These Are The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Illinois For 2018


We used data and science to determine which places in Illinois go easy on your wallet.

Join HomeSnacks

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

A wise sage once said:

“She works hard for the money…”

And these places in Illinois definitely treat her right.

You see, these are the places in Illinois where the cost of living is the lowest; where your salary goes the furthest. And when if you have the luxury of choosing where to live in the Prairie State, then the cost of living should play a role in the decision.

So we did the hard for you and crunched the numbers to find the cities that have lower food, energy, and housing costs. After the dust settled on our analysis of the 332 largest places in Illinois, we were left with this set of the best value for your money.

Here are the 10 cheapest places to live in Illinois for 2018:

  1. Galesburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Monmouth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Quincy (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Macomb (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Pana (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Vandalia (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Mattoon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Shelbyville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Decatur (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Clinton (Photos | Homes For Sale)

So listen up Glencoe (the most expensive place in Illinois) as we explain how we created this ranking. You could learn some things from the rest of the state.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out the best places to live in Illinois or the most expensive.

How We Determined The Cheapest Places To Live In The Prairie State For 2018

There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

You can then compare the cost of these things 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” that normalizes to 100 for an average place in the United States.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 332 places in Illinois that have more than 5,000 people.

And just so you can better understand how the cost of living index works, 100 is the average cost of a place in the United States. A score of 90 means that the place cost 10% less than average. A score of 90 means it’s 10% less expensive.

San Francisco has a score of 243 meaning it’s almost 2.5 times as expensive as the average place in the country.

1. Galesburg

Galesburg, Illinois

Population: 32,038
Services: 90
Groceries: 95
Health Care: 94
Housing: 49
Transportation: 91
Utilities: 102
More on Galesburg: Homes For Sale | Data
Galesburg is a city in Knox County, Illinois, United States. This city is forty-five miles northwest of Peoria. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 32,195. It is the county seat of Knox County. Galesburg is home to Knox College, a private four-year liberal arts college, and Carl Sandburg College, a two-year community college.

2. Monmouth

Monmouth, Illinois

Source: Public domain

Population: 9,659
Services: 90
Groceries: 95
Health Care: 94
Housing: 50
Transportation: 91
Utilities: 102
More on Monmouth: Homes For Sale | Data
Monmouth is a city in and the county seat of Warren County, Illinois, United States. The population was 9,444 at the 2010 census, down from 9,841 in 2000. It is the home of Monmouth College and contains Monmouth Park, Harmon Park, North Park, Warfield Park, West Park, South Park, Garwood Park, Buster White Park and the Citizens Lake & Campground. It is the host of the Prime Beef festival, held annually the week after Labor Day. The festival is kicked off with one of the largest parades in Western Illinois. Monmouth is also known regionally as the “Maple City”. It is part of the Galesburg Micropolitan Statistical Area.

3. Quincy

Quincy, Illinois

Source: Public domain

Population: 40,647
Services: 90
Groceries: 95
Health Care: 94
Housing: 58
Transportation: 91
Utilities: 102
More on Quincy: Homes For Sale | Data
Quincy, known as Illinois’s “Gem City,” is a city in and the county seat of Adams County, Illinois, United States, located on the Mississippi River. The 2010 census counted a population of 40,633 in the city itself, up from 40,366 in 2000. As of July 1, 2015, the Quincy Micro Area had an estimated population of 77,220.

4. Macomb

Macomb, Illinois

Population: 19,260
Services: 90
Groceries: 95
Health Care: 94
Housing: 60
Transportation: 91
Utilities: 102
More on Macomb: Homes For Sale | Data
Macomb is a city in and the county seat of McDonough County, Illinois, United States. It is situated in western Illinois, southwest of Galesburg. The city is about 75 miles southwest of Peoria and 77 miles south of the Quad Cities. A special census held in 2014 placed the city’s population at 21,516. Macomb is the home of Western Illinois University.

5. Pana

Pana, Illinois

Source: Public domain

Population: 5,850
Services: 94
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 92
Housing: 45
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 100
More on Pana: Homes For Sale | Data
Pana is a city in Christian County, Illinois, United States. The population was 5,614 at the 2000 census.

