Safest Cities in Illinois – 2020

Last Updated on January 19, 2020

Illinois’s crime situation is a mixed bag: its property crime rate is a touch below the national rate, while the state’s violent crime rate is about 10% higher than national levels. The statewide violent crime rate is no doubt elevated by high crime in Chicago, Illinois’s largest city, which is plagued by violent crime nearly three times the national rate.

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Crime rate per 1,000
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Law enforcement per 1,000

In contrast, many Illinois communities achieved remarkably low crime rates in 2018, with each of the state’s 5 safest cities experiencing about a quarter of the statewide average of violent crime, or less. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Campton Hills is Illinois’s safest community. The Kane County village is 54 miles west of Chicago, yet still considered part of the large city’s expansive metropolitan area. With just 1 recorded violent crime and 17 property crimes in 2018, Campton Hills is in a class of its own compared to other Illinois communities.

Illinois’ 2nd safest municipality is Channahon, a village of 12.8K that straddles Will and Grundy counties. Like #1 Campton Hills, Channahon logged less than 10 violent crimes in 2018, while its property crime rate is less-than-a-quarter of national levels.

#3 Palatine is a northwestern suburb of Chicago located in Cook County. The village’s remarkable violent crime rate of 0.41 per 1,000 is even lower than that of the prior entry, yet its slightly higher rate of property crime (despite being just 25% of the national rate) drops it a bit.

Palos Hills is Illinois’ 4th safest municipality. The Cook County city recorded a violent crime rate of around 1 offense per 1000 people in 2018, which is just 25% of the Illinois rate. Palos Hills’ property crime rate is impressive as well, at 4.84 per 1K.

Filling out Illinois’ top 5 is Hanover Park, a village in Cook and Dupage counties that recorded violent and property crime rates only slightly higher than those of #4 Palos Hills.

