The 10 Best Counties To Live In Illinois For 2022


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Illinois have the most for people looking to make the move to Illinois.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Illinois a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Illinois.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Prairie State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of Illinois, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 102 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Prairie State for 2022.

Monroe County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Illinois. And you might want to avoid Alexander County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move Illinois, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Illinois and the cheapest places to live in Illinois.

The Best Counties To Live In Illinois For 2022

1. Monroe County

Columbia, IL

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Columbia

Population: 34,444
Median Income: $89,648.0 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $220,600.0 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.4% (3rd best)
More on Monroe County: PhotosData

2. Menard County

Athens, IL

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Petersburg

Population: 12,261
Median Income: $77,550.0 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $151,900.0 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (48th best)
More on Menard County: PhotosData

3. Piatt County

Monticello, IL

Biggest Place: Monticello

Population: 16,412
Median Income: $73,668.0 (11th best)
Median Home Price: $143,000.0 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (20th best)
More on Piatt County: PhotosData

4. Grundy County

Biggest Place: Morris

Population: 50,798
Median Income: $75,767.0 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $199,800.0 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (38th best)
More on Grundy County: PhotosData

5. Kendall County

Aurora, IL

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Aurora

Population: 127,583
Median Income: $96,854.0 (best)
Median Home Price: $243,700.0 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (27th best)
More on Kendall County: PhotosData

6. Putnam County

Biggest Place: Granville

Population: 5,720
Median Income: $64,694.0 (19th best)
Median Home Price: $134,800.0 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (6th best)
More on Putnam County: Data

7. Mchenry County

Barrington Hills, IL

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Crystal Lake

Population: 307,291
Median Income: $90,014.0 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $234,000.0 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (45th best)
More on Mchenry County: PhotosData

8. Calhoun County

Source: Public Domain

Biggest Place: Hardin

Population: 4,782
Median Income: $66,602.0 (17th best)
Median Home Price: $131,800.0 (28th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (39th best)
More on Calhoun County: Data

9. Jersey County

Jerseyville, IL

Biggest Place: Jerseyville

Population: 21,776
Median Income: $67,845.0 (15th best)
Median Home Price: $148,800.0 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (3best)
More on Jersey County: PhotosData

10. Washington County

Centralia, IL

Biggest Place: Centralia

Population: 13,967
Median Income: $64,390.0 (20th best)
Median Home Price: $117,400.0 (39th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (56th best)
More on Washington County: PhotosData

Methodology: How do you determine which Illinois county is the best?

To give you the best county in Illinois, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a “best county” and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Illinois across each of the criteria from one to 102, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the “Best County To Live In Illinois”.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Prairie State.

Read on to see why Monroe County is the best county, while Alexander County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Illinois.

Summary: The Best Counties In Illinois To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Illinois can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in Illinois according to the data:

