Average Cost of Living in Illinois

Although the average cost of living in Illinois is lower than the national average, this is by no means an inexpensive state of living in.  The closer to major cities you are, the more expensive any state will seem, and Illinois doesn’t hold back with Chicago.  

If you’re considering moving to this beautiful state and aren’t sure if it’s within your budget, here are some of the top expenses to consider.  


The average house in Illinois is around $230,000, which is close to the national average.  In Chicago, the price goes up quite a bit- balancing just under $300,000.  This means the average monthly mortgage payment in Illinois is between $1,800 to $2,500.  Apartments are no different, with the average Chicago apartments going for around $1,250.  The state average is far better, looking closer to $800 for a two-bedroom instead of the steep metropolitan price.  If you want to save money, it’s a good idea to live at least an hour away from the city center, and drive-in when you want some entertainment.


Transit of all kinds, from public transit to gas prices, can severely impact who can live in a state and can afford to do.  Illinois’ public transit prices are on par with the national average.  With bus fare in most cities costing $2.50 for a ticket, and then twenty-five cents for a transfer, this means someone can get across the city for relatively cheap without having to order an Uber or Lyft.

Gas prices in Illinois are higher than the average in the midwest because of the gasoline tax doubling in 2019.  This makes fueling up pricier and may cause more people to resort to public transit to avoid costs.

Food and Restaurants

Everyone loves to eat out, yet this can be expensive regardless of where you live.  Outside of the city, the average meat for two can cost around $40, including drinks.  If you’re in Chicago and expecting a higher class, you’ll find it.  At a price.  The average meal for two in city limits can cost closer to $75, which may be why so many people are taking up cooking for themselves now!


The average American who went to college faces over thirty thousand dollars of debt.  This high number can stop some from going to school while making it so that others have to deal with this debt for an incredibly long time while they’re living their life.  If you’re unsure about school yet, but you’re considering college in Illinois, the expense depends on where you go.

The average yearly cost of college in Illinois is under $7,000 for in-state students and nearly $20,000 for out-of-state tuition.  This $13,000 price increase is impossible for many, so if you’re interested in going to school here, it may be good to move into the state for a year first and become a full citizen to save the money.  Doing this for a four-year degree could save almost $24,000: nearly enough to get another four-year degree.

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