Moving to Illinois

2019 Moving to Illinois Relocation Guide

Welcome to 2019 Ultimate Moving to Illinois Relocation Guide! Before this big step, find out all important information about Illinois.

  • Basic information about the Illinois population, average yearly temperature and spoken languages.
  • Read about important cultural venues, the best places to live in and learn some fun facts about the state.
  • Check out the list of Pros and Cons of living in Illinois before deciding to actually move.
  • Most importantly, find out all about Illinois moving and living costs!

    Take a look at the list of housing, transportation and childcare costs, and learn about the living cost index in Illinois.

  • Read all about moving costs.
  • All information regarding costs and pricing is compared with average US pricing.

  • You will also find very detailed information about the average yearly salary in Illinois.
  • We prepared lists of moving to Illinois tips.

For moving tips in general check out our Moving Checklist and Paperwork page.


Welcome to the state of corn, the state of nature and urban landscapes, the state of art and history. Welcome to the state of sports and food, welcome to the Prairie State, welcome to the Land of Lincoln, welcome to Illinois. Illinois will provide you with a great education and job opportunities.

You will be able to choose your lifestyle between urban spots like Chicago or Springfield. You will be living in a state that is 85% cornfields, one of the top states for agriculture, and you will be able to enjoy fresh produce. You will also learn how to love sports, and you will become an animal lover.

There are numerous natural preserves that will leave you breathless and numerous cities that you will want to come back to. People in Illinois are welcoming and friendly, they are hard-working and they know how to enjoy. You will be able to visit some of the best music festivals in America and visit some of the most important art and culture centers.

Moving to Illinois Pros & Cons

It is not all about Chicago. Illinois will provide you with some of the most beautiful landscapes, fresh food, and diverse cities and towns. Illinois is full of festivals and fairs and there is always something new to enjoy and explore. But still, there are some cons that you should consider. Go ahead and read all about the pros and cons of moving to Illinois, get prepared for this step, the perks of living in Illinois are endless:

Moving to Illinois Pros

1. Affordable Living Costs

If you are not planning to move to Chicago, you will enjoy living costs. In most parts of the state living costs are the same as the national averages, and in some parts are even lower. You will be able to find affordable housing too.

2. Job Opportunities

Food production, clinical researches, engineering, project development, and many other business fields are currently blooming in the state of Illinois. Mostly in Chicago and other big cities, but in the whole state too.

3. Education

State of Illinois is home to some of the best universities in the USA. There are a lot of education options and choices.

4. Farmer’s Markets

Illinois is one of the leading producers of soybeans, pumpkins, and corn, and it is one of the top 10 agricultural states of America. You will start to eat much healthier food after you move to Illinois. Fresh produce and livestock are everywhere, and farmers' markets are huge.

5. Nature

Illinois is a flat country, there are no many mountains and hills, but nature is breathtaking anyway. There are numerous state parks and nature preserves that you will be able to enjoy. The state is filled with diverse landscapes, and you will be able to enjoy perfect sunsets.

6. Sports

If you are a fan of sports Illinois is the perfect state for you. Illinois is home to professional NFL, MLB, NBA, and WNBA teams. You will have a lot of opportunities to enjoy live sports.

7. Music Festivals

Illinois is home to numerous music festivals and some of them are ranked as the best in the country. Summer Camo, Lollapalooza, and Spring Awakening are probably the most important ones, one you should explore more, especially if you are planning to move to Chicago.

8. Animals

If you love animals, you will enjoy Illinois. The state is pet-friendly, and it has a lot of places where you can explore wildlife. The Wildlife state park is home to numerous animal species native to Illinois.

9. Food

As it was mentioned before, fresh produce is everywhere. But that is not all, you will be able to enjoy amazing deep dish pizza, hotdogs and other types of fast food. Chicago is known for its great restaurants, and there are several annual food festivals in the state.

