These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In Illinois For 2018


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Illinois are the best of the best.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2018.

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You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in Illinois, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Prairie State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Illinois based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Illinois ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 20, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Illinois for 2018:

  1. Leland Grove (Homes For Sale)
  2. Dunlap (Homes For Sale)
  3. St. Joseph (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Germa (Homes For Sale)
  5. Sherman (Homes For Sale)
  6. Rochester (Homes For Sale)
  7. Hudson (Homes For Sale)
  8. Kenilworth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Forsyth (Homes For Sale)
  10. Philo (Homes For Sale)

If you live in one of these small towns like Leland Grove, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Prairie State check out:

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How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Illinois

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 376 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 376, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Illinois. Top of that list — Leland Grove.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 20 best small towns in Illinois.

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1. Leland Grove


Population: 1,625
Median Income: $95,417 (26th Best)
Median Home Value: $202,100 (39th Best)
More on Leland Grove: Data| Homes For Sale

2. Dunlap


Population: 1,351
Median Income: $101,667 (21st Best)
Median Home Value: $264,600 (27th Best)
More on Dunlap: Data| Homes For Sale

3. St. Joseph

St. Joseph, IL

Source: Public domain

Population: 4,109
Median Income: $78,661 (48th Best)
Median Home Value: $166,500 (62nd Best)
More on St. Joseph: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

4. Germa

Source: Public Domain

Population: 3,491
Median Income: $98,462 (23rd Best)
Median Home Value: $229,500 (34th Best)
More on Germa: Data| Homes For Sale

5. Sherman


Population: 4,404
Median Income: $94,695 (27th Best)
Median Home Value: $217,200 (36th Best)
More on Sherman: Data| Homes For Sale

6. Rochester


Population: 3,687
Median Income: $89,750 (34th Best)
Median Home Value: $173,400 (52nd Best)
More on Rochester: Data| Homes For Sale

7. Hudson


Population: 1,704
Median Income: $83,889 (39th Best)
Median Home Value: $180,000 (49th Best)
More on Hudson: Data| Homes For Sale

8. Kenilworth

Kenilworth, IL

Source: Public domain

Population: 2,613
Median Income: $211,023 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $1,095,600 (1st Best)
More on Kenilworth: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

9. Forsyth


Population: 3,421
Median Income: $76,579 (52nd Best)
Median Home Value: $213,500 (38th Best)
More on Forsyth: Data| Homes For Sale

10. Philo


Population: 1,627
Median Income: $76,351 (53rd Best)
Median Home Value: $149,600 (91st Best)
More on Philo: Data| Homes For Sale

11. Teutopolis


Population: 1,674
Median Income: $71,750 (68th Best)
Median Home Value: $155,200 (80th Best)
More on Teutopolis: Data| Homes For Sale

12. Indian Head Park


Population: 3,823
Median Income: $82,219 (43rd Best)
Median Home Value: $237,300 (31st Best)
More on Indian Head Park: Data| Homes For Sale

13. Tremont


Population: 1,942
Median Income: $53,622 (163rd Best)
Median Home Value: $155,400 (77th Best)
More on Tremont: Data| Homes For Sale

14. Heritage Lake


Population: 1,482
Median Income: $98,019 (24th Best)
Median Home Value: $189,100 (43rd Best)
More on Heritage Lake: Data| Homes For Sale

15. Third Lake


Population: 1,266
Median Income: $111,136 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $251,900 (29th Best)
More on Third Lake: Data| Homes For Sale

16. Williamsville


Population: 1,346
Median Income: $85,000 (36th Best)
Median Home Value: $168,800 (57th Best)
More on Williamsville: Data| Homes For Sale

17. Lake Camelot


Population: 1,890
Median Income: $104,358 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $168,800 (57th Best)
More on Lake Camelot: Data| Homes For Sale

18. Knollwood


Population: 1,729
Median Income: $84,417 (38th Best)
Median Home Value: $302,600 (18th Best)
More on Knollwood: Data| Homes For Sale

19. Aviston

Aviston, IL

Source: Public domain

Population: 2,299
Median Income: $83,628 (40th Best)
Median Home Value: $164,700 (65th Best)
More on Aviston: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

20. New Berlin


Population: 1,505
Median Income: $62,647 (104th Best)
Median Home Value: $134,800 (115th Best)
More on New Berlin: Data| Homes For Sale

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 20 small towns in Illinois are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in Illinois:

