You don’t have to win the lottery or detassel hundreds of acres of corn by yourself, to live in most cities in Illinois: it’s extremely affordable.
Yes, learning the value of the dollar is important, but you don’t want to stress about it daily when looking for a great place to live, good food, and low cost of living.
Well, you don’t have to look any further if you choose Illinois to set up shop. The Land of Lincoln is one of the most affordable in the country.
Most people think that Illinois cities are filled with a bunch of fancy steakhouses, Lincolnshire snobs, and a boatload of wealthy farmers.
While all this might be true for some Illinois cities, the country bumpkins and city folk of this Midwest state would beg to differ. Illinois cities have a lot to offer to all income levels; and surprisingly, there are cities in this flyover state that won’t break your bank.
Now, don’t go all crazy and drown your financial woes at the local Family Dollar. Just because The Prairie State is affordable, doesn’t mean it’s all ‘subsidized housing’ cheap. It means the cost of living is doable. And that means you have more money to do the fun stuff that Illinois has to offer: like buying Chicago Bears’ season tickets or taking an RV trip to the Shawnee National Forest. #GoBears
So, grab yourself a fried tenderloin the size of your head and a cold pop, and read on.
It’s simple economics, people. The less you have to spend on bills, the more you will have to spend on things that matter: like your home, good food, and just overall fun.
This economic formula for affordability is no different for the good people of Illinois.
What does the most affordable place to live in Illinois look like?
Well, after crunching data from the US Census in terms of median housing costs, median income, and overall cost of living for cities with over 5,000 residents, Campton Hills brings home the bacon.
If you care about home values, cost of living, and high quality of life, take a look at the list below to find the most affordable places in Illinois, where your salary will let you live like royalty.
And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Illinois and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Illinois For 2019
Hoopeston is a city in Grant Township, Vermilion County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 5,351.
The median income in Hoopeston comes in at $41,313 and the median home value is $64,100 for 2019.
Clinton is the largest city in DeWitt County, Illinois, United States. The population was 7,225 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of DeWitt County.
The median income in Clinton comes in at $45,877 and the median home value is $79,100 for 2019.
Dixon is a city and county seat of Lee County, Illinois, United States. The population was 15,733 as of the 2010 census, down from 15,941 in 2000. The city is named after founder John Dixon, who operated a rope ferry service across Rock River, which runs through the city. The Illinois General Assembly designated Dixon as “Petunia Capital of Illinois” in 1999 and “The Catfish Capital of Illinois” in 2009.
The median income in Dixon comes in at $54,353 and the median home value is $92,300 for 2019.
Mount Carmel is a city in and the county seat of Wabash County, Illinois, United States. At the time of the 2010 census, the population was 7,284, while the next largest town in Wabash County is Allendale, population 475. Located at the confluence of the Wabash, Patoka, and White Rivers, Mount Carmel borders both Gibson and Knox counties of Indiana. A small community known informally as East Mount Carmel sits near the mouth of the Patoka River on the opposite side of the Wabash River from Mount Carmel. Mount Carmel is 5 miles northeast of the Forest of the Wabash, a National Natural Landmark within Beall Woods State Park and about a mile north-northeast of one of its main employers, the Gibson Generating Station. Mount Carmel is also the home of Wabash Valley College, part of the Community College System of Eastern Illinois.
The median income in Mount Carmel comes in at $44,500 and the median home value is $76,400 for 2019.
The median income in Salem comes in at $41,122 and the median home value is $71,600 for 2019.
Hillsboro is a city in Montgomery County, Illinois, United States. The population was 6,207 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Montgomery County.
The median income in Hillsboro comes in at $48,682 and the median home value is $80,000 for 2019.
Du Quoin is a town in Perry County, Illinois, United States. The population was 6,109 at the 2010 census.
The median income in Du Quoin comes in at $37,442 and the median home value is $69,200 for 2019.
Pana is a city in Christian County, Illinois, United States. The population was 5,614 at the 2000 census.
The median income in Pana comes in at $41,197 and the median home value is $69,900 for 2019.
Litchfield is a city in Montgomery County, Illinois, United States. The population was 6,939 at the 2010 census, and 6,588 in 2009 and 7,012 in 2015. It is located in south central Illinois, south of Springfield and northeast of Metro-East.
The median income in Litchfield comes in at $43,045 and the median home value is $76,900 for 2019.
Lincoln is a city in Logan County, Illinois, United States. It is the only town in the United States that was named for and by Abraham Lincoln before he became president; he practiced law there from 1847 to 1859. First settled in the 1830s, Lincoln is home to three colleges and two prisons. The three colleges are Lincoln College, Lincoln Christian University, and Heartland Community College. It is also the home of the world’s largest covered wagon.
The median income in Lincoln comes in at $52,245 and the median home value is $90,300 for 2019.
How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Prairie State For 2019
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Illinois to figure out which is the least expensive.
What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 326 places in Illinois that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the lowest cost of living in Illinois according to the data is Hoopeston.
There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Illinois Cheapskate
If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Illinois, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in illinois for 2019.
Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Illinois according to the data:
For more Illinois reading, check out: