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.

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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 some more reading about Illinois and the cheapest places in the country:

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

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Illinois
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.

Galesburg, IL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 32,038
Services: 90
Groceries: 95
Health Care: 94
Housing: 49
Transportation: 91
Utilities: 102
More on Galesburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Monmouth, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,659
Services: 90
Groceries: 95
Health Care: 94
Housing: 50
Transportation: 91
Utilities: 102
More on Monmouth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Quincy, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 40,647
Services: 90
Groceries: 95
Health Care: 94
Housing: 58
Transportation: 91
Utilities: 102
More on Quincy: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Macomb, IL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 19,260
Services: 90
Groceries: 95
Health Care: 94
Housing: 60
Transportation: 91
Utilities: 102
More on Macomb: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Pana, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,850
Services: 94
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 92
Housing: 45
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 100
More on Pana: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pana is a city in Christian County, Illinois, United States. The population was 5,614 at the 2000 census.

Vandalia, IL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,096
Services: 94
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 92
Housing: 47
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 100
More on Vandalia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Mattoon, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 18,162
Services: 94
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 92
Housing: 50
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 100
More on Mattoon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mattoon is a city in Coles County, Illinois, United States. The population was 18,555 as of the 2010 census.

Shelbyville, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,267
Services: 94
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 92
Housing: 51
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 100
More on Shelbyville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Decatur, IL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 76,091
Services: 94
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 92
Housing: 53
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 100
More on Decatur: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Clinton, IL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,007
Services: 94
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 92
Housing: 54
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 100
More on Clinton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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. Illinois 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.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Illinois according to the data:

  1. Glencoe
  2. Winnetka
  3. Lake Forest

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Cheapest Places In Illinois

Rank City CheapScore Population Services Groceries Health Care
1 Galesburg 28.5 32,038 90 95 94
2 Monmouth 28.92 9,659 90 95 94
3 Quincy 33.92 40,647 90 95 94
4 Macomb 35.0 19,260 90 95 94
5 Pana 38.33 5,850 94 96 92
6 Vandalia 39.67 6,096 94 96 92
7 Mattoon 41.33 18,162 94 96 92
8 Shelbyville 42.08 5,267 94 96 92
9 Decatur 43.67 76,091 94 96 92
10 Clinton 44.58 7,007 94 96 92
11 Effingham 48.08 12,297 94 96 92
12 Mount Zion 52.75 5,703 94 96 92
13 Sumner 64.17 5,073 92 93 92
14 Fairfield 64.83 5,285 92 93 92
15 West Frankfort 64.83 8,394 92 93 92
16 Carmi 64.83 5,351 92 93 92
17 Benton 65.17 7,284 92 93 92
18 Harrisburg 66.5 8,962 92 93 92
19 Olney 66.5 9,032 92 93 92
20 Mount Carmel 67.17 7,276 92 93 92
21 Flora 67.83 5,018 92 93 92
22 Metropolis 67.83 6,537 92 93 92
23 Herrin 68.42 12,524 92 93 92
24 Marion 74.92 17,198 92 93 92
25 Creve Coeur 75.83 5,460 98 98 96
26 Canton 76.58 14,699 98 98 96
27 Carterville 77.17 5,485 92 93 92
28 Peoria Heights 77.5 6,216 98 98 96
29 Hoopeston 78.17 5,601 100 102 93
30 Danville 79.25 32,977 100 102 93
31 Pekin 79.83 33,700 98 98 96
32 Spring Valley 80.33 5,530 98 98 96
33 Chillicothe 81.0 6,139 98 98 96
34 Bartonville 81.83 6,448 98 98 96
35 Princeton 82.58 7,831 98 98 96
36 Peru 83.58 10,189 98 98 96
37 East Peoria 84.33 23,321 98 98 96
38 Peoria 84.67 114,754 98 98 96
39 Eureka 85.67 5,421 98 98 96
40 Freeport 85.83 25,529 96 96 103
41 Rock Falls 86.67 9,075 96 96 103
42 Sterling 88.33 15,367 96 96 103
43 Dixon 89.0 15,332 96 96 103
44 Bloomington 89.17 76,527 98 98 96
45 Normal 89.67 52,986 98 98 96
46 Kewanee 90.67 12,903 99 100 92
47 Washington 90.75 15,052 98 98 96
48 Rockford 93.0 152,948 96 96 103
49 Mendota 93.0 7,138 96 96 103
50 Morton 93.5 16,255 98 98 96
51 Belvidere 95.17 25,544 96 96 103
52 Rochelle 96.0 9,578 96 96 103
53 Loves Park 96.0 23,968 96 96 103
54 Machesney Park 96.5 23,231 96 96 103
55 Milan 98.67 5,089 99 100 92
56 Harvard 98.83 9,172 96 96 103
57 Colona 99.25 5,013 99 100 92
58 Rock Island 99.75 38,808 99 100 92
59 East Moline 101.25 21,585 99 100 92
60 Rockton 101.58 7,370 96 96 103
61 Moline 102.0 43,390 99 100 92
62 Genoa 102.75 5,693 96 96 103
63 Silvis 103.0 7,474 99 100 92
64 Sycamore 105.83 17,505 96 96 103
65 Geneseo 105.92 6,604 99 100 92
66 Roscoe 106.58 10,679 96 96 103
67 Poplar Grove 107.42 5,879 96 96 103
68 Marengo 107.42 7,675 96 96 103
69 Woodstock 109.42 24,781 96 96 103
70 Beardstown 114.33 6,193 103 101 106
71 Litchfield 116.08 7,086 103 101 106
72 Carlinville 116.92 5,799 103 101 106
73 Crystal Lake 117.58 40,867 96 96 103
74 Taylorville 117.67 11,768 103 101 106
75 Lincoln 117.67 14,259 103 101 106
76 Hampshire 118.33 6,174 96 96 103
77 Hillsboro 118.58 7,363 103 101 106
78 Jacksonville 119.58 19,401 103 101 106
79 Huntley 123.25 23,897 96 96 103
80 Springfield 124.67 115,982 103 101 106
81 Gilberts 125.83 6,786 96 96 103
82 Johnsburg 126.58 6,325 96 96 103
83 Rantoul 130.75 12,880 96 92 109
84 Paris 131.25 8,896 107 96 109
85 Du Quoin 132.75 6,089 97 101 101
86 Robinson 133.0 7,656 107 96 109
87 Chatham 133.58 11,807 103 101 106
88 Centralia 134.08 13,019 97 101 101
89 Streator 134.58 13,068 96 106 104
90 Centreville 134.75 5,306 97 101 101
91 Pinckneyville 134.75 5,631 97 101 101
92 Murphysboro 136.08 8,166 97 101 101
93 Salem 136.08 7,407 97 101 101
94 Mount Vernon 137.08 15,051 97 101 101
95 East Alton 137.83 6,309 97 101 101
96 Chester 137.83 8,523 97 101 101
97 Charleston 139.67 21,952 107 96 109
98 Granite City 140.33 29,916 97 101 101
99 Cahokia 140.33 15,169 97 101 101
100 Marseilles 140.58 5,022 96 106 104

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