These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In Illinois For 2019


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

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2019.

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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 2019:

  1. Leland Grove (Homes)
  2. Dunlap (Homes)
  3. Germa (Homes)
  4. St. Joseph (Photos | Homes)
  5. Rochester (Homes)
  6. Hudson (Homes)
  7. Sherman (Homes)
  8. Indian Head Park (Homes)
  9. Tremont (Homes)
  10. Forsyth (Homes)

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:

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.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 1,423
Median Income: $103,529 (23rd Best)
Median Home Value: $216,300 (37th Best)
More on Leland Grove: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 1,343
Median Income: $100,000 (27th Best)
Median Home Value: $257,600 (28th Best)
More on Dunlap: Data | Homes For Sale

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,499
Median Income: $103,900 (22nd Best)
Median Home Value: $230,000 (33rd Best)
More on Germa: Data | Homes For Sale

St. Joseph, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,292
Median Income: $83,201 (44th Best)
Median Home Value: $168,900 (60th Best)
More on St. Joseph: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,707
Median Income: $94,643 (32nd Best)
Median Home Value: $179,800 (51st Best)
More on Rochester: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,800
Median Income: $85,450 (37th Best)
Median Home Value: $178,800 (52nd Best)
More on Hudson: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,492
Median Income: $102,153 (25th Best)
Median Home Value: $223,500 (35th Best)
More on Sherman: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 3,829
Median Income: $82,767 (45th Best)
Median Home Value: $236,000 (32nd Best)
More on Indian Head Park: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,905
Median Income: $56,938 (144th Best)
Median Home Value: $157,200 (77th Best)
More on Tremont: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,110
Median Income: $75,208 (59th Best)
Median Home Value: $212,800 (38th Best)
More on Forsyth: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,577
Median Income: $78,788 (54th Best)
Median Home Value: $154,000 (85th Best)
More on Philo: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,233
Median Income: $113,438 (18th Best)
Median Home Value: $254,900 (29th Best)
More on Third Lake: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,638
Median Income: $76,477 (57th Best)
Median Home Value: $156,600 (80th Best)
More on Teutopolis: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,478
Median Income: $98,365 (29th Best)
Median Home Value: $185,500 (46th Best)
More on Heritage Lake: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,492
Median Income: $83,472 (43rd Best)
Median Home Value: $166,200 (62nd Best)
More on Williamsville: Data | Homes For Sale

Kenilworth, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,547
Median Income: $203,750 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $1,046,200 (2nd Best)
More on Kenilworth: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,591
Median Income: $66,477 (92nd Best)
Median Home Value: $143,100 (102nd Best)
More on New Berlin: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,016
Median Income: $105,372 (21st Best)
Median Home Value: $167,200 (61st Best)
More on Lake Camelot: Data | Homes For Sale

Aviston, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 2,249
Median Income: $85,192 (38th Best)
Median Home Value: $163,800 (65th Best)
More on Aviston: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Lakewood, IL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,741
Median Income: $138,571 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $381,000 (14th Best)
More on Lakewood: PhotosData | 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. Ford Heights
  3. Venice

