Moving to Illinois? Relocation Guide for 2020

This is a complete guide for Moving to Illinois.
Get all the information you need to know about moving to Illinois.

If you love big cities, enjoy spending time outdoors, enthusiastic about sports, concerts, attractive towns, moving to Illinois could be a great idea.

Illinois is third largest city in the U.S., Chicago - famous for its breathtaking skyline, midwestern charm, commerce, and iconic architecture.

If you're wondering if moving to Illinois is right for you, we created this guide to help you review all the right information you need about the state before making up your mind about moving or not.

Make the Most of All the Information You Need to Know About Moving to Illinois

Here's a quick summary of what we're going to cover in this Illinois state guide:

move to illinois

Top 10 Reasons To Move To Illinois

You deserve the best of everything good if you're moving to Illinois. Here are key reasons why moving to Illinois could be the right choice.

  • Study at the biggest public library in the world
  • It's a windy state and you'll enjoy bonfire parties
  • The soil is amazing for planting
  • Get the chance to see a river run backward
  • You'll enjoy the best Pumpkin pie in the world
  • There are so many fun activities in Chicago
  • You'll enjoy watching baseball, NBA, and hockey etc
  • Enjoy a big mac at the first ever MacDonald
  • Top-rated schools from elementary to colleges
  • Eat as many deep-dish pizzas as you can
pros and cons of illinois

Pros & Cons of Living in Illinois

Moving to Illinois means you'll have to put up with the pros and cons of living in the state. Here's a simple summary of the pros and cons of living in Illinois:

The pros The cons
Trade and Commerce CenterVery cold winter
Fun TraditionsHeavy traffic and lots of bad drivers
Good transportation systemHigh cost of living
World-famous sport cultureHigh crime rates
Rich in History and ArchitectureYou'll have to put up with toll roads
Diverse Food
Beautiful parks and outdoors
Reliable air transport system
palce to live in illinois

Best Places to Live in Illinois

If you decide to move to Illinois, what city or neighborhood should you choose to live?

There are tons of neighborhoods for everyone moving to Illinois regardless of your lifestyle. To help you make the right choice, we've compiled data from Home Snacks and Area Vibes about the best places to live in Illinois.

1. Deerfield

Population: 18,930
Median Home Value: $510,600
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%

Deerfield is rated as one of the best places to live in Illinois because of its low crime rate, low unemployment rate, and livability score. The city's crime rate is about 70 percent less than the state of Illinois and U.S. average.

If you're considering moving to Illinois, Deerfield could be the right place for you to live in. Here's how Deerfield compare to the rest of Illinois:

  • Deerfield, IL has a Livability Score of 81
  • Crime rates in Deerfield are 68% lower than the state of Illinois average
  • Cost of Living in Germantown is 21% above the state's averageDeerfield cost of living is 50% higher than the state of Illinois average
  • Deerfield real estate costs are 191% above the state of Illinois average
  • Rental prices in Deerfield are 69% above the state of Illinois average

2. Western Springs

Population: 13,227
Median Home Value: $590,800
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%

Western Springs is nestled just between Chicago and Naperville. The city's high median household income (rated 9th highest across the state), unemployment level and low crime rates makes it one of the best places to live in Illinois.

If you're interested in moving to Illinois, here's a summary of the key metrics of living in Western Springs:

  • Western Springs IL, has a Livability Score of 81
  • Crime rates in Western Springs are 51% lower than the state of Illinois average
  • Western Springs cost of living is 54% above the state of Illinois average
  • Western Springs real estate costs are 204% above the state of Illinois average
  • Rental costs in Western Springs are 81% above the state of Illinois average

3. Hinsdale

Population: 17,654
Median Home Value: $878,700
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%

Hinsdale is well-known for top quality education. GreatSchools ranked all the elementary schools in the city as 9/10 while the local middle and high schools were rated 10/10. More than 40 percent of the city's population has a master's degree or higher.