  1. Alexander County
  2. Saline County
  3. Marion County

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Illinois

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Monroe County 1 34,444 $89,648.0 $220,600.0
Menard County 2 12,261 $77,550.0 $151,900.0
Piatt County 3 16,412 $73,668.0 $143,000.0
Grundy County 4 50,798 $75,767.0 $199,800.0
Kendall County 5 127,583 $96,854.0 $243,700.0
Putnam County 6 5,720 $64,694.0 $134,800.0
Mchenry County 7 307,291 $90,014.0 $234,000.0
Calhoun County 8 4,782 $66,602.0 $131,800.0
Jersey County 9 21,776 $67,845.0 $148,800.0
Washington County 10 13,967 $64,390.0 $117,400.0
Woodford County 11 38,503 $74,777.0 $170,800.0
Mercer County 12 15,503 $57,182.0 $111,000.0
Jo Daviess County 13 21,429 $59,223.0 $156,300.0
Tazewell County 14 132,524 $66,220.0 $142,300.0
Mclean County 15 172,164 $68,037.0 $166,400.0
Dupage County 16 926,005 $94,930.0 $315,600.0
Clark County 17 15,602 $59,481.0 $94,900.0
Cumberland County 18 10,787 $59,271.0 $106,300.0
Shelby County 19 21,623 $59,134.0 $105,500.0
Henry County 20 49,032 $60,000.0 $122,200.0
Will County 21 689,704 $90,800.0 $239,400.0
Effingham County 22 34,151 $59,932.0 $151,700.0
Scott County 23 4,982 $59,352.0 $91,800.0
Logan County 24 28,818 $58,122.0 $107,600.0
Lee County 25 34,204 $59,986.0 $122,600.0
De Witt County 26 15,764 $57,727.0 $103,600.0
Marshall County 27 11,562 $57,303.0 $105,700.0
Clinton County 28 37,549 $67,179.0 $145,700.0
Kane County 29 531,756 $83,374.0 $245,500.0
Lake County 30 699,682 $92,654.0 $271,700.0
Hancock County 31 17,820 $55,818.0 $88,500.0
Lasalle County 32 108,998 $60,069.0 $130,600.0
Bond County 33 16,520 $53,568.0 $116,900.0
Bureau County 34 32,878 $55,549.0 $103,900.0
Whiteside County 35 55,583 $57,172.0 $107,800.0
Adams County 36 65,670 $55,052.0 $130,500.0
Livingston County 37 35,757 $58,676.0 $114,000.0
Boone County 38 53,293 $70,396.0 $160,600.0
Madison County 39 264,403 $64,045.0 $138,500.0
Sangamon County 40 195,963 $61,743.0 $144,100.0
Douglas County 41 19,551 $59,620.0 $120,500.0
Christian County 42 32,705 $52,120.0 $93,200.0
Greene County 43 12,988 $51,746.0 $83,400.0
Moultrie County 44 14,557 $64,033.0 $108,300.0
Champaign County 45 210,006 $53,936.0 $166,600.0
Randolph County 46 31,973 $55,319.0 $110,900.0
Wabash County 47 11,390 $48,878.0 $80,900.0
Henderson County 48 6,737 $55,759.0 $85,800.0
Richland County 49 15,677 $55,032.0 $88,800.0
Morgan County 50 34,012 $53,002.0 $109,700.0
Ogle County 51 50,793 $63,643.0 $150,400.0
Dekalb County 52 104,588 $62,353.0 $182,300.0
Macoupin County 53 45,243 $56,264.0 $102,900.0
Cook County 54 5,169,517 $67,886.0 $255,500.0
Jasper County 55 9,547 $55,911.0 $99,900.0
Brown County 56 6,599 $60,694.0 $99,800.0
Johnson County 57 12,391 $55,363.0 $117,500.0
Ford County 58 13,155 $50,582.0 $98,600.0
Williamson County 59 66,929 $52,076.0 $120,900.0
Kankakee County 60 109,924 $59,370.0 $152,800.0
Iroquois County 61 27,437 $54,445.0 $107,300.0
St. Clair County 62 261,186 $57,473.0 $134,800.0
Montgomery County 63 28,598 $54,886.0 $90,300.0
Stark County 64 5,393 $53,828.0 $87,500.0
Stephenson County 65 44,683 $50,466.0 $99,600.0
Perry County 66 21,092 $51,616.0 $85,700.0
Carroll County 67 14,398 $52,813.0 $102,200.0
Edgar County 68 17,272 $48,543.0 $82,800.0
Rock Island County 69 142,801 $55,980.0 $123,100.0
Winnebago County 70 283,635 $55,310.0 $121,400.0
Pike County 71 15,571 $46,605.0 $83,500.0
Hamilton County 72 8,151 $55,977.0 $104,900.0
Warren County 73 16,981 $54,291.0 $86,900.0
Crawford County 74 18,833 $50,968.0 $94,100.0
Clay County 75 13,217 $52,167.0 $84,400.0
Macon County 76 104,688 $53,725.0 $103,100.0
Fulton County 77 34,654 $52,243.0 $92,600.0
Peoria County 78 181,111 $55,729.0 $130,700.0
Pope County 79 4,177 $43,140.0 $114,600.0
Coles County 80 51,065 $46,411.0 $105,100.0
Wayne County 81 16,309 $50,205.0 $89,000.0
Cass County 82 12,324 $53,899.0 $81,700.0
Franklin County 83 38,688 $43,671.0 $77,000.0
Edwards County 84 6,431 $53,801.0 $81,000.0
Gallatin County 85 4,983 $43,092.0 $76,400.0
Mason County 86 13,486 $50,883.0 $87,600.0
Union County 87 16,829 $51,655.0 $110,500.0
Knox County 88 50,052 $44,464.0 $83,700.0
Mcdonough County 89 30,107 $43,591.0 $91,700.0
Massac County 90 14,041 $51,195.0 $88,500.0
Jackson County 91 57,517 $39,689.0 $114,300.0
Jefferson County 92 37,774 $51,662.0 $97,100.0
Lawrence County 93 15,830 $53,087.0 $80,500.0
Schuyler County 94 6,897 $51,376.0 $96,900.0
Fayette County 95 21,418 $45,634.0 $93,200.0
White County 96 13,712 $48,303.0 $75,400.0
Hardin County 97 3,890 $50,847.0 $77,500.0
Vermilion County 98 76,704 $46,842.0 $80,900.0
Pulaski County 99 5,414 $37,308.0 $61,300.0
Marion County 100 37,524 $49,925.0 $81,600.0
Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best counties to live in Illinois.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.