Safest Cities in Illinois

Illinois displays quite the range of cities, spanning from rural farmland to the bustling metropolis of Chicago. Chicago serves as a major international travel hub and is a melting pot of culture and culinary prowess. The rest of the state is what gives Illinois the title, “The Prairie State,” as farmland and rolling hills span as far as the eye can see. Chicago was where the world’s first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building, was built back in 1885 - at 10 stories tall. Of course, that pales in comparison with what’s there today, including the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), sitting at 108 stories tall. There’s quite a rich architectural history to be told here, but most fan favorites take a different turn and revolve around the famous mob boss, Al Capone, who essentially ruled the city during Prohibition. Every year, Chicago dyes their river green for St. Patrick’s day - just for fun. The city is home to the largest public library in the state as well as the Art Institute of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium; there’s no shortage of things to do in this city! Another major bragging point for the state is that it was the very first to abolish slavery, making it a leader in human rights. Many prominent figures in history were born here, including former presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

4 % of U.S. population
2.22 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
17.99 above average U.S. property crime rate

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  WATERLOO

Classic brick buildings line Waterloo’s downtown area which is home to beautiful churches and restaurants with impressive culinary creativity. At the south end of the city you’ll find a long, winding creek, Schorr Lake, and a beautiful vineyard where you can buy their local wine. Their schools are very highly rated and one of the safest places in the state, making it a wonderful place to live. Each year, Waterloo hosts a Pumpkin Fest, a Homecoming fair in Courthouse Square, the Monroe County Fair, and a “Sister City” celebration honoring the culture of their German sister city - complete with a parade and marching bands.

10,224 Population
1 Violent Crimes
29 Property Crimes

2. WESTERN SPRINGS

Western Springs is an affluent suburb of Chicago with charm to spare. Most streets are lined with beautiful homes and immaculate landscaping, with parks or soccer nets or other areas for kids to play. The median family income is around $140,000, making it a prestigious place to live. Western Springs was home to quite a few notable people, including Brian Campbell of the Chicago Blackhawks, novelist Jonathan Franzen, and evangelist Billy Graham. Foodies are in heaven here and their recreation department is incredibly active, offering 50+ community activities to get involved in, encouraging a sense of community that is second to none.

13,359 Population
1 Violent Crimes
42 Property Crimes

3. WINFIELD

Winfield is home to one of the largest hospitals in the Chicago suburbs, the Central DuPage Hospital. It also has a stop on the Metra station, providing an easy commute to the city. When you visit, be sure to stop at John’s Restaurant and Tavern, one of the oldest taverns in the area, at almost 100 years old. Spanning only around 3 square miles, this city has a lot to offer - a forest preserve, a bike trail that runs alongside the DuPage River, and a beautifully designed golf course. The quiet neighborhoods are perfect for raising a family and the school districts are some of the best around. Each year, there’s a citywide garage sale, a comic convention, adult Easter egg hunt, and much more.

9,679 Population
3 Violent Crimes
27 Property Crimes

4. HAWTHORN WOODS

Hawthorn Woods has a lot going on. Every year, it hosts a Superhero Glow Run 5k, the Divas Half Marathon and 5k, the Shamrockers Ball, a winter carnival, summer concerts in the park, movies in the park, parades, craft fairs, and the list goes on and on. There’s a huge outdoor aquatic center for summer’s hot days, plenty of ponds and lakes in the area, an active parks and recreation department that offers a variety of activities throughout the year, and a golf course at Hawthorn Woods Country Club which was designed by Arnold Palmer. Their schools are ranked among the best in Illinois, with high graduation rates and most students continuing to higher education. It is not very densely populated, at 7,905 people in its 7.92 square miles with a median household income of $132,720, making it a prestigious city to live in.

7,905 Population
1 Violent Crimes
28 Property Crimes

5. CAMPTON HILLS

Another suburb of Chicago, Campton Hills is located in Kane County. It’s rather large, at 17 square miles, but with 11,366 residents it’s relatively sparsely populated. It - like the others above - is an affluent area with a median family income of $137,500. With farmland surrounding most housing developments, there’s a lot of wide-open space, including two forest preserves. The downtown area is quaint but close to bigger cities and their amenities. Campton Hills is actively pursuing the preservation of its natural resources, bettering its school districts, and maintaining family values, all while pursuing effective economic development.

11,366 Population
4 Violent Crimes
36 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in Illinois, 2017

1. Waterloo

11. Mascoutah

21. Deerfield

31. Mount Zion

41. Hanover Park

2. Western Springs

12. Buffalo Grove

22. Pinckneyville

32. Greenville

42. Arlington Heights

3. Winfield

13. Lake in the Hills

23. Winnetka

33. Mahomet

43. Palatine

4. Hawthorn Woods

14. Bartlett

24. Cary

34. Morton

44. Lake Bluff

5. Campton Hills

15. La Grange Park

25. Wauconda

35. Burr Ridge

45. Hoffman Estates

6. Channahon

16. Clarendon Hills

26. Lake Forest

36. Prospect Heights

46. Washington

7. Willow Springs

17. Homer Glen

27. Monticello

37. Frankfort

47. Lockport

8. Manhattan

18. Northfield

28. Hampshire

38. Huntley

48. Hinsdale

9. Lindenhurst

19. Palos Hills

29. Roselle

39. Highwood

49. Lake Villa

10. Lakemoor

20. Lincolnshire

30. Wheaton

40. Glencoe

50. Lisle

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Illinois, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000.


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

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