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Best Places To Live In Illinois 2021

Nearby Areas With A High Livability Score89
  • Grayslake, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 21,053
  • Grayslake, Illinois is located near the border with Wisconsin but is still considered a far north suburb of Chicago. It is home to many excellent and safe neighborhoods and to College of Lake County. The…[read more]
88
  • O'Fallon, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 29,078
  • There’s a lot to love about the suburb of O’Fallon, the people are wonderful, the weather throughout the years is manageable and St. Luis is a hope and skip away. When I first moved to O’Fallon, it was…[read more]
88
  • Clarendon Hills, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 8,641
88
  • Columbia, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 10,193
  • I have lived in Columbia, Illinois for all of my life except for my four years I was away at college. I can't picture myself living anywhere else, no do I want to! The people that call Columbia home are…[read more]
87
  • St. Charles, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 32,745
  • It was a joy living in St Charles Illinois, the city with 'Pride of the Fox' as a motto. Living in the west suburbs offered a multitude of amenities and nightlife activities. The city of over 33,000 in…[read more]
87
  • Algonquin, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 30,413
  • Algonquin, IL is situated as one of the farthest of the northwest suburbs of Chicago. It boasts an excellent public school system, and the crime is low especially compared to other surrounding suburbs.…[read more]
87
  • Lake in the Hills, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 28,908
  • Lake in the Hill is one of those small towns outside of a major city that’s a mix of the strange and developing. Living in there, you quickly gather that there’s something weird about the people. For…[read more]
86
  • Roscoe, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 10,666
  • Living in Roscoe, Illinois is truly a unique experience! This is a smaller town, but we are very close to Rockford, Chicago is only about a 45 minute drive and Milwaukee is about an hour away in a…[read more]
86
  • Libertyville, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 20,435
  • It’s nice. One of the few places without bull poop. I like it there. But remember IT’S COLD! But there’s nothing really bad about…[read more]
86
  • Maryville, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 7,837
86
  • Crystal Lake, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 40,475
  • I currently live in an area called Crystal Lake that is located in Illinois. There is so much to love about this area including the excellent education as well the the local amenities in this area. I was…[read more]
86
  • Warrenville, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 13,415
  • Living in Warrenville, Illinois is like living nowhere else! St. James Farm Forest and Preserve is located here and it's my most favorite place in the world to visit! Over 612 acres of natural forest…[read more]
86
  • Woodridge, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 33,331
  • I really like living in Woodridge. It's an enjoyable city, not too far from Chicago, and has everything I need. Woodridge is a little more expensive than other towns in the area but it's reasonable in my…[read more]
86
  • South Elgin, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 22,274
  • South Elgin is located just south of Elgin, Illinois and is a far west suburb of Chicago. The city is known for being excellent for families by having a great public school system and having well-policed…[read more]
86
  • Glen Carbon, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 12,782
  • I adore living here, I moved here because I so love their parks. It is a large suburban city with an atmosphere that offers its residents affordable living. With that being said, the job market here is…[read more]
85
  • Grandwood Park, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 5,471
85
  • Highland, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 9,839
85
  • Schaumburg, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 74,366
  • schaumburg is a very nice place.but it is also very expensive.if you have the money it is great .there is lots to do there. lots of resteraunts and overall a very nice place to live. The prices on the…[read more]
85
  • Island Lake, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 8,025
85
  • West Dundee, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 7,369
84
  • Morton, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 16,343
  • Morton. IL is one of those places you pray you will find when you are ready to pull up stakes and relocate. I know that was the case with me 11 years ago when I moved here. I have been living in Morton…[read more]
84
  • Waterloo, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 10,197
  • In all my 34 years of living in Waterloo, Illinois I can honestly say I have never had a bad day based on where I live. Of course I've had bad days for other reasons, but honestly living here has helped…[read more]
84
  • Riverside, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 8,779
83
  • Naperville, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 145,789
  • During my road trip of 2008, I visited Naperville, IL. One of my good friends has lived in Naperville for almost his entire life. I was pretty excited about the visit because the fabulous city of Chicago…[read more]
83
  • Western Springs, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 13,133
  • I have lived in this city all my life. There is no other place I can call home. I have undergone the full public education system and even changed elementary schools. It’s a city with very impressive…[read more]
83
  • Edwardsville, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 25,044
  • Living in Edwardsville, IL is a beautiful place. We have many parks. We have an industrial town that was merged with us, making our city even larger than it originally was. Edwardsville is named after…[read more]
83
  • Huntley, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 25,831
  • Living in Huntley, it is interesting to watch how the tiny little city has grown and expanded over the years. When I was a boy, we had a single elementary school and a single high school/ Now, the best…[read more]
83
  • Hinsdale, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 17,438
  • Hinsdale, Illinois is a suburb of Chicago located to the west/southwest of the city. It is a diverse and welcoming community and definitely geared more towards the upper middle-class with the higher…[read more]
83
  • Lake Zurich, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 19,950
  • My family and I valued our experiences while living in Lake Zurich Illinois. The city is a smaller segment of Chicago and is named for its lake. It is a great place to raise families. I have confidence…[read more]
83
  • Deerfield, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 18,686
  • I had an exceptional time with my family while living in Deerfield Illinois. The community that is 25 miles from Chicago, promotes family, fun, and leisure activities. This city houses the headquarters…[read more]

