Things to know before moving to Illinois

Illinois is a state of great diversity, from its bustling cities to its picturesque countryside. The state is located in the Midwestern United States and is bordered by Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Illinois has a lot to offer, which is why it has become a popular destination for people moving from all over the country. With its booming economy, historical landmarks, and vast cultural heritage, it is no wonder that more and more people are flocking to the state. However, before you pack up and make the big move, there are some things you should know in order to make the transition smoother. In this article, we will cover some of the most important things you need to know before moving to Illinois.

Before considering a move to Illinois, there are several crucial details to keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to note that the state experiences a range of weather conditions throughout the year, including hot summers and cold winters. Additionally, the cost of living in certain areas of Illinois can be relatively high, which can impact factors such as housing, taxes, and general expenses. It is also worth noting that Illinois is known for its diverse cultural melting pot, which can provide opportunities to explore new ideas and lifestyles.

Finally, it is essential to research and understand the various neighborhoods and communities throughout the state to ensure that you find the right fit for your needs and preferences. Overall, approaching a move to Illinois with a thorough understanding of these key factors can help to ensure a smoother transition and a more positive experience overall.

Average cost of living in Illinois per year

The average cost of living in Illinois per year has been steadily increasing over the last five years. According to recent data for 2023, the estimated average cost of living in Illinois per year is around $47,000. However, it is still slightly lower than the national average. When comparing Illinois to other states, it is important to note that living expenses vary greatly depending on location and other factors. Some of the major factors that can affect the cost of living in Illinois include housing costs, transportation expenses, healthcare expenses, and food costs.

To budget for the cost of living in Illinois, it is important to consider these factors and create a realistic budget that reflects your lifestyle and income. Additionally, researching local resources and programs can help stretch your budget even further.

Housing in Illinois

When it comes to housing in Illinois, there are many options available. There are apartments, condos, townhouses, and single-family homes. Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, you can choose the type of housing that best suits your needs. The average rental and home prices vary from city to city. While Chicago tends to have the highest prices, other cities such as Springfield or Peoria have more affordable housing options.

When choosing a neighborhood, it’s important to consider factors such as safety, access to public transportation, proximity to schools and the workplace, and community amenities. Overall, Illinois has a diverse range of housing options to meet the needs of various individuals and families.

Illinois climate and weather

Illinois climate and weather offer a unique experience for residents and visitors. Despite being situated in the Midwest, Illinois experiences hot and humid summers and chilly winters due to its flat terrain and location. The state also receives considerable snowfall, especially in northern Illinois, which can cause travel issues and property damage. To tackle these known climate and weather problems, it’s crucial to be prepared with the right clothes and tools.

In the summer, lightweight clothing and sunscreen are essential, and in winter, thick layers and sturdy footwear are necessary. Additionally, having a weather radio, emergency kit, and staying updated on weather alerts can help in severe weather conditions. Overall, while Illinois’s climate may present challenges, being prepared and mindful can ensure a smooth experience.

Job market in Illinois

Illinois has a diverse job market with various sectors providing employment opportunities. Firstly, according to recent statistics, the unemployment rate in the state of Illinois stands at 7.6%, however, it’s important to note that some fields such as healthcare and technology are growing rapidly, offering lucrative employment opportunities.

Secondly, if one is searching for a job in Illinois, they should utilize resources such as online job boards and professional networking sites. Additionally, it’s essential to tailor resumes and cover letters for each application and take the time to research the company before applying. Lastly, there are many esteemed companies in Illinois such as Boeing, Discover, and Caterpillar, that offer a positive working environment, employee benefits and job security. Overall, with proper planning and resources, Illinois provides ample opportunities for job seekers.

Schools in Illinois

Illinois has a diverse education system that provides various options for students. Firstly, it’s important to understand that Illinois’ education system is among the most comprehensive in the US, with a strong emphasis on quality education. As for public and private schools, there’s a marked difference between them. Private schools tend to have lower student-to-teacher ratios, but they can also be more expensive. Public schools, on the other hand, have more diversity in terms of student population, and they’re typically more affordable for families. When it comes to the best school districts in Illinois, the top performing ones include New Trier Township High School District, Naperville CUSD 203, and Hinsdale Township High School District. Overall, Illinois has many great options for students, both in terms of public and private education.

