These Are The 10 Worst Aurora Suburbs For 2018


We used science and data to determine which Aurora suburbs are the real pits.

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Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Aurora.

So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?

Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Aurora ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Aurora area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Aurora proper, although Western Springs certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Aurora are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…

We examined the 125 biggest suburbs of Aurora to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Illinois lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Aurora in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Aurora for 2018:

  1. Hillside (Photos)
  2. Plano (Photos)
  3. Summit
  4. Cicero (Photos)
  5. Maywood (Photos)
  6. Bridgeview (Photos)
  7. Dekalb (Photos)
  8. Justice (Photos)
  9. Elgin (Photos)
  10. Northlake

Read on to see how we determined the places around Aurora that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Illinois check out the best places in Illinois overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Aurora too.

Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Aurora for 2018

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school drop outs
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Aurora.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 125 suburbs to evaluate around Aurora.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 125 in each category, where 1 was the “worst”.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the “Worst Suburb near Aurora.” We’re lookin’ at you, Hillside.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.

1. Hillside

Hillside, Illinois

Population: 8,165
Unemployment Rate: 10.3%
Median Home Price: $151,400
Median Income: $50,779
More on Hillside: Data | Jobs

We’ll get the ball rolling with Hillside, the absolute worst place to live around Aurora according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Hillside beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 12th worst in the Aurora area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 9th worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it’s cheap to live there. But there’s a reason for that… it’s Hillside.

You won’t feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren’t a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

2. Plano

Plano, Illinois

Population: 11,929
Unemployment Rate: 8.5%
Median Home Price: $124,500
Median Income: $52,520
More on Plano: Data | Jobs

Welcome to Plano. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 13.8 miles to Aurora. Income levels here are the 16th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $52,520 a year, which doesn’t go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

3. Summit


Population: 11,409
Unemployment Rate: 12.8%
Median Home Price: $153,900
Median Income: $47,421
More on Summit: Data | Jobs

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Aurora suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Summit on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that’s an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it’s in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school drop out rate is poor compared to other Aurora suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. Cicero

Cicero, Illinois

Population: 83,972
Unemployment Rate: 9.9%
Median Home Price: $129,000
Median Income: $42,345
More on Cicero: Data | Jobs

If you live in Cicero, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 2nd lowest Aurora suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 11th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Aurora. Remember, we looked at 125 cities for this study.

Cicero is about 27.9 miles to downtown.

5. Maywood

Maywood, Illinois

Population: 24,029
Unemployment Rate: 17.4%
Median Home Price: $133,800
Median Income: $44,126
More on Maywood: Data | Jobs

Maywood has the distinction of being a Aurora suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Maywood has the 4th lowest home values in the metro Aurora area, where the median price is $133,800. To put that into perspective, in Western Springs, the median income is $173,558, which is the best in the area.

Maywood has an unemployment rate of 17.4% which ranks 1st worst.

6. Bridgeview

Bridgeview, Illinois

Population: 16,381
Unemployment Rate: 10.8%
Median Home Price: $167,500
Median Income: $52,810
More on Bridgeview: Data | Jobs

Bridgeview has 16,381 residents that probably know it’s a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you’ve ever been there, you don’t need to look at the data.)

Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 20.3%.

7. Dekalb

Dekalb, Illinois

Population: 43,269
Unemployment Rate: 12.3%
Median Home Price: $150,200
Median Income: $38,647
More on DeKalb: Data | Jobs

Ah, DeKalb. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Aurora.

It’s the place with the 4th most out of work residents in the Aurora metro area (12.3%).

8. Justice

Justice, Illinois

Population: 12,957
Unemployment Rate: 10.8%
Median Home Price: $179,700
Median Income: $50,088
More on Justice: Data | Jobs

Justice is a city about 23.9 miles from Aurora, but Aurora probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.

You’d be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. Justice has the 3rd most uninsured people, 9th worst incomes, and has the 7th highest unemployment rate (10.8%) in the entire Aurora metro area.

Homes only cost $179,700 for a reason. That’s cheap for Aurora standards.

9. Elgin

Elgin, Illinois

Population: 111,919
Unemployment Rate: 8.0%
Median Home Price: $166,500
Median Income: $60,375
More on Elgin: Data | Jobs

If you absolutely have to live near Aurora, then Elgin might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Aurora suburb.

About 8.0% of residents are out of work.

10. Northlake


Population: 12,339
Unemployment Rate: 7.5%
Median Home Price: $160,400
Median Income: $54,808
More on Northlake: Data | Jobs

Rounding out the ten worst Aurora suburbs to call home is Northlake.

Located 22.4 miles outside the city, Northlakes is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 34th highest unemployment rate (7.5%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Aurora where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Aurora with Hillside casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Aurora aren’t all bad. Western Springs takes the cake as the best place to live around Aurora.

