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 144 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 2019:
- Hodgkins (Photos)
- Cicero (Photos)
- Bridgeview (Photos)
- Plano (Photos)
- Hillside (Photos)
- Stone Park
- Justice (Photos)
Read on to see how we determined the places around Aurora that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
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:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Illinois
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Illinois
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Aurora for 2019
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 from 2013-2017, 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 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 144 suburbs to evaluate around Aurora.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 144 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, Hodgkins.
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.
We’ll get the ball rolling with Hodgkins, the absolute worst place to live around Aurora according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Hodgkins beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 3rd worst in the Aurora area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 1st 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 Hodgkins.
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.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Median Income: $47,031 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $157,700 (18th lowest)
More on Summit: Data
Welcome to Summit. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 24.6 miles to Aurora. Income levels here are the 8th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $47,031 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.
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Aurora suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Cicero 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.
If you live in Bridgeview, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 22nd lowest Aurora suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 8th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Aurora. Remember, we looked at 144 cities for this study.
Bridgeview is about 25.0 miles to downtown.
Plano has the distinction of being a Aurora suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Plano has the 9th lowest home values in the metro Aurora area, where the median price is $143,000. To put that into perspective, in Western Springs, the median income is $173,828, which is the best in the area.
Plano has an unemployment rate of 7.7% which ranks 16th worst.
Hillside has 8,151 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 11.4%.
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 5)
Median Income: $60,144 (36th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $151,800 (13th lowest)
More on Sheridan: Data
Ah, Sheridan. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Aurora.
It’s the place with the 11th most out of work residents in the Aurora metro area (8.6%).
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Median Income: $51,948 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (32nd highest)
Median Home Value: $165,000 (24th lowest)
More on Northlake: Data
Northlake is a city about 22.4 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. Northlake has the 16th most uninsured people, 13th worst incomes, and has the 32nd highest unemployment rate (6.9%) in the entire Aurora metro area.
Homes only cost $165,000 for a reason. That’s cheap for Aurora standards.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Income: $41,512 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (40th highest)
Median Home Value: $118,700 (3rd lowest)
More on Stone Park: Data
If you absolutely have to live near Aurora, then Stone Park might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Aurora suburb.
About 6.6% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst Aurora suburbs to call home is Justice.
Located 23.9 miles outside the city, Justices is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 7th highest unemployment rate (9.5%), and poverty is far above the area average.
The areas around Aurora where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2019
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Aurora with Hodgkins 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.
- Western Springs
- River Forest
For more Illinois reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Illinois
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Illinois
- 10 Safest Places In Illinois
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Illinois
Detailed List Of The Worst Aurora Suburbs
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