Hinsdale's low-crime rate and livability score makes it one of the best places to live in Illinois. If you're considering moving to Illinois with school-age kids, Hinsdale could be the right place for you. Here's how the city compares to the rest of the state:

  • Hinsdale has a Livability Score of 83
  • Crime rates in Hinsdale are 76% below the state of Illinois' average
  • Cost of living in Hinsdale is 93% above the state of Illinois average
  • Real estate costs in Hinsdale are 392% higher than the Illinois average
  • Rental costs in Hinsdale are 93% higher than the Illinois average

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4. Lake Bluff

Population: 5,612
Median Home Value: $626,300
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%

Lake Bluff has one of the lowest poverty rates in Illinois and it's one of the most educated communities in the state. About 40 percent of adults in Lake Bluff have a master's degree or higher while about 80 percent of adults in the city have a college degree.

If you're interested in moving to Illinois, Lake Bluff could be the right city for you. Here are key metrics about the city that makes it outstanding:

  • Lake Bluff has a Livability Score of 80
  • Crime rates in Lake Bluff are 67% lower than the Illinois average
  • Cost of living in Lake Bluff is 64% higher than the Illinois average
  • Real estate costs in Lake Bluff are 236% higher than the Illinois average
  • Rental costs in Lake Bluff are 122% above the Illinois average

5. Winnetkaw

Population: 12,481
Median Home Value: $1,076,000
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%

Winnetka is rated as one of the richest places in Illinois. The city has the highest median household income in the state and its real estate market is one of the most expensive statewide.

Moving to Winnetka means living in one of the best and safest cities in Illinois. Here are key metrics of how Winnetka compare to the rest of the state of Illinois:

  • Winnetka has a Livability Score of 80
  • Winnetka crime rates are 62% lower than the Illinois average
  • Cost of living in Winnetka is 107% higher than the Illinois average
  • Winnetka real estate prices are 466% higher than the Illinois average
  • Rental prices in Winnetka are 76% higher than the Illinois average

6. Buffalo Grove

Population: 41,329
Median Home Value: $324,600
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%

Buffalo Grove is a suburb of Chicago and has one of the lowest crime rates in the entire state. The city also has a low cost of living compared to other similar cities in the state.

Moving to Illinois could mean getting the chance to live in Buffalo Grove which is one of the best places to live in the state. Here's significant summary of how Buffalo Grove compare to other cities in Illinois:

  • Buffalo Grove has a Livability Score of 77
  • Buffalo Grove crime rates are 71% lower than the Illinois average
  • Cost of living in Buffalo Grove is 25% higher than the Illinois average
  • Buffalo Grove real estate prices are 71% higher than the Illinois average
  • Rental prices in Buffalo Grove are 51% higher than the Illinois average

7. Elburn

Population: 5,823
Median Home Value: $266,500
Unemployment Rate: 2.5%

Elburn is currently rated as the safest city in Illinois because of its extremely low crime rates. Compared to other similar cities in Illinois, Elburn has a lower cost of living.

Moving to Elburn, IL could be the right choice for you if you'd like to live in a city with a high population of millennials. See how Elburn compare to the rest of the state below:

  • Elburn has a Livability Score of 67
  • Elburn crime rates are 91% lower than the Illinois average
  • Cost of living in Elburn is 15% higher than the Illinois average
  • Elburn real estate prices are 38% higher than the Illinois average
  • Rental prices in Elburn are 73% higher than the Illinois average

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8. Wilmette

Population: 27,419
Median Home Value: $680,700
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%

Wilmette is consistently rated as the city with the highest education expenditure per student in Illinois. Almost 50 percent of the city's adults have at least a master's degree. The city also has a low crime rate and one of the highest median household incomes in the state.

If you're interested in moving to Illinois, Wilmette could be the best place for you to live in.

  • Wilmette has a Livability Score of 83
  • Crime rates in Wilmette are 58% lower than the Illinois average
  • Wilmette's cost of living is 67% higher than the Illinois average
  • Wilmette real estate costs are 264% higher than the Illinois average
  • Rental costs in Wilmette are 85% higher than the Illinois average

9. Clarendon Hills

Population: 8,711
Median Home Value: $561,700
Unemployment Rate: 1.9%

Clarendon Hills has one of the lowest employment rates in Illinois. The city is also well-known for its extremely low crime rates making it one of the best places to live in Illinois.

