These Are The 10 Smartest Cities In Illinois

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 2 years ago
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One of the many qualities that people look for in a potential location or company is the intelligence of those around them. This factor can play a huge role in one’s experience at a particular company and can make or break an employee’s time there.

So finding a city with an intelligent population makes sense for both companies and employees. That’s where Zippia comes in; to help you identify those places in Illinois that might have skipped a grade…or two.

You may be wondering how does one determine the intelligence of a town?

Well, we went to the source of all things demographic data – the Census – to figure out what criteria about a place would identify it as a smart cookie.

We looked at the percentage of adults (over 25) with at least a high school degree and the percentage of high school drop outs (aged 16-20) for the 340 largest cities in Illinois with data. We then crunched the numbers and were left with this set of the brightest cities in the Prairie State:

  1. Lake Bluff
  2. Western Springs
  3. Winnetka
  4. Glencoe
  5. Campton Hills
  6. Wilmette
  7. Chatham
  8. Inverness
  9. Lake Forest
  10. Flossmoor

Read on to see why these places got into a four-year college or skip to the end to see a full chart of all the places in our analysis.

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How we determined the smartest places in the Prairie State

Before we could dive into the potential IQs of various places in Illinois, we needed to know which places to look at in the first place. We settled upon any place with over 5,000 people and data available for every criteria.

This left us with 340 places in Illinois.

We then looked at the following criteria to determine the cream of the crop when it comes to smarts:

Our data comes directly from the latest American Community Survey from the Census.

We thought this criteria was representative of the current state of smarts with the potential for a place to improve the education levels of the next generation. And it’s not like we are setting the education bar incredibly high — 80% of students graduate from high school nowadays.

In order to determine the smartest, we ranked all the cities for each criteria from one to 340 with one being the “smartest” in any category.

We took the average rank across all criteria, with the place posting the highest overall score being given the diploma for “Smartest City In Illinois”.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart. Otherwise, learn more about how the top ten cities achieved their potential.

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1. Lake Bluff

Smartest Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,867
Adults Without High School Diploma: 0.2%
Teenage High School Drop Outs: 0.5%

2. Western Springs

Smartest Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,066
Adults Without High School Diploma: 1.1%
Teenage High School Drop Outs: 0.3%

3. Winnetka

Smartest Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,366
Adults Without High School Diploma: 1.2%
Teenage High School Drop Outs: 0.8%

4. Glencoe

Smartest Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,824
Adults Without High School Diploma: 1.3%
Teenage High School Drop Outs: 0.25%

5. Campton Hills

Smartest Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,908
Adults Without High School Diploma: 1.4%
Teenage High School Drop Outs: 0.4%

6. Wilmette

Smartest Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,345
Adults Without High School Diploma: 1.2%
Teenage High School Drop Outs: 0.5%

7. Chatham

Smartest Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,131
Adults Without High School Diploma: 2.0%
Teenage High School Drop Outs: 0.6%

8. Inverness

Smartest Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,516
Adults Without High School Diploma: 2.0%
Teenage High School Drop Outs: 0.3%

9. Lake Forest

Smartest Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,914
Adults Without High School Diploma: 2.0%
Teenage High School Drop Outs: 0.2%

10. Flossmoor

Smartest Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,339
Adults Without High School Diploma: 2.1%
Teenage High School Drop Outs: 0.4%

And that’s how you graduate in style

Detailed List Of Smartest Cities In Illinois

CityRankPopulationAdults Without High School DiplomaTeenage High School Drop Outs

