These Are The 10 Worst Aurora Suburbs For 2019


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

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the worst suburbs around Aurora.

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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 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:

  1. Hodgkins (Photos)
  2. Summit
  3. Cicero (Photos)
  4. Bridgeview (Photos)
  5. Plano (Photos)
  6. Hillside (Photos)
  7. Sheridan
  8. Northlake
  9. Stone Park
  10. 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.

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 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.

Hodgkins, IL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,014
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $43,977 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (36th highest)
Median Home Value: $31,600 (1st lowest)
More on Hodgkins:  Data | Photos

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.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,398
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.

Cicero, IL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 83,735
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Income: $44,110 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $139,100 (8th lowest)
More on Cicero:  Data | Photos

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.

Bridgeview, IL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,511
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Median Income: $54,198 (22nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $164,300 (22nd lowest)
More on Bridgeview:  Data | Photos

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, IL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,863
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $59,631 (33rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $143,000 (9th lowest)
More on Plano:  Data | Photos

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, IL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,151
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Income: $52,037 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $154,600 (15th lowest)
More on Hillside:  Data | Photos

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%.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,696
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%).

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 12,376
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.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,949
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.

Justice, IL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 12,973
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $48,355 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.5% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $179,100 (39th lowest)
More on Justice:  Data | Photos

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
  • Hinsdale

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Aurora Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Hodgkins 2,014 $43,977 $31,600
2 Summit 11,398 $47,031 $157,700
3 Cicero 83,735 $44,110 $139,100
4 Bridgeview 16,511 $54,198 $164,300
5 Plano 11,863 $59,631 $143,000
6 Hillside 8,151 $52,037 $154,600
7 Sheridan 2,696 $60,144 $151,800
8 Northlake 12,376 $51,948 $165,000
9 Stone Park 4,949 $41,512 $118,700
10 Justice 12,973 $48,355 $179,100
11 Dekalb 43,141 $41,009 $149,800
12 Maywood 23,981 $47,538 $138,700
13 Melrose Park 25,447 $47,925 $173,700
14 Elgin 112,628 $63,655 $171,200
15 Joliet 148,172 $63,359 $165,600
16 Rockdale 2,048 $60,331 $132,900
17 Carpentersville 38,280 $61,489 $158,500
18 Addison 37,104 $58,636 $228,700
19 Schiller Park 11,779 $55,999 $183,800
20 Alsip 19,302 $52,432 $167,900
21 Rosemont 4,871 $53,080 $340,800
22 Chicago Ridge 14,338 $44,221 $153,300
23 Worth 10,780 $53,452 $164,600
24 Broadview 7,892 $53,100 $148,400
25 Bellwood 19,165 $55,205 $120,000
26 Lyons 10,599 $47,226 $156,300
27 Crest Hill 20,368 $54,198 $160,500
28 Bensenville 18,432 $61,677 $201,600
29 Burbank 29,081 $55,777 $174,200
30 River Grove 10,232 $46,910 $190,300
31 Berwyn 56,367 $59,801 $179,800
32 Crestwood 10,959 $53,909 $126,600
33 East Dundee 3,190 $67,632 $185,300
34 Franklin Park 18,257 $60,091 $180,700
35 Cortland 4,105 $68,615 $148,500
36 Hanover Park 38,350 $70,401 $173,000
37 West Chicago 27,385 $68,413 $238,000
38 Hometown 4,344 $45,926 $110,000
39 Morris 14,165 $56,181 $194,900
40 Palos Hills 17,540 $57,956 $187,900
41 Glendale Heights 34,330 $62,763 $175,200
42 Somonauk 2,133 $59,375 $157,900
43 Harwood Heights 8,604 $54,080 $248,000
44 Berkeley 5,205 $67,130 $172,100
45 Hickory Hills 13,852 $63,865 $215,600
46 Elmwood Park 24,831 $55,772 $235,600
47 Oak Lawn 56,754 $61,398 $191,100
48 North Riverside 6,966 $61,304 $218,300
49 Forest Park 14,127 $55,359 $229,600
50 Wood Dale 13,897 $69,250 $221,600
51 Rolling Meadows 23,418 $65,173 $224,400
52 Romeoville 39,682 $73,033 $170,700
53 Warrenville 13,373 $84,194 $204,500
54 Stickney 6,775 $62,652 $173,500
55 Sandwich 7,633 $61,656 $167,500
56 Countryside 6,000 $52,892 $223,100
57 Hampshire 5,763 $99,362 $199,000
58 Bolingbrook 74,548 $83,419 $209,200
59 Streamwood 40,615 $80,152 $174,200
60 Carol Stream 40,231 $76,078 $231,400
61 Des Plaines 58,805 $67,415 $242,600
62 Westmont 25,040 $60,437 $288,900
63 Sycamore 17,712 $70,541 $174,900
64 Elwood 2,286 $72,708 $156,800
65 Oak Forest 28,027 $73,765 $185,700
66 Minooka 11,449 $85,579 $193,100
67 North Aurora 17,473 $82,354 $232,300
68 Villa Park 21,867 $72,098 $231,900
69 Montgomery 19,187 $84,284 $207,300
70 Hinckley 2,153 $65,938 $176,000
71 Palatine 69,099 $76,633 $270,000
72 Norridge 15,083 $63,378 $275,000
73 Orland Hills 7,226 $85,855 $228,100
74 Oakbrook Terrace 2,699 $74,500 $292,400
75 South Elgin 22,322 $89,565 $216,900
76 Tinley Park 57,107 $76,061 $223,100
77 Willowbrook 8,598 $67,780 $217,800
78 Hoffman Estates 51,631 $87,608 $261,700
79 Lockport 25,198 $85,023 $222,600
80 Mount Prospect 54,493 $71,925 $306,800
81 Lombard 43,776 $73,145 $244,900
82 Schaumburg 74,427 $77,022 $241,100
83 Lake In The Hills 28,908 $87,683 $211,000
84 Bloomingdale 22,196 $78,720 $288,000
85 Woodridge 33,447 $80,757 $257,900
86 Channahon 12,455 $88,516 $207,000
87 Sleepy Hollow 3,325 $102,188 $289,800
88 Pingree Grove 6,661 $78,433 $189,700
89 Westchester 16,687 $76,784 $225,300
90 Shorewood 16,809 $98,444 $239,200
91 Manhattan 7,766 $93,676 $220,400
92 Palos Heights 12,545 $80,259 $277,600
93 Yorkville 18,691 $95,383 $231,600
94 Batavia 26,499 $92,094 $290,200
95 Brookfield 18,937 $78,481 $233,900
96 Gilberts 7,638 $105,087 $256,100
97 Lisle 23,024 $83,745 $336,100
98 St. Charles 32,730 $90,883 $286,600
99 Orland Park 59,161 $85,802 $277,300
100 Bartlett 41,487 $99,957 $264,600

 Worst 

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