Illinois is known as The Prairie State because of its wealth of Great Lakes, leading industries, natural beauty, and glorious historical background. What else does a person need to live?
Illinois offers a blend of everything one could dream of. Moreover, you can rely on the best small towns in Illinois to raise a family, far from the hustle and bustle of city life. So, let’s delve deeper to learn more.
According to a survey conducted a few years ago, Illinois was ranked 21st among the best places to live and start a new life.
It continues to be a favourable place to live due to its robust economy, abundant arts and entertainment options, cultural significance, competitive salary rates, and much more.
Naperville is widely regarded as the safest place to purchase a new home and experience a comfortable lifestyle.
Furthermore, the Western Suburbs, encompassing Hinsdale, Inverness, and Kildeer, are recognized as some of the best areas to live in Illinois.
Let’s discuss the best places to live in Illinois in detail!
10 Best Places to Live in Illinois
Along with top-tier education, comprehensive healthcare plans, efficient public transportation, and affordable taxes, Illinois offers an ideal environment for a relaxed lifestyle.
However, identifying the best place can be challenging. Therefore, we have curated a list of the most comfortable places for you.
1. Springfield IL
Situated near the Sangamon River, Springfield is a highly favored choice, as it was the home of Abraham Lincoln for over 20 years.
Springfield attracts history enthusiasts with its beautiful town in Illinois.
The city is renowned for its Lincoln Home National Historic Site and Lincoln Monument Association. In terms of safety, the crime rate is only 8.83% per thousand people.
Housing in Springfield is affordable, with the option to purchase a new home at an average price of $408,667 or pay an average monthly rent of $1,152.
Moreover, you can enjoy vibrant nightlife at the best clubs and pubs, such as Prop Club, Truth Lounge, and Clique.
Despite that, you will find the best places to live in Illinois for Black families near this area.
Is Springfield Illinois a good area?
Yes! Springfield town exudes a pleasant vibe and offers a serene suburban atmosphere for its residents. Moreover, you will discover the finest bars for nightlife, parks to explore, and eateries serving delicious food.
Is Springfield Illinois near Chicago?
No! Springfield is located 179.25 miles southwest of Chicago. Therefore, you would need to drive for over three hours nonstop to reach Chicago from Springfield.
2. Naperville IL – For Young Adults
In 1831, Joseph Naper founded this city, which was previously inhabited by a Native American tribe.
With a population of only 150,418 people, the city is considered one of the best places to live in Illinois for young adults. Naperville is the largest city in the area, boasting a robust local economy.
In terms of popularity, the city is renowned for its Moser Tower and Millennium Carillon, which are among the four largest carillons worldwide.
With an annual assault rate of only 33.5 per 100,000 residents, it is a safe place to live. The city is located in DuPage County, where the median home price is $502,513.
For a vibrant nightlife experience, you can visit Features Bar & Grill, Lantern, and Miss Kitty’s Saloon.
Is Naperville, IL, rich?
Naperville, IL, is considered a wealthy city due to its high median income, thriving local economy, and expensive real estate market.
Is Naperville, Illinois, a good place to live?
Yes! As of 2023, Naperville, IL, holds the fourth position in the list of Best Cities to Live in America, according to a report published by Niche.
Is Naperville a nice area?
Yes! With its lush suburban surroundings and fantastic atmosphere, Naperville area is considered one of the best places to live in the United States.
3. Buffalo Grove IL – Business schools
With over 9,500 square miles, the suburb of Buffalo Grove was once inhabited by the Potawatomi tribe, a Native American community.
Interestingly, the English translation of “Potawatomi” is “Buffalo Creek,” which led to the popularity of the name.
If you’re interested in studying business, consider this location, home to one of the best business schools in Illinois. It offers beautiful architecture, great parks, and scenic routes for exploration.
The area is renowned for its adventurous spirit, hosting numerous recreational activities and vibrant local festivals.
The crime rates are low, with only a 7.7% chance of being involved in violent crime and a 14.2% chance of property crimes. On average, homes in Buffalo Grove are priced at $355,428.
For nightlife, you can visit Prairie House Tavern, PS Pub, and K1 Paddock Lounge, where you’ll find the best selection of wines, music, and entertainment.
Is Buffalo Grove a good place to live?
Yes, this suburb has several schools and employment opportunities, offering a mixed suburban feel for peaceful living.
Is Buffalo Grove rich?
Yes! According to the World Population Review, the average household income in this place is about $140,449. Thus, it is considered a wealthy area for living and raising a family.
Did Buffalo Grove have buffalos?
Yes! In ancient times, a group of buffalo used to roam and graze near Buffalo Creek, a tributary located in Buffalo Grove.
4. Schaumburg IL – Amazing Restaurants
Motorola Solutions, Woodfield Mall, IBM, Paylocity, Nation Pizza and Foods, and various other companies are operating smoothly in the area, offering abundant employment opportunities.
