Best places to live in Illinois

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November 15, 2021
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Best places to live in Illinois

What do you look for in an ideal town? Proximity to trails, lakes, and beaches? How about top-ranked schools for your children? Would you like a professional or college sports team nearby, or do you prefer museums and art walks?

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Illinois using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather.

On the list, there’s a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

#10. Vernon Hills
- Population: 26,343
- Median home value: $348,900 (64% own)
- Median rent: $1,609 (36% rent)
- Median household income: $104,199
- Top public schools: Adlai E. Stevenson High School (A+), Vernon Hills High School (A+), Libertyville High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Montessori Music Academy, CDW At Play Child Care Center, Phillip Road KinderCare

#9. Hinsdale
- Population: 17,710
- Median home value: $884,700 (86% own)
- Median rent: $1,879 (14% rent)
- Median household income: $203,368
- Top public schools: Hinsdale Central High School (A+), Lyons Township High School (A+), Butler Junior High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Hinsdale Adventist Academy (A), St. Isaac Jogues Elementary School, Vine Academy

#8. Oak Park
- Population: 52,233
- Median home value: $387,300 (59% own)
- Median rent: $1,175 (41% rent)
- Median household income: $94,646
- Top public schools: Oak Park & River Forest High School (A+), Horace Mann Elementary School (A-), William Beye Elementary School (A-)
- Top private schools: Fenwick High School (A+), St. Giles School (A-), Ascension Elementary School

#7. Bannockburn
- Population: 1,244
- Median home value: $971,200 (74% own)
- Median rent: $1,065 (26% rent)
- Median household income: $117,917
- Top public schools: Adlai E. Stevenson High School (A+), Lake Forest High School (A+), Deerfield High School (A+)

#6. Western Springs
- Population: 13,272
- Median home value: $609,900 (96% own)
- Median rent: $2,009 (4% rent)
- Median household income: $174,760
- Top public schools: Hinsdale Central High School (A+), Lyons Township High School (A+), Highlands Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: St. John of the Cross Parish School, Montessori School of West Springs, Sunflower Montessori School

#5. Evanston
- Population: 74,587
- Median home value: $391,400 (56% own)
- Median rent: $1,376 (44% rent)
- Median household income: $78,904
- Top public schools: New Trier Township High School (A+), Evanston Township High School (A+), Niles North High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Roycemore School (A+), Beacon Academy (A+), Pope John XXIII School (A)

#4. Naperville
- Population: 147,501
- Median home value: $416,700 (76% own)
- Median rent: $1,516 (24% rent)
- Median household income: $125,926
- Top public schools: Neuqua Valley High School (A+), Metea Valley High School (A+), Naperville Central High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Naperville Christian Academy (A), St. Raphael Catholic School (A+), Covenant Classical School (A)

#3. Buffalo Grove
- Population: 41,062
- Median home value: $332,300 (80% own)
- Median rent: $1,643 (20% rent)
- Median household income: $115,951
- Top public schools: Adlai E. Stevenson High School (A+), Deerfield High School (A+), Buffalo Grove High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Saint Mary School (A), Buffalo Grove Montessori School, KinderCare Learning Center

#2. Long Grove
- Population: 7,963
- Median home value: $648,700 (98% own)
- Median rent: $3,250 (2% rent)
- Median household income: $214,073
- Top public schools: Adlai E. Stevenson High School (A+), Vernon Hills High School (A+), Lake Zurich High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Montessori School of Long Grove, The Grove Montessori School, Primrose School of Long Grove

#1. Clarendon Hills
- Population: 8,716
- Median home value: $506,400 (84% own)
- Median rent: $978 (16% rent)
- Median household income: $111,958
- Top public schools: Hinsdale Central High School (A+), Westmont High School (A+), Monroe Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Seton Montessori School

You may also like: Highest-rated specialty museums in Illinois, according to Tripadvisor

Best places to live in Illinois

What do you look for in an ideal town? Proximity to trails, lakes, and beaches? How about top-ranked schools for your children? Would you like a professional or college sports team nearby, or do you prefer museums and art walks?

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Illinois using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather.

On the list, there’s a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

#10. Vernon Hills
- Population: 26,343
- Median home value: $348,900 (64% own)
- Median rent: $1,609 (36% rent)
- Median household income: $104,199
- Top public schools: Adlai E. Stevenson High School (A+), Vernon Hills High School (A+), Libertyville High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Montessori Music Academy, CDW At Play Child Care Center, Phillip Road KinderCare

#9. Hinsdale
- Population: 17,710
- Median home value: $884,700 (86% own)
- Median rent: $1,879 (14% rent)
- Median household income: $203,368
- Top public schools: Hinsdale Central High School (A+), Lyons Township High School (A+), Butler Junior High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Hinsdale Adventist Academy (A), St. Isaac Jogues Elementary School, Vine Academy

#8. Oak Park
- Population: 52,233
- Median home value: $387,300 (59% own)
- Median rent: $1,175 (41% rent)
- Median household income: $94,646
- Top public schools: Oak Park & River Forest High School (A+), Horace Mann Elementary School (A-), William Beye Elementary School (A-)
- Top private schools: Fenwick High School (A+), St. Giles School (A-), Ascension Elementary School

#7. Bannockburn
- Population: 1,244
- Median home value: $971,200 (74% own)
- Median rent: $1,065 (26% rent)
- Median household income: $117,917
- Top public schools: Adlai E. Stevenson High School (A+), Lake Forest High School (A+), Deerfield High School (A+)

#6. Western Springs
- Population: 13,272
- Median home value: $609,900 (96% own)
- Median rent: $2,009 (4% rent)
- Median household income: $174,760
- Top public schools: Hinsdale Central High School (A+), Lyons Township High School (A+), Highlands Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: St. John of the Cross Parish School, Montessori School of West Springs, Sunflower Montessori School

#5. Evanston
- Population: 74,587
- Median home value: $391,400 (56% own)
- Median rent: $1,376 (44% rent)
- Median household income: $78,904
- Top public schools: New Trier Township High School (A+), Evanston Township High School (A+), Niles North High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Roycemore School (A+), Beacon Academy (A+), Pope John XXIII School (A)

#4. Naperville
- Population: 147,501
- Median home value: $416,700 (76% own)
- Median rent: $1,516 (24% rent)
- Median household income: $125,926
- Top public schools: Neuqua Valley High School (A+), Metea Valley High School (A+), Naperville Central High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Naperville Christian Academy (A), St. Raphael Catholic School (A+), Covenant Classical School (A)

#3. Buffalo Grove
- Population: 41,062
- Median home value: $332,300 (80% own)
- Median rent: $1,643 (20% rent)
- Median household income: $115,951
- Top public schools: Adlai E. Stevenson High School (A+), Deerfield High School (A+), Buffalo Grove High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Saint Mary School (A), Buffalo Grove Montessori School, KinderCare Learning Center

#2. Long Grove
- Population: 7,963
- Median home value: $648,700 (98% own)
- Median rent: $3,250 (2% rent)
- Median household income: $214,073
- Top public schools: Adlai E. Stevenson High School (A+), Vernon Hills High School (A+), Lake Zurich High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Montessori School of Long Grove, The Grove Montessori School, Primrose School of Long Grove

#1. Clarendon Hills
- Population: 8,716
- Median home value: $506,400 (84% own)
- Median rent: $978 (16% rent)
- Median household income: $111,958
- Top public schools: Hinsdale Central High School (A+), Westmont High School (A+), Monroe Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Seton Montessori School

You may also like: Highest-rated specialty museums in Illinois, according to Tripadvisor

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