10. Craft Beer

Lately, Illinois is becoming famous for local breweries and craft beers. The trend started in Chicago but it is spreading throughout the whole state. Springfield and Peoria are home to some of the best breweries. You should explore the beer scene.

Moving to Illinois Cons

1. Crime Rates

Overall crime rates in Illinois are high, mostly because of the City of Chicago but not only. Several cities across the state have problems with property and violent crime.

2. Corruption

Illinois has a big problem with corruption and bribery.

3. Taxes

Illinois has second-highest effective real-estate tax in the country, and the overall tax burden is quite high.

4. Weather

You will be able to experience all 4 seasons in Illinois but be prepared for extremes. Summers can get really hot but winters are bigger problems, they are extremely cold and you will have to deal with the snowstorms.

5. Traffic

Chicago is ranked as the #3 most congested US city so if you are planning to move to Chicago be prepared to log commutes.

Illinois Pros and Cons
Illinois Fun Facts

Moving to Illinois Tips

Moving to Illinois is a big, challenging step and the state offers so many different opportunities. Whether you are moving for work or for pleasure you will find our tips useful. Here are 10 TIPS about moving to Illinois, 10 facts that will help you prepare for this step.

  • You Will Need New Clothes - You will need much warmer winter clothes and much lighter summer clothes.
  • Learn to Deal With Bad Drivers - A lot of them are irritated and angry, in a hurry or even drunk. Almost no one respects speed limits. Drive carefully.
  • Education Opportunities Are Great - You will have a lot of university and college choices.
  • Don't Call It the Willis Tower - for 25 years the Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world. Don't call it the Willis Tower.
  • You Will Probably Become a Hockey Fan - Illinoisans love their hockey. You will have a lot of hockey and sports-related conversations.
  • There is Something Called the Chicagoland - A lot of people will tell you that they are from Chicago even if they live an hour away from the city.
  • Enjoy the Fresh Food - Illinois is one of the top agricultural states in the USA, farmers markets are all over the state and you will be able to taste the fresh food at any time.
  • You Need to Pick Your Baseball Team - Will you be the Cubs fan or the White Sox fan? Choose wisely.
  • The Housing Market is Reasonable - Illinois is a great state if you plan to become a homeowner. Home prices are lower than the national average in most parts of the state.
  • Living Costs Are Affordable Too - Apart from Chicago, the cost of living in Illinois is affordable. Rent is below the national average throughout the hole state.

Check out our printable Stage-by-Stage MOVING CHECKLIST.

This ultimate moving checklist will help you complete your moving without stress.

Moving Checklist

Best Places to Live in Illinois

You know you want to live in the Prairie State but you don't know which city to choose? Take a look at the list of top 6 best places to live in Illinois according to niche. Every city in Illinois has its pros and cons and you should choose wisely, there are a lot of factors that you should consider.













Illinois Moving Costs

There are certain costs associated with moving that most people tend to neglect. Even if you have opted for a self-moving job that does not involve hiring a professional moving company, you will have to pay extra for certain things. Here is a list of moving and packing costs you may have forgotten.

  • Packing Supplies

    If you plan to move on a budget and want to fo the packing yourself, you must know that you will need to invest in packing supplies like boxes, tape or bubble wrap.

  • Moving Insurance

    During the move something almost always brake. Getting moving insurance is always recommended. Most of the moving companies offer insurance and you can decide how much to get, considering how valuable your things are.

  • Moving Start-up Costs

    For renting new space start-up costs include things like your first and last month’s rent, a security deposit, a pet deposit or an application fee.

    If you are buying start-up costs are much bigger. They include closing costs for your new mortgage which is often measured in thousands of dollars. Average closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the cost of your home. These costs include things like a fee for running your credit report, a loan origination fee, attorney’s fees, the cost of a home inspection, a title search, an appraisal fee, and a survey fee, etc.

  • Boarding Your Pets

    You can expect extra costs for boarding your pets. Often enough, people tend to move their pets overnight, that way pets are not exposed to the stress.

