Chicago suburb ranks No. 4 among nation’s most livable cities

Report cites big-city amenities, small-town charm

A photo illustration of the Chicago suburb of Naperville (Getty Images)
A photo illustration of the Chicago suburb of Naperville (Getty Images)

A Chicago suburb’s blend of big-city amenities and small-town charm make it one of the nation’s best places to live.

Naperville ranked No. 4 on’s “Top 100 Best Places to Live in America,” the Naperville Sun reported. The top city was Madison, Wisconsin, followed by Ann Arbor, Michigan and Rochester, Minnesota.

The website reviewed 2,300 small- to mid-sized communities of less than 500,000 people in 36 states and granted quality of life data points for a city’s amenities, economy, demographics, housing, social and civic capital, education, capital, transportation and infrastructure.

“We look at things like what are people’s incomes relative to costs? How much disposable income do people have? What does the entrepreneurship landscape look like?” Livability editor-in-chief Amanda Ellis told the outlet.

A local realtor said Naperville deserves the notice, citing numerous restaurants, good school districts and easy access to public transportation and major roadways. “It’s a classy city with a great downtown that hosts mom-and-pop shops as well as some national brands,” Lee Ernst of eXp Realty told the publication.

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Livability singled out the suburb’s outdoor attractions including forest preserves, sports complexes, golf courses and the Naperville Riverwalk, as well as the “plethora of community get-togethers and festivals, like cute farmers markets and must-see concerts.”

The ranking also factored in Naperville’s average commute of 33.6 minutes, median home value of $503,821, median household income of $127,648 and median property tax of $9,227.

Madison has an average commute time of 19.3 minutes, a median home value of $378,228, a median household income of $67,565 and a median property tax of $5,426, according to Livability.

Other Illinois cities that made Livability’s Top 100 are Oak Park at No. 28, Downers Grove at 37, Evanston at 52 and Bllomington at 64.

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– Rachel Herzog