We are discussing the pros and cons of living in Aurora, IL but let’s know some important facts about the city. Just an hour away from Chicago, the economic center of the US, Aurora is ranked as one of the best cities to live the American dream. A city with abundant charm, Aurora is full of first-rate attractions, from nightlife and entertainment to outlet shopping, fun parks, and other outdoor spaces. Before moving there, you need to know what are the pros and cons of living in Aurora, Il, as this will help you understand the city much better.
An outer suburb of Chicago, the second-most populous city in the US, Aurora is primarily spread in DuPage and Kane counties. It was one of the first cities in the US to implement an all-electric street lighting system, for which it got a nickname ‘the City of Lights’.
Once a midsize manufacturing city, Aurora has grown since the 1960s, and currently, it is one of the major economic hubs of the country and a prominent satellite town of Chicago. The second-largest city in Illinois, it is a confluence of architecture, nature, and business.
Aurora Quick Facts
- State: Illinois
- Area: 45.93 square miles
- Population: 203,191
- Density: 4,515/sq mi
- Demonym: Auroran
- Median income: $63, 569
- Median home price: $181,100
The Pros and cons of living in Aurora, Illinois
Before wasting much time, let’s move ahead to analyze what are the pros and cons of moving to Aurora, Illinois. Let’s start with positive notes.
The economy is so powerful in Aurora
Aurora has been a manufacturing hub of the US for long decades. And it has grown since the 1960s as an economic power center. The proximity of Chicago is a major factor that has contributed to the growth of Aurora.
Some of the big manufacturing names in Aurora include
- Lyon Workspace Products
- The Aurora Silverplate Manufacturing Company
- Barber-Greene Company
- The Chicago Corset Company
- The Aurora Brewing Company
- Stephens-Adamson Company
- Caterpillar Inc.
- Western Electric
- Allsteel Metals
- National Metalwares
- Western Wheeled Scraper Works
There are more job opportunities in Aurora
Since Aurora is a major manufacturing hub, there is no dearth of job opportunities here. The economy has been booming since the 1960s and it is assumed to grow further for the next decade. The unemployment rate in Aurora is 4.2%, slightly higher than the nation’s 3.9% average but that doesn’t mean that there is an issue for you in finding a good job here. The job market has increased by 1.3% over the last year.
Apart from the manufacturing sector, Aurora also has a strong tourism industry and there are several jobs in hospitality services.
Since you might be interested in knowing the best paymasters in Aurora, we have filtered down 5 top names for you.
- Glanbia Performance Nutrition
- Westell Technologies
- Henry Pratt Co.
- Hollywood Casino Aurora
- Mitutoyo America
You can find an affordable good home in Aurora
Moving to Aurora, you need a home to stay and finding one will not be that difficult. An average house value in Aurora is $198,699, which has gone up 3.6% in the past year and is 2% higher than the Illinois average. However, the housing here is still 1% less than the national average. The home value is predicted to grow up by 7% in the next year.
Similarly, you can rent a home for $1,500. Considering the city’s cost of living and job opportunities, this is a reasonable and affordable rate.
In Aurora, 64.7% of people own a house and that sounds pretty like music to the newcomers.
There are various landmarks buildings in Aurora to explore
Aurora is rich in culture and is home to numerous architectural landmarks and historical sites. Moving here, you will get ample opportunities to visit and explore them
Let’s see some of the historical sites in Aurora
The Keystone Building
This is a a historically significant four-story private office building constructed in 1922 in Stop Island by George Grant Elimsle.
A historic mortuary in Aurora, Healy Chapel was designed by George Grant Elmslie and is one of only a few Prairie School buildings designed for commercial purposes.
Old Second National Bank
Constructed in 1924, the building has Roman brick masonry with its horizontal emphasis, elaborate terra cotta ornaments, and stained glass windows in a stylized geometric motif. Its exterior demonstrates the Prairie style emphasis on the horizontal, especially the southern elevation with its rows of vertical piers, bands of window openings, and granite base.