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 1,423 $103,529.0 $216,300.0
2 Dunlap 1,343 $100,000.0 $257,600.0
3 Germa 3,499 $103,900.0 $230,000.0
4 St. Joseph 4,292 $83,201.0 $168,900.0
5 Rochester 3,707 $94,643.0 $179,800.0
6 Hudson 1,800 $85,450.0 $178,800.0
7 Sherman 4,492 $102,153.0 $223,500.0
8 Indian Head Park 3,829 $82,767.0 $236,000.0
9 Tremont 1,905 $56,938.0 $157,200.0
10 Forsyth 3,110 $75,208.0 $212,800.0
11 Philo 1,577 $78,788.0 $154,000.0
12 Third Lake 1,233 $113,438.0 $254,900.0
13 Teutopolis 1,638 $76,477.0 $156,600.0
14 Heritage Lake 1,478 $98,365.0 $185,500.0
15 Williamsville 1,492 $83,472.0 $166,200.0
16 Kenilworth 2,547 $203,750.0 $1,046,200.0
17 New Berlin 1,591 $66,477.0 $143,100.0
18 Lake Camelot 2,016 $105,372.0 $167,200.0
19 Aviston 2,249 $85,192.0 $163,800.0
20 Lakewood 3,741 $138,571.0 $381,000.0
21 Holiday Shores 2,810 $84,787.0 $187,100.0
22 Green Oaks 3,855 $163,229.0 $556,400.0
23 Knollwood 1,814 $97,872.0 $286,600.0
24 Kildeer 4,001 $174,632.0 $625,500.0
25 Forest Lake 1,688 $125,197.0 $305,400.0
26 Downs 1,008 $77,625.0 $155,200.0
27 North Barrington 2,769 $167,625.0 $653,600.0
28 Roanoke 2,125 $52,617.0 $116,100.0
29 Deer Park 3,453 $163,750.0 $556,800.0
30 Twin Grove 1,819 $110,585.0 $252,800.0
31 Danvers 1,192 $72,813.0 $132,800.0
32 Winnebago 3,252 $79,267.0 $140,200.0
33 Jerome 1,767 $50,833.0 $102,400.0
34 Breese 4,492 $67,255.0 $150,900.0
35 Palos Park 4,909 $84,609.0 $388,400.0
36 The Galena Territory 1,296 $86,161.0 $287,300.0
37 Orion 1,940 $63,250.0 $142,500.0
38 Sidney 1,437 $67,578.0 $135,100.0
39 Catlin 2,016 $52,607.0 $99,700.0
40 Port Barrington 1,530 $125,385.0 $298,300.0
41 Limestone 1,546 $78,088.0 $151,400.0
42 Coal Valley 3,849 $64,095.0 $162,000.0
43 Tolono 2,900 $69,712.0 $137,600.0
44 Hainesville 3,669 $85,549.0 $157,600.0
45 Warrensburg 1,499 $57,321.0 $101,000.0
46 South Jacksonville 3,222 $52,486.0 $104,600.0
47 Oakbrook Terrace 2,699 $74,500.0 $292,400.0
48 Timberlane 1,012 $125,865.0 $269,600.0
49 Smithton 3,953 $72,063.0 $162,200.0
50 Albers 1,083 $61,875.0 $164,900.0
51 South Barrington 4,829 $143,571.0 $814,400.0
52 Heyworth 3,138 $71,591.0 $146,800.0
53 Metamora 3,946 $64,706.0 $159,900.0
54 Wadsworth 3,670 $98,409.0 $285,600.0
55 Bannockburn 1,300 $123,750.0 $1,088,700.0
56 Hinckley 2,153 $65,938.0 $176,000.0
57 Volo 4,303 $93,333.0 $210,400.0
58 Olympia Fields 4,970 $97,014.0 $226,900.0
59 Barrington Hills 3,622 $148,893.0 $710,800.0
60 Tower Lakes 1,184 $149,063.0 $484,900.0
61 Fisher 1,859 $54,886.0 $133,700.0
62 Germa 1,235 $54,750.0 $140,800.0
63 Rapids City 1,037 $79,083.0 $171,800.0
64 Sleepy Hollow 3,325 $102,188.0 $289,800.0
65 Riverwoods 3,683 $203,125.0 $692,300.0
66 Wayne 2,424 $133,804.0 $545,800.0
67 Millstadt 3,898 $65,875.0 $171,000.0
68 Gridley 1,467 $59,821.0 $115,600.0
69 St. Jacob 1,290 $70,833.0 $140,300.0
70 Hanna City 1,217 $55,455.0 $121,700.0
71 Pecatonica 2,326 $53,352.0 $111,200.0
72 New Baden 3,384 $74,207.0 $133,400.0
73 Beecher 4,409 $67,150.0 $180,800.0
74 Byron 3,635 $53,793.0 $141,200.0
75 Trenton 2,639 $59,509.0 $143,400.0
76 Galena 3,597 $51,964.0 $151,100.0
77 Nashville 3,070 $51,094.0 $108,700.0
78 Freeburg 4,097 $73,590.0 $161,000.0
79 Crainville 1,618 $60,677.0 $141,300.0
80 Oakwood Hills 2,219 $91,711.0 $190,600.0
81 Herscher 1,398 $69,219.0 $152,200.0
82 Marquette Heights 2,640 $61,992.0 $104,000.0
83 Arthur 2,758 $58,977.0 $100,200.0
84 Lake Holiday 4,562 $85,136.0 $190,600.0
85 Mount Pulaski 1,773 $61,970.0 $96,700.0
86 Erie 1,377 $68,000.0 $120,600.0
87 Lebanon 4,136 $54,621.0 $118,800.0
88 Prestbury 1,655 $71,797.0 $259,100.0
89 Wonder Lake 4,253 $76,250.0 $174,100.0
90 Lily Lake 1,160 $113,000.0 $303,600.0
91 Pawnee 2,682 $63,889.0 $127,500.0
92 Newark 1,251 $73,409.0 $196,800.0
93 Lexington 2,056 $72,396.0 $141,200.0
94 Prairie Grove 1,840 $113,618.0 $354,800.0
95 Andalusia 1,194 $68,654.0 $133,300.0
96 Okawville 1,569 $65,714.0 $114,800.0
97 Mackinaw 2,062 $62,024.0 $136,600.0
98 Long Creek 1,613 $79,375.0 $125,300.0
99 Maple Park 1,338 $74,250.0 $186,800.0
100 Stillman Valley 1,145 $61,750.0 $127,400.0

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.