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While Chicago’s violent crime problem often gets national attention, the city’s suburbs are among the safest and best places to raise a family in the country. In fact, 14 smaller Illinois cities–the majority of which are found in greater Chicagoland– earned a score of 0.6 or higher on our Safety Index, which is very good. Here’s a look at the Land of Lincoln’s top five safest cities.

Two Chicago suburbs share the distinction of being named Illinois’ safest city, each earning an excellent 0.91 Safety Index score: Warrenville, a modestly sized community in DuPage County, and Deerfield, a wealthy north shore suburb. Both are terrific places to raise a family and kickstart a career, with award-winning public school systems and thriving local economies. Deerfield edges out Warrenville in violent crime, logging just 0.26 incidents per 1,000 residents, while the latter boasts a slightly lower property crime rate. 

The third spot is shared by three other Chicagoland suburbs, each earning a Safety Index score of 0.75: Elk Grove Village, Burr Ridge, and Wood Dale. Let’s have a glance at all three.

Elk Grove Village is a near northwest Chicago suburb that recorded a violent crime rate over ten times lower than the large city that it borders. Elk Grove is home to the largest business park in the country, which is the center of employment for many residents and inhabitants of neighboring communities, alike.

As one of the richest communities in Illinois, Burr Ridge is a bit more exclusive than middle-class Elk Grove Village. The city of nearly 11,000 recorded just 9 violent crimes in 2017, rendering it a very safe place to raise a family if you can afford the real estate.

Wood Dale, the third of our three third-place entries, is a DuPage County suburb with low violent and property crime rates and a high law enforcement to resident ratio of 2.97.

Safest Cities in Illinois, 2019

RankCitySafety Index
1Warrenville0.91
2Deerfield0.91
3Elk Grove Village0.75
4Burr Ridge0.75
5Wood Dale0.75
6Mundelein0.7
7Winnetka0.68
8Lake Zurich0.67
9Vernon Hills0.66
10Buffalo Grove0.62
11Palos Hills0.62
12Columbia0.62
13Hanover Park0.61
14Plano0.6
15Wilmette0.58
16Bartlett0.57
17Western Springs0.56
18Lockport0.56
19Schiller Park0.56
20Evergreen Park0.56
21Carol Stream0.54
22Park Ridge0.53
23Mount Prospect0.53
24Hoffman Estates0.52
25Yorkville0.52
26McHenry0.51
27Hickory Hills0.51
28Arlington Heights0.5
29Des Plaines0.5
30Glendale Heights0.5
31Orland Park0.5
32Villa Park0.49
33Evanston0.47
34Hinsdale0.47
35Brookfield0.47
36Shorewood0.46
37Effingham0.45
38Westmont0.45
39Oswego0.45
40La Grange0.44
41Roscoe0.44
42Downers Grove0.43
43Round Lake0.42
44Bensenville0.42
45West Chicago0.41
46Wheaton0.41
47St. Charles0.4
48Oak Lawn0.39
49Alsip0.39
50Oak Forest0.39
51Glenview0.39
52Morton0.38
53Berwyn0.37
54Schaumburg0.37
55Campton Hills0.36
56Plainfield0.36
57Sycamore0.35
58Westchester0.34
59Antioch0.33
60Tinley Park0.32
61Mokena0.32
62Lindenhurst0.31
63South Elgin0.31
64Woodstock0.3
65Crystal Lake0.3
66Elgin0.3
67Lyons0.3
68Charleston0.28
69Burbank0.27
70Gurnee0.26
71Carpentersville0.26
72Lombard0.26
73Morris0.26
74O'Fallon0.26
75Chicago Ridge0.24
76Collinsville0.19
77Fox Lake0.17
78Elmwood Park0.16
79Rantoul0.15
80Bradley0.14
81Park Forest0.14
82Skokie0.1
83Crest Hill0.09
84Bourbonnais0.08
85Midlothian0.07
86Freeport0.05
87Rock Island0.05
88Joliet0.04
89Oak Park-0.01
90Streator-0.05
91Macomb-0.05
92Mattoon-0.07
93Cicero-0.08
94Pontiac-0.1
95Machesney Park-0.13
96Bloomington-0.14
97Waukegan-0.14
98Wood River-0.19
99Carbondale-0.2
100Jacksonville-0.32
101Kewanee-0.37
102Belleville-0.4
103De Kalb-0.43
104Moline-0.46
105Quincy-0.53
106Decatur-0.54
107Chicago-0.57
108Riverdale-0.83
109Champaign-0.9
110Springfield-1.52
111Rockford-2.2
112Danville-2.82

Methodology

We used the most recent FBI crime statistics to create state rankings. There were initially 7,430 cities in the data set. After filtering out the cities with populations of less than 10,000, 2,929 cities remained. We then calculated violent crime rates and property crime rates by dividing the crime numbers by the population to get rates per 1,000. We also calculated the ratio of law enforcement workers to per 1,000. These were weighted with -50% for the violent crime rate, -25% for the property crime rate, and +25% for the law enforcement rate. The resulting metric gave us a the safety index score. The higher this number more safe the city is.

Did your district make the list? Share the good news!

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