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Aurora Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Hillside 8,165 10.3% $151,400 $50,779
2 Plano 11,929 8.5% $124,500 $52,520
3 Summit 11,409 12.8% $153,900 $47,421
4 Cicero 83,972 9.9% $129,000 $42,345
5 Maywood 24,029 17.4% $133,800 $44,126
6 Bridgeview 16,381 10.8% $167,500 $52,810
7 Dekalb 43,269 12.3% $150,200 $38,647
8 Justice 12,957 10.8% $179,700 $50,088
9 Elgin 111,919 8.0% $166,500 $60,375
10 Northlake 12,339 7.5% $160,400 $54,808
11 Crest Hill 20,316 7.6% $152,100 $50,334
12 Broadview 7,915 15.6% $136,600 $50,332
13 Melrose Park 25,422 7.3% $168,700 $45,931
14 Alsip 19,335 11.2% $163,700 $53,628
15 Addison 37,192 8.9% $223,600 $56,203
16 Carpentersville 38,275 7.0% $151,300 $58,856
17 Schiller Park 11,813 8.8% $178,200 $52,990
18 Bellwood 19,146 12.0% $116,000 $51,173
19 Joliet 147,515 8.2% $163,900 $61,834
20 Worth 10,776 9.0% $160,700 $53,800
21 Chicago Ridge 14,368 8.1% $152,400 $43,103
22 River Grove 10,248 7.5% $188,700 $48,670
23 Bensenville 18,431 7.5% $203,100 $62,286
24 Burbank 29,087 8.8% $176,000 $54,735
25 Berwyn 56,414 9.6% $175,300 $59,574
26 West Chicago 27,420 6.6% $239,100 $71,520
27 Franklin Park 18,290 7.5% $171,300 $57,288
28 Lyons 10,571 5.6% $155,900 $45,825
29 Hanover Park 38,331 7.6% $168,100 $69,922
30 Glendale Heights 34,395 7.8% $169,800 $58,237
31 Morris 13,930 7.1% $195,000 $56,152
32 Hickory Hills 13,858 10.0% $216,600 $61,708
33 Sandwich 7,491 4.9% $164,400 $58,636
34 Romeoville 39,739 6.0% $166,500 $71,344
35 Crestwood 10,989 7.4% $133,800 $53,572
36 Wood Dale 13,908 6.9% $213,300 $63,650
37 Forest Park 14,137 9.5% $205,500 $51,552
38 Elmwood Park 24,845 7.9% $222,800 $53,947
39 Palos Hills 17,545 6.0% $189,300 $57,744
40 Hampshire 5,732 8.5% $209,600 $95,268
41 Harwood Heights 8,628 7.2% $239,900 $51,365
42 Rolling Meadows 23,377 6.9% $220,400 $65,546
43 Stickney 6,778 4.5% $167,400 $60,910
44 Oak Lawn 56,774 8.8% $187,300 $58,707
45 North Riverside 6,983 9.7% $217,700 $59,324
46 Countryside 5,965 5.1% $230,300 $53,750
47 Berkeley 5,201 5.5% $166,100 $69,938
48 Westmont 25,149 8.6% $287,500 $55,684
49 Streamwood 40,552 7.6% $170,700 $76,639
50 Bolingbrook 74,320 5.6% $202,900 $80,285
51 Sycamore 17,611 5.5% $173,900 $67,132
52 Warrenville 13,415 5.9% $194,300 $80,686
53 Villa Park 21,977 6.0% $229,400 $71,724
54 Carol Stream 40,228 6.9% $228,500 $73,104
55 Des Plaines 58,755 5.7% $238,900 $64,582
56 Oak Forest 28,055 7.3% $182,800 $75,563
57 Shorewood 16,539 7.4% $232,700 $93,642
58 Minooka 11,786 5.8% $182,900 $80,313
59 Montgomery 19,055 5.8% $192,600 $80,900
60 Norridge 15,023 5.8% $265,100 $59,946
61 Palatine 69,098 5.6% $265,800 $75,066
62 Westchester 16,719 6.3% $217,100 $72,470
63 Lake In The Hills 28,908 6.0% $204,000 $85,895
64 Tinley Park 57,125 5.4% $220,400 $76,022
65 North Aurora 17,612 5.2% $229,300 $81,826
66 South Elgin 22,274 5.8% $200,100 $87,738
67 Willowbrook 8,603 6.4% $215,300 $67,047
68 Orland Hills 7,241 8.4% $221,600 $76,311
69 Lockport 25,096 6.0% $212,400 $79,148
70 Lombard 44,025 5.9% $240,600 $73,201
71 Pingree Grove 5,983 4.2% $170,800 $76,780
72 Channahon 12,329 6.1% $195,400 $89,957
73 Schaumburg 74,366 5.2% $230,800 $75,658
74 Hoffman Estates 51,727 5.1% $252,600 $88,733
75 Bloomingdale 22,221 4.8% $281,000 $76,757
76 Mount Prospect 54,552 5.3% $296,500 $69,517
77 Palos Heights 12,544 7.8% $275,000 $80,077
78 Lisle 22,989 6.4% $334,400 $79,819
79 Woodridge 33,331 5.0% $249,400 $76,858
80 Itasca 8,502 5.2% $282,300 $82,269
81 Brookfield 18,966 5.1% $227,400 $75,336
82 Batavia 26,413 6.9% $278,600 $89,932
83 West Dundee 7,369 4.0% $249,100 $80,087
84 Yorkville 18,436 4.8% $233,100 $85,045
85 Orland Park 58,612 5.9% $273,100 $85,580
86 Manhattan 7,405 5.7% $212,100 $86,536
87 Gilberts 7,479 5.9% $255,100 $123,399
88 Willow Springs 5,677 4.7% $347,400 $81,926
89 Elburn 5,594 6.6% $241,800 $96,896
90 Roselle 22,911 5.0% $237,300 $79,040
91 Bartlett 41,475 5.5% $260,500 $100,458
92 Huntley 25,831 3.9% $231,100 $76,998
93 Lemont 16,587 6.2% $342,500 $89,524
94 Downers Grove 49,555 6.1% $331,600 $85,171
95 St. Charles 32,745 4.2% $281,700 $89,971
96 Algonquin 30,413 6.2% $240,600 $100,027
97 Homer Glen 24,385 4.9% $298,100 $92,054
98 Geneva 21,732 6.5% $305,000 $100,284
99 Oak Park 51,989 6.9% $359,100 $82,826
100 Riverside 8,779 7.4% $387,100 $100,696

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