Moving to a new place represents a great change in our lives. When we relocate to a different state, we have a chance to start fresh many aspects of our routine — we start a new job, we meet new people, we make new friends.
- chicago, illinois.min.jpg
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- Home to over 12 million people, Illinois is the most populous state in the Midwest!
- Downtown of Chicago during the daytime.
If you’re thinking of moving to the Midwestern region of the United States, you have probably thought of moving to Illinois. The Land of Lincoln, as it is known, is home to some of the most renowned museums in the country, as well as having one of the 10 largest populations in the U.S. and one of the top economies in the country!
Here’s a complete guide with everything you need to know about moving to Illinois!
Pros & Cons
As much as we like to think that one day we’re going to live in a perfect place, we have to be honest and admit to ourselves that such a place doesn’t exist. No matter where you’re moving to, you’ll find that every location has its advantages and disadvantages. If you’re moving to Illinois, here are 14 pros and cons to be aware of:
- Places to
- Living in Illinois means you’ll get to visit lots of amazing places in your free time, including renowned museums, beautiful lakes, and amazing hills!
- Depending on where in Illinois you’re moving to, you’ll have plenty of job opportunities, especially if you work in the manufacturing industry.
- It’s impossible not to associate Illinois with sports. Home of the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Cubs, and the Chicago Bears, Illinois is ideal for those who love sports of any nature!
- Easy to
- If you move to one of the major cities in Illinois, one thing is for sure: there are so many highways and roads that you won’t have any trouble getting around town!
- Who said that Illinois is all about big cities and large industries? The Land of Lincoln also has beautiful rural towns that are ideal for those who are looking forward to retiring in a calm and picturesque city!
- There’s no shame in admitting that you’re a consumerist! In fact, we’re even going to give you a tip on shopping: if you move to Illinois, you’ll be delighted to see how many shops, shopping malls, high-end restaurants, and boutiques you’ll find in this state!
- According to Illinois natives, this state has a particularly original and beautiful architecture that will leave you in awe!
- Job growth
- The national average for job growth is 1.4%, whereas Illinois’ job growth rate is only 0.2%. This means that you’ll probably have to move to one of the major cities in the state to find good job opportunities.
- High taxes
- Illinois is known for having significantly high taxes — in this state, you’ll have to pay taxes on your groceries, you’ll pay restaurant taxes, and you’ll pay sales taxes!
- If you’re moving to Illinois from small cities where most people are friendly, you may not adjust well to the Land of Lincoln’s population, who are known for being kind of cold and distant.
- Unfortunately, Illinois has always been known for its crime rates, especially because of Chicago. This major city had almost 1,000 murders per day back in the 1990s. Nowadays, the violent crime rate in the state is 407 per 100,000 residents, above the national average of 379 per 100,000.
- Due to the many companies that are headquartered in Illinois’ major cities, the pollution rate in this state is considerably high — the Land of Lincoln releases approximately 1,780 pounds of industrial toxins per square mile! The national average is 959 pounds/mi².
- Depending on the area that you’re moving to, be ready to face quite a lot of traffic during your days, especially around the big cities in Illinois.
- In addition to facing challenging traffic on your way to work, you’ll also have to deal with another problem: finding a parking spot in the city! However, if you move to smaller towns in Illinois, this will not be an issue, obviously.
If you’re moving to Illinois, you should probably get to know a bit more about your future state. The Land of Lincoln has a pretty rich history, and there are plenty of interesting facts about this state. Here are 6 fun facts about Illinois!
- Home to
one of the largest cities:
- Most people know that Chicago is the most populous city in the state of Illinois, but did you know that it is also the third-most populous city in the entire country after NYC and LA?
- Land of
- Some of the most famous personalities in America were born in Illinois, including Hillary Clinton, Walt Disney, Ernest Hemingway, Cindy Crawford, Michele Obama, and Abraham Lincoln!
- The 13th Amendment was one of the most important amendments that were passed after the Civil War and it abolished slavery in the country — and Illinois was the first state to ratify this amendment!
- Ice Cream
- Because of a law that was passed in 1890, Evanston, IL ice cream shops were forbidden from selling ice cream soda — thus, they started selling ice cream with syrup and without soda on Sundays, which then became known as a Sundae. Illinois is one of the states that claim that they invented Sundaes!