Lake Bluff 1 5,867 0.2% 0.0%
Western Springs 2 13,066 1.1% 0.0%
Winnetka 3 12,366 1.2% 0.0%
Glencoe 4 8,824 1.3% 0.0%
Campton Hills 5 10,908 1.4% 0.0%
Wilmette 6 27,345 1.2% 0.5%
Chatham 7 12,131 2.0% 0.0%
Inverness 8 7,516 2.0% 0.0%
Lake Forest 9 18,914 2.0% 0.0%
Flossmoor 10 9,339 2.1% 0.0%
Lincolnshire 11 7,270 2.7% 0.0%
Manhattan 12 7,017 2.7% 0.0%
Elburn 13 5,733 2.8% 0.0%
Clarendon Hills 14 8,548 3.1% 0.0%
Savoy 15 7,835 3.1% 0.0%
Frankfort 16 18,100 3.3% 0.0%
Maryville 17 7,727 3.4% 0.0%
Mokena 18 18,804 3.5% 0.0%
Northfield 19 5,332 2.2% 0.7%
Gilberts 20 7,256 3.6% 0.0%
Willowbrook 21 8,607 3.6% 0.0%
Oswego 22 31,723 3.6% 0.0%
Sugar Grove 23 9,096 3.9% 0.0%
New Lenox 24 24,747 3.5% 0.6%
Hinsdale 25 16,898 1.6% 1.3%
Oak Brook 26 7,967 3.9% 0.0%
Barrington 27 10,830 4.0% 0.0%
Monee 28 5,133 4.1% 0.0%
Plainfield 29 40,641 4.1% 0.3%
West Dundee 30 7,367 4.2% 0.0%
Oak Park 31 51,988 3.6% 0.7%
Deerfield 32 18,476 2.1% 1.5%
Willow Springs 33 5,692 4.4% 0.0%
Homewood 34 19,642 4.4% 0.0%
Libertyville 35 20,398 3.3% 1.2%
La Grange Park 36 13,624 3.8% 0.7%
Edwardsville 37 24,464 3.3% 1.1%
Huntley 38 25,200 4.5% 0.0%
Lindenhurst 39 14,412 4.5% 0.0%
Buffalo Grove 40 41,613 3.1% 1.4%
Batavia 41 25,905 4.5% 0.0%
Long Grove 42 8,017 2.1% 1.7%
Antioch 43 14,395 4.5% 0.0%
Spring Grove 44 5,390 4.6% 0.0%
Lake Zurich 45 19,849 4.6% 0.0%
Washington 46 15,525 4.6% 0.0%
Normal 47 54,082 4.2% 0.6%
Hawthorn Woods 48 7,727 4.7% 0.0%
Downers Grove 49 49,372 4.1% 0.8%
Riverside 50 8,915 4.9% 0.0%
Burr Ridge 51 10,678 5.0% 0.0%
Auburn 52 5,004 5.0% 0.0%
Olympia Fields 53 5,022 5.1% 0.0%
Winfield 54 9,368 3.5% 1.7%
Roselle 55 22,951 5.2% 0.3%
Glen Ellyn 56 27,394 5.4% 0.0%
River Forest 57 11,211 3.4% 2.0%
Channahon 58 12,422 3.6% 1.6%
Morton 59 16,493 5.5% 0.0%
Naperville 60 144,108 3.3% 2.1%
Lisle 61 22,626 4.4% 1.2%
Glenview 62 45,400 4.7% 0.9%
Vernon Hills 63 25,535 5.0% 0.8%
Minooka 64 11,225 5.8% 0.0%
Mount Zion 65 5,830 5.8% 0.0%
Matteson 66 19,097 5.8% 0.0%
Cary 67 18,115 5.9% 0.0%
Glen Carbon 68 13,095 5.9% 0.0%
Arlington Heights 69 75,577 4.0% 2.0%
Geneva 70 21,662 3.0% 2.7%
Lombard 71 43,853 5.7% 0.6%
Homer Glen 72 24,322 5.7% 0.6%
Eureka 73 5,638 6.0% 0.0%
Elmhurst 74 45,105 5.1% 1.0%
Peoria Heights 75 6,056 6.0% 0.0%
Northbrook 76 33,396 3.1% 2.8%
Wheaton 77 53,406 4.2% 2.0%
Geneseo 78 6,500 6.2% 0.0%
Darien 79 22,251 4.5% 1.7%
Sycamore 80 17,473 5.0% 1.4%
Orland Hills 81 7,252 6.5% 0.0%
Mascoutah 82 7,675 6.5% 0.0%
Shorewood 83 16,186 6.7% 0.0%
Evanston 84 75,282 6.2% 0.6%
Algonquin 85 30,189 4.3% 2.2%
Shiloh 86 12,706 4.7% 1.9%
Brookfield 87 19,022 6.0% 0.7%
Troy 88 9,931 5.3% 1.5%
Lake Villa 89 8,860 4.4% 2.2%
Columbia 90 9,889 6.8% 0.0%
