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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Mathena

Ultimate Chicago Moving Guide

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Ultimate Chicago Moving Guide

Considering moving to Chicago? Moving to Chicago is an exciting journey that opens the door to a world of culture, history, and unparalleled urban experiences. The Windy City, nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, is a vibrant metropolis that offers something for everyone. Whether you're drawn to its iconic skyline, renowned culinary scene, diverse neighborhoods, or thriving arts and culture, Chicago welcomes newcomers with open arms. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about making the leap to the heart of the Midwest, from choosing the perfect neighborhood to navigating the city's public transportation system. Get ready to embark on your Chicago adventure, where the possibilities are as endless as the cityscape itself.

Chicago Population and Demographics

One of Chicago's most defining characteristics is its diversity. Chicago is a true representation of the American "melting pot." You'll encounter residents from a wide range of ethnicities. Additionally, each neighborhood in Chicago often has its unique cultural flavor and history, adding to the city's dynamic atmosphere, so be sure to explore the demographics for each neighborhood you are considering moving to in Chicago. Here is the overall demographic info for the city of Chicago per the Chicago Community Data Snapshot published in July 2023 by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning:

  • The population of Chicago is 2,746,388, making it the largest city in Illinois, and the third-largest city in the US.

  • There are 1,142,725 households in Chicago with an average household size of 2.4 people.

  • Single-person households comprise a notable 38.2% of the population, surpassing the national average of 27.6%. Meanwhile, 29.5% of households are comprised of two individuals, 13.6% consist of three residents, and 18.7% are home to four or more individuals.

  • 33.1% of Chicagoans are White (Non-Hispanic), 28.7% are Hispanic or Latino of any race, 28.8% are Black (Non-Hispanic), 6.8% are Asian (Non-Hispanic), and 2.7% are Other/Multiple Races (Non-Hispanic).

  • 79.8% of Chicagoans are native born with 20.2% born in a foreign country.

  • The Chicago median age is 35.1 which is lower than the overall US median age of 38.9.

  • The Chicago median household income is $65,781.

  • The LGBTQ population of the Chicago metropolitan area is 298K as of 2021 per the Williams Institute, making it the 3rd largest in the US.

Crime in Chicago - Is Chicago a Safe Place to Live?

Crime in Chicago varies widely by neighborhood so it's a good idea to lookup the location you are considering moving to. The Public Safety portion of the Chicago Data Portal allows looking up crimes near a specific address and has other helpful information. Per the Chicago Police Department 2022 Annual Report Chicago had the following crimes:

  • 699 murders

  • 1,896 criminal sexual assaults

  • 8,973 robberies

  • 7,267 aggravated assaults

  • 7,499 aggravated batteries

  • 18 other violent crimes

  • 7,592 burglaries

  • 54,677 thefts

  • 21,422 motor vehicle thefts

  • 424 other property crimes

In 2022 Chicago had the most homicides amongst the nation's largest 75 cities, however with 25.8 homicides per 100,000 people it ranked 13th for rate of homicides.

Chicago, IL Real Estate

Chicago is a vibrant tapestry of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. From the timeless elegance of historic brownstones in neighborhoods like Lincoln Park to the sleek modernity of high-rise condos along the lakefront, the city offers an array of housing choices to suit different tastes. Chicago's bungalow belt showcases the cozy Chicago bungalows, a distinctive architectural style that has become a beloved part of the city's heritage. Whether you're captivated by the panoramic views of Lake Michigan from luxurious lakefront properties, prefer the quiet charm of Greystone buildings in historic districts, or are drawn to the bustling energy of downtown living in contemporary apartments, housing in Chicago provides a dynamic mix of options to suit your lifestyle.

  • 54.4% of Chicago residents are renters while 45.6% are homeowners.

  • Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning states that the housing types in Chicago are as follows: 26.1% are single family, detached, 25.6% are 20 or more units, 14.7% are 3 or 4 units, 14.1% are 2 units, 11.4% are 5-9 units, 4.4% are 10-19 units, 3.5% are single family, attached, and .3% are other.

  • The estimated age of Chicago housing units are as follows: 40.3% built before 1940, 30.3% built between 1940-1969, 17.6 between 1970-1999, and 11.8% built in 2000 or later.

  • According to Redfin, as of September 2023, the median home price is $335,000, up 2.3% compared to last year.

