Chicago Cityscape river side along Lake Michigan

How Much Does It Cost to Live In Chicago?

The third-largest city in the United States, known as the ‘Jewel of the Midwest’ or ‘Windy City,’ is no other but the lovely Chicago. The city is perfect to set up a home with its stunning architecture and famous deep-dish pizzas to enjoy. So, how much does it cost to live in Chicago?

Located in Illinois, the cost of living in Chicago is less than Los Angeles or New York compared to the previous year. Moreover, the city still provides thriving amenities and an economy even after the pandemic. 

The average one-bedroom apartment rent in Chicago presently is 40.6 percent less than rent in New York. Whereas the cost of living is constantly changing with the increase in housing demand, it is 23.9 percent higher than the national average. 

But the real question is, what is the average cost of living in Chicago? Therefore, it is important to know the cost of living as it helps maintain the budget. Our guide includes all the relevant information needed if you plan to pack your bags and shift to Chicago for a living. 

The cost of housing in Chicago

housing in Chicago
Photo credit: 123RF

The housing market of Chicago has become more affordable than in previous years, whether you are buying or renting a house. There is a 9.2 percent decrease in the average housing rent for Chicago. The price has gone down to $2,205 a month for a one-bedroom compared to last year. However, the rent fluctuates and depends on the neighbourhood you choose to live in. Further, the cost varies depending on the public transportation and amenities available, along with how close the housing is to Lak Michigan.

For the average rental prices in US cities, the city of Chicago ranks 11th on the list. This suggests that the residents of Chicago pay fewer rents than other major cities such as San Francisco, with an average rental rate of $3,700. In addition, the neighbourhoods with the most expensive rent rates include River West, River North, and Streetsville. The least expensive neighbourhoods include The Island, West Pullman, and Austin. 

Moreover, suppose you are planning a co-living with roommates, making Chicago the preferable option compared to other cities. In that case, the cost of co-living is significantly less than solo housing in Chicago. For instance, there is a 24 percent less average rent rate for a private room in a shared home compared to the same neighbourhood studio apartment.

Property Purchase Scenario 

Many people prefer to purchase rather than rent a property when planning to move to Chicago. The news of the financial crisis faced by Chicago’s real estate industry is true for the previous years. But the property purchase market of Chicago is found enhanced over the past couple of years. 

The average cost of a four-bedroom property starts from $380k in Chicago. Whereas a three-bedroom home costs $225k, and two-bedroom property costs around $200k. The property purchase price per the above costs makes the total average $268k.

This suggests Chicago be a better competition in the renter’s market. The competition may be tough, but there are numerous options for renters to select from. So now is the best time if you are planning to rent or purchase a property in Chicago.

Cost of Utility in Chicago

The residents of Chicago love the summers and spend their time outdoors as much as possible. However, the case differs when winter comes as people prefer to enjoy the warmth and comfort of homes. As per the weather conditions, the heating systems and air conditioners are used for a couple of months per year, but the heat and AC are on for most of the months in a year. 

However, the utility prices of Chicago are 7.4 percent lower than the national average. This is due to the utility companies’ energy-efficient technologies for enhanced construction and building processes. Therefore, the expected total energy cost per month sums up to $132. Whereas there are numerous providers to choose from for the internet, the average bill is $60 per month.

Cost of Foods and Groceries in Chicago

From Michelin-star meals to hot dog stands, Chicago provides a vast range of dining options for its people. The city is known to be quite reasonable as it imposes a 0.5 percent restaurant tax along with a 10.75 percent addition in your bill as the highest sales tax of the US. Further, there is a 1 percent surcharge over meals at the airport or in downtown area. Additionally, the average lunch will cost up to $16, and the full-service restaurant meal costs up to $33, which is 30 percent less than New York. 

The overall groceries in Chicago are not expensive and have a 2.25 percent tax. The average cost of food is $299 per person, which is similar to Miami, FL, or Minneapolis, MN. 

Transportation Costs in Chicago

Transportation in Chicago
Photo credit: 123RF

Chicago becomes a headache if you want to commute by car. As per the recent research, the average commute rate is 35 minutes for the Midwest City, popular for being the third most crowded city in the US. 

Further, the North American Parking Index suggests that parking in Chicago causes severe stress as it ranks 2nd for its two-hour-off-street highest parking prices. The price is $21.18 for two hours of parking compared to New York City, $37.07.

In addition, the drivers in Chicago bared up to $1,388 cost per driver and strayed 94 hours to traffic. 

However, the bike-sharing and public transportation systems are quite robust in Chicago. Further, the CTA provides visitors and locals with 145 stations and eight trains across the city with 1,864 buses at 10,768 steps and 35 suburbs. 

The walk score is 84, whereas the bike score is 80 and the transit score is 73 for Chicago. The credit goes to enhanced biking and walking lanes as some neighbourhoods in the city score better. The most significant reason can be the number of high amenities, as the fitness facilities and grocery stores are within walking distance.

Summing up, the average transportation cost is 13.7 percent greater in Chicago than the national average.

Costs of Goods and Services in Chicago

The residents of Chicago are expected to spend more than 14% of the national average cost of goods and services as per the various categories beyond essential bills. 

Several neighborhoods in Chicago are pet-friendly, and the average vet services cost per visit sums up to $60.65. However, the rates for vet services vary as per the neighbourhood. 

The average cost of a new release movie ticket sums up to $14.85 per ticket. Further, the city provides numerous fitness options for people who prefer yoga or lifting weights. The average cost of a yoga class sums up to $15.75; however, several luxurious apartments offer a 24/7 small gym access. 

Average Monthly Net Salary in Chicago

The city of Chicago provides an average of $3800 as its average monthly net salary. The monthly accommodation rental uses up to 38.5 percent of the salary as expected. Further, 28.6 percent of the salary will be utilized for food and groceries. 

Moreover, transportation cost utilizes 8.8 percent of your wage. As per the recent study, an average person’s cost sums up to $980 in Chicago. Whereas, a family of 4 average living cost sums up to $3500 exclusive of rent. However, to live a comfortable life in a one-bedroom apartment in the city of Chicago, you will need an average of $43,200 per year. This average cost suggests the residents spend $21.60 an hour.

Tax Rates in Chicago

Chicago is known to be the home to one of the highest local and combines state tax rates on most goods and services in the country. The residents of Chicago pay a combination of local and combined state tax of up to 10.25 percent. 

Cost of Healthcare in Chicago

The highest-ranking health care systems and hospitals are found in Chicago. The top 10 hospitals listed in the United States include Northwestern Memorial Hospital, located in Chicago. Many research centres and hospitals are included in the Illinois Medical District. The nationally-ranked academic medicinal centre includes the University of Chicago Medical Center. 

The healthcare cost in Chicago is 1.1 percent less than the national average cost. The average cost of an individual’s healthcare varies from person to person. However, an average regular doctor visit costs $104.96 per person. 

Now you have an in-depth understanding of the cost of living in Chicago for 2022. Further, the statistics and prices fluctuate with passing years. So, if you are planning to live in the most beautiful and vibrant cities in the US, Chicago is the best option to go for.

There are various attractions and stunning neighbourhoods in Chicago, making it the most desirable city to live in. The city also provides well-connected public transport systems, endless entertainment opportunities, and affordable housing, making it a tough competition to some of the top cities in the US.

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