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Best Places To Live In Illinois 2020

Nearby Areas With A High Livability Score88
  • 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
  • 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]
87
  • Clarendon Hills, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 8,641
87
  • 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]
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]
87
  • 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]
87
  • Orland Hills, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 7,241
86
  • 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]
86
  • 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]
86
  • 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]
86
  • 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]
86
  • 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]
86
  • Grandwood Park, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 5,471
85
  • West Dundee, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 7,369
85
  • 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
  • Arlington Heights, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 75,721
  • Im a liberal and this place is great. im also a transgender and idetify as a vending machine and people accept me around here. i acted like a vending machine and someone put a $1 inside of me since i was…[read more]
85
  • Geneva, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 21,732
  • Geneva, Illinois is a suburb of Chicago, but you honestly would never know it's anywhere near such a big city. It's a nice place that has a semi-country feel to it. The public transit system is…[read more]
84
  • 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]
84
  • 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]
84
  • Highland, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 9,839
84
  • 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]
84
  • 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]
84
  • Lakemoor, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 6,313
83
  • 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]
83
  • River Forest, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 11,217
  • Lived here for twenty plus years--what a terrific place to raise a family! We moved here for the excellent schools, which are rated as some of the best in Illinois. Taxes are high, but you get what you…[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
  • Lisle, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 22,989
  • Lisle is a great place for a family. I never hear about crime and it has a family feel to it. It is close to 2 different malls (yorktown and fox valley) and because it is so close to Naperville there is…[read more]
83
  • Wilmette, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 27,367
  • There’s no many things biblical about Wilmette, but it fits. Everyone who lives here has a sense of compassion for their neighbor. Throughout the day, you’ll find many of them out and about, which I…[read more]
82
  • 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]
82
  • 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]
82
  • 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]
82
  • Roselle, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 22,911
  • Roselle is a great place to live. Homes are well kept, plenty of restaurants, and beautiful parks. We feel extremely safe and there is a strong sense of community with block parties and summer fests. …[read more]
82
  • Dixon, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 14,802
  • I love living in Dixon, Illinois and think it's a great place to raise a family! There's a lot of rich history in this town and plenty to do no matter what day of the week it may be and regardless of the…[read more]
82
  • Cary, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 17,946
  • Cary and the surrounding areas have great activities that are ideal for nature lovers and history buffs. There are also popular evening hangouts where you can grab a meal with friends. Tracks is one of…[read more]
82
  • Elmhurst, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 45,742
  • I lived in Elmhurst, Illinois about 10 years ago and for a suburban community with a relatively modest population, about 32,000, it was a relatively quiet community. I was fortunate enough to live close…[read more]
81
  • Glen Ellyn, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 27,894
  • In my opinion there is no better place to live than Glen Ellyn. It is a vibrant and bustling city. There are many young people and new families in the area to make sure that there is always something to…[read more]
81
  • 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]
81
  • Naperville, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 145,789
  • On June 7 traveling with my daughter and her son I drove her car to the Naperville commuter station. I parked in the public lot north of the station in stall #829. I then went to the station to pay on…[read more]
81
  • Maryville, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 7,837
81
  • Itasca, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 8,502
  • Although I might have went to some bad dining places, Itasca isn't so bad. The hotel I stayed at with my family was great, especially the…[read more]
81
  • 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]
81
  • Park Ridge, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 37,567
  • One of my favorite suburbs of all Chicago. Infested with intellectual businessmen and doctors. Also a great family friendly area with absolutely NO areas to avoid. You could stay out at 11 pm and still…[read more]
81
  • Channahon, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 12,329
  • There's more to Illinois than just Chicago, and there's definitely more to Channahon than you might first think. Located within driving distance of the Windy City, it's a small village with a lot of…[read more]
81
  • Monee, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 5,098
81
  • Palos Hills, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 17,545
  • Palos Hills, Illinois is a suburb of Chicago located to the southwest of the city. Palos Hills boasts itself as a family-centered, quaint, and welcoming community. The city itself is definitely geared…[read more]
81
  • La Grange, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 15,688
  • I've lived in La Grange for almost 11 years, and I've loved all of them. There's a great sense of community and everything. You should definitely live…[read more]
81
  • Riverside, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 8,779
80
  • Wheaton, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 53,568
  • I have lived in Wheaton, Illinois for a few years now. It has quickly become my favorite place to live. I love its deep-rooted sense of community. This is a very family friendly town. Living here is like…[read more]
80
  • Palatine, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 69,098
  • Like with every area theres a ghetto but 90% of Palatine is safe. The downtown has been newly redone with a fair amount of bars/shopping and places to eat all within walking distance. Though…[read more]
80
  • Prospect Heights, IL
  • (City)
  • Population: 16,331
  • Prospect Heights, Illinois is one of Chicago's northwest suburbs. It is home to an excellent public school system with a low student to teacher ratio that is perfect for learning young minds as it gives…[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.