Built in 1926, the riverfront Graham Building has identical decorative face brick and horizontal terra cotta and brick string-coursing on both the street and riverfront facades. The 8-floor building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Paramount Theater
Commissioned in 1931, this was the first air-conditioned theater outside Chicago and can hold 1,885 people. The theater was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Aurora has a lot of outdoor venues to explore
Green scenery, lush gardens, and enticing views of rivers make Aurora one of the scenic destinations in the US. Moving here, you can explore them with family or friends to make the weekends or vacations joyous and fabulous.
When we speak about the pros and cons of living in Aurora, you cannot skip the trailing and hiking venues here which also host summer festivals and fairs.
Here’s a list of outdoor gardens and parks in Aurora
- Philips Park Sunken Garden
- RiverEdge Park
- McCullough Park
- Garfield Park
- Waubonsie Lake Park
- Lippold Park
- North Aurora Riverfront Park
- Spring Lake Park
- Red Oak Nature Center
- Oakhurst Forest Preserve
- Fabyan Forest Preserve
Aurora is comparatively safer than other US cities
The neighborhoods in Aurora are relatively safer and the city reports less crime than the big cities in Illinois. While the crime rate here is 49% lower than the national average, it is also safer than 51% of cities in the country. And more interestingly, the crime rate is getting decreased by over 10% every year.
10 safest neighborhoods in Aurora
- 83rd St / Normantown Rd
- W Hafenrichter Rd / S Carls Dr
- Mccoy Dr / Inverness Dr
- Old Molitor Rd / Eola Rd
- E New York St / Vaughn Rd
- Montgomery Rd / 83rd St
- 83rd St / Andover Dr
- Ogden Ave / S Route 59
Aurora is highly multicultural
The economic prosperity has brought in a huge number of people to Aurora and over the years the demographics have become highly multicultural. While 56% of the population is white here, 10.2% are African-American, and 7.7% are Asian American.
Highly multicultural, Aurora is highly tolerant of all cultures and beliefs and promises a safe and secured living atmosphere. Moving with your family, you will love here as your child will grow in a diverse and multicultural atmosphere.
A senor-friendly tax system is followed here
Everyone knows that Aurora has the worst tax system in the US. But you will be surprised to know that it is senior-friendly. As per the tax system in Illinois, all residents above 65 years of age are exempted from paying taxes. Illinois also exempts almost all retirement income from taxes. Tax-free retirement income includes Social Security benefits, military benefits, public and private pensions, and retirement savings accounts such as a 401(k) or IRA.
The tax privileges that seniors obtain in Aurora have made the city a perfect home for seniors. Next time, when you find someone above 65 moving to Aurora, don’t get amused.
Since our topic is pros and cons of moving to Aurora, we also need to crosscheck the negatives of the city.
The cost of living is high in Aurora
Since Aurora is the 34th fastest growing city in the country, it is natural for the cost of living to be high here. The high rate of employment opportunities along with better salary packages contributes to the cost of living.
Aurora’s cost of living is equal to the national average and it is also considered to be one of the best livable cities in the US. High taxes and household income contribute to the high cost of living here. The median household income is $66,848, which is higher than the national average of $55,322.
The tax system here is the most pathetic in the US
While speaking about the pros and cons of living in Aurora, we cannot move ahead without discussing the killer tax system in Illinois. How could we forget the fact that Illinois has the highest property tax in the US, which is about 2.31%? This is almost double the national average. Do you need another reason to be a critic of the state’s tax policy?
Aurora’s extreme climate can be a drawback
The weather in Northern Illinois is fickle. It experiences cold winters and warm summers with a humid continental climate. In winters, it will come down to 15°F and in summers, it will go up to 84°F. High summers can make you sick and heatwaves in the 90s are not uncommon.
Winters are harsh in Aurora and the city receives heavy snowfall and periodic blizzards. Aurora’s weather is greatly influenced by Lake Michigan and on average; the city receives 38 inches of rain every year.
Though tornadoes occur in Northern Illinois annually, Aurora has not been struck by any major tornado in recent history.
Aurora is one of the best places to start a new life. There’re pros and cons of living in Aurora, Il, but when we analyze deep, the merits of the city overshadows the demerits. If a better life complemented with a higher salary, a better standard of living, and cheap housing is your dream, Aurora is your new home.