Winnetka: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Winnetka is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, located 16 miles north of downtown Chicago. The population was 12,187 at the 2010 census. The village is one of the wealthiest places in the nation in terms of household income, and the richest in Illinois.

Western Springs, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,227
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 38
Closest Major City: Chicago
Households with kids: 42.7%
More on Western Springs: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Western Springs is a village located in Cook County, Illinois, United States and is a suburb of Chicago. As of the 2010 census, the village had a total population of 12,975. It is twinned with Rugeley, United Kingdom.

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.

Geneva, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,799
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Aurora
Households with kids: 35.4%
More on Geneva: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Geneva is a city in and the county seat of Kane County, Illinois, United States. It is located on the western side of the Chicago suburbs.

La Grange, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,632
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Chicago
Households with kids: 40.9%
More on La Grange: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

La Grange, a suburb of Chicago, is a village in Cook County, in the U.S. state of Illinois. The population was 15,550 at the 2010 census.

Edwardsville, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 24,868
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: St. Louis
Households with kids: 32.5%
More on Edwardsville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Edwardsville is a city in Madison County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 24,293. It is the county seat of Madison County and is the third oldest city in the State of Illinois. The city was named in honor of Ninian Edwards, then Governor of the Illinois Territory.

Deerfield, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,930
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Chicago
Households with kids: 39.4%
More on Deerfield: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Deerfield is a village in Lake County, Illinois, United States, approximately 25 miles north of Chicago with a small portion extending into Cook County, Illinois. The population was 18,225 at the 2010 census, a decline of 175 from 2000.

Lisle, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,435
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 64
Closest Major City: Aurora
Households with kids: 24.9%
More on Lisle: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Lisle is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 21,182 at the 2000 census, and in 2016 the population was recorded to be 22,930. It is part of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor. It is also the headquarters of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region III.

Palos Heights, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,534
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Chicago
Households with kids: 19.1%
More on Palos Heights: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Palos Heights is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Palos Heights students can readily commute to Moraine Valley Community College in nearby Palos Hills. Moraine Valley serves the local residents through classes, seminars, lectures, concerts, plays, and other activities. Trinity Christian College is also located in Palos Heights.

How do you determine which place is best for families in Illinois anyways?

To give you the places in Illinois which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what's family-friendly and what isn't.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Prairie State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Illinois, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For Illinois, that meant a total of 190 cities. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family In Illinois

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in Illinois ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here's a look at the best cities for singles Illinois according to the data:

  1. Country Club Hills
  2. Urbana
  3. Lansing

For more illinois reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Illinois?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Hinsdale, IL 17,654 55
2 Plano, IL 11,766 35
3 Winnetka, IL 12,481 42
4 Western Springs, IL 13,227 40
5 Geneva, IL 21,799 47
6 La Grange, IL 15,632 54
7 Edwardsville, IL 24,868 59
8 Deerfield, IL 18,930 38
9 Lisle, IL 23,435 35
10 Palos Heights, IL 12,534 43

How Is The Area 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.

One thought on “Best Places To Raise A Family In Illinois For 2020

  1. The picture you’re using for Geneva is actually in BATAVIA,IL. It’s southern neighbor. That Windmill is in Fabyan park and is Batavia. It’s how Batavia gets its nick-name: The Windmill City! If you want to use an iconic pic of Geneva, try historic State Street. Little known fact: State Street in Geneva is featured in the movie: “The Road to Perdition” because of it’s “lost in time” look. The entire scene where Jude Law and Tom Hanks face off was filmed on that street. Many residents were treated to friendly surprises and “thank you’s” from the movie’s other co-star: Paul Newman, while they were filming.
    I grew up in St. Charles, Geneva’s northern neighbor city. The whole Tri-city area was and still is a great place to live, raise a family and grow up!

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