Most Expensive Places To Live In Illinois For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Illinois that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Illinois.

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If you guessed that many of Illinois' most expensive places are located around Chicago, you guessed right. The northeast corner of Illinois has a long history of exorbitant home prices, high property taxes, and people who can afford to pay these premium price tags.

Yes, Illinoisans can thank famous mobsters like Al Capone, professional athletes like Michael Jordan, and the CEOs of the state's 36 Fortune 500 companies for driving up the cost in the state's most expensive places. More importantly, you can thank HomeSnacks for creating a list of the most expensive places in Illinois for 2020 so that anyone thinking about moving to The Land of Lincoln will know how to navigate the state's pricey pockets.

Before you head down to our list of Illinois' top ten most expensive places, it's important to note how we calculated our list. First, we looked at the American Community Survey for places with at least 5,000 residents. We then looked at the home to income ratio and the rent to income ratio for each place. This left us with 327 Illinois places that will require you to make at least $55,198/year to offset your cost of living.

So, if you want to know what it's going to take to live in one of the most expensive places in one of the most expensive states in America, take a look below.

What's the most expensive place to live in Illinois? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Lincolnshire is the most expensive place to live in Illinois.

So hopefully Litchfield (the cheapest place to live in Illinois) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Illinois and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Illinois For 2020

Lincolnshire, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,469
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.4x (16th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 41.8x (13th most expensive)
More on Lincolnshire: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lincolnshire is a village in Vernon Township, Lake County, in the U.S. state of Illinois. The village is a northern suburb of Chicago. The population of Lincolnshire was 7,275 at the 2010 census. Lincolnshire was incorporated on August 5, 1957, from the unincorporated Half Day area when land was purchased to build a residential subdivision. The community underwent an aggressive era of expansion from 1983 to the 1990s. The Des Plaines River bisects the village, passing from north to south; Illinois Route 22 also divides the village into two parts, crossing the village from east to west.

The median income in Lincolnshire comes in at $114,826 and the median home value is $509,500 for 2020.

Highwood, IL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,361
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.4x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.5x (25th most expensive)
More on Highwood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Highwood is a city in Moraine Township, Lake County, Illinois, United States located between Chicago and Kenosha. The city is also located just south of the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve.

The median income in Highwood comes in at $57,321 and the median home value is $368,400 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 12,539
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (23rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.9x (31st most expensive)
More on Lincolnwood: Real Estate | Data

Lincolnwood is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 12,590 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Lincolnwood comes in at $93,250 and the median home value is $393,500 for 2020.

Evanston, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 75,157
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.9x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.0x (87th most expensive)
More on Evanston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Evanston is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States, 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, bordered by Chicago to the south, Skokie to the west, and Wilmette to the north. It had a population of 74,486 as of 2010. It is one of the North Shore communities that adjoin Lake Michigan and is the home of Northwestern University. The boundaries of the city of Evanston are coterminous with those of the former Evanston Township, which was dissolved in 2014 by voters with its functions being absorbed by the city of Evanston.

The median income in Evanston comes in at $77,848 and the median home value is $380,600 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 23,256
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (51st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.0x (24th most expensive)
More on Morton Grove: Real Estate | Data

Morton Grove is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,270, for a growth rate of 3.6% since 2000.

The median income in Morton Grove comes in at $85,476 and the median home value is $308,700 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 14,888
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.4x (20th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.8x (56th most expensive)
More on Norridge: Real Estate | Data

Norridge is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 14,572 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Norridge comes in at $64,631 and the median home value is $282,200 for 2020.

Chicago, IL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,718,555
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.3x (43rd most expensive)
More on Chicago: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Chicago or ), officially the City of Chicago, is the third-most populous city in the United States. With over 2.7million residents, it is also the most populous city in both the state of Illinois and the Midwestern United States. It is the county seat of Cook County. The Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, has nearly 10million people and is the third-largest in the United States. Chicago has often been called a global architecture capital and is considered one of the most important business centers in the world.

The median income in Chicago comes in at $55,198 and the median home value is $246,500 for 2020.

