Evanston has made CNNMoney.com’s list of the 25 best places in the nation to live if you’re rich and single.

But some of us may be terribly disappointed to learn that we ranked 16th, three places behind the only other Chicago-area community on the list, Oak Park.

And they do like our beaches, but it’s not just that … or the money here. Here’s the profile of Evanston that Money offers: 

Nestled along the shore of Lake Michigan, Evanston invites singles to meet up at its sandy beaches for lakefront walks and bike rides while enjoying a picture-perfect view of Chicago’s cityscape. Home to Northwestern University’s undergraduate campus and business school, the town also has plenty of sidewalk cafes to sip coffee and mingle with the smart set. If your conversation takes you to world religions or exquisite architecture, stroll down Evanston’s tree-lined streets to neighboring Wilmette to get a glimpse of the only Baha’i temple in North America.

The ranking seems to be based mainly on the high percentage of singles in Evanston, 39.6 percent, and our median family income of $100,007.

Judging from the rest of the list, you need to have at least 30 percent singles in town and a median family income of at least $90,000 to be considered, and it helps greatly to be near the beach in California, where 12 of the chosen towns are located. There’s that beach thing again.

What do you think? Has CNNMoney got Evanston pegged right?

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. ,but if you are a middle class family.

    I am glad that Evanston got some exposure on CNNmoney.com’s list. It is great place to live especially in the summer.  But if you are middle class family living in this town is getting tougher with all the rising city and school fees and taxes coming from all directions.   Middle class families are getting slowly pushed out.

  2. Awesome

    Very happy for Evanston! 

    The single part is fine. 

    Not sure about the rich part, I am not.  And I do not know how many will be with the already high property taxes and the rising taxes on every front in Evanston.  A shame.

  3. Evanston is great

    Firstly, how could Oak Park be ranked higher than Evanston?  And- if I was rich and single I don’t think I’d live in either place…  

    For the past 20 years I assumed that I’d reside in and raise my family in Chicago.  2 years ago some life circumstances changed and we moved to Evanston.  We love our new home.  What I find amazing is how residents, especially those who comment on this sight, obsess over taxes.  With all the things to love about being here such as the beach, the lake, the downtown, the restaurants, the transit options, the parks, Bennison’s, architecture, Northwestern, highly educated neighbors, diversity, the gentle urbanity and perhaps most significantly, it’s quietude compared to Chicago.   

    I left a home (where I was totally content) in a very low cost, low tax Chicago neighborhood that was a mess.  We were bombarded with loud music blasting from cars, car alarms, honking horns, ice cream trucks, tricked out cars with modified exhaust systems, thundering motorcycles, street fights and late night drunks.  The summer was the worst.

    Furthermore, because our local public school was over-crowded and out of control we were looking at private school for our children.  Our  public spaces were trash strewn and dangerous after dark.  Our neighbors were a mix of non-english speakers or entrenched, bitter racists.  When we added up the costs of private school tuition, needing two cars and the need to leave town every weekend (we would come to Evanston for the 4th of July, Hotel Orrington allows dogs!) it was more twice our so-called "high" Evanston Property taxes.  

    Evanston is lovely and I plan on being here for a long time.  (In fact, I’m a bit thankful for the Global Financial taking the wind out of the sails of runaway home prices- developers, Realtors and bankers- not property taxes -should be the target of middle class ire)  I don’t want to pay more tax than I have to but I don’t expect to have things given to me free of charge.  From my experience, we in Evanston, rich or poor, single or spoken for have a bargain.

    1. Evanston is great

      So nice to hear from a happy Evanston resident!   We are 24 year residents and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the Chicago area.  (In the winter, we do think about being snowbirds, but that’s not Evanston’s fault….)

    2. Just curious why you think

      Just curious why you think Realtors should be the target of middle-class ire???? I am a middle-class Realtor and Evanston resident struggling to keep my own family afloat in an extremely challenging real estate market and my modest home has lost 30% of its value over the past few years just as my neighbors’ homes have.

    3. Evanston is great for the rich

      I’m glad you like it here, Shoe Throwing Liberal.  Please remember that not of Evanston lives like you seem to, though.  The words you used to describe your neighborhood in Chicago — "loud music blasting from cars, car alarms, honking horns, ice cream trucks, tricked out cars with modified exhaust systems, thundering motorcycles, street fights and late night drunks" — almost perfectly describe my life in a less privileged part of Evanston (without the low taxes, unfortunately).  

    4. Drive to Oak Park and look

      Drive to Oak Park and look around.

      Oak Park is nice. Evanston is not.

      ‘nuf said.


  4. Now we need to know about business

    We have had some business ratings as best place for start ups.  I’d like to see a few more stuides that indicate whether a business (for profit) in the 50-200 employee range wants to come here. When we get a comprehensive Economic Development Corporation established someday, we may be able to accomplish this business attraction and retention, especially for "second-stage companies".

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