- Great Fire
- Chicago, IL witnessed one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States, the Great Fire of 1871. This fire burned over 2,000 acres of the city and caused damage of over 200 million dollars!
- Route 66:
- One of the most famous roads in the world (and a popular tourist attraction), the iconic Route 66 originally started in Illinois!
Funny State Laws
- Did you know that boys are forbidden from throwing snowballs at trees in Illinois? Read more about this law and other funny laws in Illinois below!
- Kids throwing snow balls
Every U.S. state has its number of laws that will make you scratch your head and wonder why they were created in the first place — and Illinois is no different! Here are 5 funny laws in Illinois that will certainly make you laugh!
- According to Illinoisan law, boys (and only boys) are forbidden from throwing snowballs at trees during the winter.
- Fishing in
- If you’re moving to Chicago, Illinois, you have to keep in mind that it is illegal to fish in this city while sitting on a giraffe’s neck.
- Do they
- Apparently, bees are strictly forbidden from flying over Kirkland, Illinois. We wonder if they obey this law, though!
- When we have rat problems in our home, we want to get rid of them in any way possible. In Galesburg, Illinois, however, you can’t get rid of rats by beating them with baseball bats — that’s forbidden by law!
- How in the
- In the town of Decatur, Illinois, it is illegal for drivers to drive a car without a steering wheel, so keep that in mind!
Weather and Climate
Located in Midwestern America, the state of Illinois has a humid continental climate, which means that the Land of Lincoln has pretty hot summers and harsh, cold winters. Temperatures in the summer (especially in July) can go as high as 80 °F, which may not please all visitors. As to wintertime, temperatures range between 10 °F to below 0°F! According to tourists, the best time to visit the state of Illinois is between the months of April and May, or during the months of September and October, when the temperature is more comfortable.
Bordered by the states of Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Iowa, it is safe to say that Illinois has no beaches to be appreciated. There are, however, beautiful lakes in this state, as well as amazing state parks and other unique nature sightings that you can visit if you relocate to the Land of Lincoln. Here are the top places to visit in Illinois.
- Mississippi Palisades State Park
- Charles Mound
- Anderson Japanese Gardens
- Cave-in-Rock State Park
- Chicago Botanic Garden
Due to its location in the Midwest, Illinois is susceptible to suffering from a range of natural disasters, especially disasters caused by storms. Here are the most common natural disasters that can happen in Illinois:
- Winter storms
Moving Prices from Major Cities
Are you considering moving to Illinois? Before you make a decision, you need to consider all the costs that go into the moving process, which can be quite expensive depending on where you’re moving to and where you’re moving from. Here are the moving prices to Illinois from 6 major cities in the United States:
- Moving price from Louisville, Kentucky to Illinois: $3450 – $5750
- Moving price from Dallas, Texas to Illinois: $2731 – $4552
- Moving price from San Francisco, California to Illinois: $4300 – $7167
- Moving price from New Haven, Connecticut to Illinois: $2592 – $4321
- Moving price from New York City, New York to Illinois: $2493 – $4156
- Moving price from Seattle, Washington to Illinois: $4216 – $7027
You can calculate estimated moving costs to Illinois from any city in the United States using our free moving costs calculator!
Housing / Real Estate
According to Zillow, the median home price in Illinois as of February 2021 was $223,000, which is significantly below the national median price of approximately $275,000. If you move to major cities in the Land of Lincoln, such as Chicago, for example, be ready to disburse at least 285,000 dollars to buy a home. As to renting, this state has one of the lowest rents in the country, ranging from approximately $556 to $1,163 depending on the type of apartment you rent.
Price of Living
As we’re talking money, you’re probably wondering how much it would cost to live in Illinois. We have good news for you: the cost of living in Illinois 6.6 percent points below the national average, which means that living in this state is more affordable than living in other states! Here are the estimated costs of living in 5 different areas of Illinois:
Chicago metro area
Rockford metro area
Springfield Metro Area
Danville metro area
All estimated costs were calculated for a family of 2 adults and 2 children, according to the Family Budget Calculator provided by the EPI.