Champaign 91 82,848 5.7% 1.5%
Carterville 92 5,635 7.3% 0.0%
La Grange 93 15,675 5.4% 1.9%
Macomb 94 19,193 6.6% 0.8%
Lockport 95 25,063 5.4% 2.0%
Park Ridge 96 37,511 4.3% 2.9%
Highland 97 9,738 8.0% 0.0%
Palos Heights 98 12,572 8.1% 0.0%
Woodridge 99 33,227 5.3% 2.2%
University Park 100 6,852 8.1% 0.0%
Lemont 101 16,376 6.4% 1.3%
DeKalb 102 44,092 8.2% 0.0%
Highland Park 103 29,819 3.8% 3.8%
Richton Park 104 13,718 6.8% 1.0%
Monticello 105 5,400 5.0% 2.6%
Johnsburg 106 6,322 4.5% 3.1%
Gurnee 107 31,182 5.7% 2.2%
Pingree Grove 108 5,062 8.7% 0.0%
Elk Grove Village 109 33,288 6.3% 1.8%
Bourbonnais 110 18,641 6.7% 1.5%
Winthrop Harbor 111 6,744 8.9% 0.0%
South Elgin 112 22,126 5.9% 2.3%
Manteno 113 9,585 8.0% 0.9%
Carbondale 114 26,374 8.2% 0.7%
Bethalto 115 9,443 9.0% 0.0%
Rockton 116 7,461 5.4% 2.9%
Broadview 117 7,956 9.1% 0.0%
Swansea 118 13,870 6.1% 2.1%
Orland Park 119 57,802 5.5% 2.7%
Island Lake 120 8,033 9.1% 0.0%
North Aurora 121 16,927 7.0% 1.5%
Milan 122 5,122 9.1% 0.0%
Mount Carmel 123 7,155 9.4% 0.0%
Morton Grove 124 23,424 9.3% 0.3%
Urbana 125 41,760 6.7% 2.0%
Carol Stream 126 40,136 9.5% 0.0%
O’Fallon 127 29,100 3.8% 5.4%
Westmont 128 25,236 6.8% 2.1%
Tinley Park 129 57,099 5.9% 3.0%
Roscoe 130 10,724 6.5% 2.3%
Park Forest 131 22,490 8.6% 1.3%
Lynwood 132 9,260 6.8% 2.4%
Princeton 133 7,698 6.4% 2.8%
Fox Lake 134 10,757 10.5% 0.0%
Bloomingdale 135 22,208 8.3% 1.8%
Bloomington 136 77,883 5.5% 4.0%
Crystal Lake 137 40,598 7.7% 2.2%
Schaumburg 138 74,560 5.9% 3.4%
Wilmington 139 5,934 10.7% 0.0%
Braidwood 140 6,191 10.7% 0.0%
Lakemoor 141 6,576 10.8% 0.0%
Yorkville 142 17,980 4.8% 5.2%
Hoffman Estates 143 52,271 8.4% 2.0%
Calumet Park 144 8,189 10.8% 0.0%
Lincolnwood 145 12,653 9.4% 1.2%
Jerseyville 146 8,305 10.6% 0.5%
Genoa 147 5,716 11.0% 0.0%
Silvis 148 7,525 11.2% 0.0%
Olney 149 8,997 11.3% 0.0%
Spring Valley 150 5,441 7.9% 2.6%
Mundelein 151 31,498 11.4% 0.0%
Crete 152 8,284 3.1% 9.4%
Mahomet 153 7,592 2.8% 10.5%
Wauconda 154 13,189 11.6% 0.0%
Bradley 155 15,822 8.7% 2.2%
St. Charles 156 33,422 7.3% 3.2%
Lake in the Hills 157 28,926 6.4% 4.0%
Flora 158 5,045 11.6% 0.0%
Waterloo 159 10,102 5.3% 5.8%
Wood Dale 160 13,882 11.8% 0.0%
Midlothian 161 14,901 10.5% 1.2%
Machesney Park 162 23,180 11.9% 0.0%
Country Club Hills 163 16,752 8.4% 2.7%
Villa Park 164 22,073 10.1% 1.7%
Montgomery 165 18,780 11.1% 0.9%
Marengo 166 7,451 12.3% 0.0%
Itasca 167 8,579 8.9% 2.5%
Westchester 168 16,786 9.1% 2.4%
Palos Hills 169 17,584 10.0% 2.0%
Bolingbrook 170 74,112 11.4% 1.1%
Romeoville 171 39,675 12.8% 0.4%
Norridge 172 14,713 12.8% 0.6%
McHenry 173 26,803 8.5% 3.4%
Hampshire 174 6,053 13.4% 0.0%