  • The median sales prices in Chicago vary across different housing types, with single-family homes averaging at $310,250, condominiums at $355,000, and townhouses commanding a median price of $599,999.

  • Homes spend about 55 days on the market which is about the same as last year.

  • 39.4% of homes sold above list price.

  • As of July 2023 RentCafe states that the average apartment rent in Chicago is $2,309 which is 34% higher than the national average rent of $1,726.

  • According to as of August 2023 the average Chicago studio apartment rents for $1,434, the average one bedroom $1,781, the average two bedroom $2,245, and the average three bedroom $2,730.

  • An average Chicago studio apartment is 435 square feet, an average one bedroom is 654 square feet, an average two bedroom is 916 square feet, and an average three bedroom is 1,180 square feet.

Setting up Utilities in Chicago

Making sure your Chicago utilities are setup is one of the most important things to do when moving to Chicago. Please visit our guide to setting up utilities in Chicago for extensive information.

Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

North Center - Best Neighborhood to Raise a Family in Chicago

North Center is an affluent, highly family-friendly neighborhood in Chicago, known for its excellent schools, safe environment, and an array of amenities tailored to families. Coonley Elementary School, among others, provides top-notch education, while parks like Welles Park offer ample recreational opportunities. Family-friendly events and a strong sense of community create a welcoming atmosphere, and the neighborhood's kid-friendly businesses and cultural activities cater to all age groups. Its proximity to downtown, walkability, and well-maintained streets make North Center an ideal choice for families seeking a vibrant yet secure place to call home in the city.

Chicago Loop (The Loop) - Best Neighborhood for Young Professionals in Chicago

The Loop, Chicago's central business district, stands out as an ideal residence for young professionals for several compelling reasons. Its proximity to major employers means short commutes or even walking to work, while the extensive public transportation network facilitates easy exploration of the city. The Loop is a cultural hub with world-class theaters, renowned museums, and vibrant parks, ensuring plenty of entertainment options after hours. The dining and nightlife scene caters to an array of tastes. Modern apartments and condos afford stunning city views, complemented by luxury amenities. The district's convenience, networking opportunities, and vibrant urban lifestyle collectively make the Loop an exceptional choice for young professionals seeking a dynamic and enriching living experience in Chicago.

West Ridge - Most Diverse Neighborhood in Chicago

West Ridge is a prime example of Chicago's multiculturalism, where residents from around the world come together to create a vibrant and inclusive community. It is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in Chicago, with a mix of residents from South Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and more. West Ridge is home to a variety of places of worship representing different faiths and cultures. The neighborhood's Devon Avenue is famous for its wide variety of international restaurants, grocery stores, and shops.

Northalsted - Chicago's LGBTQ+ Neighborhood

Northalsted, formerly known as Boystown, is Chicago's celebrated LGBTQ+ neighborhood, rich in history and inclusivity. As the oldest LGBTQ+ community in the United States, it's a place where LGBTQ+ individuals and allies find acceptance and freedom. Known for its iconic Chicago Pride Parade and colorful street festivals, Northalsted is a vibrant hub that hosts a diverse range of LGBTQ+-owned businesses, restaurants, and bars. Its welcoming atmosphere, commitment to equality, and public art installations make it a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride and unity, fostering a sense of belonging, celebration, and support within the community and beyond.

Transportation in Chicago - How to Get Around in Chicago

Chicago's neighborhoods are well-connected, and the city as a whole boasts a favorable Walk Score of 77, Transport score of 65, and bike score of 72, making it convenient for residents and visitors to explore on foot, by public transit, or by bike.

Chicago's public transportation is not only a vital part of the city's infrastructure but also a cultural icon that helps millions navigate the Windy City's bustling urban landscape. Chicago boasts an extensive and historic public transportation network that includes the iconic "L" train system and over 1,800 buses, operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and 11 commuter rail lines operated by Metra. The "L" trains, which run approximately 24 hours a day, are among the oldest and largest rapid transit systems in the United States, serving millions of passengers annually. The Ventra Card simplifies fare payments across CTA and Metra.

