Ranked the third largest city in the United States, Chicago is home to 2.7 million residents. This city is rich in history and a true melting pot. There’s something for everyone in Chicago, whether you’re a sports fanatic, nature lover, foodie, or connoisseur of music and the arts. But, is Chicago a safe place to live? When you choose a large city, there may be high crime rates. However, like any city, there are safe parts and unsafe areas of Chicago.
Moving can feel overwhelming; and if you’re moving to a metropolis like Chicago, there’s a lot to consider. With 77 Chicago neighborhoods to choose from, finding the area that’s right for you might seem impossible. An easy way to narrow the options is safety, which is surely at the top of your list. This safe Chicago neighborhoods guide will help you and your family choose the best area so you can rest assured you’ve made a good decision.
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Crime Stats in Chicago
It’s no secret that Chicago deals with a high crime rate. However, by taking a closer look at the neighborhoods that interest you, you can easily find a safe place to live here. Here are some crime statistics for Chicago as a whole:
- Chicago crime rates are 62% higher than the national average
- Violent crimes in Chicago are 164% higher than the national average
- Chicagoans have a 1 in 24 chance of being a victim of a crime
- Crime in Chicago is decreasing by 4% each year, and has seen an 8% decrease in violent crime specifically
Though the statistics might not sound promising, there are plenty of safe neighborhoods to choose from. Click here to view an interactive map of crime in Chicago. The Chicago Police Department publishes detailed crime data as well, and you can easily track what is happening in the neighborhoods you’re considering.
Safest Neighborhoods in Chicago
There’s more than just data to consider when choosing a safe neighborhood to live in Chicago. You should also take into account home prices and who the neighborhood appeals to, as well as what’s important to you personally. Whether you want to be right in the heart of the city or you’re looking for a more residential vibe, Chicago has a safe option for you. The safest neighborhoods in Chicago are Edison Park, Forest Glen, Norwood Park, Lake View, Lincoln Park, and Rogers Park.
Edison Park – Safest Chicago Neighborhood
- Crime: 77% lower than Chicago average
- Median Home Price: $334,700
- Great for: Families
In the northwest corner of the city sits the quiet neighborhood of Edison Park. Once a town in its own right, Edison Park still feels self-contained, but it’s a very welcoming community. Many Chicago police officers call Edison Park home, which is a big factor in the low crime rate here. The laid back pace and tree-lined streets give the area a very suburban feel. Residents enjoy lots of casual dining options and recreation in Olympia Park. The Edison Park Fest is an annual community festival that attracts people from all over the city.
Forest Glen – Safe Family-Friendly Chicago Suburb With Lots To Do
- Crime: 71% lower than the Chicago average
- Median Home Price: $535,000
- Great for: Active families, commuters, and retirees
Forest Glen and its surrounding areas are considered very safe neighborhoods in Northwest Chicago. The laid-back suburban feel area attracts retirees and young families alike. Almost half the residents are households with children under the age of 18. The community is served by highly rated schools. Don’t let the suburban feel fool you – there’s plenty to do here! The area has many family-owned restaurants, parks, and bike trails nearby. Forest Glen is a great option for commuters as well – the Milwaukee District North Metra stop is conveniently located on the western border of the neighborhood.
Norwood Park – Low-key Historic Charm
- Crime: 72% lower than the Chicago average
- Median Home Price: $382,500
- Great for: Retired individuals
Another neighborhood known for its green spaces and safe suburban appeal is Norwood Park. The 14 acre park after which the neighborhood is named offers a community pool and lots of recreational activities. Residents also enjoy access to nearby Whealan Pool Aquatic Center and Edgebrook Golf Course. Like other large Chicago neighborhoods, Norwood Park is further divided into smaller communities, each with varying density.
Lake View – A Renter’s Dream Location
- Crime: 40% lower than the Chicago average
- Median Home Price: $428,000
- Great for: Singles and professionals
Lake View is a large neighborhood on the north side of Chicago, overlooking Lake Michigan. With its proximity to Downtown and easy access to public transportation, it’s a commuter’s dream. It’s more affordable than nearby Lincoln Park, and prices decrease as you continue north. Residents living in the west side of the neighborhood also enjoy lower real estate expenses, but they do have to deal with the crowds of Wrigley Field. Prospective residents should expect a typical urban experience here – tons of dining options, shopping, and a vibrant nightlife all within walking distance.
Lincoln Park – Safe Sophistication
- Crime: 24% lower than the Chicago average
- Median Home Price: $605,000
- Great for: Professionals and singles
Just south of Lake View sits the upscale Lincoln Park area. An affluent neighborhood buzzing with activity, this area attracts tourists, young families, and professionals alike. Residents are never bored here – the neighborhood boasts a vibrant nightlife, North Pond Nature Sanctuary, farmers markets like the Green City Market, boutiques and an array of restaurants.