  1. Madison
  2. Cairo
  3. Ford Heights

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Illinois

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Leland Grove 1,625 $95,417 $202,100
2 Dunlap 1,351 $101,667 $264,600
3 St. Joseph 4,109 $78,661 $166,500
4 Germa 3,491 $98,462 $229,500
5 Sherman 4,404 $94,695 $217,200
6 Rochester 3,687 $89,750 $173,400
7 Hudson 1,704 $83,889 $180,000
8 Kenilworth 2,613 $211,023 $1,095,600
9 Forsyth 3,421 $76,579 $213,500
10 Philo 1,627 $76,351 $149,600
11 Teutopolis 1,674 $71,750 $155,200
12 Indian Head Park 3,823 $82,219 $237,300
13 Tremont 1,942 $53,622 $155,400
14 Heritage Lake 1,482 $98,019 $189,100
15 Third Lake 1,266 $111,136 $251,900
16 Williamsville 1,346 $85,000 $168,800
17 Lake Camelot 1,890 $104,358 $168,800
18 Knollwood 1,729 $84,417 $302,600
19 Aviston 2,299 $83,628 $164,700
20 New Berlin 1,505 $62,647 $134,800
21 Roanoke 2,146 $53,792 $117,300
22 Twin Grove 1,929 $104,792 $233,600
23 Danvers 1,291 $74,219 $126,400
24 Green Oaks 3,832 $162,396 $556,800
25 Catlin 2,059 $57,083 $99,500
26 Jerome 1,662 $49,048 $99,900
27 Prestbury 1,780 $92,411 $262,000
28 North Barrington 2,972 $156,063 $629,700
29 Winnebago 3,008 $73,719 $144,500
30 Tolono 3,101 $63,438 $145,500
31 Bannockburn 1,308 $136,250 $1,000,000
32 Lakewood 4,111 $133,750 $396,600
33 Coal Valley 3,825 $65,714 $160,600
34 Kildeer 3,976 $166,790 $606,500
35 Deer Park 3,409 $160,461 $541,900
36 South Barrington 4,766 $184,141 $804,800
37 St. Jacob 1,354 $75,104 $142,700
38 Sleepy Hollow 3,338 $100,913 $289,800
39 The Galena Territory 1,241 $83,304 $281,700
40 Heyworth 3,031 $74,674 $141,300
41 Warrensburg 1,365 $63,194 $108,400
42 Fisher 1,989 $59,620 $133,000
43 Palos Park 4,934 $77,304 $371,000
44 Orion 2,013 $59,844 $139,300
45 Lake Barrington 4,927 $94,427 $354,200
46 Trenton 2,680 $61,087 $143,500
47 Tower Lakes 1,149 $172,946 $480,000
48 Timberlane 1,023 $120,875 $268,000
49 Limestone 1,562 $74,917 $151,000
50 Olympia Fields 4,888 $96,377 $233,400
51 Breese 4,590 $67,005 $144,500
52 Freeburg 4,111 $72,393 $160,400
53 South Jacksonville 3,272 $51,807 $97,800
54 Arthur 2,714 $60,360 $101,800
55 Albers 1,127 $65,417 $168,100
56 Millstadt 3,911 $66,537 $168,000
57 Oakbrook Terrace 2,453 $71,364 $278,000
58 Sidney 1,363 $60,688 $128,400
59 Rapids City 1,095 $79,271 $168,800
60 Pawnee 2,738 $65,817 $126,300
61 Le Roy 3,570 $66,000 $135,500
62 Germa 1,159 $62,292 $151,100
63 Port Barrington 1,490 $124,196 $282,500
64 Holiday Shores 2,785 $83,307 $186,600
65 Gridley 1,426 $65,417 $112,500
66 Smithton 3,792 $73,250 $168,400
67 Marquette Heights 2,891 $63,587 $100,400
68 Lake Holiday 4,718 $91,220 $188,800
69 Riverwoods 3,759 $187,857 $685,200
70 Barrington Hills 3,574 $131,324 $720,600
71 Metamora 3,632 $58,250 $157,500
72 Wadsworth 3,646 $93,456 $282,400
73 Bull Valley 1,213 $122,708 $387,500
74 Hainesville 3,671 $80,682 $154,300
75 Newark 1,139 $73,000 $189,500
76 Dwight 4,168 $60,391 $131,000
77 Pecatonica 2,315 $58,864 $111,400
78 Lily Lake 1,253 $108,594 $284,800
79 Long Creek 1,508 $80,859 $126,600
80 Crainville 1,456 $59,097 $144,300
81 Fairbury 3,610 $40,083 $106,700
82 Red Bud 3,597 $56,735 $128,700
83 Hanna City 1,227 $57,721 $118,400
84 Lexington 2,107 $71,375 $140,700
85 Forest Lake 1,743 $85,769 $276,800
86 Hamel 1,015 $72,000 $164,300
87 Erie 1,545 $65,926 $120,600
88 Hinckley 2,053 $59,659 $169,700
89 Argenta 1,125 $61,500 $93,500
90 Herscher 1,462 $66,838 $153,500
91 Crystal Lawns 2,263 $76,796 $146,800
92 Fulton 3,455 $48,221 $109,400
93 Oakwood Hills 2,115 $84,432 $185,900
94 Clifton 1,475 $62,708 $122,800
95 Okawville 1,620 $64,022 $114,700
96 Stillman Valley 1,075 $61,125 $119,300
97 Volo 3,576 $90,293 $190,400
98 Elmwood 2,262 $57,270 $113,100
99 Lebanon 4,369 $60,273 $118,800
100 Wayne 2,513 $145,875 $531,600

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