The Most Diverse Chicago Suburbs
Anyone familiar with Chicago will know that the suburbs can differ wildly – demographics, prices, and atmosphere can change in a matter of streets. We did some research to find out not only what are the most diverse suburbs in Chicago, but which have the best amenities for local residents, including schools, housing, and safety.
We gathered opinions from Reddit and searched through the niche.com list of the most diverse suburbs in Chicago, which is based on multiple public data sources, including the Department of Education, U.S. Census, and FBI.
Without further ado let’s look at the nine most diverse suburbs in Chicago with the best schools, safety, and amenities.
Median Home Value: $262,800
Median Rent: $1,145
Berkeley is a small suburb in Cook County that’s perfect for anyone looking for a quiet, peaceful yet open-minded village. There are only 5,116 residents but there is an almost equal demographic split between its Hispanic, Black, and white locals. As a small but mixed town, there’s a friendly, neighboring atmosphere, and Berkeley is rated the 6th most diverse Chicago suburb on niche.com.
Although there isn’t too much going on in sleepy Berkeley itself, the village is right next to Elmhurst, where you’ll find an award-winning downtown. Thanks to the metra station in Berkeley, you can also be at the Chicago loop in 35 minutes.
It has to be said that Berkeley may not have the best amenities for families, with an average rating for public schools and housing. Although York High is listed as an option on niche.com, the boundaries of the school service area end at Berkeley. There are always two sides of the same coin; with less competitive schools, house prices and rent in Berkeley are more than favorable, earning this village a place on our list of the most affordable and safe Chicago Suburbs too.
Berkeley, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for sale in Berkeley
Median Home Value: $233,000
Median Rent: $1,156
Homewood is diverse in all meanings of the word. There is a mix of demographics including age, education levels, and ethnicity. As such, the community has a far-reaching range of interests, which are well catered for by the local amenities.
Homewood is home to an ice rink, fitness centers, climbing walls, shopping centers, prairie trails, and children’s activity programs. There is a charming downtown with lots of shops, coffee places, and restaurants to choose from. If you’re the type to get bored, you’ll not only benefit from Homewood’s amenities, but you can also be at the Chicago loop in 35 minutes.
Although Homewood has plenty to offer, it still retains a peaceful small-town feel. Combined with its diverse community, it can be taken as a shining example of what suburban living in Chicago could be. This is perhaps why so many families choose Homewood as an affordable, friendly, and diverse neighborhood to settle down in. The schooling options are highly rated and although Homewood does back into a less safe neighborhood, Harvey, residents say they feel safe in their tight-knit community.
Homewood, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for Sale in Homewood
Median Home Value: $308,900
Median Rent: $1,156
Flossmoor is Homewood’s smaller and safer sister town. They sit side by side and share some amenities, like the A-rated Homewood-Flossmoor High School and the Ice Rink. Flossmoor earns its own ranking, as it is comparatively safer, has high-quality amenities across the board, and neighbors onto the Forest Preserves of Cook County.
Flossmoor has a cozy population of 9,472 with space to breathe, offering a sparse suburban feel. You can find many unusual, historical, and characterful homes for sale in Flossmoor, alongside more affordable single-family homes, condos, and apartments.
Flossmoor, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for Sale in Flossmoor
6. Oak Park
Median Home Value: $395,000
Median Rent: $1,475
Oak Park is a large suburb in Cook County and boasts a reasonably mixed population of 52, 233. Although Oak Park has a predominantly white population, locals rate it as being diverse and residents lean on the liberal side.
The short commuting distance to Chicago makes Oak Park popular with young professionals. Its enviable proximity to downtown means some home buyers will find this suburb a little expensive, with median house prices being somewhat higher than the average across Chicago. Still, many say this suburb is worth the price — Oak Park has excellent public schools, a brick-paved downtown packed with vibrant outlets, and is a mere 15-minute drive from the Chicago Loop. The only downside to consider is the risk of flooding that affects a handful of properties in the area, along with somewhat older housing stock.
Oak Park, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for Sale in Oak Park
Median Home Value: $279,400
Median Rent: $1,228
Aurora is the most populous location on our list of diverse Chicago suburbs and, like Evanston, is technically not a suburb – but it was too good to miss from the list.
This small city of 199, 927 sits snugly on the banks of the Fox River, where the historic buildings and bridges are a sight to behold.
Vibrant Aurora is known for being one of the tastiest places to live on the outskirts of Chicago, with a generous selection of humble but memorable eateries lining up along the river. Many families and young professionals move out to this liberal-leaning and diverse city and more than 60% of the residents are under 44 years old. Aurora has above-average schooling options and you’ll find plenty of acceptable establishments to choose from.