  • Stair Fees

    Some of the moving companies will ask you to pay a stair fee.

  • Moving Large Items Fees

    It is always best to check with moving companies about extra fees and inform them about your large items, like piano or pool table, in advance. That way you will avoid surprises on a moving day.

  • Valuable Artworks or Decorative Pieces Are Often Handled by Specialised Movers

    There are professionals who are trained to handle valuable items. Packing and moving valuable items is more complex than regular moving. So you can expect to pay extra on moving those kinds of pieces.

  • Storage Space Renting

    Sometimes, you don't want to bring all of your things to your new home, but you don't want to throw them either. If you find yourself in this situation you will have to find storage space for those things. Having to store items could mean an additional monthly expense.

  • Re-buying Items Once You've Moved In

    While you shouldn't get rid of everything before a move, there are going to be some items that you're not going to want to bring to your new space.

  • Tips For Your Movers

    Your movers are doing a lot of hard work and heavy lifting, and they deserve to be compensated. Just note, that tips are always expected by your movers.

Moving to Illinois

Here you can find a list of shipping costs. Please note that the cost of international shipping (calculated with reallymoving) is solely the cost of shipping itself. Costs are calculated for moving entire two bedroom home, in the next three monts.

Moving From Cost
Vancouver (Canada) $5,400 - $7,400
Sydney (Australia) $6,200 - $8,400
Auckland (New Zealand) $6,100 - $8,300
Beijing (China) $6,300 - $8,700
Tokyo (Japan) $6,100 - $8,300
Dubai (United Arab Emirates) $4,900 - $8,300
Mexico City (Mexico) $4,500 - $7,500
London (United Kingdom) $5,200 - $7,100
Dublin (Ireland) $5,200 - $7,000
Singapore $6,100 - $8,300

Cultural Venues in Illinois

The culture in Illinois is mostly influenced by the arts and culture scene of Chicago. Other cities are rich in culture too. You will be able to enjoy music, theatre, libraries, art and all sorts of festivals and fairs in Illinois. There are a lot of important historical spots around the state that you should visit. Take a look at our list of top 6 cultural venues in Illinois.

McAninch Arts Center

McAninch Arts Center

Arts and Theatre Center

  • City: Glen Ellyn
  • Adress: 425 Fawell Blvd, 60137
  • Admission Fee: $0 - $9
Centalia Area Historical Museum

Centralia Area Historical Museum

History Museum

  • City: Centralia
  • Adress: 240 South Locust Street, 62801
  • Admission Fee: Depends On The Event
Illinois Holocaust Museum

Illinois Holocaust Museum

Holocaust Museum

  • City: Skokie
  • Adress: Illinois Holocaust Museum, 60077
  • Admission Fee: $0 - $15
Cahokia Mounds State

Cahokia Mounds State

Historic Site

  • City: Collinsville
  • Adress: 30 Ramey Street, 62234
  • Admission Fee: $0 - $15
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Library and Museum

  • City: Springfield
  • Adress: 112 N. Sixth St, 62701
  • Admission Fee: $0.75 - $9.75
Navy Pier

Navy Pier

Tourist Destination, Museums, Theater, Movies

  • City: Chicago
  • Adress: 600 E Grand Ave, 60611
  • Admission Fee: Free

Illinois Living Costs

Costs of living in Illinois are mostly affordable, close to the national average and in some cases even lower. Chicago is expensive, but compared to other major cities in the USA it is still reasonable. Housing and rent costs are below national averages in most parts of the state. Moving to a new state is always challenging and you need to learn all about the costs. Taxes in Illinois are higher than the national average. For more information about living costs visit numbeo or BestPlaces.

