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The 20 Best Places to Live in Chicago


No matter where in the world you live, there are always some neighborhoods of a city that are better than others. Which are considered the best neighborhoods depends on a variety of factors, including safety, schools, cost of living, lifestyle, house prices, and amenities in the area. Of course, some of these factors are more important to some people than others, so people have their own preferences when it comes to choosing the best location for them. However, knowing which are the best neighborhoods can give you a guide to the best places to look if you are moving to a new area. Here are the 20 best places to live in Chicago in 2019.

20. Northbrook

Located in Cook County, Northbrook has a lot going for it that makes it a great place to consider living if you want to live in a suburb of Chicago. For those who enjoy having a busy social life, this local is a good option as there are cafes, restaurants, bars, shops, parks, and many leisure activities. This means that it can offer a good standard of living. It is also a great area for families as there are good schools and an established community of families in the area. The negative aspect of this suburb is the cost of living, which is quite high in comparison to the average cost of living in a Chicago suburb.

19. Lisle

Lisle is a larger Chicago suburb with a population of around 23 thousand and the area has a semi-urban vibe. There are excellent schools in the area, so young families are the main demographic. However, the social scene and good transportation links also appeal to young professionals. The area has low crime rates and diverse housing options, both of which are features that make this area popular.

18. Glencoe

For families, Glencoe is a fantastic suburb to make your home, says Niche. Located in Cook County, this suburb has a population of just under nine thousand. The low population means that there is almost a rural feel for those living in this community, although it has plenty of amenities, including parks, restaurants, and coffee shops. It is well-suited to families as there are highly rated public schools in this area, although it also appeals to many other demographics.

17. La Grange

This is an excellent place to raise a family as the crime rates are low, the public schools are outstanding, and there are plenty of parks and outdoor spaces. It is a mid-sized suburb with a population under 16 thousand, and the population is diverse. There are decent job opportunities for those living in this area. The one downside is that the cost of living is quite high in this area, but that is often the compromise you have to make to live in a desirable location.

16. Vernon Hills

Another larger suburb is Vernon Hills, which has a very diverse population of around 26 thousand. The crime rates are low, so it is a safe place to live compared to many other Chicago suburbs. The area attracts families because it has good housing options, parks, and excellent schools. Young professionals are also keen to live in this area because of decent transportation links, employment opportunities, and a great social scene.

15. Indian Head Park

Indian Head Park scores highly in many categories, so it is considered one of the best places to live in Chicago. It is a tiny community with under four thousand people and the crime rates are very low. This is a diverse community that attracts young professionals, families, and retirees alike. There are outstanding public schools, nice outdoor spaces, plenty of restaurants, and a variety of types of housing.

14. Oak Park

Oak Park is a large village next to the West Side of Chicago that has a population of around 52,000. There is a big art scene in this community, and many of the local attractions feature the arts. Young professionals like living in the area because of easy community and a good social scene. It is also popular among young families due to the great schools, the local parks, and the outdoor activities in the area. Employment opportunities are reasonable, and the community is diverse. The crime rates and the cost of living are the downsides to living in this neighborhood.

13. Western Springs

Although this isn’t a very diverse area, there are lots of other things that Western Springs has going for it that make it a good place to live for those who want to live in the Chicago area. The public schools are highly rated, the housing options are diverse, and the cost of living is reasonable. Crime rates are relatively low, the area has a good vibe, and the suburb comes alive at night. Furthermore, there are many job opportunities and commuting is easy. This suburb is located in Cook County and has a population of around 13 thousand.

12. Wilmette

A Chicago suburb in Cook County, Wilmette has a typical suburban feel and many appealing features. The areas in which this location is highly rated are the public schools, the employment opportunities, the family lifestyle, and the range of outdoor activities available for residents. It is also decent in terms of diversity, safety, housing, nightlife, and commutability. The main negative of living in Wilmette is the high cost of living, although this is a common problem when living in a desirable area.

11. Evanston

The standard of the public schools in Evanston is one of its most appealing features, and it is this that attracts many families to the area. Other features that make this a reasonable option for family life are the outdoor spaces and the range of available activities in the area. However, families are not the only groups of people attracted to living in this area as it appeals to retirees and young professionals alike. This area has a diverse community that enjoys the restaurants, shops, and other amenities in the area. Although the cost of living is quite high and the crime rates are average, there are good transport links and plenty of employment opportunities.

