2017 Best Places to Raise a Family in Chicago Metro

Explore the best places to raise a family based on public schools, crime rates, cost of living, and family-friendly amenities. Ranking based on data from the U.S. Census, FBI, BLS, CDC, and other data sources.

See how this ranking was calculated
  • National
  • By State
  • By Metro
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Clarendon Hills

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 7 reviews
    Current Resident:It is a quiet, safe place to live. It is also diverse and very clean. I would like to buy a house out here one day because of the diversity and I feel very safe.
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  2. 2

    Hinsdale

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 23 reviews
    Current Resident:Hinsdale is a charming quaint town. The town is great for raising a family! The area has excellent schools from pre-k to high school. There's many good restaurants, in downtown hinsdale. I recommend Nabuki... some of the best sushi in the Chicagoland area! The town is overall safe, clean, and a great place to live!
    More about Hinsdale
  3. 3

    Winnetka

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 5 reviews
    Niche User:Being a suburb with the majority of residents being in the top 1% financially, things are very nice in the area. A downside is that there definitely are people and places that give off a pretentious air. I personally do not fall in that financial bracket (or close to it) but that has effected me very little socially. I feel very lucky to live in this area.
    More about Winnetka
  4. 4

    Buffalo Grove

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 91 reviews
    Former Resident:Buffalo Grove was the town I grew up in ever since I was born all the way until I graduated high school. All of my memories are here. The schooling is amazing, the people here are extremely friendly, the parks are great, and it's extremely safe. This is a perfect place to raise a family and have a great life. The only problem is there isn't a downtown area, and you might get bored since there aren't that many places to go out. Other than that, Buffalo Grove is great!
    More about Buffalo Grove
  5. 5

    Glencoe

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 15 reviews
    Niche User:Top place to raise a family, excellent schools, small class sizes and differentiation, beautiful landscape/lake and homes. Close to Botanic Gardens, Writer's Theatre, tons of children's activities. 38 minute train ride to the city, and just as close of drive to the city as Wilmette (thanks to easy access to the expressway).
    More about Glencoe
  6. 6

    Naperville

    • City in Illinois
    • 398 reviews
    Current Resident:Naperville is a pleasant city, with a decent population size. This town is fairly safe, I never felt afraid walking outside. The downtown area has some lovely shopping and eating choices, but can be a little pricey some times. This town is definitely for middle-upper-middle class families, generally white collar people. For children there are several great junior and high schools to attend that will prepare them for college should they choose to do so. unfortunately there is little in the way of anything else for them to do, it will be a little boring for them. Naperville is located close to several other towns and cities and about 45 minutes from Chicago, so you can always drive out to find some nice entertainment or family fun night! There is an abundance of fast food and housing can be a little pricey too. Overall, a decent white collar area.
    More about Naperville
  7. 7

    Long Grove

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 5 reviews
    Current Resident:This town is quite historic, people from all over come to visit it during all of the seasonal festivals. The town is very into decorating for all of the holidays and festivities. It is quant and wants to remain a historical town rather an upgraded town. The food places are very good and the shops are cute - slightly overpriced. The residents are all friendly and welcoming. It is very safe yet still close to other major stores like grocery stores and pharmacies.
    More about Long Grove
  8. 8

    Wilmette

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 61 reviews
    Current Resident:Growing up in the inclusive, generous small town of Wilmette, IL, I saw the value of community from a young age. Most of the families have lived here for generations, and people move to Wilmette to stay, so it is very family-centric. Because of this, the village has a long tradition of citizen involvement in public life, and there are a wide range of charitable and civic organizations and clubs. Anytime there is a crisis, the community rallies together to help their fellow citizens. Neighbors don’t hesitate to help you carry your groceries or bring in the newspaper when you’re on vacation. The village thrives because everyone feels ownership towards their neighborhoods and responsibility for their community.
    More about Wilmette
  9. 9

    Western Springs

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 23 reviews
    Current Resident:This town captures it all! They have excellent public and private schools for families. There is a very small and quaint downtown area that has several restaurants and wine bars. A good old fashioned market with a butcher/deli, fruit store, oberweiss, Starbucks and many small businesses owned by our very own residents! The town resembles a modern day "Maybury" and yes almost everyone knows each other! I've Iived here for the past 12 years, since my son turned 5 and could start going to school and have loved every minute of it!
    More about Western Springs
  10. 10

    Tower Lakes

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 8 reviews
    Niche User:I feel very safe. There have been a few burglaries in last year, but that's pretty much it. Police drive around the neighborhoods very often. I don't have any immediate concerns.
    More about Tower Lakes
  11. 11

    Green Oaks

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 7 reviews
    Niche User:Libertyville is a safe area to live in.
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  12. 12

    Kildeer

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 9 reviews
    Niche User:This area is very family friendly. The school system is very good and provides a positive learning environment.
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  13. 13

    Kenilworth

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
  14. 14

    South Barrington

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 3 reviews
    Niche User:Crime is not very prevalent in our area. Recently, people have been driving from the south side of the city to our town and stealing cars. These incidents have only happened a few times, but I personally know people who have been affected by it. Other than those recent events, crime is very low in my town.
    More about South Barrington
  15. 15

