Mokena, Ill.

Mokena, Ill.

Nearest major city: Chicago
Population: 17,320
Median family income: $101,187
Median home price: $249,649
Unemployment rate: 11%
Violent crime index: 19

The village, which was mostly rural 20 years ago, is among the fastest-growing areas in the region. Sports leagues and a historical society in Mokena organize community activities. Once a week during warmer months there is a popular outdoor French Market where produce, crafts, and other goods are sold. The Mokena School District is an attraction to families but recent financial problems have led the schools to scale back programming in the 2010-11 budget, according to the SouthtownStar.