With over 12,6 million residents, Illinois is the sixth-most populous state in the United States, as well as being the most populous state in the Midwestern region of the country. Since 2010, however, the population of this state has decreased by approximately 1.2%. More than half of Illinois’ population are female persons, and 22.2% are persons under 18 years old. The racial composition of Illinois is the following:
- White (alone): 76.8%
- Hispanic or Latino: 17.5%
- Black or African American (alone): 14.6%
- Asian (alone): 5.9%
- Two or more races: 2.1%
Approximately 44% of the population in Illinois is college-educated, and this state ranks at #11 in terms of education. However, Illinois is well-known for having one of the best Pre-K-12 systems in the country, but not one of the best higher education systems. Both the high school graduation rate and the NAEP Math Scores in Illinois are above the national average. Here are the best schools and the best colleges in Illinois!
- Payton College Preparatory High School
- Northside College Preparatory High School
- Young Magnet High School
- Lane Technical High School
- Lindblom Math and Science Academy
- University of Chicago
- Northwestern University
- Loyola University Chicago
- University of Illinois
- DePaul University
Healthcare and Medical Institutions
When it comes to health care, Illinois is one of the 25 best states in the country. The public health system in the Land of Lincoln has high quality and its health care system is one of the most accessible in the United States. In addition to that, the number of people without health insurance in Illinois is below the national average, and the obesity rate in this state is also below the national average. Two hospitals in Illinois are among the top 20 in the country. Here are the best medical institutions in Illinois:
- Northwestern Memorial Hospital
- Rush University Medical Center
- University of Chicago Medical Center
- Loyola University Medical Center
- Advocate Christ Medical Center
Tourism / Attractions
The Land of Lincoln has quite a rich history, being at the center of many important events over the centuries. If you move to Illinois, you’ll find yourself faced with plenty of options when it comes to choosing a tourist attraction to visit in this state. From lakes to national parks to museums and historic sites, Illinois has a lot to offer for tourists and residents! Here are 5 tourist attractions to visit in Illinois:
- Willis Tower Skydeck
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
- Starved Rock State Park
- Chicago Symphony Center (Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
- Lake Shelbyville
- Home to over 1,000 municipalities, Illinois has plenty of options to choose from when it comes to picking the ideal city to move to
- Illinois State Capitol building during the daytime.
If you’re considering moving to Illinois, there’ll come a point in which you’ll wonder which city in this state is ideal for you. We have some news for you: there are over 1,200 municipalities in the Land of Lincoln, which means you’ll probably have a hard time choosing the city where you’ll move to. But don’t worry — we’re here to help! Here are the top 5 cities in Illinois:
- Chicago: Located in the second-most populous county in the United States, Chicago is one of the most popular cities in the country. If you’re a sports fan, there’ll be plenty of major league teams for you to root for in this city!
- Rockford: With a little over 152,000 residents, Rockford is especially known for its historic sites and tourist attractions, which include the iconic Anderson Japanese Gardens.
- Joliet: Ideal for families looking to settle down in a charming city, Joliet is known for being the city where the first season of the hit show Prison Break was filmed.
- Evanston: Home to approximately 75,000 people, Evanston is known for its liberal politics and for being home to one of the best colleges in Illinois and one of the best hospitals in the country.
- Springfield: The capital of Illinois, Springfield is only the sixth-most populous city in the state. It is because of Springfield that Illinois is known as the “Land of Lincoln” — this American president lived here for almost 30 years.
As of February 2021, the unemployment rate in Illinois reached a rate of 7.4, making it become the state with the 10th highest unemployment rate in the country. The job growth rate in Illinois is considerably below the national average of 1.4%, at only 0.2%. Here are the top-hiring companies in the Land of Lincoln based on the number of employees:
- Walgreen Co
- United Continental Holdings
If you’re moving to Illinois, you can look for jobs here.
In 2019, the gross domestic product of the state of Illinois was over $900 billion, which makes Illinois the state with the 5th largest GDP in the country. The city of Chicago and its metropolitan area help the economy of the Land of Lincoln greatly, especially because some of the largest multinational companies in the world are headquartered in Chicago. The top industries in Illinois are:
- Services (financial trading, logistics, medicine, education, among others)
- Renewable energy
Things to do
Are you relocating to Illinois? If that’s the case, one thing is guaranteed: you’ll have plenty of things to do in your free time! The Land of Lincoln is home to incredible attractions that range from historic buildings to amazing museums to modern landmarks and much more! Here are 8 things to do in Illinois!