6. Vandalia

Vandalia, Illinois

Population: 6,096
Services: 94
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 92
Housing: 47
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 100
More on Vandalia: Homes For Sale | Data
Vandalia is a town in Fayette County, Illinois, United States, 69 miles northeast of St. Louis, on the Kaskaskia River. It served as the state capital of Illinois from 1819 until 1839, when the seat of state government moved to Springfield. Vandalia was for years the western terminus of the National Road.

7. Mattoon

Mattoon, Illinois

Source: Public domain

Population: 18,162
Services: 94
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 92
Housing: 50
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 100
More on Mattoon: Homes For Sale | Data
Mattoon is a city in Coles County, Illinois, United States. The population was 18,555 as of the 2010 census.

8. Shelbyville

Shelbyville, Illinois

Source: Public domain

Population: 5,267
Services: 94
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 92
Housing: 51
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 100
More on Shelbyville: Homes For Sale | Data
Shelbyville is a city in Shelby County, Illinois, along the Kaskaskia River. As of the 2010 census, the population was at 4,700. It is the county seat of Shelby County. Shelby Memorial Hospital, located in town, is the county’s only hospital. Shelbyville’s sister city is Okuwa Village, Japan.

9. Decatur

Decatur, Illinois

Source: Public domain

Population: 76,091
Services: 94
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 92
Housing: 53
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 100
More on Decatur: Homes For Sale | Data
Decatur is the largest city and the county seat of Macon County in the U.S. state of Illinois. The city was founded in 1829 and is along the Sangamon River and Lake Decatur in Central Illinois. In 2016, the city’s estimated population was 72,706.

10. Clinton

Clinton, Illinois

Population: 7,007
Services: 94
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 92
Housing: 54
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 100
More on Clinton: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Illinois, this is an accurate list of the cheapest places to call home.