Glenwood 175 9,040 10.4% 2.0%
Taylorville 176 11,761 13.2% 0.4%
Palatine 177 69,015 8.7% 3.4%
Wheeling 178 37,886 13.9% 0.0%
Chicago Ridge 179 14,410 12.1% 0.8%
Herrin 180 12,721 9.4% 2.8%
Godfrey 181 17,911 5.5% 7.2%
Oak Forest 182 28,104 8.8% 3.4%
Charleston 183 22,065 12.1% 1.0%
Bartonville 184 6,440 10.3% 2.2%
Evergreen Park 185 19,924 8.0% 4.2%
Lansing 186 28,486 10.4% 2.3%
Rantoul 187 13,214 14.8% 0.0%
Coal City 188 5,460 7.0% 5.6%
Justice 189 13,001 15.3% 0.0%
Fairview Heights 190 17,250 7.8% 5.3%
Alsip 191 19,385 14.4% 0.6%
Monmouth 192 9,565 15.5% 0.0%
Peru 193 10,172 8.8% 4.1%
Round Lake 194 18,399 14.6% 0.7%
Grayslake 195 20,863 6.7% 6.6%
Marion 196 17,353 9.5% 3.5%
Loves Park 197 24,435 9.8% 3.2%
Niles 198 29,939 15.9% 0.0%
Quincy 199 40,782 10.1% 3.4%
Colona 200 5,057 16.4% 0.0%
Greenville 201 6,860 16.5% 0.0%
Springfield 202 116,815 8.7% 5.1%
Litchfield 203 6,913 16.7% 0.0%
North Riverside 204 6,940 10.5% 3.2%
Bartlett 205 41,529 7.2% 6.7%
Skokie 206 65,056 10.9% 3.0%
Belleville 207 43,296 9.1% 4.6%
Mendota 208 7,161 17.5% 0.0%
Clinton 209 6,931 11.1% 3.1%
Lyons 210 10,667 18.0% 0.0%
South Holland 211 22,123 8.9% 5.4%
Robbins 212 5,221 18.1% 0.0%
Rochelle 213 9,492 18.2% 0.0%
Forest Park 214 14,202 7.2% 7.5%
Highwood 215 5,400 18.8% 0.0%
Freeport 216 25,225 11.4% 3.2%
Mount Prospect 217 54,589 11.7% 2.7%
Ottawa 218 18,992 9.8% 4.8%
Poplar Grove 219 5,498 6.1% 11.7%
Lincoln 220 14,382 10.0% 4.8%
Bridgeview 221 16,550 20.0% 0.0%
Hillside 222 8,192 20.0% 0.0%
Dolton 223 23,262 13.1% 2.3%
Franklin Park 224 18,389 20.6% 0.0%
Oak Lawn 225 56,969 10.9% 4.0%
Collinsville 226 25,282 7.6% 8.7%
Metropolis 227 6,466 20.9% 0.0%
Crestwood 228 11,006 9.0% 6.5%
Hickory Hills 229 14,117 12.9% 2.7%
Hazel Crest 230 14,102 11.0% 4.1%
Woodstock 231 25,121 11.6% 3.5%
Stickney 232 6,810 21.9% 0.0%
Countryside 233 5,974 9.8% 5.7%
Centreville 234 5,208 23.0% 0.0%
River Grove 235 10,268 11.6% 4.1%
Calumet City 236 37,197 14.4% 2.5%
Morris 237 13,929 10.9% 5.0%
Glendale Heights 238 34,436 18.4% 1.3%
Pekin 239 33,928 9.5% 6.7%
Wood River 240 10,477 10.1% 5.9%
Beach Park 241 13,851 8.1% 10.0%
Moline 242 43,087 12.0% 4.2%
Mount Vernon 243 15,069 14.5% 2.9%
Effingham 244 12,428 8.3% 10.9%
Streamwood 245 40,746 13.5% 3.5%
Des Plaines 246 58,802 12.1% 4.3%
Warrenville 247 13,361 7.3% 20.2%
Rolling Meadows 248 23,646 13.7% 3.6%
Chillicothe 249 6,181 10.4% 6.8%
Creve Coeur 250 5,717 13.4% 3.8%
East Peoria 251 23,225 8.6% 11.3%
North Chicago 252 30,760 21.0% 1.6%
Mattoon 253 17,906 11.5% 5.6%
Pana 254 5,601 12.3% 5.0%
Rock Island 255 38,888 14.1% 3.9%
Jacksonville 256 19,315 13.2% 4.3%
Round Lake Park 257 7,758 24.0% 1.4%
Riverdale 258 13,278 11.6% 5.9%