    Barrington

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 14 reviews
    Niche User:Barrington is a quaint suburb of Chicago with a population around 10,000 people. From it's bustling farmer's market in the fall or the lights that line the town during the wintery months leading up to Christmas, Barrington is a wonderful place to spend time in year round. It has small, family run shops and restaurants and boutiques, and boasts parks and wide spaces perfect for families with pets or children. Nightlife however is not very big, but this is understandable as it's a small suburb of Chicago.
    More about Barrington
  16. 16

    Lincolnshire

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 6 reviews
    Works Here:Lincolnshire is A great a great town in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago. It is about forty five minutes away from the city, which makes this town a quiet, respectable and clean town. I have been working in this beautiful and quiet town for three years now and absolutely love the ambience. It is heavily forested and there are always wild animals such as coyotes, deeds, skinks and the occasional wolf roaming around. In Lincolnshire one almost always needs personal transportation to go from one place to their desired destination. Commuting to and fro Lincolnshire, might be an issue for people without a car. My only suggestion for change in this town will be to add more public transportation.
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  17. 17

    Northbrook

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 35 reviews
    Nearby Resident:My experience is mostly at Glenbrook North High School. There is opportunity for success if you go out and look for it yourself. They are not a typical High School and offer many more courses and opportunities than any High School I have ever heard of. Courses such as human anatomy, welding, and automotive. Northbrook is very community oriented and involved with the High School. Every year there is Burger Day at the local McDonald's where everyone gathers from the two local High Schools and have a good time.
    More about Northbrook
  18. 18

    Vernon Hills

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 75 reviews
    Current Resident:Great area! It's pretty safe, pretty diverse. It's safe to say that it's mostly a privileged area. Restaurants and shopping boutiques/corners are everywhere!
    More about Vernon Hills
  19. 19

    Oak Park

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 90 reviews
    Niche User:I've lived in Oak Park for over 20 years and I wouldn't live anywhere else. The architecture, the close proximity of restaurants, parks, stores and the movie theater are perfect. You can literally walk from one end of Oak Park to the other (which I have) The people are great and usually will say hi to you when you walk down the street. It is clean, our Police and Fire Departments are the best, bar none. Always polite and caring.

    But it's the homes and the history that will draw you here. Oak Park has the largest concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the world with his home/studio located here. Walking tours are highly recommended so you can see the pure genius of this Prairie Style inventor. There are no cookie cutter homes here. Each one is unique and a testament to the architects of the time.

    If you love nature and parks, Oak Park is the place for you having just been designated a living arboretum! Each park is meticulously maintained and accessible to all.

    I feel very fortunate to live here and so will you.
    More about Oak Park
  20. 20

    Deer Park

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 1 review
  21. 21

    Glenview

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 73 reviews
    Former Resident:I grew up in Glenview, IL for 10 years. I was 13 when I first arrived to the states from West Africa. Glenview was the first location that welcomed me. I felt safe within the neighborhood and was never discriminated upon. Even though, I do not live in Glenview, IL anymore, it is always a place I call home. A quiet suburban neighborhood with nearby suburbs/villages/towns, like Niles, Northbrook, etc. Glenview, IL has a nice scenic area called The Glen and a lively downtown, nicely remodeled library and great schools for the kids. It is kids- friendly with a huge park for families, Flick Park with a community pool. Nearby police headquarters and fire department for safety and well as community center that is up-to-date. Shout out to my high school, The Titans, Glenbrook South High School. Glenview, IL is a place to raise a family and live a peacefully.
    More about Glenview
  22. 22

    Riverwoods

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 6 reviews
    Current Resident:Beautiful location, tucked away surrounding some busy suburban areas. Has moments of heavy traffic on main roads but otherwise fairly quiet. Now that we have our own police and fire station, response time is better. New town hall is being built. Fairly good location with minimum 10 minute drive to nearest grocery store and town center. Plentiful options for public schooling, all great options. Cost and quality of life is high.
    More about Riverwoods
  23. 23

    La Grange

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 21 reviews
    Current Resident:LaGrange is a very family oriented neighborhood with an excellent school system. I have lived in LaGrange since first grade. I am one of the few African Americans that live in this neighborhood. Although, it is not racially diverse the people will make you feel comfortable no matter what your ethnicity is. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
    More about La Grange
  24. 24

    Libertyville

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 76 reviews
    Current Resident:Libertyville is by far one of the best communities to raise a family in along with living close to one of the nation's biggest cities, but living far enough away to live without the crime and traffic. The schools are top notch, the downtown area is so perfect for a family stroll or late night bar hopping, and the people are extremely nice. I have nothing bad to say about Libertyville, it's a wonderful community!
    More about Libertyville
  25. 25

    Northfield

    • Suburb of Chicago, IL
    • 2 reviews
    Niche User:It's a very quiet little town, on the cusp of our larger neighboring towns. It has a cute town center with great food and a beautiful park.
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