With a population of less than 80,000, Schaumburg is the 14th largest city in Illinois.
This place offers a tantalizing array of divine delicacies, including the mouth-watering Scandi Tabbouleh, making it a destination for food lovers.
Schaumburg is also home to some of the best restaurants in Illinois outside of Chicago.
Woodfield Mall, a renowned tourist attraction, draws countless visitors who come to shop and explore each year.
The crime rates are low, with only a 10.1% chance of becoming a victim of violent crime and a 35.2% chance of property crimes.
These rates are lower than the national average in the United States. If you’re considering a move here, the average home price is approximately $285,254.
When it comes to nightlife, Schaumburg offers a variety of options, including Terminal 5 Bars & Clubs, Laugh Out Loud, The Cigar Lounge, Drink Nightclub, and many more.
Is Schaumburg, IL, wealthy?
Yes! On average, the per capita income of this joyful place is $89,627. This indicates that Schaumburg is a prosperous community.
Is Schaumburg, IL, a good place to live?
Yes! In Schaumburg, you will experience suburban living. It was ranked among the best places to live in Illinois by Money Magazine a few years ago, and it continues to maintain its position in this category.
What type of people live in Schaumburg?
You will meet 59.54% of White, 24.92% of Asian, and 5.83% of Black or African American people living in Schaumburg, according to the World Population Review Report, 2023.
5. Clarendon Hills IL – Best For Raising A Family
Schaumburg was founded by Henry Middaugh and incorporated in 1924. Currently, the town is governed by a Council-Manager system.
If you’re searching for the best small towns in Illinois to raise a family, we highly recommend Clarendon.
It offers a comfortable lifestyle, better income opportunities, and is perfect for raising your family.
The town is renowned for its top-rated schools, providing excellent education to ensure a bright future for students.
Living here is safe, boasting an annual crime rate of only 22.8% per 100,000 residents. Impressively, the town’s rates of rape, murder, and robberies fall below the national average.
Affordable new 2-bedroom single-family homes can be found for as low as $440k. Furthermore, the vibrant nightlife is an added perk of choosing to live here.
Is Clarendon Hills, IL, a good place to live?
Yes! This is, in fact, the number one best place to live in DuPage County and the third best place in Chicago. Similarly, according to Niche, it is ranked as the third best place to live and raise a family in Illinois.
Does Clarendon Hills have a downtown?
Yes! Clarendon downtown is there, which you can explore with the help of commuter trains.
What county is Clarendon Hills, IL, in?
Clarendon Hills is located in DuPage County.
Who designed Clarendon Hills?
Frederick Law Olmsted designed this beautiful suburb.
6. Wheaton IL – Best for outdoor activities
It offers several parks for recreational activities and tourist attractions that are perfect for one-day picnics. Additionally, you will find golf courses here, including the famous DuPage County Fairgrounds.
Though the cost of living in Wheaton is higher than the cost of living in Illinois and US national averages, it remains an attractive destination due to its relatively affordable housing rates, which are 11% less than the state average.
Wheaton is well-known for its religious activities, hosting multiple religious organizations. The average home price in Wheaton is only $404,916.
Furthermore, with an overall crime rate of 10 per 1,000 residents, it is considered a safe place to live.
The city also offers a variety of pubs and venues such as DeMito’s Saloon, Black Door Pub, Saddle Up at Q Bar, and Club Mamalu for enjoyable nightlife experiences.
Is Wheaton Illinois a good place to live?
Yes! With a smaller population and numerous attractions, Wheaton is a great place to live, offering a suburban feel to its residents.
Is Wheaton a dry town?
No! While it is true that this city had a ban on alcohol from 1887 to 1985, the restrictions on drinking are still in place.
7. Glenview IL – Best to raise kids
In Glenview, you will notice a unique house numbering system created by the local residents. However, in certain areas, you will find house numbering similar to Chicago’s.
Glenview is another one of the best small towns in Illinois to raise a family due to its safe atmosphere.
It is renowned for its numerous tourist attractions, including the Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago, Oil Lamp Theater, Historic Wagner Farm, and many more destinations.
The town boasts low crime rates, with only 1 in 1,113 residents becoming a victim of a violent crime.
As of April 2023, the average price of buying a house in Glenview, Illinois, was only $580,000.
If you choose to purchase a home, you can enjoy a vibrant nightlife at Grandpa’s Place, Meler’s Tavern, Paulie’s Neighborhood Restaurant, and Wine Bar & Market.
Is Glenview, Illinois, rich?
Yes! The poverty rate in Glenview is only 5.87%, and the average household income for residents is $172,471, indicating the wealth present in Glenview.
Is Glenview a nice neighborhood?
Yes! The overall crime rates in Glenview are low, allowing you to live a happy and secure life.
Is Glenview a Chicago suburb?
Yes! Glenview is a Chicago suburb where you can enjoy a wide range of amenities, including coffee shops, restaurants, shopping centers, parks, and more.