Divvy Bikes, with over 6,000 bikes, promotes sustainable travel. Water taxis offer a unique way to traverse the Chicago River. Taxis and rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are readily available throughout Chicago. Taxis can be hailed on the street or booked in advance, while rideshare apps offer convenient and often cost-effective transportation options. These services make it easy to explore the city at your own pace, whether you're heading to a museum, restaurant, or a night out on the town.

In Chicago, a well-connected network of expressways and highways provides convenient access to the city from various directions. Key routes include Interstate 90 (I-90) and Interstate 94 (I-94), known as the Kennedy and Dan Ryan Expressways, connecting O'Hare International Airport and the south side of the city. The Edens Expressway runs from Montrose to Northbrook in the Northern suburbs. Interstate 290 (I-290), also known as the Eisenhower Expressway, provides access from the western suburbs, while Interstate 55 (I-55), the Stevenson Expressway, connects Chicago to the southwest. Lake Shore Drive, running along Lake Michigan's shoreline, offers scenic access to the city's north and south sides. Additionally, the Chicago Skyway provides a direct route to Indiana. These thoroughfares, along with Lake Shore Drive, serve as vital transportation arteries within the city of Chicago. Commuters who drive may experience varying commute times due to traffic congestion.

Because of the ease of public transportation, many people live here without owning a car. If you do have a car know that parking in Chicago is a diverse experience, with availability and regulations varying by neighborhood. While some areas offer ample street parking and parking garages, others can be challenging to find parking due to high demand and restrictions. It's advisable to check neighborhood-specific parking rules and availability.

Chicago boasts two major airports. O'Hare International Airport (ORD), one of the world's busiest, offers a vast array of domestic and international flights, with a wide range of amenities and excellent transport links to downtown Chicago. Midway International Airport (MDW), situated on the city's southwest side, is favored for its convenience for domestic travel, featuring numerous services and efficient access to the city center. Together, these airports solidify Chicago's status as a prominent transportation hub.

Getting a Chicago Drivers License

Illinois drivers' licenses are issue by the Illinois Secretary of State. By law you must notify the State of Illinois of a new address within 10 days of moving. If you are moving to Illinois and becoming a legal resident, a new Illinois license must be obtained within 90 days.

Map of Chicago, IL

Chicago Climate - What is the Weather Like Living in Chicago?

Chicago experiences a diverse range of weather throughout the year, characterized by distinct seasons. Here's an overview of what you can expect: check facts someplace

Summer (June to August):

  • Summers in Chicago are warm and humid, with average high temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (24-30°C).

  • July is typically the hottest month, with occasional heatwaves when temperatures can reach the 90s°F (32-37°C).

  • Summer is a popular time for outdoor activities, festivals, and beach visits along Lake Michigan.

Fall (September to November):

  • Fall in Chicago brings cooler and more comfortable weather, with highs ranging from the mid-60s to low 70s°F (18-24°C).

  • September and October are particularly pleasant, with colorful foliage.

  • As the season progresses, temperatures gradually drop, and by November, you can expect daytime highs in the 40s and 50s°F (4-15°C).

Winter (December to February):

  • Winters in Chicago are cold and snowy, with average high temperatures in the 30s°F (around 1-4°C).

  • January is usually the coldest month, with temperatures often falling below freezing.

  • Snowfall is common, with an average of around 36 inches (91 cm) of snow annually. Lake-effect snow from Lake Michigan can lead to heavier snowfall along the lakefront.

Spring (March to May):

  • Spring brings a gradual warming trend, with daytime highs climbing from the 40s to the 60s°F (4-20°C).

  • March can still be chilly, but by May, you'll experience milder and more pleasant weather.

  • Spring is known for its unpredictable weather, including occasional rain showers.

It's essential to be prepared for the changing seasons in Chicago. During the winter, residents typically bundle up with warm coats, hats, and gloves, and snow removal is a common chore. Summers offer opportunities for outdoor activities, while spring and fall provide comfortable weather for exploring the city. Chicagoans often embrace the changing seasons and find unique ways to enjoy each one, from ice skating in the winter to beach days in the summer.