Tower of Niles
- Would you like to visit the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa but your budget doesn’t allow for that? Well, you can visit the Leaning Tower of Niles instead. This miniature version of the Italian tower is located in Niles, Illinois.
- Located on the 103rd floor of the iconic Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), this observation deck will give you a great view of Chicago.
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
- If you’re interested in the history of the United States, you can’t miss the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum — at this museum, you’ll get to learn more about this former president and about the state of Illinois.
- Are you interested in doing unusual activities? If that’s the case, you have to visit the Eternal Silence sculpture in Chicago, a creepy statue that represents death!
Rock State Park
- If you’re moving to Illinois with your family, the Starved Rock State Park is a great place to spend a fun day with the kids. This park has amazing trails and beautiful waterfalls.
- Former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln lived in the capital of Illinois, Springfield, for almost 30 years, becoming this city’s most notorious resident. If you visit this city, you can visit his impressive tomb at the Oak Ridge Cemetery.
- Navy Pier
- The Navy Pier is a waterfront attraction that features restaurants, shops, cinemas, and even museums. This Chicago landmark is great to visit on sunny days — this way you’ll have a great view of the city.
- If you’re a nature lover, you’ll love visiting Charles Mound, the highest natural point in Illinois. A fun fact about this place is that it is located within a private property — but the landowners allow the public to visit the location a few times throughout the year.
If you’re moving to Illinois, getting around your future city should be no problem. The public transport system in the main cities of Illinois is quite efficient, as well as being quite accessible. Here are 8 means of transport in Illinois:
|Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)||One-way: $2.25|
|Metra Train||Ticket: $4.00 — $7.75|
|Sangamon Mass Transit District (SMTD)||One-way: $1.25|
|Pace Bus||One-way: $2.25|
|Rockford Mass Transit District (RMTD)||One-way: $1.50|
|City Link (Peoria)||One-way: $1.00|
|Connect Transit (Bloomington)||One-way: $1.25|
|Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD)||One-way: $1.00|
Crime and Safety
Unfortunately, the state of Illinois has always been known for its crime rates, especially in the Chicago area. According to data, the violent crime rate in Illinois is 4.1, above the national average of 3.7. However, when it comes to property crime, the Land of Lincoln saw its rates drop to 18.5, below the national average of 21.1 crimes per 1,000 residents. These are the 5 safest cities in Illinois, according to Alarms.org:
- Campton Hills
- Hanover Park
- Palos Hills
Acquire a new driver’s license in Illinois
Although Illinois’ transportation is not all that bad, nothing compares to having your own private mean of transportation. If you’re a driver, one of the first things you’ll have to do once you move to Illinois is to acquire a new driver’s license within 90 days. Here’s what you have to do:
- Organize your documentation (proof of identity, proof of birth, proof of Social Security number, proof of Illinois residency).
- Set an appointment at the nearest Secretary of State facility.
- Fill in the application form.
- Pass a vision test and a written exam.
- Surrender your valid out-of-state license.
- Pay the driver’s license fees.
Road Safety, Highways, and Routes
According to data, there were over 319,000 car crashes in Illinois in 2018, which means that there were approximately 870 crashes per day that year. In 2020, the number of crashes decreased due to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, drivers started speeding more as a consequence of decreased traffic, and the number of fatalities increased. If you’re moving to Illinois, here are the main highways and routes in this state:
- IL 110
- IL 1
- IL 9
- IL 78
- IL 17
As we mentioned previously, Illinois has a rich history and it was the protagonist of several important moments in the history of the United States, including being the first state to pass the 13th Amendment. If you’re moving to Illinois, here are 7 museums you can visit to learn about this state!
- Chicago Cultural Center
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
- Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
- The Art Institute of Chicago
- Museum of Science and Industry
- Field Museum
- DuPage Children’s Museum
In the end, is moving to Illinois worth it?