Illinois’s Safest Cities

ILCityPopulationViolent
crime
Property
crime
Law enforcement
employees
Total crimesCrime rate per 1,000Violent crimes per 1,000Property crimes per 1,000Law enforcement per 1,000
1Campton Hills113051175181.590.091.500.44
2Channahon1283795825675.220.704.521.95
3Palatine68648283581283865.620.415.221.86
4Palos Hills173381884341025.881.044.841.96
5Hanover Park3797143194812376.241.135.112.13
6South Elgin226272497351215.351.064.291.55
7Deerfield190494137531417.400.217.192.78
8Shorewood1748214101331156.580.805.781.89
9Lindenhurst14450135815714.910.904.011.04
10Hinsdale17831298241005.610.115.501.35
11Plano1169297224816.930.776.162.05
12Highland Park2976424198692227.460.816.652.32
13Round Lake1845418108301266.830.985.851.63
14Warrenville1328013108391219.110.988.132.94
15Lockport2551017177441947.600.676.941.72
16St. Charles3276445232622778.451.377.081.89
17Morton1630218103231217.421.106.321.41
18Chatham127701882201007.831.416.421.57
19Waterloo10408137318868.261.257.011.73
20Arlington Heights75688286281306568.670.378.301.72
21Elmhurst47025234451064689.950.499.462.25
22Pekin32541136156592928.974.184.791.81
23Plainfield4452554328713828.581.217.371.59
24Bolingbrook754511125921297049.331.487.851.71
25Vernon Hills26429152956731011.730.5711.162.54
26Burbank28771602425730210.502.098.411.98
27McHenry26893482887633612.491.7810.712.83
28Carol Stream40019334118744411.090.8210.272.17
29West Chicago27174342455027910.271.259.021.84
30La Grange15583151533116810.780.969.821.99
31Addison367916146413052514.271.6612.613.53
32Villa Park21806272324925911.881.2410.642.25
33Mount Prospect538883255810259010.950.5910.351.89
34Morton Grove23123102855829512.760.4312.332.51
35Rolling Meadows23970152845729912.470.6311.852.38
36Roscoe104661093151039.840.968.891.43
37Glendale Heights34030183977141512.200.5311.672.09
38Bourbonnais18388331542618710.171.798.381.41
39Lake Zurich1993052594826413.250.2513.002.41
40Western Springs1355421542415611.510.1511.361.77
41Melrose Park25164853168540115.943.3812.563.38
42Elk Grove Village327232348510350815.520.7014.823.15
43Oak Forest27644373045334112.341.3411.001.92
44Des Plaines581553972511676413.140.6712.471.99
45Crest Hill21221422033224511.551.989.571.51
46Northbrook3342465129151815.500.1815.322.72
47Downers Grove49626495637861212.330.9911.341.57
48Tinley Park56638236948971712.660.4112.251.57
49Bensenville18324202724129215.941.0914.842.24
50Burr Ridge1085231903019317.780.2817.512.76
51Ottawa18096153104932517.960.8317.132.71
52Carpentersville38220344966053013.870.8912.981.57
53Batavia26614343694740315.141.2813.861.77
54Swansea13506141922320615.251.0414.221.70
55Schiller Park11617172193523620.321.4618.853.01
56Mokena20507112953330614.920.5414.391.61
57Elgin1130602351713233194817.232.0815.152.06
58Orland Park59064201015124103517.520.3417.182.10
59Morris14798162382925417.161.0816.081.96
60Lyons10563111151012611.931.0410.890.95
61Joliet1485534862312340279818.843.2715.562.29
62Macomb18124562282828415.673.0912.581.54
63Crystal Lake40345386487368617.000.9416.061.81
64Bloomington780973391193163153219.624.3415.282.09
65River Forest11125142332924722.201.2620.942.61
66O’Fallon29354815436962421.262.7618.502.35
67Mattoon17794992814238021.365.5615.792.36
68Niles29433346056963921.711.1620.562.34
69Evanston747801401702215184224.631.8722.762.88
70Pontiac11795401721821217.973.3914.581.53
71Summit11310402413328124.853.5421.312.92
72Fox Lake10535172563227325.911.6124.303.04
73Bloomingdale22008324885552023.631.4522.172.50
74Alsip19050244274445123.671.2622.412.31
75Lombard43794528567790820.731.1919.551.76
76Normal5452511998591110420.252.1818.071.67
77Freeport23887495726562126.002.0523.952.72
78Round Lake Beach27534345094254319.721.2318.491.53
79Oak Park523131151243131135825.962.2023.762.50
80Chicago Ridge14167183583537626.541.2725.272.47
81Rock Island3798599986108108528.562.6125.962.84
82Cicero823103141770179208425.323.8121.502.17
83Effingham12624433403938330.343.4126.933.09
84Rantoul12741353493838430.142.7527.392.98
85Midlothian14607263302835624.371.7822.591.92
86Streator13038313022533325.542.3823.161.92
87Chicago271915127357865131408611387041.8810.0631.825.18
88Machesney Park22627574162647320.902.5218.391.15
89Carbondale258161117607687133.744.3029.442.94
90Moline420512281050100127830.395.4224.972.38
91East Peoria226401145845169830.835.0425.802.25
92Gurnee3069844108596112936.781.4335.343.13
93Jacksonville18320655194358431.883.5528.332.35
94Granite City285932197296894833.157.6625.502.38
95Champaign883266021998149260029.446.8222.621.69
96Herrin12930353762541131.792.7129.081.93
97Decatur716253582050154240833.625.0028.622.15
98DeKalb43064228110578133330.955.2925.661.81
99Alton2656317199478116543.866.4437.422.94
100Quincy40249252128888154038.266.2632.002.19
101Kankakee2603223087169110142.298.8433.462.65
102Homewood19056467864683243.662.4141.252.41
103Cahokia14004756043467948.495.3643.132.43
104Rockford14619820275368339739550.5813.8636.722.32
105Peoria1125958604509226536947.687.6440.052.01
106Centralia123721574993065653.0212.6940.332.42
107Springfield1146239555487268644256.208.3347.872.34
108Danville31203559150873206766.2417.9148.332.34

Methodology

To identify the safest cities, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and cities with populations under 10,000. This left 3,381 cities (out of a total of 9,251). 

There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”

We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and normalized.

Data from 2,831 law enforcement agencies was then collected to determine police adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees).  We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. This variable was also transformed and normalized.

Finally, the two variables were combined to create a safety score for each city.