Places to Eat in Chicago, IL

Chicago is renowned for its iconic deep-dish pizza, a cheesy and hearty treat that's a must-try! Chicago also takes pride in its Chicago-style hot dogs, topped with a medley of unique ingredients, including bright green relish, mustard, onions, pickles, sport peppers, and celery salt. And don't forget to try the iconic Italian Beef sandwich, a savory local favorite that's a must-experience part of the Windy City's culinary culture. Beyond these classics, from sizzling gourmet steakhouses to Michelin-starred fine dining establishments, Chicago's upscale dining options beckon discerning food enthusiasts. Chicago's culinary scene is also a rich mosaic of global flavors, with something to entice every palate. Chicago's vibrant neighborhoods and ethnic eateries transport diners to distant lands. From savoring authentic Mexican street tacos to indulging in mouthwatering Chinese dim sum, these local gems showcase the city's diverse international influences. Whether you're sipping espresso at an Italian cafe in Little Italy or sampling the fragrant spices of Indian curry in Devon Avenue's vibrant South Asian enclave, Chicago's food culture promises a captivating culinary journey that's as diverse as the city itself.

5 Rabanitos is known for its authentic Mexican food such as their variety of tacos.

Alinea is a world-renowned restaurant celebrated for its innovative and avant-garde approach to fine dining, and with three Michelin stars it has consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in the world. It's known for its unique and immersive dining experience with meticulously crafted dishes that blend art and science.

Anmol Barbeque is a casual restaurant featuring Indian and Pakistani cuisine.

Bavette's Bar & Boeuf is celebrated for its classic and upscale steakhouse experience with a vintage and speakeasy-inspired ambiance.

Giordano's is a well-known pizzeria chain that specializes in the iconic Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.

MingHin Cuisine is a well-regarded Chinese restaurant offers an extensive menu with a wide variety of dishes that encompass the diverse and rich flavors of Cantonese cuisine including dim sum for which they are particularly known for.

Mr. Beef

The signature dish at Mr. Beef is the Italian beef sandwich. It's the inspiration for the hit show The Bear.

Portillo's is a popular fast-casual restaurant chain famous for its Chicago-style hot dogs.

Tufano's Vernon Park Tap is a classic Italian-American restaurant in Chicago's Little Italy known for its traditional dishes.

Things to do in Chicago, IL - Chicago Top Attractions

The Chicago Riverwalk is a picturesque urban oasis nestled along the scenic Chicago River in the heart of the city's downtown. This vibrant waterfront promenade stretches for 1.25 miles, offering a delightful blend of recreational, cultural, and culinary experiences. Visitors can stroll along the riverbanks, taking in breathtaking views of the city's iconic architecture, including the Chicago Tribune Tower and Wrigley Building. The Riverwalk is also home to a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it an ideal spot for al fresco dining and sipping cocktails while enjoying the tranquil waterside ambiance. Throughout the year, it hosts cultural events, live performances, and art installations, creating a dynamic and ever-evolving urban space that captures the essence of Chicago's vitality and creativity.

Navy Pier, a Chicago landmark since its inception in 1916, stands as a testament to the city's enduring charm and vibrant waterfront culture. This iconic 3,300-foot-long pier juts into Lake Michigan, offering a dynamic blend of entertainment, dining, shopping, and cultural experiences. Visitors can ride the Ferris wheel for stunning panoramic views of the city skyline, explore the Chicago Children's Museum, catch a boat cruise or fireworks show, and indulge in a diverse array of dining options. Navy Pier is also home to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, making it a central hub of excitement and entertainment in the heart of Chicago.

Skydeck Chicago, perched atop the renowned Willis Tower, is an iconic attraction that offers breathtaking views of the Windy City. Rising 1,353 feet above the ground, it boasts glass-floored balconies known as "The Ledge," where visitors can step out and experience the sensation of floating above the city. The Skydeck provides unparalleled 360-degree vistas of Chicago's skyline, Lake Michigan, and neighboring states. It's an unforgettable experience for thrill-seekers and sightseers alike, providing a bird's-eye perspective of this bustling metropolis and its architectural wonders.

Chicago Performing Arts

Whether you're a seasoned theatergoer or a first-time attendee, Broadway in Chicago brings the magic of Broadway to the heart of the city. They feature a diverse array of productions at iconic venues, including Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, and James M. Nederlander Theatre.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) stands as one of the world's preeminent orchestras, renowned for its exceptional musicianship and commitment to artistic excellence. Performing a diverse repertoire under the baton of renowned conductors, the CSO enchants audiences with its captivating symphonic sound. Founded in 1891, this cultural treasure has garnered numerous Grammy Awards and continues to be a pillar of Chicago's vibrant arts scene.