Rogers Park – Affordable LGBTQ+ Chicago Community
- Crime: 23% lower than the Chicago average
- Median Home Price: $195,000
- Great for: Singles and couples, members of the LGBTQ+ community
If you’re looking for diversity and one of the safest neighborhoods in Chicago, Rogers Park is a great option. Located at the northwest end of Chicago, this eclectic area is welcoming and affordable. There is a thriving theater scene here, and the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives is famous for its extensive collection of LGBTQ+ literature and interesting exhibitions. Those who enjoy architecture will love to live among several homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, including the Emil Bach House. In the 1990s, this neighborhood in Chicago was one of five areas in which the Chicago Police Department implemented their controversial CAPS program, which attempted to bridge the gaps between the police department and the communities it served. Though the program seems inactive now, the Rogers Park area saw a marked decline in crime, and is now considered one of the safer neighborhoods in Chicago.
High Crime Areas of Chicago
In any big city, it’s important to stay aware and make smart decisions, even in safer areas. However, there are also places with higher volumes of crime. When moving to a metropolis like Chicago, it’s a good idea to know the bad areas of Chicago with higher crime rates. With 77 neighborhoods in Chicago, it can feel overwhelming to narrow down safe options. Here are the top 10 most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago:
- West Garfield Park: 257% more crime than the rest of Chicago
- Washington Park: 227% more crime than the rest of Chicago
- East Garfield Park: 206% more crime than the rest of Chicago
- Englewood: 201% more crime than the rest of Chicago
- North Lawndale: 198% more crime than the rest of Chicago
- Grand Crossing: 184% more crime than the rest of Chicago
- West Englewood: 176% more crime than the rest of Chicago
- Riverdale: 160% more crime than the rest of Chicago
- South Shore: 144% more crime than the rest of Chicago
- Chatham: 108% more crime than the rest of Chicago
Safest Chicago Neighborhoods FAQ
Is downtown Chicago safe?
Downtown Chicago, or The Loop, is actually considered a safe area in Chicago. Most crime here is pickpocketing. However, you should use common sense while there and watch your surroundings.
Which neighborhoods should you avoid in Chicago?
West Garfield Park, Washington Park, and East Garfield Park are considered the three most dangerous neighborhoods to live in Chicago.
Is it safe to live in Chicago, IL?
Yes, it’s safe to live in Chicago. Do your research for the safest Chicago neighborhoods and avoid areas deemed unsafe.
Safe Neighborhoods in Chicago Map
Are you thinking of moving to one of these safe Chicago neighborhoods? Give our top rated Chicago moving company a call for a free quote. We will help you get to your new home with no stress!
Two Illinois cities were named among the safest in the U.S. in a new report, including one Chicago suburb, which was dubbed the safest city in the country. The ranking of the 15 safest cities in America was published by finance site MoneyGeek last month, naming Naperville as the top-ranked city in the country.What is the safest area outside Chicago? ›
Naperville. As one of the largest and safest Chicago suburbs, Naperville is a lively town that truly has something for everyone!What is the best part of Chicago to live in? ›
What is the nicest area to live in Chicago? The Loop, River North, Gold Coast, and Streeterville are safe and vibrant areas with easy access to downtown. If you're looking for something further from the center of town, check out West Ridge, North Park, and Forest Glen.What Chicago suburb has the lowest crime rate? ›
Joliet ranked the eighth safest city in America, with a crime cost per capita of $247, a violent crime rate of 168 per 100,000 residents and a property crime rate of 372 per 100,000 residents.What is the number one safest city in Illinois? ›
According to the study, Naperville was ranked as the safest city in America, while Joliet was ranked the eighth-safest city in the country. Naperville had a relatively low crime cost per capita of $156, while Joliet had a $247 crime cost per capita.Where is it safe to walk in Chicago? ›
Downtown Chicago, the Loop and Millennium Park areas, is very safe for tourists. It is a well-populated, well-lit, and heavily policed area of Chicago. Visitors should feel quite safe in this neighborhood, especially during the day and evening.Is Chicago a good place to move to? ›
One of the top largest urban areas in the world, the Chicago metropolitan area is an excellent place to live and is considered one of the best places to live in Illinois.Is Chinatown in Chicago safe? ›
Chinatown has a reputation as a relatively safe neighborhood in Chicago, with security cameras placed in the streets and central square, as well as having a close-knit community.What areas of Chicago should you stay away from? ›
The five most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago, in terms of the violent crime rate, are West Garfield Park, Washington Park, East Garfield Park, Englewood, and North Lawndale. As a general rule of thumb, the further south and west you go, the more unsafe areas there are in Chicago.Where do middle class live in Chicago? ›
Perhaps even more importantly, the vast majority of Chicagoans who are both black and middle-class live on the South Side, and to a lesser extent, the West Side. 3. The concentration of middle-class households varies dramatically from one black neighborhood to another.