10. Bannockburn

Bannockburn is part of the North Shore region of Chicago in Lake County. With a population of under two thousand people, it is one of the smaller communities in Chicago and the surrounding area. The areas in which this suburb scores highly include the standard of the public schools, the suitability for family life, the low crime rates, the commutability, and the employment opportunities. Bannockburn has had a commercial zone since 1984. The cost of living in this area is somewhat higher than in many other suburbs, so this is something to keep in mind.

9. Long Grove

A Lake County suburb of Chicago, Long Grove is a small community of around eight thousand people that has a rural feel. One of the reasons that this is considered one of the best places to live in Chicago is because he public schools are highly rated. This makes it a good option for families. However, there are many more factors that contribute to making this a great place to live. The crime rates are almost non-existent, the housing options are good, are there is a decent selection of leisure activities. The downsides to this area are an above-average cost of living and poor commutability.

8. Buffalo Grove

Buffalo Grove is considered a larger suburb as it has a population of around 42,000. It is located in Lake County and ranks highly not only as a great place to live in Chicago but also in Illinois as a whole. Housing, schools, diversity, suitability for families, and leisure activities are all fantastic in this area. It is also rated highly for commutability, job opportunities, and safety. The downside is the cost of living, which is relatively high.

7. Clarendon Hills

One of the safest and most pleasant suburbs of Chicago is Clarendon Hills, according to Niche. The only downside to this location is the lack of diversity. This aside, it ranks highly in almost every other category. There are good employment opportunities, the schools are great, it is a nice place to raise a family, the crime rates are low, and there is a wide choice of leisure activities to enjoy. It is also noted for having good transport links into downtown Chicago.

6. Wicker Park

Wicker Park as a great mix of the old and the new as although it is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Chicago, huge amounts of money have been invested into the area to increase business to the area and give it a more modern feel. A sign of this area’s popularity is the rising population in this neighborhood. Young people love living in this neighborhood because of the lively night life. However, it is just as good for young families because the area has excellent parks and lots of activities that are suitable for young children.

5. Pilsen

There has been a massive revitalization project in Pilsen, making it one of the most transitional neighborhoods in Chicago. The revitalization has attracted many investors who are now scooping up property in the area. In the past, Pilsen wasn’t considered the safest area to live, but crime rates have dropped significantly in recent years. This neighborhood has a great arts scene and many events are hosted in Pilsen throughout the year.

4. Logan Square

In the past, Logan Square has not necessarily made it onto lists of the best places to live in Chicago, as it has predominantly been known as an artsy area. However, this is an up and coming neighborhood that is particularly popular among the younger crows. This is largely because of the exciting lifestyle that this location can offer. It is known not only for its art scene, but also for its restaurants, craft breweries, and bars. It also has good transport links, and O’Hare airport is easily accessible from this area.

3. Old Town

According to Chicago Apartments, Old Town is one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago. It is one of the most historic areas of Chicago, so the properties are often filled with interesting architectural details. Old Town is close to The Loop, which makes it a good place for traveling to downtown Chicago, and there are plenty of great bars and restaurants in the Old Town area. This means that the area offers a high standard of living with plenty of amenities and attractions. Nestled between Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast, this neighborhood has low crime rates.

2. Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in which to live in Chicago as it is one of the city’s oldest communities. The history of the area is evident when you pass the bars, shops, and restaurants in this location. This area is particularly popular with single people who want to get on the property ladder due to the affordable prices, which are attainable for those with a single income. There are good transport links to the city, and many of the local attractions are within walking distance. Lincoln Park is safer than 75 percent of places in Illinois.

1. Lake View

Extra Space ranks Lake View as one of the best neighborhoods to live in Chicago. As the name suggests, this neighborhood is located right next to Lake Michigan. It is a safer place to live than 75 percent of the cities in Illinois. This is a popular area for young professionals to live because of the mixed housing at affordable prices and good transport links into the city. The neighborhood is divided into two suburbs. While Wrigleyville is known for its amazing bars and restaurants, Boystown is an LGBTQ-friendly district.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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