The Goodman Theatre is a revered cultural institution in Chicago, celebrated for its outstanding contributions to the world of American theater. Founded in 1925, it has earned a distinguished reputation for producing high-quality plays, ranging from classic dramas to cutting-edge contemporary works. Located in the heart of the Loop, the Goodman is housed in a state-of-the-art facility that includes two theaters: the Albert Theatre and the Owen Theatre.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago is a premier opera company known for its world-class productions and contributions to the performing arts landscape. Established in 1954, the Lyric Opera has garnered international acclaim for its opera and musical theater presentations. The company stages a diverse repertoire, from timeless classics to contemporary works, attracting renowned artists and performers from around the globe. With its home at the iconic Civic Opera House, the Lyric Opera of Chicago continues to captivate audiences with its exceptional performances, artistic innovation, and dedication to the art of opera.

Chicago Museums

The Adler Planetarium, perched along the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan, is a beloved institution that sparks wonder and curiosity about the cosmos. Established in 1930, it's the oldest planetarium in the United States and boasts a rich history of astronomical exploration and education. The Adler offers visitors immersive experiences through its state-of-the-art theaters, interactive exhibits, and engaging programs that delve into the mysteries of space and astronomy. With its iconic silver dome and commitment to scientific discovery, the Adler Planetarium continues to inspire generations to reach for the stars.

The Field Museum, situated in Chicago's Museum Campus, is a renowned natural history museum that takes visitors on a captivating journey through the wonders of the natural world. Since its founding in 1893, it has amassed a vast collection of artifacts, fossils, and specimens, making it one of the world's most significant natural history museums. From the towering T. rex named "Sue" to ancient mummies, the Field Museum offers an array of immersive exhibitions that explore the realms of anthropology, geology, paleontology, and biology. Its commitment to research, education, and conservation makes it a treasure trove of knowledge and discovery, inviting visitors to explore the past, present, and future of life on Earth.

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is a captivating tribute to human ingenuity and scientific exploration. Housed in the historic Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, the museum offers a dynamic array of interactive exhibits that showcase the wonders of science, technology, engineering, and innovation. Visitors can walk through a replica coal mine, explore a U-505 German submarine from World War II, witness the marvels of space exploration, and engage in hands-on experiments. As one of the largest science museums in the world, the Museum of Science and Industry continues to inspire and educate guests of all ages, sparking curiosity and celebrating the power of human creativity.

The Shedd Aquarium is a beloved aquatic institution that invites visitors to explore the wonders of the underwater world. Since opening its doors in 1930, it has played a pivotal role in marine conservation, research, and education. The Shedd Aquarium houses an astonishing array of marine life, from playful dolphins and graceful beluga whales to vibrant coral reefs and exotic sea creatures. Its immersive exhibits and educational programs offer visitors a deep understanding of aquatic ecosystems and the importance of conservation. As a leader in marine science, the Shedd Aquarium continues to inspire awe and appreciation for our planet's oceans and the life within them.

The Art Institute of Chicago is a cultural treasure trove and one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Founded in 1879, it houses a vast and diverse collection of artworks spanning centuries and continents. From iconic masterpieces like Grant Wood's "American Gothic" and Georges Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jette" to priceless antiquities, the Art Institute offers a journey through the world of art, culture, and creativity. Its educational programs, exhibitions, and immersive experiences make it a dynamic hub for artistic exploration and appreciation. Located in Chicago's Grant Park, the museum is a testament to the enduring power of art to inspire, provoke thought, and enrich lives.

Chicago Parks and Outdoors

Chicago's parks offer an expansive green oasis within the urban landscape, providing residents and visitors with abundant recreational opportunities. From the stunning lakefront parks like Grant Park, where you can experience outdoor concerts, art installations, and cultural events, to the pristine Lake Michigan beaches that offer a refreshing escape during the summer months, Chicago's shoreline parks are a defining feature of the city. Lincoln Park, one of the major lakefront parks, stretches along the Lake Michigan shoreline and boasts attractions like the Lincoln Park Zoo, providing a delightful blend of nature and culture. The Lakefront Trail runs along the lakeshore from from the north at Ardmore to the south at 71st Street. Smaller neighborhood parks are scattered throughout the city, offering serene green spaces, playgrounds, and picnic areas. These parks play a crucial role in fostering a sense of community and providing respite in the midst of city life. Whether you're looking for a place to enjoy nature, engage in sports, or simply relax, Chicago's parks offer a diverse array of options for everyone to explore and savor.