Illinois: The Cultural Epicenter

There are plenty of amazing places to live in Illinois, and maybe one of these top spots will strike your fancy. Whether you're attracted to the cultural epicenter of the Midwest that is Chicago, a small Midwestern town lifestyle, the amazing farmer's markets or the state's industry, there are plenty of amazing best places to live in Illinois.

Located in America's heartland, the Midwest, Illinois is a mostly landlocked state, bordered by Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana and Kentucky. The state does border Lake Michigan on the northeast corner and the Mighty Mississippi runs down the western border of the state, creating major shipping routes. Chicago is the most populated city in Illinois and the third most populous city in the United States. The state's capital is Springfield, which is a mecca for Lincoln buffs.

Illinois is primarily a flat, agricultural state, and driving across it you will see lots of farm fields and forests. Southern Illinois offers more dynamic landscapes, with rolling hills, swamplands and the sprawling Shawnee National Forest. While Illinois has no natural lakes, it does have many rivers for water sports, and many old river towns along the Mississippi in particular have a lot of charm. Illinois' climate varies throughout the year and even wildly day-to-day, though in general the state has hot, humid summers and cold winters.

Illinois is the very image of the Midwest, with hardworking, "Midwestern Nice" people calling the state home. While largely agricultural (roughly eighty percent of the state's land) and speckled with small farm towns, there are centers of busting urban culture in both the Chicagoland area as well as Champaign-Urbana, where the main University of Illinois campus is located, Peoria and Springfield. Parts of southwestern Illinois along the Mississippi River are also considered part of the St. Louis metropolitan area. The countryside, where much of the nation's corn, soybeans and pumpkins are grown, has a lot of Midwestern charm. The cost of living in Illinois is slightly higher than the national average but it is far from the priciest state, especially in cities and towns outside the Chicagoland area. To compensate for this, Illinois also has a higher average income than most other states.

The state has plenty of amenities to offer its residents and nearly countless things to do, whether you want to spend a day at the Brookfield Zoo, see a Cubs or Bears game, visit one of the many museums across the state, go to a pumpkin patch or orchard, have a night out at the theater or go fishing or camping. Illinois boasts several beautiful parks, including Starved Rock State Park and its canyons, waterfalls and rock formations that can be found nowhere else in the Midwest and Shawnee National Forest with its own stunning rock formations. The state is also rich in history and historical sites, particularly surrounding President Abraham Lincoln, who gave the state its slogan: "Land of Lincoln."

With loads of great places to live, it might be difficult to decide where in Illinois you would like to end up. We've helped you out by compiling a list of our top best places to live in Illinois. You can further customize your list by specifying your search radius, population size, home/rent budget and what metrics (amenities, crime, cost of living, education, employment, housing, weather) are most important to you.