Detailed List Of The Cheapest Places In Illinois

City Rank Population Services Groceries Health Care
Galesburg 1 32,038 90 95 94
Monmouth 2 9,659 90 95 94
Quincy 3 40,647 90 95 94
Macomb 4 19,260 90 95 94
Pana 5 5,850 94 96 92
Vandalia 6 6,096 94 96 92
Mattoon 7 18,162 94 96 92
Shelbyville 8 5,267 94 96 92
Decatur 9 76,091 94 96 92
Clinton 10 7,007 94 96 92
Effingham 11 12,297 94 96 92
Mount Zion 12 5,703 94 96 92
Sumner 13 5,073 92 93 92
Fairfield 14 5,285 92 93 92
West Frankfort 15 8,394 92 93 92
Carmi 16 5,351 92 93 92
Benton 17 7,284 92 93 92
Harrisburg 18 8,962 92 93 92
Olney 19 9,032 92 93 92
Mount Carmel 20 7,276 92 93 92
Flora 21 5,018 92 93 92
Metropolis 22 6,537 92 93 92
Herrin 23 12,524 92 93 92
Marion 24 17,198 92 93 92
Creve Coeur 25 5,460 98 98 96
Canton 26 14,699 98 98 96
Carterville 27 5,485 92 93 92
Peoria Heights 28 6,216 98 98 96
Hoopeston 29 5,601 100 102 93
Danville 30 32,977 100 102 93
Pekin 31 33,700 98 98 96
Spring Valley 32 5,530 98 98 96
Chillicothe 33 6,139 98 98 96
Bartonville 34 6,448 98 98 96
Princeton 35 7,831 98 98 96
Peru 36 10,189 98 98 96
East Peoria 37 23,321 98 98 96
Peoria 38 114,754 98 98 96
Eureka 39 5,421 98 98 96
Freeport 40 25,529 96 96 103
Rock Falls 41 9,075 96 96 103
Sterling 42 15,367 96 96 103
Dixon 43 15,332 96 96 103
Bloomington 44 76,527 98 98 96
Normal 45 52,986 98 98 96
Kewanee 46 12,903 99 100 92
Washington 47 15,052 98 98 96
Rockford 48 152,948 96 96 103
Mendota 49 7,138 96 96 103
Morton 50 16,255 98 98 96
Belvidere 51 25,544 96 96 103
Rochelle 52 9,578 96 96 103
Loves Park 53 23,968 96 96 103
Machesney Park 54 23,231 96 96 103
Milan 55 5,089 99 100 92
Harvard 56 9,172 96 96 103
Colona 57 5,013 99 100 92
Rock Island 58 38,808 99 100 92
East Moline 59 21,585 99 100 92
Rockton 60 7,370 96 96 103
Moline 61 43,390 99 100 92
Genoa 62 5,693 96 96 103
Silvis 63 7,474 99 100 92
Sycamore 64 17,505 96 96 103
Geneseo 65 6,604 99 100 92
Roscoe 66 10,679 96 96 103
Poplar Grove 67 5,879 96 96 103
Marengo 68 7,675 96 96 103
Woodstock 69 24,781 96 96 103
Beardstown 70 6,193 103 101 106
Litchfield 71 7,086 103 101 106
Carlinville 72 5,799 103 101 106
Crystal Lake 73 40,867 96 96 103
Taylorville 74 11,768 103 101 106
Lincoln 75 14,259 103 101 106
Hampshire 76 6,174 96 96 103
Hillsboro 77 7,363 103 101 106
Jacksonville 78 19,401 103 101 106
Huntley 79 23,897 96 96 103
Springfield 80 115,982 103 101 106
Gilberts 81 6,786 96 96 103
Johnsburg 82 6,325 96 96 103
Rantoul 83 12,880 96 92 109
Paris 84 8,896 107 96 109
Du Quoin 85 6,089 97 101 101
Robinson 86 7,656 107 96 109
Chatham 87 11,807 103 101 106
Centralia 88 13,019 97 101 101
Streator 89 13,068 96 106 104
Centreville 90 5,306 97 101 101
Pinckneyville 91 5,631 97 101 101
Murphysboro 92 8,166 97 101 101
Salem 93 7,407 97 101 101
Mount Vernon 94 15,051 97 101 101
East Alton 95 6,309 97 101 101
Chester 96 8,523 97 101 101
Charleston 97 21,952 107 96 109
Granite City 98 29,916 97 101 101
Cahokia 99 15,169 97 101 101
Marseilles 100 5,022 96 106 104
Alton 101 27,868 97 101 101
Monticello 102 5,297 96 92 109
Wood River 103 10,643 97 101 101
Greenville 104 6,941 97 101 101
Urbana 105 41,299 96 92 109
Champaign 106 81,083 96 92 109
Park Forest 107 22,424 96 106 104
Pontoon Beach 108 5,790 97 101 101
Jerseyville 109 8,833 97 101 101
Ottawa 110 19,258 96 106 104
Steger 111 9,629 96 106 104
Belleville 112 44,118 97 101 101
Carbondale 113 25,961 97 101 101
Chicago Heights 114 30,328 96 106 104
Sauk Village 115 10,473 96 106 104
Collinsville 116 25,370 97 101 101
University Park 117 7,034 96 106 104
