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Downtown Naperville, Illinois Riverwalk

County: DuPage

Nearest big city: Chicago

This western suburb of Chicago is growing, and it’s not hard to see why: Naperville, Il., has been named the best place to be a kid by the U.S. Census Bureau, the best place to raise a family by the education site Niche and one of AARP’s top ten towns for seniors.

A host of corporate headquarters call Naperville home, and the Northern Illinois Planning Commission projects 83,000 new jobs in the city by 2023. Families hoping to give their children a safe, nurturing and economically robust environment to grow up will find Naperville is a competitive option, offering some of the state’s best public schools, according to the Illinois State Report Card. Naperville’s average home price surpasses even Chicago at $503,471.

The city’s many recreational activities are another reason families say they love living here. Take a stroll through Riverwalk Park, or visit the Morton Arboretum to see spectacular fall colors and lush summer and springtime greenery. More of a beach person? Naperville’s Centennial Beach along the Dupage River will satisfy your swimming and sunbathing needs. — Mary Ellen Cagnassola

[money-bpl-stats population="142,360" income="$128,381" home-price="$422,323" unemployment="3.5%" location="Naperville, Illinois"]