Posen 259 5,934 26.2% 1.3%
Alton 260 27,517 10.9% 6.9%
South Beloit 261 8,129 12.3% 5.4%
Berkeley 262 5,219 11.2% 6.8%
Peoria 263 115,718 11.5% 6.8%
Sterling 264 15,208 15.6% 4.0%
Harwood Heights 265 8,656 17.0% 3.7%
Joliet 266 147,786 16.3% 4.0%
Addison 267 37,215 21.9% 2.5%
Du Quoin 268 6,012 15.0% 5.2%
Zion 269 24,292 18.4% 3.9%
Centralia 270 12,880 12.0% 8.8%
Hanover Park 271 38,302 22.7% 3.4%
Granite City 272 29,764 13.6% 7.5%
Worth 273 10,827 13.0% 9.1%
West Frankfort 274 8,247 19.5% 4.3%
Sandwich 275 7,513 12.0% 11.2%
Streator 276 13,152 15.7% 6.3%
Shelbyville 277 5,211 11.4% 16.3%
Galesburg 278 31,898 16.5% 5.9%
East Moline 279 21,294 16.9% 5.9%
Elmwood Park 280 24,960 12.8% 9.9%
Elgin 281 110,906 21.4% 4.2%
Decatur 282 75,088 13.3% 9.4%
Markham 283 12,625 17.8% 5.9%
Berwyn 284 56,762 21.6% 4.8%
Crest Hill 285 20,444 15.4% 8.0%
Sauk Village 286 10,545 16.7% 6.7%
Kewanee 287 12,694 20.7% 5.2%
Danville 288 32,483 15.8% 7.3%
Bensenville 289 18,457 21.2% 5.1%
Dixon 290 14,963 14.9% 9.3%
Burbank 291 29,097 22.7% 4.9%
Chicago 292 2,712,608 18.4% 6.2%
Salem 293 7,135 13.2% 12.7%
Watseka 294 5,463 15.3% 8.8%
LaSalle 295 9,537 13.3% 14.4%
Waukegan 296 88,671 29.4% 4.3%
Carlinville 297 5,615 15.8% 8.7%
Bellwood 298 19,149 17.4% 7.0%
Melrose Park 299 25,514 33.6% 4.2%
Rock Falls 300 9,111 18.5% 6.7%
Prospect Heights 301 16,344 15.5% 9.5%
Carmi 302 5,307 15.3% 10.2%
Steger 303 9,569 17.0% 8.4%
Robinson 304 7,264 13.5% 16.3%
Belvidere 305 25,713 20.6% 6.5%
Summit 306 11,367 30.6% 5.0%
Round Lake Beach 307 28,048 25.9% 5.3%
Rockford 308 151,290 17.4% 9.0%
Canton 309 14,650 15.2% 14.3%
Aurora 310 199,878 23.6% 6.1%
East St. Louis 311 26,697 21.0% 6.9%
Blue Island 312 23,453 22.3% 6.5%
Fairfield 313 5,080 14.2% 21.3%
Carpentersville 314 38,128 27.2% 5.6%
Pontiac 315 12,012 16.0% 11.2%
Harrisburg 316 8,989 17.3% 9.9%
Paris 317 8,702 15.4% 15.6%
Hoopeston 318 5,474 18.3% 9.7%
Maywood 319 24,148 21.4% 7.7%
Murphysboro 320 8,189 15.7% 16.7%
Cicero 321 84,423 38.5% 6.2%
Chicago Heights 322 30,410 21.7% 8.7%
Pontoon Beach 323 5,804 15.6% 41.5%
East Alton 324 6,231 16.2% 18.3%
Kankakee 325 27,145 23.7% 8.3%
Benton 326 7,185 15.7% 42.8%
West Chicago 327 27,416 26.3% 7.2%
Northlake 328 12,368 29.6% 7.1%
Cahokia 329 14,905 17.3% 17.6%
Schiller Park 330 11,842 19.5% 12.0%
Plano 331 11,371 19.5% 15.1%
Vandalia 332 6,247 19.3% 23.0%
Hillsboro 333 8,371 18.9% 29.0%
Harvard 334 9,829 27.4% 10.1%
Beardstown 335 6,336 22.8% 14.2%
Park City 336 7,551 32.2% 10.7%
Harvey 337 25,225 24.3% 15.1%
Pinckneyville 338 5,600 24.7% 17.4%
Chester 339 8,495 32.1% 20.9%
Sumner 340 5,556 39.7% 71.3%

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