Aurora is on the western fringes of the Chicagoland metropolis – drive much further west and you’ll be in rural Illinois. Aurora is notably surrounded by industry, making it a good option for blue-collar workers. In general, the city is an ideal hometown if you can work locally but it’s getting a little far out from Chicago to commute every day (53 minutes by car). However, the further-out location pays dividends in more affordable house and rental prices.
Aurora, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for sale in Aurora
Median Home Value: $315,000
Median Rent: $1,386
Bolingbrook is the third most diverse suburb in Chicago according to niche.com and the welcomed absence of unofficial neighborhood segregation within the suburb means local residents enjoy the door-to-door diversity. It was also voted the second-best place to live in Will County, no doubt partly owing to its close proximity to popular attractions like Naperville, Chicago, Saganashkee Slough Woods and Waterfall Glenn.
Bolingbrook is a large town with a population of 74, 431. The area has seen significant development over the years and has a mall, state-of-the-art medical center, large public library, major highways, and public transportation. The safety ratings are average but the schooling options are A-rated and, overall, Bolingbrook is a good place to raise a family.
While residents are not served by the metra here, Pace park-n-ride buses to shuttle commuters back and forth between Chicago within 35 minutes. The Promenade Bolingbrook keeps the local area bustling with traders and customers alike. The main street has a scattering of popular restaurants, which includes one of Chicago’s all-time favorite chains, Portillo’s hotdogs.
Bolingbrook, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for Sale in Bolingbrook
Median Home Value: $249,000
Median Rent: $1,272
Glendale Heights proudly describes itself as a ‘proud and progressive village for all people’. The community demographics and scorecard certainly reflect those sentiments, putting Glendale Heights in our top three best diverse suburbs to live in Chicago. The demographics are evenly split between Asian, Hispanic, and white locals.
The suburb has a population of 34,079, who sit snugly together to form a town with a dense suburban feel. Glendale Heights is close by to the popular Glen Elynn, which has one of the best downtowns in the Chicago suburbs. But make no mistake, Glendale Heights lives in nobody’s shadow – this mellow suburb is respected for its great amenities across the board including highly-rated schools, good housing and safety. While rent can get a little on the expensive side, Glendale Heights has a mix of apartments and single-family homes to buy and offers plenty of affordable options for families and young professionals.
Glendale Heights, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for Sale in Glendale Heights
Median Home Value: $351,000
Median Rent: $1,371
If you ask Chicagoans which is the nicest diverse suburb, you’ll likely hear about Skokie. Many Evanston ex-pats relocate here for the comparatively cheaper house prices and suburban settle-down vibe. Skokie is liberal, welcomes people from all walks of life, and is well-known for its large Asian contingent, earning it a second place on our list of best diverse Chicago suburbs.
This town is self-dubbed ‘the world's largest village’ and, as you can expect from that title, is packed with things to do. Not only does Skokie benefit from being a stone’s throw from its big brother Evanston, but it has its own collection of museums, coffee shops, parks, bars, restaurants, shopping centers, and movie theaters.
Skokie is a fantastic Chicago suburb for families, young professionals, and retirees alike who are looking to settle down in a vibrant and cultured community. The schools are excellent, the parks are beautiful and the town comes with a guarantee that you’ll never be bored.
Skokie, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for Sale in Skokie
Median Home Value: $348,000
Median Rent: $1,376
You could say that Evanston is less of a suburb and more of a college town, but since it’s rated number one place to live in Cook County (by niche.com), we think it deserves a place on our countdown of the best diverse suburbs in Chicago. In fact, it tops our list.
With a population of 74, 587 and being home to Northwestern University, Evanston has an urban feel. Northwestern keeps fresh faces flowing through the town and there are signs of college life on every corner. All kinds of shops, bars, cultural establishments, and locally-owned businesses have flocked to the area to set up shop, offering Evanston residents all the spices of life.
The town is snuggled up against the beaches of Lake Michigan and offers spectacular views of the Chicago skyline. The streets are lined with trees and if you take a stroll in the summer, you’ll be smelling barbecues in backyards and chatting with friendly neighbors on their porches. Though Evanston has an average rating for crime, the vast majority is non-violent and residents say they feel safe here.
As a large area, Evanston has a spread of different schools, some of which have better test scores than others – but there are plenty of inspiring A-rated establishments in the mix. The only real drawback to Evanston is price, with single-family homes being approximately $60,000 more than the median Chicago home value. But if you can afford it, it may well be worth the price with everything Evanston has to offer.
Evanston, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for sale in Evanston
Posted by Rafael Velasco on