Bethalto 118 9,506 97 101 101
Godfrey 119 17,941 97 101 101
Mascoutah 120 7,578 97 101 101
Wilmington 121 5,918 96 106 104
Wilmington 122 5,918 96 106 104
Watseka 123 5,630 96 90 104
Mahomet 124 7,230 96 92 109
Braidwood 125 6,047 96 106 104
Highland 126 9,434 97 101 101
Fairview Heights 127 16,838 97 101 101
Monee 128 5,099 96 106 104
Sandwich 129 7,563 96 106 104
Swansea 130 13,495 97 101 101
Pontiac 131 12,210 96 90 104
Coal City 132 5,346 96 106 104
Plano 133 10,602 96 106 104
Richton Park 134 13,568 96 106 104
Troy 135 9,959 97 101 101
Savoy 136 6,989 96 92 109
Joliet 137 147,098 96 106 104
Crest Hill 138 20,724 96 106 104
Kankakee 139 27,560 96 90 104
Hazel Crest 140 14,341 96 106 104
Waterloo 141 9,826 97 101 101
Morris 142 13,896 96 106 104
Homewood 143 19,526 96 106 104
Columbia 144 9,687 97 101 101
Country Club Hills 145 16,540 96 106 104
Aurora 146 196,569 96 106 104
Matteson 147 18,692 96 106 104
Maryville 148 7,480 97 101 101
Edwardsville 149 24,093 97 101 101
Oak Forest 150 27,922 96 106 104
Lockport 151 24,672 96 106 104
Bradley 152 15,777 96 90 104
Glen Carbon 153 13,129 97 101 101
Crete 154 8,336 96 106 104
Montgomery 155 18,123 96 106 104
Romeoville 156 39,175 96 106 104
Shiloh 157 12,726 97 101 101
O’Fallon 158 28,377 97 101 101
Manhattan 159 6,456 96 106 104
Bolingbrook 160 73,383 96 106 104
Channahon 161 12,377 96 106 104
South Elgin 162 21,873 96 106 104
West Chicago 163 27,079 96 106 104
Elburn 164 5,595 96 106 104
Tinley Park 165 56,340 96 106 104
Orland Hills 166 7,118 96 106 104
Minooka 167 10,548 96 106 104
Yorkville 168 17,055 96 106 104
Warrenville 169 13,346 96 106 104
North Aurora 170 16,231 96 106 104
Woodridge 171 32,926 96 106 104
Bourbonnais 172 18,582 96 90 104
South Beloit 173 7,917 97 97 109
Flossmoor 174 9,387 96 106 104
Shorewood 175 15,611 96 106 104
New Lenox 176 24,369 96 106 104
Batavia 177 25,693 96 106 104
Orland Park 178 56,607 96 106 104
Oswego 179 30,302 96 106 104
Manteno 180 9,253 96 90 104
Sugar Grove 181 8,831 96 106 104
Mokena 182 18,424 96 106 104
Darien 183 22,163 96 106 104
Winfield 184 9,168 96 106 104
Lisle 185 22,453 96 106 104
Plainfield 186 39,030 96 106 104
Geneva 187 21,588 96 106 104
Lemont 188 15,954 96 106 104
Downers Grove 189 48,621 96 106 104
Wheaton 190 53,155 96 106 104
Frankfort 191 17,787 96 106 104
Naperville 192 142,143 96 106 104
Homer Glen 193 24,428 96 106 104
Campton Hills 194 10,985 96 106 104
Winthrop Harbor 195 6,752 97 103 115
Antioch 196 14,185 97 103 115
Park City 197 7,383 106 108 100
Robbins 198 5,132 106 108 100
Riverdale 199 13,552 106 108 100
Harvey 200 24,959 106 108 100
Calumet City 201 37,070 106 108 100
Calumet Park 202 7,913 106 108 100
Dolton 203 23,230 106 108 100
Lansing 204 28,270 106 108 100
Blue Island 205 23,457 106 108 100
North Chicago 206 31,677 106 108 100
Waukegan 207 88,982 106 108 100
Markham 208 12,514 106 108 100
Lynwood 209 9,042 106 108 100
Spring Grove 210 5,452 97 97 109
Zion 211 24,400 106 108 100
Posen 212 5,975 106 108 100
Glenwood 213 9,033 106 108 100
Cicero 214 83,756 106 108 100
Maywood 215 24,177 106 108 100
Round Lake Beach 216 28,133 106 108 100
Crestwood 217 10,951 106 108 100
Bellwood 218 19,105 106 108 100
Broadview 219 7,938 106 108 100
Midlothian 220 14,788 106 108 100
Chicago Ridge 221 14,303 106 108 100
Stickney 222 6,731 106 108 100
Round Lake Park 223 7,382 106 108 100
Fox Lake 224 10,768 106 108 100
Carpentersville 225 37,758 106 108 100
Beach Park 226 13,482 106 108 100
Summit 227 11,166 106 108 100
Northlake 228 12,287 106 108 100
Alsip 229 19,264 106 108 100