If you're moving to Illinois, living in Clarendon Hills could be the best place for you. Below is how Clarendon hills compare to other cities in the state.

  • Clarendon Hills has a Livability Score of 81
  • Clarendon Hills crime rates are 76% lower than the Illinois average
  • Cost of living in Clarendon Hills is 42% higher than the Illinois average
  • Clarendon Hills real estate prices are 178% higher than the Illinois average
  • Rental prices in Clarendon Hills are 5% higher than the Illinois average

10. La Grange Park

Population: 13,491
Median Home Value: $344,700
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%

La Grange Park is on this list partly because of its low crime rates which is more than 50 percent lower than the state's average. The cost of living in La Grange Park is relatively fair compared to similar cities on this list.

If you're moving to Illinois, living in La Grange Park could be the best place for you. Below are the key metrics of living in La Grange Park:

  • La Grange has a Livability Score of 81
  • La Grange crime rates are 54% lower than the Illinois average
  • Cost of living in La Grange is 39% higher than the Illinois average
  • La Grange real estate prices are 155% higher than the Illinois average
  • Rental prices in La Grange are 22% higher than the Illinois average
cost of living in illinois

Cost of Living in Illinois

The cost of living index is typically based on a national average of 100. Any amount below that means Illinois is less expensive than the national average. An amount higher than 100 means the state has a higher cost of living than the national average.

According to Best Places, the cost of living in Illinois is 93.4.

Illinois Rental Market Info

According to Best Places, up to 30 percent of Illinois residents are renters and about 2.1 percent of homes and apartments in the state are available for rent.

  • The average rent price in Illinois is $1,509. The U.S. average is $1,470
  • The average cost of a studio apartment is $793. The U.S. average is $821
  • The average cost of a 1-bedroom home/apartment is $901. The U.S. average is $930
  • The average cost of a 2-bedroom home/apartment is $1,074. The U.S. average is $1,148
  • The average cost of a 3-bedroom home/apartment is $1,381. The US average is $1,537
  • The average cost of a 4-bedroom home/apartment is $1,629. The US average is $1,791

Illinois' Housing Market

Chances are you may decide to buy a house after moving to Illinois. We've compiled the most important housing data in the state to help you make the right decision.

Using housing data from Zillow, here's a summary of the state of Illinois housing market metric:

  • The state of Illinois median list price per square foot is $148
  • The median price of properties currently listed in Illinois is $229,900
  • The median price of homes that sold in Illinois is $210,300
  • The state of Illinois median home value is $204,839
  • The values of homes in Illinois has increased by 1.2% over the past year
  • Home values in Illinois are predicted to decrease by -2.4% within the next year
  • The median price of renting a home in Illinois is $1,570
jobs in illinois

How Is The Job Market In Illinois?

Your chances of getting a job if you move to Illinois is fairly high. The unemployment rate in the state is below 5 percent. Let's see how the job market in Illinois compares to the rest of the country.

Top Industries

These are the leading industries in Illinois according to Niche and Data USA. These industries are listed in no particular order.

  • Restaurants & Food Services
  • Elementary & secondary schools
  • Construction
  • Business Services
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Education
  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Biotechnology
  • Sports

Top Career Options In Illinois

Moving to Illinois means you'll most likely need a new career or continue with your current one. Using data from Zippia and Data USA, we've compiled a list of the top ten highest paying jobs in Illinois. Here they are:

  • Computer & peripheral equipment manufacturing
  • Petroleum refining
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Surgeons, Except Ophthalmologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Family Medicine Physicians
  • General Internal Medicine Physicians
  • Nurse Anesthetists
  • Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Unemployment Rate In Illinois

How many Illinois residents has a job? This should give you an idea of what to expect when you move to the state:

  • The unemployment rate in the state of Illinois is 4.4%. The U.S. average is 3.9%
  • The state has witnessed a job market rise by 0.6% since last year
  • Over the next 10 years, job growth in the state is expected to hit 26.5%. The U.S. average is expected to hit 33.5% during the same period

Median Salary Info

How much money will you likely earn if you move to Illinois? Let's find out!

