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Why Are These the Safest Chicago Neighborhoods?

Aug 20, 2023

A recent study involving 37 U.S. cities shows decreased crime rates in most areas when compared to 2022. Decreasing crime rates don’t mean you can let your guard down, though.

Every city in the USA has neighborhoods where crime is more prevalent than in others. So, it’s important to find out what you’re getting into before you relocate to a new place.

Are you considering a move to the ‘Windy City’? Keep reading to explore the safest Chicago neighborhoods and find out how they’ve earned this title.

Comparing the Safest Chicago Neighborhoods

Finding somewhere safe to live is one of the most important considerations when planning a move to Chicago. Research every neighborhood that interests you and try to spend a little time there before you move.

These are some signs of a safe, secure neighborhood:

Low Crime Rates

Most cities don’t post statistics related to individual neighborhoods. So, you’ll need to do a little digging to find this information.

You can start by looking for community websites or Facebook groups that may provide information on crime rates.

Search online for crime-related news in the neighborhood you’re researching. This can highlight high-crime areas to avoid.

You can also check the Chicago Data Portal for a snapshot of recent crimes, or get in touch with the local police station and ask them about crime in the area.

Neighborhood Watch Groups

The presence of a neighborhood watch group shows residents care about keeping their community safe. A vigilant neighborhood watch group is a deterrent to criminals.

These groups report suspicious behavior to other residents. This makes them an essential early warning system for criminal activity.

People Enjoying the Outdoors

Take a drive through the neighborhoods you’re considering for your move. Do you notice children playing outside? Parents won’t allow their kids to play outdoors unless they believe it’s safe to do so.

If you come across some of the neighborhood residents, pay attention to whether they seem relaxed and happy or tense and stressed.

You know that residents feel secure if you see people walking, jogging, or cycling in the streets, especially after dark.

Thriving Amenities

If you notice many attractive shops and restaurants in the area, it’s usually a sign of a thriving community. In areas with high crime, restaurants close at night, and shops usually have extreme and obvious security measures.

Restaurants and shops thrive where people feel safe enough to spend time shopping and dining at their leisure.

Community Get-Togethers

You’ll find information about community events advertised online. Farmers’ markets, block parties, and cookouts are signs of a close-knit, happy community.

Neighborhoods to Avoid

Many abandoned houses and storefronts, combined with a high police presence, are signs that neighborhoods might have crime issues.

Crime is often higher in neighborhoods with many rental properties, too. That’s because a higher turnover of people increases the chances that a bad apple will move in at some point.

The Best Chicago Neighborhoods for Safety-Conscious Chicago Residents

Many of Chicago’s safest areas are suburban and situated outside of the city center, but there are a few choice neighborhoods in the city, too.

Usually, these are the most expensive places to buy or rent a home. Yet, a diligent search could reveal some up-and-coming Chicago neighborhoods offering both safety and affordability.

Whether you’re planning a local move or relocating from another city or state, these are the Chicago neighborhoods with the best safety records:

Edison Park, Northwest Chicago

Edison Park is famous for having the lowest crime rate in Chicago, tree-lined streets, quaint shops, and many fine restaurants. It’s a semi-suburban neighborhood and home to many police officers, which certainly helps keep crime levels low.

Petty crime spills over from other parts of the city occasionally, but Edison Park is still an excellent place to raise children. That’s thanks to plenty of green spaces and a friendly community.

There’s always something on the go at one of the local bars, restaurants, or parks.

Edison Park is conveniently close to O’Hare International Airport. It also offers easy access to the local Metra for commuting into the city.

Lake View, North Side of Chicago

Lake View’s biggest claim to fame is its wonderful views over Lake Michigan. It’s a highly desirable place to live, with a crime rate that’s 40% lower than in greater Chicago.

This neighborhood is diverse and welcoming, with an active community of young people under 30. It’s alive with restaurants, bars, sports clubs, and a thumping nightlife.

Lake View offers great value for money from a real estate point of view. As such, it’s a popular choice among young couples and families, as well as up-and-coming professionals.

Lincoln Park, Near the North Side of Chicago

Just south of Lake View, Lincoln Park is an affluent suburb offering easy access to the city. It’s a trendy, in-demand location with a 25% lower crime rate than the rest of the city.

It’s home to several eateries, including the celebrated Michelin-starred restaurant Boka. A vibrant entertainment scene ensures plenty of after-hours action.

Lincoln Park is a walkable neighborhood and has excellent public transit access to the city. If access to excellent schools is one of your reasons for relocating, Lincoln Park is a good choice for you.

Streeterville, Central Chicago

Despite its location in the heart of Chicago, Streeterville is a safe and accessible neighborhood. Plus, it’s surrounded by some of the city’s best attractions.

For instance, nearby Navy Pier is a family-friendly destination featuring:

  • The Children’s Museum
  • Crystal Gardens
  • A 200-foot-tall Ferris Wheel

It’s also close to Michigan Avenue and Miracle Mile, with its iconic skyscrapers. Several local universities ensure Streeterville buzzes with youthful bustle and lively nightlife.

Streeterville borders Lake Michigan to the east. That means lakeside breezes, brilliant sunsets, and easy beach access are part of daily life when you live here.

Chicago Loop, Downtown Chicago

The Loop is Chicago’s fastest-growing neighborhood, boasting a population increase of 44.45% since the last census.

People enjoy its safe environment, exciting vibe, and upmarket ambiance. Seasonal festivals and free events at Daley Plaza define this tight-knit, eclectic community.

