The 10 Best Neighborhoods In Chicago For 2021


We used science and data to determine which neighborhoods in Chicago are the best of the best.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best neighborhoods to live in Chicago.
Best Neighborhoods In Chicago

How do you get your hands on one of Chicago's best neighborhoods? HomeSnacks has the answer here.

We know that when people are searching for the best neighborhood they are also looking for things like nice looking homes, great parks, and friendly neighbors; and Chicago's best neighborhoods have all that and then some. But, in order to rank the top ten, we had to give each neighborhood an actual concrete score. We call this a neighborhoods overall 'snackability'.

So, how did we determine Chicago's snackability? We consulted the latest data on income levels, unemployment rates, crime, and home prices for 77 Chicago neighborhoods with over 2,000 residents, and the top ten best neighborhoods in Chi-town for 2021 can be found below. Incidentally, this is our seventh time ranking Chicago's best neighborhoods, so trust us when we say that these are Chicago's best of the best.

Folks, there's a lot of fun to be had in Chicago's best neighborhoods. For example, you can walk Lake Michigan's shoreline for exercise if you choose to live in Lake View, you can visit the zoo daily if you choose Lincoln Park, and you can attend one of Chicago's best festivals if you choose to live in Edison Park.

Yes, the biggest cities in most states do tend to have the most problems; and while Chicago does have its fair share of problems and some pretty dangerous neighborhoods, it does have some of the best, most unique, neighborhoods to call home.

So, grab yourself a slice of deep dish 'za, head to a shady park in Forest Glen, and read on.

HomeSnacks is not your just your average website. We've been researching and ranking states and cities based on all types of criteria for the last five years. We've had more than 50 million people read our published articles and we've been featured in hundreds of media outlets for our best of the best rankings, including this Illinois feature by Patch.com. So, yes, we know what we're talking about.

So, what's the best neighborhood in Chicago for 2021? That would be North Center.

To see how your favorite Chicagoland neighborhoods compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

For more Illinois reading, check out:

The 10 Best Neighborhoods To Live In Chicago

North Center Chicago, IL

Source: Public domain

Population: 34,931
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $545,871 (best)
Median Income: $99,384 (Third best)
More on North Center: Homes For Sale | Data

Lake View Chicago, IL

Population: 97,804
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $373,419 (Seventh best)
Median Income: $88,165 (Ninth best)
More on Lake View: Homes For Sale | Data

Lincoln Park Chicago, IL

Population: 64,965
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $508,008 (Second best)
Median Income: $99,720 (Second best)
More on Lincoln Park: Homes For Sale | Data

Edison Park Chicago, IL

Source: Public domain

Population: 11,128
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $345,364 (Eighth best)
Median Income: $98,327 (Fifth best)
More on Edison Park: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 41,305
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $381,276 (Sixth best)
Median Income: $72,563 (13th best)
More on Lincoln Square: Homes For Sale | Data

Near North Side Chicago, IL

Population: 83,049
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $434,335 (Third best)
Median Income: $97,802 (Seventh best)
More on Near North Side: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 73,470
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $338,254 (Ninth best)
Median Income: $67,769 (17th best)
More on Logan Square: Homes For Sale | Data

Forest Glen Chicago, IL

Population: 18,298
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $421,818 (Fourth best)
Median Income: $112,032 (best)
More on Forest Glen: Homes For Sale | Data

West Town Chicago, IL

Population: 84,995
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $407,865 (Fifth best)
Median Income: $81,403 (Tenth best)
More on West Town: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 51,193
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $273,641 (18th best)
Median Income: $58,075 (26th best)
More on Albany Park: Homes For Sale | Data

How We Determined The Best Chicago, IL Neighborhoods In 2021

In order to rank the best neighborhoods in Chicago, we had to determine what criteria defines a "best".

Using crime, census, and extrapolated BLS data, we arrived at the following set of criteria:

  • High incomes
  • Low unemployment rates
  • Low crime
  • High home prices
  • High population densities (A proxy for things to do)

We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 77 in each category, where 1 was the best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a best neighborhood index.

And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest best neighborhood index the "Best City Neighborhood In Chicago." We're lookin' at you, North Center.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best places Chicago, Illinois has to offer. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from best to worst.

Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of The Best Neighborhoods In Chicago

If you're measuring the neighborhoods in Chicago where crime is low and everyone wants to live, this is an accurate list.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Chicago aren't all good. Riverdale takes the title of the worst neighborhood to live in Chicago.