The median household income of residents in Illinois is $65,030 which is higher than the national average of $61,937, according to Data USA.

  • The average male salary in Illinois is: $74,413
  • The average female salary in Illinois is: $55,889
illinois taxes

Illinois Tax Info

If you move to Illinois, are you going to be paying more taxes or less? SmartAsset did the math already. Let's see how much you're likely to pay for taxes in Illinois.

  • Illinois Income tax is 4.95% flat rate (same for everyone regardless of your earning)
  • Sales tax in Illinois is 6.25% - 11%
  • Illinois Property tax is 2.31% average effective rate (second highest in the U.S.)
  • Illinois gas tax is 53.87 cents per gallon (regular gasoline), and 61.92 cents per gallon (diesel)
  • Illinois estate tax for estates worth over $4 million is up to 16% (eligible for estate tax return
  • Illinois telecommunication tax is typically up t 7% of the price of service

Regardless of how much money you're making, everyone pays a flat rate income tax in Illinois. This means everyone pays exactly the same rate. Also, Illinois sales and property taxes are rated among the highest across the U.S.

illinois

What Is Illinois Most Known For?

The state of Illinois is known for many things. We've compiled a simple list of most of the common things the state is well-known for. Here they are:

  • Corn
  • Pumpkin
  • Chicago
  • Metropolis
  • Trains
  • Colleges
  • Famous celebrities and presidents
  • Sports
  • Farmlands
  • The First McDonald's
  • Route 66
  • First to ratify the 13th Amendment ending slave trade
  • Nuclear power
  • Personalized license plates
  • Largest catsup bottle
schools and university in illinois

Best Schools & Universities in Illinois

The following are the best public elementary, middle, and high schools in Illinois. The list also contains the best universities and colleges in the state.

The list was collated by Great Schools using a variety of measures which include equity and academic performance.

Best Elementary Schools in Illinois

  • 1. Ebinger Elementary School
    City Of Chicago School District 299, Public, K-8 | 831 students

  • 2. Hawthorne Elementary Scholastic Academy, City Of Chicago School District 299, Public, K-8 | 567 students

  • 3. Keller Elementary Gifted Magnet School, City Of Chicago School District 299, Public, 1-8 | 242 students

  • 4. Poe Elementary Classical School
    City Of Chicago School District 299, Public, K-6 | 208 students

  • 5. Lincoln Elementary School
    City Of Chicago School District 299, Public, K-8 | 897 students

Best Middle Schools in Illinois

  • 1. Nippersink Middle School
    Nippersink School District 2, Public, 6-8 | 433 students

  • 2. Central Middle School
    Central Community Unit School District 301, Public, 8 | 340 students

  • 3. Young Magnet High School
    City Of Chicago School District 299, Public, 7-12 | 2157 students

  • 4. Ebinger Elementary School
    City Of Chicago School District 299, Public, K-8 | 831 students

  • 5. Hawthorne Elementary Scholastic Academy
    City Of Chicago School District 299, Public, K-8 | 567 students

Best High School in Illinois

  • River Ridge High School
    River Ridge Community Unit School District 210, Public, 9-12 | 142 students

  • Buffalo Grove High School
    Township Hsd 214 School District, Public, 9-12 | 2004 students

  • John Hersey High School
    Township Hsd 214 School District, Public, 9-12 | 1864 students

  • Prospect High School
    Township Hsd 214 School District, Public, 9-12 | 2150 students

  • Rolling Meadows High School
    Township Hsd 214 School District, Public, 9-12 | 1899 students

Best Universities and Colleges in Illinois

  • University of Chicago

  • Northwestern University

  • University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

  • Loyola University Chicago

  • Illinois institute of technology

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