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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 River Forest certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Aurora are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..
We examined the 142 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.
What's the worst suburb of Aurora? Summit ranks as the worst suburb of Aurora for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
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:
- Best Places To Live In Illinois
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The 10 Worst Aurora Suburbs To Live For 2021
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $47,377 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $170,800 (17th lowest)
More on Summit: Data
We'll get the ball rolling with Summit, the absolute worst place to live around Aurora according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Summit beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 2nd worst in the Aurora area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 17th 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 Summit.
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: 9 (Up 7)
Median Income: $61,875 (26th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (39th highest)
Median Home Value: $148,600 (3rd lowest)
More on Sheridan: Data
Welcome to Sheridan. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 25.8 miles to Aurora. Income levels here are the 26th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $61,875 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.
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $55,305 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (20th highest)
Median Home Value: $181,700 (26th lowest)
More on Northlake: Data
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Aurora suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Northlake 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 12th lowest Aurora suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 12th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Aurora. Remember, we looked at 142 cities for this study.
Bridgeview is about 25.0 miles to downtown.
DeKalb has the distinction of being a Aurora suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, DeKalb has the 8th lowest home values in the metro Aurora area, where the median price is $157,900. To put that into perspective, in River Forest, the median income is $203,368, which is the best in the area.
DeKalb has an unemployment rate of 9.52% which ranks 3rd worst.
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 8)
Median Income: $59,778 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $118,500 (2nd lowest)
More on Stone Park: Data
Stone Park has 4,894 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 14.405394360441356%.
Ah, Maywood. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Aurora.
It's the place with the 2nd most out of work residents in the Aurora metro area (11.54%).
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 7th most uninsured people, 8th worst incomes, and has the 13th highest unemployment rate (6.74%) in the entire Aurora metro area.
Homes only cost $180,600 for a reason. That's cheap for Aurora standards.
If you absolutely have to live near Aurora, then Cicero might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Aurora suburb.
About 5.33% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst Aurora suburbs to call home is Hillside.
Located 21.2 miles outside the city, Hillsides is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 6th highest unemployment rate (7.97%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Aurora for 2021
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 2015-2019, 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 142 suburbs to evaluate around Aurora.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 142 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, Summit. You can download the data here.
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.
The areas around Aurora where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021
Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Aurora with Summit casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Aurora aren't all bad. River Forest takes the cake as the best place to live around Aurora.
- River Forest
- Western Springs
- La Grange
For more Illinois reading, check out:
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Detailed List Of The Worst Aurora Suburbs
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