It’s situated in the heart of Chicago’s downtown action, alongside the Chicago River, and offers direct access to many of the city’s best cultural highlights.

You’ll find an abundance of stores stocking everything you need within easy reach.

The Loop raises the bar on convenience and accessibility. It offers good public transportation, lovely parks, and easy access to business opportunities in the city.

West Loop, Downtown

Another sought-after neighborhood for young professionals and families alike, West Loop boasts a 5-star safety rating and a fun luxury lifestyle.

Once a thriving industrial area, West Loop has transformed into a trendy, vibey place with high-end amenities and a vintage feel.

It’s one of Chicago’s most walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, with a convenient central location and excellent public transportation. West Loop offers quick access to the airport and is close to great schools, including the country’s top-rated high school.

The West Loop is booming and is currently one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Chicago. So, if you’re looking for safe, luxurious, family-friendly living in Chicago, it’s a good choice for you.

Gold Coast, Lake Michigan Shoreline

Gold Coast is a historic treasure, home to historic landmarks like the Astor Street District and the James Charnley House. It’s also filled with imposing mansions, like the original Playboy mansion.

This small, elite neighborhood has an outstanding safety record, stunning homes on tree-lined streets, and remarkable views of the Chicago skyline.

Here, you’ll find the famous Magnificent Mile, where upmarket department stores rub shoulders with outstanding gourmet restaurants.

West Town and Wicker Park, West Chicago

Wicker Park offers a hip, urban-suburban atmosphere. It’s filled with enigmatic museums, vintage shops, specialty stores, trendy taprooms, and thumping music clubs.

You’ll find a diverse and interesting mix of people in this area, as well as an ever-growing restaurant scene and a vibrant art community. In a sense, Wicker Park has a Brooklyn vibe where you can meet people from around the globe against a backdrop of street art and cool artsy spaces.

Finally, it scores a solid five stars in terms of safety and walkability. So, you can explore these interesting spots safely at your leisure.

Bucktown, West Chicago

Bucktown is a safe, relaxed, kid-friendly neighborhood known for excellent entertainment options. Good food, theater, art showcases, and many weekend events are a big part of life here.

If you enjoy the outdoors, Chicago’s newest park, The 606, is on your doorstep. This pristine 3-acre playground meanders along a disused elevated railway line on the outskirts of Bucktown.

You can commute from Bucktown to The Loop in about thirty minutes thanks to a good public transportation system.

Westmont, Northwestern Chicago

Westmont offers a small-town vibe and a crime rate that’s 65% lower than the rest of the city. It’s the perfect place to wind down after a busy day in the city.

Westmont offers parks and trails, movie theaters, a bowling alley, shops, and restaurants to keep you amused. Lake Michigan is close by, allowing you to enjoy a host of waterside activities.

There’s no shortage of good quality schools in the area, with an average of 12 students per teacher. 

The Pace bus system and Metra BNSF line offer an easy commute within this neighborhood and beyond. 

River North and Marina City, Chicago River

River North is one of the most cultured neighborhoods in Illinois and has a concentration of art galleries that rivals that of Manhattan. Fans of architectural treasures will delight in gazing upon the House of Blues and the Wrigley Building.

Here you’ll find the biggest gym in Chicago and downtown’s only comedy club. Fashion, style, and good taste dominate the scene in River North and Marina City, but it’s a little short on green spaces.

Superb nightlife, reliable public transport, and cultural overload add up to create a hotspot for single people looking for non-stop enjoyment.

Safety-wise, this area has a dubious past, but a visible and responsive police force has made it a lot safer in recent times. Most residents feel safe living in this area.

Rogers Park, Northwestern Chicago

Located on the north side of Chicago, Rogers Park lies directly on the shores of Lake Michigan. You’ll find many green spaces in this area and easy access to sandy beaches.

Rogers Park is 23% safer than other suburbs in this area and is home to a tight-knit community. It’s an exceptionally diverse neighborhood where residents speak over 60 different languages.

Community events in Rogers Park include:

  • Artisan markets
  • Arts festivals
  • Movie nights
  • Oktoberfest
  • Live music

Jarvis Square bustles with antique stores, boutiques, smart restaurants, coffee shops, and charming pubs. Glenwood Avenue Arts District is a welcoming stretch of urban art with many murals, cobblestone streets, galleries, and art studios.

Mount Greenwood, South Chicago

Most of Chicago’s safest neighborhoods are on the north side of town. Mount Greenwood is the exception, with a crime rate that’s 60% lower than the rest of the city.

It’s a popular neighborhood for upper-middle-class residents, police officers, and students of the local university, Saint Xavier University. The community is close-knit and sociable, with many residents gathering at one of the congenial neighborhood pubs for Friday night fun.

There are many eateries scattered across this neighborhood, and Mount Greenwood Park offers plenty of green space for outdoor relaxation and summertime movies in the park. The park offers tennis courts, baseball diamonds, an outdoor ice rink, a pool, and a kids’ playground with a splash pad.

The southern end of the neighborhood offers easy access to strip malls for shopping and entertainment. 

Moving to Chicago

Knowing the safest Chicago neighborhoods is a good place to start your quest for a new home. Yet it’s only one item on your extensive moving checklist.

Relocating to a new home can become incredibly stressful if you don’t enlist the right help from the start. Collaborating with one of Chicago’s leading moving companies is the best way to alleviate some of the hassles associated with a move.

Get your free moving estimate today, and let’s get started.



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