Shopping in Chicago

This famous shopping district along Michigan Avenue is home to high-end boutiques, department stores like Nordstrom and Macy's, and luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

State Street

Chicago's iconic shopping district, State Street, features a mix of shops, including Macy's (formerly Marshall Field's) and Block 37.

Located on the Magnificent Mile, Water Tower Place is a shopping mall with a variety of retail stores, including American Girl.

Oak Street is synonymous with luxury shopping. It's home to high-end boutiques and designer stores like Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and Jimmy Choo.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park boasts a variety of shops, including clothing boutiques, home decor stores, and specialty shops.

Wicker Park

Wicker Park is known for it's hip and trendy shopping scene, with unique fashion boutiques, record stores, and vintage shops.

Southport Corridor

Southport Avenue in Lakeview is lined with boutiques, salons, and gift shops.

Sports in Chicago

Chicago is a city that pulses with the heartbeat of sports. From the crack of a bat at historic Wrigley Field to the roar of the crowd at Soldier Field, this metropolis boasts a sports culture like no other. Chicagoans are passionate about their teams, and the city's sports history is as rich as it is diverse. Home to iconic franchises like the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Bears, and Chicago Blackhawks, as well as newcomers like Chicago Fire FC and the Chicago Sky, there's always a game to catch and a team to cheer for. Whether you're an avid sports enthusiast or just looking to soak up the electric atmosphere of a live game, Chicago's sports scene is a must-experience aspect of the Windy City's culture.

The Chicago Bears are one of the NFL's founding franchises with a storied history, including a Super Bowl championship in 1985. They have a passionate fan base. Soldier Field, located in the Near South Side, is where the Chicago Bears play their home games.

The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey team known for their success in recent years, including three Stanley Cup championships in 2010, 2013, and 2015. The United Center, shared with the Chicago Bulls, is where the Blackhawks play their home games.

The Chicago Bulls are an NBA team with a storied history, including six championships in the 1990s led by basketball legend Michael Jordan. They play at the United Center, located in the Near West Side, a state-of-the-art arena shared with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Chicago Cubs are one of the oldest and most beloved baseball teams in the country. They have a rich history, including winning the 2016 World Series, ending a 108-year championship drought. The Cubs play at Wrigley Field, located in the section of the Lakeview neighborhood known as Wrigleyville, an iconic baseball stadium known for its ivy-covered outfield walls and historic charm.

Chicago Fire FC is the city's Major League Soccer team, and they have a dedicated fan base. They have won the MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup in the past. They play at Soldier Field.

The Chicago Sky are the city's WNBA team, featuring talented women's basketball players. Wintrust Arena, situated in the Near South Side, hosts Sky home games.

The Chicago White Sox are the city's other Major League Baseball team. They have also won multiple championships, with the most recent one in 2005. Their home venue is Guaranteed Rate Field, formerly known as U.S. Cellular Field and Comiskey Park, located in the Bridgeport neighborhood on the South Side.

What is the Cost of Living in Chicago?

How expensive is it to live in Chicago? According to RentCafe, the cost of living in Chicago is 20% higher than the national average. Housing is 52% higher, transportation is 24% higher, healthcare is 13% higher, goods and services are 7% higher, food is 5% higher, while utilities are 3% lower. The cost of housing varies by neighborhood, so be sure to check the specific information for each Chicago neighborhood you are considering moving to.

Chicago Typical Living Expenses

According to RentCafe, as of August 2023 following is what you will pay for typical living expenses in Chicago:

  • One dozen eggs: $2.66

  • Loaf of bread: $3.98

  • One gallon milk: $2.29

  • Energy bills: $156.43

  • One gallon gas: $4.32

Chicago Tax Rates

Following are typical taxes you can expect to pay in the city of Chicago:

  • Illinois state income tax is 4.95%.

  • Chicago sales tax is 10.25%.

