best places to live in illinoisIllinois, nicknamed The Prairie State, is currently home to over 12 million residents. If you’re looking to make a move and don’t want to call the City of Chicago home, the suburbs are full of desirable places to live. Some perks they have to offer are a high quality of life, premium school districts, and a growing job market. Read below to see our list of the top four places to live in Illinois.

Buffalo Grove


With a population sitting just above 41,000, Buffalo Grove is our top-rated suburb to live in Illinois. Located 30 miles outside of the city, it is described as a mix of suburban and urban living. Roughly 80% of residents own their homes where the median value is $324,600. The average household income is $111,435 and the unemployment rate remains low at 3.3%. The town is well known for having great education and park district systems that offer a wide variety of programs. If you want your home to be in Illinois, you should look here first.



One of the largest and most well-known towns and Illinois, Naperville has a population of over 140,000. With a perfectly placed train station, you can commute to the city in under an hour. Like Clarendon Hills, the average household income is around $120,000 but the median home value is $100,000 less. With restaurants and parks stationed along the riverwalk, Naperville offers a variety of nightlife. Full of good education systems for all levels, this suburb is constantly growing.

Clarendon Hills


Third on our list is Clarendon Hills, a smaller town that’s a little closer to the city. With under 10,000 residents, it provides a compact suburban feel. The median household income is roughly $126,000 with a higher median home value of over $500,000. Offering one of the best school districts in the state, Clarendon Hills is a trustworthy and safe town to purchase a home in.


Our favorite suburb that reminds us of the city. Evanston’s population is around 75,000 and has a very urban feel. You will find many young professionals living in the area that have graduated from Northwestern University. The median home value is $380,000 and the average income is closer to the national average at $77,000. If you like the city feel, minus the large population, Evanston is the town for you.


Other Suburbs to Consider:


Just ten minutes from the Wisconsin border, Gurnee has a population of around 30,000. With Six Flags Great America and one of the largest shopping malls in Illinois, there are plenty of amenities to keep you entertained. The median home value is $250,000 and with highly rated schools and populated surrounding areas, Gurnee is a great option to stay busy with the family.


An outlier from the others, located in Southern Illinois and the state capital, Springfield has a dense suburban feel with over 100,000 people. This town offers a low cost of living and has many historic monuments and museums to explore. All levels of education are available and there are many industries to work in.

The Chicago suburbs are home to many and if you’d like to explore more, the towns surrounding our list can offer similar features. If you want to start the homebuying process today, you can do so by filling out an application and getting pre-approved with Neighborhood Loans.

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