The richest Chicago suburb is Winnetka. This city is situated along Lake Michigan's Northern Shore, about 22 miles from Downtown Chicago. It is home to over 12,000 residents, all of whom appreciate the area's tree-lined streets, local beaches, beautiful parks, and quality school systems.Is Chicago safer than Florida? ›
Florida's overall crime rate is not that different than Illinois, but it is slightly higher. Crime and safety Winner? Both states are in the bottom 25 of states with higher rates, but Illinois's overall crime rate is lower than Florida.Is Chicago safer than California? ›
The violent crime rate in Los Angeles, California is 0.72 and is lower than the violent crime rate in Chicago, Illinois of 0.99. Los Angeles, California earns a score of 1 out of 10 compared to a score of 1 out of 10 in Chicago, Illinois.How safe is near North Side Chicago? ›
According to NeighborhoodScout's analysis of FBI crime statistics, North Chicago is safer than 80% of the cities and towns in the US of all population sizes. In Illinois, only on the order of 24% of the communities have a lower crime rate than North Chicago.What is the most beautiful neighborhood in Chicago? ›
Old Town and River North are considered two of the prettiest neighborhoods to live in but for vastly different reasons. Let's see how these two gorgeous downtown Chicago communities compare.What is the cheapest place to live in Chicago? ›
Here are 10 of the most affordable neighborhoods in Chicago, depending on the type of amenities you like within your community.
- Irving Park. ...
- Avondale. ...
- Humboldt Park. ...
- Pilsen. ...
- Uptown. ...
- South Shore. ...
- Albany Park. ...
- Rogers Park.
Wicker Park is known as Chicago's hipster enclave. Many creatives and young professionals are drawn to this neighbourhood, which has plenty of art galleries, hip cafés, innovative restaurants and vintage stores.What is the poorest place in Chicago? ›
Often viewed as one of Chicago's most impoverished suburbs and at one point the poorest suburb in the United States, Ford Heights has experienced high levels of political corruption, decaying infrastructure, and an elevated crime rate.What town has the lowest crime rate? ›
Glen Cove, NY. Glen Cove is in Nassau county just 20 miles outside of New York City on the north shore of Long Island. The crime rate here is much lower than the average U.S. city. It is in the 98th percentile for safety in the United States.
Rogers Park is a diverse up-and-coming neighborhood in Chicago with dozens of languages spoken. Situated on the north side of Chicago's city limits, Loyola University calls Rogers Park home. The area also features ethnic cuisine from Mexican to Jamaican and Ethiopian.What is a good salary for a family in Chicago? ›
How much does a Family make in Chicago, Illinois? As of Mar 5, 2023, the average annual pay for the Family jobs category in Chicago is $96,822 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $46.55 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,861/week or $8,068/month.What is considered upper class in Chicago? ›
According to the report, here is how much does it take to be considered "rich" in Chicago: Lowest Income to be Considered "Rich" (Top 20%): $129,772. Average Income of the Top 20%: $253,077. Average Income of the Top 5%: $482,166.What is the cleanest city in Illinois? ›
First up on our list of the Safest Cities in the US is Frisco, Texas. We begin our list by looking at Frisco, Texas.What is the best part of Illinois to live in? ›
- Chicago. With a population of over 2.5 million people, Chicago is by far the largest city in Illinois.
- Peoria. ...
- Naperville. ...
- Rockford. ...
- Galena. ...
- Clarendon Hills. ...
- Springfield. ...
- Champaign-Urbana. ...
- Be alert. Be aware of your surroundings and others around you. ...
- Plan ahead. Plan your route. ...
- Trust your instincts. Be alert to your surroundings. ...
- Hide valuables. ...
- Don't fight to keep items. ...
- If you witness a crime.
As long as you stay in the good parts of the city, it's generally very safe to walk around Chicago. However, you'll want to be a bit more vigilant at night. Staying in groups and avoiding dark areas is the best way to avoid unsavory situations.Is it safe to walk the Chicago Riverwalk? ›
Chicago Riverwalk Security can be easily found with their yellow shirts and jackets patrolling the entire stretch of the Riverwalk between Lake Shore Drive and Lake Street. The Chicago Police Officers also patrol the Chicago Riverwalk and can be frequently observed throughout the path on foot or bike.How much should you make to live comfortably in Chicago? ›
How much does a Comfortable make in Chicago, Illinois? As of Feb 24, 2023, the average annual pay for the Comfortable jobs category in Chicago is $57,251 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $27.52 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,100/week or $4,770/month.
Q: What are the negatives about living in Chicago? A: Chicago has a higher-than-average crime rate, it can be expensive to live in certain neighborhoods, and the weather can get very cold.Is Chicago dying as a city? ›
1,019 Illinois communities of all sizes shared in the loss of 114,000 residents in 2021, new census data shows. Chicago lost 40% of the total. Illinois' population loss hit nearly 80% of its cities in 2021, but 40% of the state's 114,000-person loss came out of the city of Chicago, new Census data shows.What is the safest area downtown Chicago? ›
Downtown Chicago, the Loop and Millennium Park areas, is very safe for tourists. It is a well-populated, well-lit, and heavily policed area of Chicago. Visitors should feel quite safe in this neighborhood, especially during the day and evening.Is it still safe to live in Chicago? ›
According to a 2022 study, Chicago actually ranks number 10 on the list of most murders per capita. When looking past the big picture, the real answer to “how dangerous is Chicago” depends on where you go. The city covers 234 square miles. Most areas are perfectly safe – while others are best to avoid.