How much are utilities in Springfield

  • 85m2 Apartment Monthly Utilities, Basic (Electricity, Water, Cooling, Heating, Garbage):


  • 1 Min. Of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans):


  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/adsl):


  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), for 20 Years Fixed-rate, Yearly:


Austin VS US Average

Average Living Costs in Illinois

Cost of Living Illinois United States
Housing 79.5 100
Transportation 106.2 100
Utilities 97.7 100
Grocery 94 100
Health 97.2 100
Other 98.1 100
Housing Buy per Sq Ft Monthly Rent
Chicago $367.46 $1,886.00
Aurora $137.19 $1,000.00
Rockford $367.46 $683.33
Joliet $162.00 $1,566.67
Naperville $162.00 $1,566.67
Springfield $92.50 $683.33
US Average $242.48 $1,294.88
Transportation One Way Ticket Monthly Pass
Chicago $2.50 $105.00
Aurora $7.50 $165.00
Rockford $2.00 $67.50
Joliet $7.25 $215.12
Naperville $7.25 $215.12
Springfield $2.00 $30.00
US Average $2.25 $70.00
Child Care Preschool Primary School
Chicago $1,176.28 $17,007.86
Aurora $800.00 $13,000.00
Rockford $750.00 $11,600.00
Joliet $800.00 $11,600.00
Naperville $800.00 $11,600.00
Springfield $600.00 $17,007.86
US Average $896.05 $16,125.51

Work and Salary

Average Yearly Salary in Illinois is $65,000

Currently, most popular and best-paid jobs in Illinois are:

  • Operations Manager - $66,000/yr
  • Software Engineer - $80,000/yr
  • Project Manager - $75,000/yr
  • Office Manager - $47,000/yr
  • Account Manager - $53,000/yr
  • Mechanical Engineer - $68,000/yr
  • Human Resources (HR) Manager - $69,000/yr

All the information is provided by Glassdoor and Payscale where you can get more detailed information about the job of interest. If you don't have a specific job in mind, you can also check this list of 10 common jobs and professions in the United States with an average salary for each of them.

Job Illinois US Average
Cashier $13.07/h $10.57/h
Receptionist $13.47/h $13.34/h
Repair Technician $17.06/h $16.24/h
Actor $15.98/h $11.06/h
Registered Nurse $33.93/h $33.87/h
Secretary $13.95/h $13.96/h
Preschool Teacher $13.51/h $12.52/h
High School Teacher $18.74/h $19.20/h
Lawyer $67.51/h $65.62/h

Top 6 Universities in Illinois

Illinois supports 49 public community colleges in the Illinois Community College System. Illinois also has more than 20 accredited four-year universities, both public and private, and dozens of small liberal arts colleges across the state. The University of Chicago is continuously ranked as one of the world's top ten universities on various independent university rankings. There are a lot of primary and secondary school options to choose from throughout the whole state. Take a look at the list of top 6 universities in Illinois, according to UniRank.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Acronuym: UIUC

  • City: Champaign
  • Address: 601 E John Street, 61820-5711
  • Founded: 1867
University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Acronuym: -

  • City: Chicago
  • Address: 5801 S Ellis Avenue, 60637
  • Founded: 1891
Northwestern University

Northwestern University

Acronuym: NU

  • City: Evanston
  • Address: 633 Clark Street, 60208
  • Founded: 1851
University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago

Acronuym: UIC

  • City: Chicago
  • Address: 1200 W Harrison Street, 60607
  • Founded: 1858
DePaul University

DePaul University

Acronuym: DPU

  • City: Chicago
  • Address: 1 E Jackson Boulevard, 60604-2287
  • Founded: 1898
Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

Acronuym: LUC

  • City: Chicago
  • Address: 1032 W. Sheridan Road, 60660
  • Founded: 1870

Illinois - Important Information

State of Illinois

Illinois Seal

Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It has the sixth-largest population and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. The capital of Illinois is Springfield, which is located in the central part of the state. Three U.S. presidents have been elected while living in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Barack Obama. Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan Land of Lincoln.

  • State Capital:


  • Largest City (By Population):


  • Official State Website:

  • Official Language:


  • Spoken Languages:

    Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Tagalog, Arabic, Korean and other.