8. Oak Park IL – Best education
Selling alcohol was prohibited in Oak Park after its incorporation in 1902, but the law was repealed in 1973. Currently, alcohol is available in hotels, bars, and restaurants in Oak Park.
This charming place is highly sought after for its pleasant environment, abundant amenities, and excellent educational opportunities for children.
While Oak Park offers an amazing living experience, it’s important to note that crime rates are relatively high. Approximately 1 in 38 individuals may be affected by a crime.
Nevertheless, it remains an incredible place where socially liberal politics thrive. The average price for acquiring a dream home in Oak Park is around $389,991.
One of the highlights of living in Oak Park is the vibrant nightlife it offers, with world-class cafes such as Poor Phil’s Bar & Grill, Kettlestrings Tavern, etc.
However, it is advisable to stay prepared by creating a moving to Illinois checklist to address any potential concerns.
Is Oak Park, Illinois, a good neighborhood?
Yes! Oak Park receives an impressive A+ rating for its schools, housing affordability, and welcoming environment.
Is Oak Park wealthy?
Yes! Oak Park is considered a wealthy place, with a household income averaging around $133,860, according to data provided by the World Population Review.
9. Elmhurst IL – Best for job opportunities
In 1836, European immigrants settled in this area, which was known as Cottage Hill in 1845.
Located in DuPage County, Elmhurst has a population of fewer than 50,000 residents, with household incomes typically below $200,000 annually.
The city is considered one of the best places to live in Illinois for young adults, due to its abundant employment opportunities.
Elmhurst is renowned for its exceptional higher education system, contributing to a highly educated community.
In terms of safety, the crime rate is low, with only 1 in 113 individuals falling victim to crime.
For those seeking active nightlife, Elmhurst offers a variety of options, such as Pints, Beerhead Bar & Eatery, Fitz’s Pub, and other pubs.
Is Elmhurst, IL, wealthy?
Yes! The average household income in Elmhurst is $163,347, showcasing the prosperity of the community.
Is Elmhurst, IL, a good place to live?
Yes! This town gives you a dense suburban feel, where you can easily live a relaxed life surrounded by friendly and happy people.
What suburb is Elmhurst?
Elmhurst is known as the Chicago Suburb.
10. Northbrook IL – Best for families
Situated in Cook County, Northbrook was incorporated in 1901. As of 2023, the town is home to approximately 33,500 residents, making it the 54th largest city in the state, according to the World Population Review.
Along with its natural beauty and serene environment, Northbrook is considered one of the best places for Black families to live in Illinois.
Northbrook offers attractions such as the Chicago Botanic Garden, Kohl Children’s Museum, and Northbrook Court.
The town also boasts lower crime rates, with only 11 incidents per 1,000 people.
Furthermore, you can find your dream home in Northbrook at an affordable price of $543,888.
Additionally, the town offers a vibrant nightlife scene, with popular venues like Landmark Inn, Willow Hill Bar & Grill, and Buffalo Wild Wines.
Is Northbrook, IL, rich?
Yes! The per capita income of $129,044 is higher than the average income of the United States, which makes it a rich place to live.
Is Northbrook, IL, a good place to live?
Yes! Due to high-quality education and a highly secure environment, this is perfect for every relocator who wants to live a good life in Illinois.
What suburbs are near Northbrook, IL?
Deerfield, Glenview, Highland Park, Wheeling, Prospect Heights, Winnetka, and other suburbs are situated near Northbrook, Illinois.
Best Places to Live in Illinois FAQs
Why is Illinois the best place to live?
Illinois, being one of the wealthiest states in the United States, provides abundant employment opportunities for job seekers, a thriving housing market for relocators, and affordable living costs for its residents.
Is living in Illinois expensive?
No! The cost of living in Illinois is lower than the US National Average of 8%. Also, housing is 20%, and utilities are 7% lower than the US National average. Hence, living in Illinois is cheaper than the other states.
What is a livable salary in Illinois?
According to recent data published in 2023, a person should receive a livable salary of at least $14.42 per hour, along with healthcare benefits provided by the employer.
If the employer does not offer healthcare benefits, then the recommended minimum wage should be $18.03 per hour.
Welcome to the vibrant state of Illinois, a place that offers a plethora of advantages and opportunities for an exceptional living experience.
Whether you’re seeking breathtaking tourist attractions, thriving cities, a robust economy, world-class education, or abundant job prospects, Illinois has it all—and more!
In this article, we helped you discover the absolute best place to live in this remarkable state, ensuring that your relocation, whether for work, education, or housing, is an absolute success.
We’ve done the research for you and found the ultimate haven that guarantees a relaxed yet exciting lifestyle.
Whether you’re a young adult embarking on a new chapter, a retiree looking for a peaceful retreat, or a student seeking a top-notch education, Illinois has something extraordinary to offer you.
So, buckle up and get ready to explore the wonders of Illinois. Your dream life awaits!