We ranked the neighborhoods from best to worst in the chart below.

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods To Live In Chicago For 2021

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 North Center 34,931 $545,871 $99,384
2 Lake View 97,804 $373,419 $88,165
3 Lincoln Park 64,965 $508,008 $99,720
4 Edison Park 11,128 $345,364 $98,327
5 Lincoln Square 41,305 $381,276 $72,563
6 Near North Side 83,049 $434,335 $97,802
7 Logan Square 73,470 $338,254 $67,769
8 Forest Glen 18,298 $421,818 $112,032
9 West Town 84,995 $407,865 $81,403
10 Albany Park 51,193 $273,641 $58,075
11 Norwood Park 37,477 $293,731 $77,558
12 Irving Park 55,070 $291,907 $62,620
13 Jefferson Park 26,594 $282,741 $69,751
14 Edgewater 48,951 $241,938 $51,873
15 Near South Side 21,930 $318,671 $80,646
16 Dunning 43,244 $229,478 $60,896
17 Loop 32,384 $331,150 $98,220
18 Mount Greenwood 18,990 $224,582 $91,682
19 West Ridge 73,660 $235,196 $54,223
20 Avondale 37,884 $282,354 $49,249
21 Beverly 20,831 $289,660 $99,102
22 Pottage Park 64,285 $248,275 $59,222
23 Hyde Park 24,100 $272,248 $56,899
24 Montclare 12,903 $197,208 $52,361
25 Bridgeport 32,495 $270,989 $46,467
26 Uptown 55,359 $205,151 $47,665
27 Hermosa 24,225 $229,088 $39,659
28 North Park 18,562 $282,400 $62,644
29 West Elsdon 19,771 $164,933 $53,245
30 Belmont Cragin 77,859 $204,209 $46,654
31 Rogers Park 53,183 $195,897 $38,837
32 Clearing 24,934 $174,810 $61,588
33 Brighton Park 44,212 $168,703 $39,500
34 Garfield Ridge 35,441 $197,874 $69,182
35 Near West Side 61,845 $248,351 $64,399
36 West Lawn 33,314 $161,496 $52,390
37 Kenwood 14,112 $250,519 $47,591
38 Ashburn 43,133 $159,289 $66,956
39 O'hare 12,706 $154,657 $47,915
40 South Lawndale 73,519 $138,019 $32,212
41 Lower West Side 33,150 $208,108 $40,724
42 Mckinley Park 16,026 $199,955 $43,639
43 Morgan Park 23,647 $186,465 $69,655
44 Gage Park 40,693 $128,630 $40,566
45 Hegewisch 9,039 $140,800 $61,614
46 Armour Square 13,391 $221,250 $27,790
47 Archer Heights 13,239 $187,340 $46,363
48 Humboldt Park 55,833 $154,009 $36,095
49 Calumet Heights 13,240 $152,919 $49,176
50 Douglas 19,514 $145,570 $39,212
51 Washington Heights 26,845 $130,192 $49,725
52 East Side 22,550 $117,919 $44,652
53 Austin 97,012 $149,598 $36,124
54 Grand Boulevard 22,603 $158,817 $36,187
55 Avalon Park 9,638 $159,970 $45,242
56 South Shore 47,197 $167,563 $26,786
57 Chicago Lawn 53,841 $124,714 $34,909
58 Oakland 5,180 $157,000 $35,228
59 West Garfield Park 17,277 $140,887 $24,266
60 Woodlawn 22,658 $130,409 $25,807
61 East Garfield Park 20,100 $150,056 $27,141
62 Auburn Gresham 45,607 $115,671 $32,470
63 New City 41,153 $110,614 $32,588
64 Roseland 42,306 $111,072 $39,535
65 Chatham 30,760 $100,130 $35,343
66 North Lawndale 35,417 $126,400 $26,510
67 West Pullman 27,416 $99,938 $36,883
68 Grand Crossing 32,217 $112,668 $30,799
69 South Chicago 27,113 $101,252 $32,122
70 Pullman 6,565 $107,912 $38,397
71 South Deering 14,598 $88,955 $37,207
72 Burnside 2,423 $100,900 $25,642
73 West Englewood 30,662 $90,438 $30,441
74 Fuller Park 2,348 $109,700 $22,962
75 Washington Park 11,871 $104,058 $24,556
76 Englewood 25,858 $70,261 $23,317
77 Riverdale 7,361 $24,186 $15,894

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.