Chicago, IL Economy

Chicago's metropolitan area ranks 3rd largest in the United States, following the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. As of 2021 the Chicago GDP was $765 billion. Chicago ranks fourth in US cities with the most Fortune 500 headquarters such as United Airlines, Exelon, and Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. The Chicago Metropolitan Area ranks second for metropolitan areas with the most Fortune 500 Headquarters.

Chicago's economy is characterized by its diversity, with key sectors including finance, manufacturing, technology, healthcare, transportation, and tourism. It's a major financial hub, home to institutions like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and boasts a robust healthcare sector with world-class hospitals. Additionally, its central location makes it a vital transportation and logistics hub, and it has a vibrant cultural scene and strong educational institutions.

Jobs in Chicago, IL

According to Payscale the average salary in Chicago as of August 2023 is $78K. The average salary nationwide is $59K.

Chicago's top employers include:

  • U.S. Government

  • Chicago Public Schools

  • City of Chicago

  • Amazon

  • Advocate Health

  • Northwestern Memorial Healthcare

  • University of Chicago

  • Cook County

  • Walgreens

  • Walmart

  • United Airlines

  • JP Morgan Chase & Co

What are the best places to work in Chicago? According to Glassdoor, some of the best employers in Chicago as voted by their employees are:

  • Bain & Company

  • McKinsey & Company

  • Boston Consulting Group

  • Google

  • ServiceNow

  • HubSpot

  • Slalom

  • Microsoft

  • Medical Solutions

  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Healthcare in Chicago, IL

Not only is healthcare an important part of Chicago's economy, but Chicago is known for its world-class medical institutions, research facilities, and healthcare services. Chicago is home to the top two hospitals in the state, Northwestern Medicine-Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Rush University Medical Center, which also rank in the top hospitals in the country. The Illinois Medical District (IMD) in Chicago is a dynamic and expansive hub for healthcare and medical innovation. The facilities include cutting-edge medical research centers, laboratories, a biotechnology business incubator, four prominent hospitals, two esteemed medical universities, and over 40 healthcare-related establishments.

Chicago Public Schools and Colleges

Chicago's school system, operated by the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district, is one of the largest in the U.S., serving a diverse and culturally rich population. It encompasses a wide range of schools, including traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet and selective enrollment schools, and neighborhood schools. Top Chicago schools include Payton College Preparatory High School and Northside College Preparatory High School.

Chicago is home to a diverse and prestigious array of colleges and universities, offering a wide range of academic programs and opportunities for higher education. Schools include the following:

  • University of Chicago: Located in the Hyde Park neighborhood, the University of Chicago is a renowned private research university known for its rigorous academic programs and contributions to various fields, including economics, sociology, and physics. It's consistently ranked among the top universities in the world.

  • Northwestern University: Located in Evanston, just north of Chicago, Northwestern University is another prestigious private research university known for its strong programs in journalism, law, and medicine. The Kellogg School of Management is highly regarded.

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC): As part of the University of Illinois system, UIC is a public research university known for its diversity and extensive academic offerings. It has a strong focus on healthcare-related programs, engineering, and business.

  • DePaul University: DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and is known for its business and law schools. It's located in the heart of Chicago and offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs.

  • Loyola University Chicago: Loyola is a Jesuit Catholic university with campuses across the city. It's known for its strong programs in healthcare, law, and social sciences.

  • Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT): IIT is a private research university with a focus on engineering, technology, and business. It's known for its Mies van der Rohe-designed campus on the South Side of Chicago.

  • Columbia College Chicago: This private college specializes in arts and media education, offering programs in film, theater, music, journalism, and the visual arts.

  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC): SAIC is one of the leading art and design schools in the world.

  • Roosevelt University: Located in downtown Chicago, Roosevelt offers a diverse range of programs and is known for its social justice mission and strong performing arts programs.

As you prepare to embark on your exciting journey to Chicago, remember that a successful move requires careful planning and reliable assistance. As Chicago movers Under One Roof understands the nuances of moving in Chicago. Whether you're moving here from the Chicago suburbs, moving within Chicago, or moving from a different state and need assistance unloading a rental truck, we're here to help with your Chicago move. Contact us today to ensure your transition to the Windy City is smooth and worry-free. Welcome to Chicago!

Blog authored by Michelle Mathena, President of Under One Roof, a local moving company in Chicago. Michelle has over 20 years of experience in the moving industry. Under One Roof has had thousands of satisfied customers since 1982.

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