Chicago is big, both in size and culture. It is the third-largest city in the United States. Despite being the economic and cultural center of the county, there are pros and cons of living in Chicago. While it’s great to work with some of the big companies and explore the historic monuments and culinary diversity, the city’s rising crime rate is a nightmare.
We here discuss what makes Chicago a special city and what are the pros and cons of moving to Chicago.
Chicago Facts in a Brief
- Chicago is the 3rd most populated city in the US with a population of 2,720,546.
- It is the country’s 11th most expensive city, competing with places like Seattle, Boston, and San Diego.
- Chicago is the 9th richest city in the world.
- Chicago’s economy is extremely diversified and the leading business includes manufacturing, food processing, as well as the recently booming technology and e-commerce scenes.
While speaking about the pros and cons of living in Chicago, let’s begin with positives.
It is easy to move around when you live in Chicago
Living in Chicago; it’s easy to commute to any part of the city. Every remote part of the city is well connected with the public transport network. The city also has the second-largest public transportation system in the United States, offering enough bus and rail options that you may not need to own a car. The public transport here is controlled by CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) and it is both fast and cost-effective. There is also an authorized bike-sharing system that you can use in the city.
The economy is rapidly growing here
The Chicago job market is currently experiencing a high rate of growth, especially compared to the rest of the country. It added more than 90,000 jobs in the last one year and the job-growth rate here is 1.8 % per year. The national growth rate at that time was 1.5%. It is much ahead of other metropolitan areas in the US, including Los Angeles.
The markets that are thriving in Chicago include:
- Supply chain
- Engineering Sales
Some of the biggest names with offices in Chicago include:
- Collins Engineers
- Bulley & Andrews
- Holabird &Root
- Avlon Industries
- Alliant Credit Union
- Eagle Insurance
Chicago sits on the shores of Lake Michigan
Chicago, Illinois sits on the shores of Lake Michigan. Although Lake Michigan doesn’t provide an ocean beach, this body of water is one the largest of its type in the world. During the warm summer days, you can take a stroll along the lakefront to cool down whenever you want. The waterfront also hosts several festivals, barbecues, and parties throughout the year. The city has over 30 miles of beach, with even more available if you have a boat.
Chicago’s sports culture is world-class
Chicago holds the reputation of being the Best Sports City in the United States. There are two MLB baseball teams here to see (Cubs and White Sox), you can watch the NBA for the Bulls, and hockey is represented by the Blackhawks. The Chicago Bears are the NFL team of Chicago.
The culinary diversity in Chicago is amazing
Undoubtedly, Chicago is the best city in the US to explore a wide range of delicacies. From deep-dish pizza to world-famous Chicago hot dogs, the food in Chicago is truly iconic.
Some of the best dishes to taste in Chicago are:
- Deep-dish pizza
- Chicago Italian beef sandwich
- Basic Fried Chicken Dinner
- butter-crust pizza
- Chicago-style popcorn
There are ample outdoor spaces to explore in Chicago
Chicago or the ‘Windy City’ has amazing outdoor venues to spend some quality time. The city is filled with gorgeous parks, outdoors, and natural areas. Especially in fall, they’re looking mind-blowing. Altogether, the city has more than 500 parks Chicago, which makes it one of the best places to live in the US.
Some of the best parks in Chicago are:
- Lincoln Park
- Millennium Park
- Garfield Park
- Grant Park
- Horner Park
- Oz Park
- Medill Park
It is exceptionally easy to navigate the city streets if you get lost
There are multiple pros and cons of living in Chicago but what strikes the best is the navigation plan here. Like anywhere, you may get lost in Chicago, especially if you find yourself in a new neighborhood.
However, reaching back home is simple. You only need to know how the city numbers its streets.
There are eight city blocks per mile in Chicago, with 100 address numbers offered on each one. This means there are approximately 800 numbers per mile. The center of the street grid is Madison Street for the north/south and State Street for the east/west. Track the numbers and your street position and identify how far you are from the center of town.
The city is truly multicultural
The city is ethnically diverse and any discrimination based on race or skin is unheard of here. Chicago takes pride in its tolerance and is highly accommodating. And if you are moving here with your family, this is the America that you want your child to grow in.
Chicago is the 15th costliest city in the US
While speaking about the pros and cons of moving to Chicago, one significant factor that you cannot deny is the cost of living here. Though Chicago has ample job opportunities and the paycheck you receive will be thicker than anywhere else in the country, you will need to cough up a huge amount here. It stands No. 15 on the list of most expensive cities, with average monthly expenses of $2,495. Everything, starting from home, groceries, and fuel to dining out and other entertainment options, you need to shell out much.
Home rental and home buying are cheaper in Chicago
Despite Chicago being one of the costliest cities in the US, it is surprising to note that the housing is pretty cheap here. In Chicago, the average rent is $1,948, compared with $1,463 nationwide. Even to purchase a home, you need to spend less in comparison with some of the big cities in the US. The median home purchase price is $281,000, only slightly higher than the nationwide median price of $245,000.
The shops are open in Chicago 24×7
When you speak about the nightlife, what come to our mind are bars and music clubs. In Chicago, nightlife also means shopping. Even at 3 AM, you can rush to buy groceries as shops are open till the morning wee hours. There are Chinese or Mexican restaurants often right down the street that still serve dinner (or an early breakfast).
Crime is a serious concern while living in Chicago
Before moving to Chicago, you need to know that crime is a serious concern here, especially gang wars. Though the police claim that the crime has drastically reduced in recent years, you will still find troublemakers adoring Al Capone, John Dillinger, and Baby Face Nelson around. And the crime rate in Chicago is above the national average.
What’s more shocking is that the city has more than 60 active street gangs. When you speak about the pros and cons of living in Chicago, you cannot ignore the high crime rate along with thousands of active crime gang members lurking through the streets.
When you own a car, you will be frowned upon in Chicago
If you have a car, ensure you have a parking space before moving to Chicago. Here, owning a car is a challenge as parking space is scarce. You won’t find a place to park a car in front of houses unless you are staying somewhere in a remote suburb. And if you have a car, be ready to get choked in the heavy traffic.
Even while traveling to a big office, you won’t find the space to park a car in front of it. You have to park it somewhere far away and walk to the office. When Chicago takes pride in its robust transport service connecting every corner of the city, why do you need a car?
The winters are callous in Chicago
Chicago goes bone-chilling in winter. It can be so chaotic with heavy wind and snowfall that even schools get closed for a few days as it’s dangerous for students to go outside. The winters are notorious for the overnight piling up of snow that needs to be removed from doorways, driveways, and cars before leaving the house.
Chicago is one of the primary economic centers of the US. Moving here, the city promises you a better lifestyle, fat paychecks, easy travel within the city, robust education and health system, and affordable housing. A transportation hub of the US, the city is also connected to different international cities via air.Like any big city in the world, there can be pros and cons of moving to Chicago but when we seriously consider the merits of the city, it is worth calling your new home.