Northbrook, IL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 33,463
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.3x (21st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.3x (111th most expensive)
More on Northbrook: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Northbrook is an affluent suburb of Chicago, located at the northern edge of Cook County, Illinois, United States.

The median income in Northbrook comes in at $123,457 and the median home value is $530,900 for 2020.

Niles, IL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 29,640
Rank Last Year: 12 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.3x (69th most expensive)
More on Niles: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Niles is a village in Maine and Niles townships, Cook County, Illinois, United States. The 2010 population from the U.S. Census Bureau was 29,803.

The median income in Niles comes in at $60,672 and the median home value is $273,200 for 2020.

Westmont, IL

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 25,036
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.7x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.2x (100th most expensive)
More on Westmont: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Westmont is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. Westmont is a community of 5.03 square miles in area. Westmont had a 2000 population of 24,554, a partial special census was conducted 2007 resulting in a population of 26,211, and the census of 2010 put the population at 24,685. It is located approximately 18 miles west of the Chicago Loop in the southeastern portion of DuPage County.

The median income in Westmont comes in at $63,309 and the median home value is $299,800 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Prairie State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Illinois
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Illinois to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 327 places in Illinois that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Illinois according to the data is Lincolnshire. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Illinois For 2020

Well there you have it, the places in Illinois that have the highest cost of living, with Lincolnshire ranking as the most expensive city in the Prairie State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Illinois according to the data:

