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13 Best Places to Live in Illinois

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

Places to Live in Illinois: A charming state in the midwestern US, Illinois is located in the Great Lakes region of North America and features beautiful landscapes with miles of farmland, rolling hills, and abundant forests.

Its picturesque natural beauty along with its rich history and one of the best school systems in the nation are some major draws for people to put their roots down in the Prairie State. 

Illinois is also home to plenty of Fortune 500 companies, numerous renowned universities, and a host of entertainment venues, making it a great place to live for young professionals and families alike.

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Wondering which place would be perfect to call home in the Prairie State?

Here are the list of Best Places to live in Illinois:-


One of the affluent cities in Illinois, Naperville offers plenty of upscale amenities.

This bustling city is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies with a high median household income to match the high cost of living.


There is a plethora of options for entertainment here with multiple shopping districts, over 130 parks, and sports complexes.

Moreover, there are close to eight college campuses and the city has a low crime rate, making it one of the best places to live in Illinois for families.

What’s more?

You’ll only be 30 miles from Chicago.

Buffalo Grove

Enjoy the best of both worlds at Buffalo Grove.

This Chicago suburb boasts of leafy streets, exquisite architecture, and bountiful parks along with all the modern amenities you need for comfortable living.

It has one of the best public education systems in the country, and a low unemployment & crime rate. There are also some exciting summer festivals held here.

Buffalo Grove

Being only 40 minutes from Chicago, you can enjoy the tranquillity of this place without compromising on easy access to the big city entertainment scene.

Although housing can be slightly expensive in this popular suburb, the offerings make it worth every penny. 


Once the home of Abraham Lincoln, the capital city of Illinois has a lot to offer. With its rich historical background, top-rated universities, and cultural attractions to a vibrant nightlife & diverse community, it’s a great place to settle down.


You can explore the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, enjoy a show at Springfield Theatre Centre, picnic in one of the many parks, or enjoy thrilling rides at Caribbean Adventure, the city offers something for everyone.

The rent here is slightly below the national average & the residents enjoy a low cost of living.

Just like any big city, certain areas are considered safer than others so keep that in mind while choosing a neighbourhood here. 


Featuring plenty of top-rated schools, a high median household income, and a low unemployment rate, this affluent Chicago suburb is one of the most desirable places to live in the state.


It takes pride in its abundant parks, miles of walking trails, plenty of community events, and extensive library.

Couple this with a low crime rate and you get one of the best places to live. Housing is expensive here but if you have the budget, go for it. 


Love being amidst nature?

Head to this charming village known for its picturesque scenery.

Located on the north shore of Chicago, it has highly-rated schools and beautiful old buildings. If you love the outdoors, there are bountiful gardens and green spaces, perfect for a fun family outing.


What’s more?

There is a low unemployment rate here with a high median household income which makes up for the expensive housing.

Champaign Urbana 

Two cities blend to form this area. Home to the University of Illinois, this area is thriving with a major student population leading to a vibrant entertainment and arts scene.

Champaign Urbana 

Agriculture is a significant industry here & you’ll witness vast farmlands.

If you’re a young professional looking for affordable housing with a plethora of entertainment options, this may be the place for you.

Oak Park 

If you wish to enjoy some tranquillity while living close to the bustling Chicago city, Oak Park is one of the best places to take up residence.

Places to Live in Illinois
Oak Park 

With great schools, a low unemployment rate, quality childcare, and plenty of parks, it draws a lot of families. 

What’s more?

It also has a low crime rate and a diverse population.

Housing is expensive here but at the same time, there is a high median household income to cover the expense. 


Enjoy a dip in the pool of this suburb’s multi-purpose community centre which also features a fitness centre, a preschool, and more.


This suburb of Cook County has excellent schools with a high graduation rate and low unemployment.

There are plenty of parks in the area along with the unique Park Centre offering an array of outdoor activities. Although the cost of living is pricey, there is a high median household income too.

So, if you wish to raise a family in a tranquil suburb with a tight-knit community, this may be a perfect choice. 


Peoria might tick the boxes in your checklist if you love the charm of an old city with beautiful surroundings.

Located on the banks of Peoria Lake and the Illinois River, this city blends an old-time charm with modern amenities. The waterfront offers an array of outdoor activities to indulge in.


There are also beautiful parks, great schools, museums, and thriving businesses in this vibrant city. Moreover, affordable housing makes it a preferred choice to live under budget in the state.

Some neighborhoods are less safe than others, so consider that while closing in on the location here. 

Clarendon Hills

One of the most popular choices for families, Clarendon Hills boasts of excellent schools and safety. It is home to a welcoming and tight-knit community and a vibrant downtown.

Also, numerous festivals & events are held in this lively suburb for fun family outings.

Clarendon Hills

The residents here enjoy a high median household income although the property rates are quite high. If you’re just starting out, you can find affordable rental options in this beautiful place. 


This small town is home to plenty of buildings featuring 19th-century architecture and the beautiful Galena river that flows down to Mississippi.


Explore various shops, wineries & restaurants in century-old structures or go for a thrilling experience enjoying water sports, golf, and many more outdoor activities that the picturesque town offers.

Wish to know more about the place’s rich history?

Head to the Ulysses S. Grant Home.

What’s more?

There are plenty of highly rated schools and an affordable cost of living, making it a great place to raise a family.

Leland Grove

This small suburb of Springfield is a delightful surprise when it comes to its offerings.

If you wish to have a rural vibe without compromising on entertainment options, this is the place to be.

Leland Grove

There are plenty of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and parks in this charming place. Its affordable housing adds to its desirability, attracting retirees and young professionals alike. 


An excellent public education system, a low unemployment rate, and a great sense of security, Schaumburg offers it all.


You can enjoy numerous outdoor activities in Spring Valley Nature Centre, stroll through its vast parklands, indulge yourself with scrumptious meals from a plethora of restaurants & bars in this lively town, or attend exciting festivals & concerts held here.

What’s more?

Getting a house here won’t break the bank, making it a must-have on the list of the best places to live in Illinois. 

A notable mention here is Chicago, which is a bustling big city with great entertainment and culinary options along with outdoor recreational activities to offer.

It falls short of the list due to its high crime rate. But certain neighbourhoods are considered quite safe.  

Pick the place that suits you the best and get ready to begin the next chapter of your life in this beautiful state. 

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Q. What is the best part of Illinois to live in?

Naperville, Oak Park, Buffalo Grove, and Clarendon Hills are some of the best places to live in Illinois.

Q. Where is the safest place to live in Illinois?

Naperville is considered to be the safest place to live in Illinois.

Q. What is the best suburb to live in Illinois?

Buffalo Grove is considered the best suburb to live in Illinois.

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