Transportation in Illinois

Illinois has a well-developed transportation infrastructure with highways, rail lines, and airports connecting different parts of the state. However, traveling by car can be challenging due to heavy traffic during rush hours, especially in Chicago. Therefore, public transportation is a popular alternative in major cities such as Chicago and Springfield, with options ranging from train networks to buses and rapid transit systems.

It’s essential to plan accordingly before using public transportation, as schedules can vary. On the other hand, if you plan to drive in Illinois, it’s essential to be aware of the state’s traffic laws and speed limits, as they can vary depending on the location. Additionally, keep in mind that severe weather conditions can affect highway conditions, so always check the weather forecast before embarking on a drive.

Food and Culture in Illinois

Illinois, located in the Midwestern United States, boasts a unique food and cultural identity. First and foremost, Illinois’ diverse population contributes to the rich blend of cultures that have influenced the state’s cuisine. One of the most famous dishes from Illinois is the deep-dish pizza, which was invented in Chicago in 1943. Other iconic dishes include the Chicago-style hot dog and Italian beef sandwich. These dishes reflect the state’s love for hearty, savory foods that are deeply rooted in its immigrant history.

In addition to its food, Illinois is also known for its lively festivals and cultural events. One of the most celebrated events is the annual Chicago Jazz Festival, where renowned musicians from around the world come to showcase their talents. The Illinois State Fair is also hugely popular, featuring carnival rides, entertainment, and a diverse array of culinary options. Whether it’s enjoying a slice of deep-dish pizza or attending one of Illinois’ numerous cultural events, you are sure to have a unforgettable experience in this great state.


In conclusion, it is important to keep in mind several key points before considering a move to Illinois. Firstly, the state has a diverse economy with varying industries and job opportunities. Secondly, Illinois boasts an abundance of natural beauty and outdoor recreational activities. Additionally, the state has a rich cultural history and vibrant arts scene. However, it is also important to be aware of the high taxes and cost of living in certain areas. Overall, with careful planning and research, Illinois can be a great place to call home.


Q: What is the population of Illinois in 2023?
A: Based on the latest data, the estimated population of Illinois in 2023 is approximately 12.8 million people.

Q: What’s the cost of living like in Illinois?
A: The cost of living in Illinois is generally higher than the national average. According to the latest data, the median household income in Illinois is $71,796, while the average cost of living index is 97.1, slightly above the national average of 100.

Q: What’s the job market like in Illinois?
A: Illinois has a diverse and thriving job market, with employment opportunities across a range of industries. The unemployment rate in Illinois as of 2023 is 4.7%, with industries such as healthcare, finance, and information technology showing significant growth.

Q: What’s the climate like in Illinois?
A: The climate in Illinois varies depending on the region. Overall, Illinois has a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The northern part of the state experiences harsher winters and cooler summers compared to the southern region.

Q: What are some of the best cities to live in Illinois?
A: There are several great cities to live in Illinois depending on your lifestyle and what you’re looking for. Chicago, the state’s largest city, is known for its vibrant city life, while Champaign-Urbana is a popular college town. Naperville and Evanston are two of the best suburbs to live in, with excellent schools and plenty of recreational activities.

Q: How are the schools in Illinois?
A: Illinois has a strong education system, with some of the best public and private schools in the country. According to the latest data, Illinois has a high school graduation rate of 86.9% and a college graduation rate of 38.8%.

Q: Do I need a car to get around in Illinois?
A: While having a car is helpful, it’s not necessary to get around in Illinois. The state has an extensive public transportation system, including buses and trains. In larger cities like Chicago, there’s a comprehensive subway and bus system that can take you anywhere throughout the city.

Q: What are some of the famous attractions in Illinois?
A: Illinois has many famous attractions, including Navy Pier, Willis Tower, Millennium Park, and the Field Museum in Chicago. Outside of the city, you can explore the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield or hike in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois.

Author – Stan Huxley

Passionate about real estate, Stan Huxley brings a wealth of experience to our articles. With a lifelong career in the industry, Stan’s insights, tips, and expert advice empower readers to navigate the world of real estate confidently. Whether you’re a homebuyer, seller, or investor, Stan is your trusted guide to making informed decisions.

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