  • Dimensions:

    Length - 390 mi (628 km)

    Width - 210 mi (338 km)

Illinois Population:

  • According to the last census (2014): 12,859,995
  • According to the latest estimate (2018): 12,741,080
Illinois Demographics by Race
White 9,236,701 71.86%
Asian 671,811 5.23%
Other Race 767,145 5.97%
Black or African American 1,833,501 14.26%
Two or More Races 311,397 2.42%
Native American 29,696 0.23%
Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander 4,275 0.03%

Illinois - Average Yearly Temperature

Temperature Annual High Annual Low Average
Chicago 13.7°C 5.8°C 9.75°C
Aurora 15°C 5.1°C 10.05°C
Rockford 15.1°C 3.9°C 9.5°C
Joliet 15.5°C 5°C 10.25°C
Naperville 15°C 5.1°C 10.05°C
Springfield 17.3°C 6°C 11.65°C

Illinois - Crime rates

Very low: 0 - 20, Low: 20 - 40, Moderate: 40 - 60, High: 60 - 80, Very high: 80 - 100. By numbeo.

City Crime Index Safety Index Level of crime
Chicago 63.76 36.24 77.05
Aurora 35.29 64.71 33.33
Rockford 73.78 26.22 85.29
Joliet 35.29 64.71 33.33
Naperville 13.49 86.51 9.38
Springfield 32.84 67.16 42.86

Famous National Parks in Illinois

The state of Illinois has numerous man-made attractions but nature is the most beautiful Illinois feature. The corn state, the prairie state will provide you with the dreamlike sights. Apart from the popular attractions throughout the cities you should go out and explore state parks and national preserves, take a forest walk, swim in the lakes, and learn about wildlife. Take a look at our list of top 6 nature attractions to visit in Illinois.

Giant City State Park

Giant City State Park

Giant City State Park is a National Natural Landmark. Famous for numerous outdoor activities visitors can enjoy, including hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, and rock climbing. This park is also home toThe Giant City Stone Fort Site.

  • Nearest city: Makanda
  • Nearest big city: Marion
  • Visitors per year: -
Cave-in-Rock State Park

Cave-in-Rock State Park

Cave-in-Rock's most important spot is a 55-foot wide riverside cave formed by wind and water, a landmark of the Ohio River. This area was one of the first in Illinois to be labeled as "State Parks". The park is a world famous location for river tourism.

  • Nearest city: Elizabethtown
  • Nearest big city: Marion
  • Visitors per year: -
Bell Smith Springs

Bell Smith Springs

Bell Smith Springs is a natural recreational area that includes marked trails, four creeks, and sandstone cliffs. Bell Smith Springs is located in Shawnee National Forest and it is home to the natural stone arch, the largest in Shawnee National Forest.

  • Nearest city: Eddyville
  • Nearest big city: Marion
  • Visitors per year: -
Matthiessen State Park

Matthiessen State Park

Matthiessen State Park's most important feature is the Matthiessen Lake with numerous lake falls and canyons. Those canyons provide an ideal habitat for many plant species. This area is also home to a large population of white-tail deers.

  • Nearest city: Oglesby
  • Nearest big city: Joliet
  • Visitors per year: -
Shawnee National Forest

Shawnee National Forest

The Shawnee National Forest is a United States National Forest famous for Little Grand Canyon and Cedar Lake. There are seven officially designated wilderness areas lying within Shawnee National Forest and three natural vegetation research areas.

  • Nearest city: Harrisburg
  • Nearest big city: Marion
  • Visitors per year: -
Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Cypress Creek Wildlife Refuge

Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge area includes numerous different habitats, including prairie grassland, cypress-tupelo swamp, upland hardwood forests and more. The refuge protects over 16,000 acres of the Cache River wetlands.

  • Nearest city: Cypress
  • Nearest big city: Marion
  • Visitors per year: -