Bridgeview 230 16,394 106 108 100
Worth 231 10,787 106 108 100
Elgin 232 109,513 106 108 100
Berkeley 233 5,189 106 108 100
Hillside 234 8,136 106 108 100
Franklin Park 235 18,333 106 108 100
River Grove 236 10,224 106 108 100
Lyons 237 10,651 106 108 100
Justice 238 12,877 106 108 100
Hanover Park 239 37,990 106 108 100
Melrose Park 240 25,241 106 108 100
Glendale Heights 241 34,159 106 108 100
Lakemoor 242 6,415 106 108 100
Evergreen Park 243 19,852 106 108 100
Berwyn 244 56,376 106 108 100
Oak Lawn 245 56,524 106 108 100
Round Lake 246 17,773 106 108 100
Burbank 247 28,851 106 108 100
Island Lake 248 8,114 106 108 100
Wheeling 249 37,575 106 108 100
South Holland 250 21,994 106 108 100
Palos Hills 251 17,458 106 108 100
Countryside 252 5,905 106 108 100
Schiller Park 253 11,782 106 108 100
Forest Park 254 14,194 106 108 100
Wauconda 255 12,960 106 108 100
Elmwood Park 256 24,876 106 108 100
Hickory Hills 257 14,355 106 108 100
Grayslake 258 20,943 106 108 100
North Riverside 259 6,920 106 108 100
Bensenville 260 18,480 106 108 100
Chicago 261 2,702,471 106 108 100
Lake Villa 262 8,827 106 108 100
Mundelein 263 31,506 106 108 100
Brookfield 264 18,812 106 108 100
Carol Stream 265 39,869 106 108 100
Streamwood 266 40,201 106 108 100
Villa Park 267 22,212 106 108 100
Cary 268 18,202 106 108 100
Addison 269 36,977 106 108 100
Des Plaines 270 58,302 106 108 100
Rolling Meadows 271 23,645 106 108 100
Lindenhurst 272 14,415 106 108 100
Lombard 273 43,180 106 108 100
Schaumburg 274 74,276 106 108 100
Wood Dale 275 13,778 106 108 100
Elk Grove Village 276 33,166 106 108 100
Roselle 277 22,814 106 108 100
Norridge 278 14,656 106 108 100
Hoffman Estates 279 52,066 106 108 100
Harwood Heights 280 8,573 106 108 100
Gurnee 281 31,222 106 108 100
Prospect Heights 282 16,228 106 108 100
Westmont 283 25,101 106 108 100
Niles 284 29,720 106 108 100
West Dundee 285 7,307 106 108 100
Palatine 286 68,338 106 108 100
Bloomingdale 287 22,028 106 108 100
Westchester 288 16,684 106 108 100
Algonquin 289 29,924 106 108 100
Mount Prospect 290 54,144 106 108 100
Bartlett 291 41,017 106 108 100
Willow Springs 292 5,455 106 108 100
Skokie 293 64,588 106 108 100
Itasca 294 8,494 106 108 100
Buffalo Grove 295 41,667 106 108 100
La Grange Park 296 13,552 106 108 100
Vernon Hills 297 25,144 106 108 100
Lake Zurich 298 19,679 106 108 100
Palos Heights 299 12,446 106 108 100
Arlington Heights 300 75,221 106 108 100
Morton Grove 301 23,194 106 108 100
Oak Park 302 51,781 106 108 100
Riverside 303 8,859 106 108 100
Highwood 304 5,396 106 108 100
Evanston 305 74,619 106 108 100
Elmhurst 306 44,385 106 108 100
Glen Ellyn 307 27,503 106 108 100
Libertyville 308 20,388 106 108 100
Park Ridge 309 37,266 106 108 100
Lincolnwood 310 12,538 106 108 100
La Grange 311 15,563 106 108 100
Barrington 312 10,739 106 108 100
Glenview 313 44,478 106 108 100
Highland Park 314 29,909 106 108 100
Clarendon Hills 315 8,434 106 108 100
Hawthorn Woods 316 7,451 106 108 100
Deerfield 317 18,452 106 108 100
River Forest 318 11,174 106 108 100
Northbrook 319 33,095 106 108 100
Western Springs 320 12,853 106 108 100
Lincolnshire 321 7,228 106 108 100
Wilmette 322 27,202 106 108 100
Lake Bluff 323 6,214 106 108 100
Northfield 324 5,234 106 108 100
Burr Ridge 325 10,590 106 108 100
Inverness 326 7,457 106 108 100
Long Grove 327 8,031 106 108 100
Hinsdale 328 16,594 106 108 100
Oak Brook 329 7,905 106 108 100
Lake Forest 330 19,068 106 108 100
Winnetka 331 12,210 106 108 100
Glencoe 332 8,728 106 108 100

Like HomeSnacks on Facebook:

Facebook Discussion