If you’re interested in music, art, history, and architecture, moving to Illinois is certainly worth it. The Land of Lincoln is a cultural and historical hub that will please most residents, especially those who appreciate living in large, populous cities. If you work in manufacturing, services, and tourism, you’ll have no trouble finding a job. In addition to that, the cost of living in Illinois is below the national average, meaning that it is quite affordable to live in Illinois!
How to Move to Illinois
- Moving can be quite stressfull — unless you read our 10 helpful tips on how to move to Illinois!
- Woman getting ready to move
Have you decided that moving to Illinois is ideal for you and your family? If that’s the case, there are a few things you can do to make the moving process work as smoothly as possible. Here are 10 tips on how to move to Illinois!
- Plan ahead: The key to a successful move is planning ahead. If you’re considering moving to Illinois, we recommend that you start planning your move at least 6 to 8 weeks in advance! Our downloadable moving checklist can make this step easier for you!
- Downsize: If we’re being completely honest, we have to admit that we all have unnecessary items in our home; things that we don’t even use on a daily basis. When you move to Illinois, a great way of saving money is by downsizing and getting rid of these items!
- Get moving quotes: When we want to buy something, we usually try to find the store with the most affordable prices. Moving to Illinois is no different, as you’ll want to save as much money as possible — and you can do that by getting free moving quotes from different companies.
- Book movers: Once you find an affordable mover to help you in the moving process, you can go ahead and book their services.
- Visit your new area: If you’re still unsure about moving to Illinois, one of the best things you can do before making a decision is to visit your new area prior to moving.
- Start packing: After the part of hiring a mover is through, it’s time for you to start packing your belongings! Want a tip? Start packing as soon as you can, for this task can be quite stressful.
- Create Essentials Box: An Essentials Box is a box where you’ll store all the items you’ll need to have easy access to when you get to your new area, such as hygiene products, clothes, water, snacks, et cetera.
- Say farewells: Did you know that studies have shown that the average human being gets to know approximately 600 people throughout their life? Yep, that’s right. And that’s why you should save plenty of time to say farewells to all the people that you know before you relocate to Illinois.
- Get some rest: By now, you’ve planned and executed your move to Illinois. Everything is ready to go, and you’re moving tomorrow. Now, it’s time to get some well-deserved rest and relax before the big day!
- Enjoy the move: And last, but not least, one very important tip we have for you is that you should try to enjoy the move! As stressful as it can be, relocating to a new place is not something we do very often and it’s a life-changing experience — and we should definitely enjoy those types of experiences!
Moving Services to Help You Relocate to Illinois
If you’ve never moved before, you’ll probably be surprised to find that there are countless moving companies ready to help you with your move — and that these companies offer several services that may or may not suit your needs. To help you get a headstart on your moving process, here are 9 moving services to help you relocate to Illinois!
- Furniture Transportation: Do you want to move furniture to Illinois? You can do that by contacting any moving company, as this is the most common service offered by movers!
- Residential Movers: If you’re moving to a house in Illinois from another house (or apartment), you can hire the services of a residential mover!
- Piano Transportation: Are you a pianist and you’re unsure whether or not you can move a piano to Illinois? We have good news for you: there are moving companies that specialize in piano transportation!
- Art and Antiques Movers: Do you collect art pieces and antiques? As you know, these items require special attention and care — and there are companies that train their employees to move art and antiques to Illinois and anywhere else in the country!
- Hot Tub Movers: A lot of people don’t know this, but it’s 100% possible to move a hot tub to Illinois and to other U.S. states — you just have to find the right mover!
- Pool Table Movers: Purchasing a brand-new pool table can be quite expensive, and you may be thinking of moving a pool table to Illinois. If that’s your case, we have to tell you that hiring a pool table mover can be more affordable than buying a new pool table!
- Office Movers: If you’re your own boss and you want to move an office to Illinois, you can hire office movers to help you relocate your office!
- Long Distance Movers: Are you making a cross-country move to Illinois? While some movers only work with in-state moves, there are companies that offer long-distance moving services!
- Last-Minute Movers: As the name suggests, last-minute movers are specialists in helping clients whose plans changed suddenly and will need to make a last-minute to Illinois or to any other state. Their services may be on the pricey side, however.