  1. Litchfield
  2. Clinton
  3. Pana

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Illinois

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Lincolnshire 16.0 7,469 4.4x 41.8x
2 Highwood 20.33 5,361 6.4x 47.5x
3 Lincolnwood 28.0 12,539 4.2x 49.9x
4 Evanston 41.67 75,157 4.9x 57.0x
5 Morton Grove 42.67 23,256 3.6x 47.0x
6 Norridge 46.33 14,888 4.4x 52.8x
7 Chicago 47.67 2,718,555 4.5x 51.3x
8 Northbrook 49.67 33,463 4.3x 60.3x
9 Niles 49.67 29,640 4.5x 54.3x
10 Westmont 55.0 25,036 4.7x 58.2x
11 Glenview 57.67 47,333 4.4x 62.7x
12 Elmwood Park 64.67 24,680 4.1x 55.5x
13 Skokie 65.0 64,395 4.1x 60.6x
14 Burr Ridge 65.0 10,795 4.6x 65.9x
15 Rolling Meadows 74.0 23,229 3.4x 52.5x
16 Forest Park 74.67 14,041 3.9x 56.8x
17 Vernon Hills 75.0 26,259 3.5x 61.3x
18 Lake Barrington 76.67 5,069 3.5x 62.9x
19 Countryside 77.33 5,997 3.9x 54.8x
20 Willowbrook 78.0 8,576 3.1x 49.3x
21 Winfield 79.0 9,708 2.8x 52.1x
22 Harwood Heights 79.33 8,552 4.3x 62.8x
23 Wood Dale 83.0 13,848 3.3x 53.8x
24 Chicago Ridge 83.33 14,254 3.8x 42.8x
25 Urbana 83.67 42,375 4.2x 44.1x
26 Carbondale 85.67 25,846 5.1x 30.8x
27 Des Plaines 86.0 58,694 3.7x 61.9x
28 Mount Prospect 86.33 55,127 4.4x 67.0x
29 Lombard 86.67 43,904 3.2x 57.7x
30 Prospect Heights 87.0 16,250 3.9x 64.2x
31 Schaumburg 87.33 74,569 3.1x 56.8x
32 Northfield 88.0 5,536 5.3x 75.8x
33 Justice 88.0 12,919 3.5x 51.0x
34 Palatine 88.5 68,847 3.6x 63.9x
35 Bloomingdale 89.0 22,138 3.5x 63.8x
36 Melrose Park 90.0 25,311 3.5x 52.2x
37 Pingree Grove 90.0 7,337 2.8x 52.9x
38 Bensenville 90.33 18,400 3.5x 56.1x
39 Arlington Heights 90.33 75,724 3.9x 67.3x
40 Huntley 91.67 26,486 3.2x 59.0x
41 Park Ridge 92.67 37,764 4.2x 72.5x
42 Schiller Park 92.67 11,704 3.5x 55.7x
43 Downers Grove 92.67 49,644 3.9x 68.7x
44 Palos Hills 93.33 17,443 3.4x 56.0x
45 Palos Heights 93.5 12,534 3.3x 62.4x
46 Addison 93.5 37,089 3.8x 63.9x
47 Campton Hills 94.33 11,348 3.0x 64.1x
48 Lisle 94.33 23,435 3.9x 68.2x
49 River Grove 95.0 10,148 3.6x 59.1x
50 Dekalb 98.0 42,839 3.5x 50.2x
51 Westchester 99.67 16,573 2.9x 56.2x
52 Crest Hill 102.0 20,379 3.1x 50.4x
53 Champaign 104.0 86,791 3.3x 51.6x
54 Homer Glen 104.33 24,467 3.1x 65.1x
55 Lake Forest 107.0 19,219 5.1x 95.7x
56 Wheaton 107.0 53,480 3.6x 72.8x
57 Elmhurst 107.0 46,331 3.7x 75.3x
58 Summit 107.67 11,340 3.4x 52.7x
59 Hillside 107.83 8,096 3.0x 48.3x
60 North Riverside 108.67 6,813 3.8x 66.9x
61 Willow Springs 109.33 5,696 3.8x 74.3x
62 Deerfield 109.67 18,930 3.5x 76.3x
63 Elk Grove Village 109.67 32,997 3.4x 66.7x
64 Hinsdale 110.0 17,654 4.7x 100.0x
65 Cicero 110.5 83,147 3.3x 52.2x
66 Villa Park 111.67 21,893 3.3x 64.5x
67 Wilmette 111.67 27,419 4.4x 94.4x
68 West Chicago 111.83 27,328 3.4x 66.2x
69 Wheeling 112.0 38,424 2.9x 54.4x
70 Winnetka 112.0 12,481 4.9x 121.9x
71 Warrenville 112.33 13,311 2.6x 53.8x
72 Bridgeview 113.0 16,440 3.2x 56.7x
73 Broadview 113.33 7,829 3.0x 50.1x
74 Roselle 113.33 22,873 2.9x 62.6x
75 River Forest 113.67 11,064 4.8x 103.1x
76 Oak Park 113.67 52,225 4.1x 80.2x
77 Itasca 113.67 9,042 3.6x 73.8x
78 Oak Lawn 115.0 56,420 3.1x 60.7x
79 Highland Park 116.0 29,731 3.9x 85.3x
80 Burbank 116.67 28,947 3.0x 57.8x
81 Glencoe 116.67 8,919 4.4x 137.9x
82 Barrington 117.0 10,304 4.2x 89.2x
83 Western Springs 117.0 13,227 3.7x 83.2x
84 Maywood 117.33 23,810 3.0x 50.3x
85 Long Grove 118.67 7,978 3.2x 77.5x
86 Darien 119.33 22,126 3.5x 76.1x
87 Clarendon Hills 119.67 8,711 4.4x 128.4x
88 Northlake 120.0 12,351 3.2x 58.2x
89 Carol Stream 120.67 39,989 3.0x 65.0x
90 Hoffman Estates 121.0 51,282 3.0x 66.9x
91 Glendale Heights 121.17 34,280 2.7x 54.0x
92 Stickney 122.67 6,732 3.0x 57.6x
93 La Grange 124.33 15,632 4.0x 103.3x
94 Woodridge 124.67 33,493 3.1x 68.3x
95 La Grange Park 125.0 13,491 3.6x 81.5x
96 Naperville 125.0 147,411 3.5x 80.8x
97 Glen Ellyn 126.0 27,958 3.9x 107.2x
98 Buffalo Grove 126.67 41,329 2.9x 69.7x
99 Orland Park 127.33 59,100 3.2x 73.6x
100 Berwyn 128.33 55,949 3.2x 64.3x

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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.