The suburbs of Aurora call to all types of people looking to escape city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Aurora to avoid all the hustle and bustle.
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 Saturday Night Science to determine which Aurora ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Aurora area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of 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.
We examined the 143 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.
Now don’t freak out.
What’s the worst suburb of Aurora? Rockdale ranks as the worst suburb of Aurora for 2023 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.
For more Illinois reading, check out:
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The 10 Worst Aurora Suburbs To Live For 2023
Median Income: $44,915 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $140,200 (2nd lowest)
More on Rockdale:
We’ll get the ball rolling with Rockdale, the absolute worst place to live around Aurora according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Rockdale beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the worst in the Aurora area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 2nd 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 Rockdale.
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.
Median Income: $73,029 (39th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (24th highest)
Median Home Value: $156,900 (3rd lowest)
More on Sheridan:
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 39th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $73,029 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.
But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.
Median Income: $58,764 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $166,500 (5th lowest)
More on Maywood:
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Aurora suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Maywood 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 dropout rate is poor compared to other Aurora suburbs.
But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.
Median Income: $45,591 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $171,100 (8th lowest)
More on Dekalb:
If you live in DeKalb, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 2nd lowest Aurora suburb for median household incomes.
Not only that, but this is the 3rd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Aurora. Remember, we looked at 143 cities for this study.
DeKalb is about 26.2 miles to downtown.
Median Income: $54,071 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.3% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $184,000 (16th lowest)
More on Worth:
Worth has the distinction of being a Aurora suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Worth has the 16th lowest home values in the metro Aurora area, where the median price is $184,000. The median income is $224,185.
Worth has an unemployment rate of 10.3% which ranks 5th worst.
Median Income: $48,929 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (37th highest)
Median Home Value: $192,800 (22nd lowest)
More on Summit:
Summit has 11,098 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 13.799963827093508%.
Median Income: $58,371 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (23rd highest)
Median Home Value: $202,400 (30th lowest)
More on Bridgeview:
Ah, Bridgeview. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Aurora.
It’s the place with the 23rd most out of work residents in the Aurora metro area (6.77%).
Median Income: $64,792 (2lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (33rd highest)
Median Home Value: $201,900 (29th lowest)
More on Northlake:
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 12th most uninsured people, 2worst incomes, and has the 33rd highest unemployment rate (5.95%) in the entire Aurora metro area.
Homes only cost $201,900 for a reason. That’s cheap for Aurora standards.
Median Income: $57,045 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (35th highest)
Median Home Value: $194,900 (24th lowest)
More on Justice:
If you absolutely have to live near Aurora, then Justice might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Aurora suburb.
About 5.87% of residents are out of work.
Median Income: $68,268 (28th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $191,700 (2lowest)
More on Stone Park:
Rounding out the ten worst Aurora suburbs to call home is Stone Park.
Located 23.2 miles outside the city, Stone Parks is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 17th highest unemployment rate (7.4%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Aurora for 2023
To figure out how bad a Aurora suburb is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.
It’s Saturday Night Science.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2017-2021, 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 dropouts
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Aurora.
We also limited the analysis to places with over 1,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 143 suburbs to evaluate around Aurora.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 143 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 looking at you, Rockdale.
We updated this article for 2023, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Aurora.
Summary: The areas around Aurora where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Aurora with Rockdale 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
- La Grange
For more Illinois reading, check out:
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- Worst Places To Live In Illinois
Detailed List Of The Worst Aurora Suburbs
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