Cost of Living in Chicago, IL, United States

Prices in Chicago, IL

More about Chicago, IL:

Compare Chicago, IL with:
Consumer Price Index (Excl.Rent): 76.36
Rent Index: 58.26
Groceries Index: 75.60
Restaurants Index: 76.45
Consumer Price Plus Rent Index: 67.54
Local Purchasing Power: 127.95

Currency: Default Currency      Switch to US measurement units
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Restaurants [Edit] Avg.
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 11.00 $
Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 55.00 $
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 6.55 $
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 4.00 $
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 6.00 $
Cappuccino (regular) 3.79 $
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 1.74 $
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 1.68 $
Markets [Edit] Avg.
Milk (regular), (1 liter) 1.05 $
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 1.99 $
Rice (white), (1kg) 2.25 $
Eggs (12) 2.20 $
Local Cheese (1kg) 8.25 $
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg) 9.81 $
Apples (1kg) 3.54 $
Oranges (1kg) 2.68 $
Tomato (1kg) 4.69 $
Potato (1kg) 1.93 $
Lettuce (1 head) 1.38 $
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.86 $
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 10.00 $
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 1.75 $
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 1.80 $
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 12.00 $
Transportation [Edit] Avg.
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 2.25 $
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 100.00 $
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.25 $
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 1.24 $
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 30.00 $
Gasoline (1 liter) 0.91 $
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 18,000.00 $
Utilities (Monthly) [Edit] Avg.
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 109.90 $
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.19 $
Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 37.88 $
Sports And Leisure [Edit] Avg.
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 48.28 $
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 20.00 $
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 11.00 $
Clothing And Shoes [Edit] Avg.
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 41.62 $
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 32.86 $
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes 83.57 $
1 Pair of Men Leather Shoes 108.29 $
Rent Per Month [Edit] Avg.
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,738.50 $
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 951.50 $
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 3,114.29 $
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 2,116.67 $
Buy Apartment Price [Edit] Avg.
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 3,274.92 $
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 1,973.38 $
Salaries And Financing [Edit] Avg.
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax) 2,865.81 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 4.07

These data are based on 748 entries in the past 18 months from 169 different contributors.

Last update: March, 2015

Sources and References : Info
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23 Comments so far

#elad on Feb 28, 2015 :
Lol. I am planning to move to Chicago because of the cost of living in Israel. The prices dont seem too high in Chicago. Houses here are two to three times more expensive, groceries are really cheap as well as gas, and income taxes are not outrageous like they are here.
#victor on Jan 22, 2015 :
Long time Chicago guy here, I found the price of goods for Chicago on this site to be very accurate. The rents shown here are not as accurate because rents vary widely with location. Rent prices jump around by neighborhood and even by block. The cost of most things in Chicago are driven by government taxes. The city government is voracious. Goods and restaurants are 10% tax. A very large part of the price of gasoline, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages are just taxes. It is the same for many other things such as phones and utilities - about 25% tax. High speed internet is not $20/month, more like $50/month for regular, not teaser, rates. The rocketing prices of rents are due to raising property taxes and other related taxes (which vary by neighborhood). Car owners are squeezed for a multitude of taxes such as high sales tax, city sticker tax, high parking rates, red light and speed cameras. Don't expect all those taxes to go towards good schools and roads. The roads are full of potholes and the public schools are third-world quality. But there are good people in Chicago (excluding the politicians). The quality the life is good even if the cost of living is high.
#Allyssa on Dec 15, 2014 :
Everyone is being over dramatic and scaring off people who are looking into moving to chicago. I've lived in chicago twice my life and looking into moving back here. and yes financial living is going to obviously have a price just like any other place you're looking at. Of course prices vary when you come from a small town and moving to a city. You really need to save your money and use common sense when you buy things like Do you need it or do you Want it?? Just be smart with your money and if living here is something you REALLY want you just need to work at it. Anyone can move here and make it. Its all about how you are with money. If someone wants to argue about what they get paid and question what I'm saying all I can tell you is Get A Better Job! Work two if you need to just to get buy, and if its worth it you wont be complaining
#Shvonne on Aug 27, 2014 :
I have lived in Chicago all my life and the prices here have increased drastically.... Downtown Chicago 1 bedroom start at 15,000.00 a month all utilities are separate meaning you will pay light, gas, garbage, parking, and sometimes water....South side is a little more reasonable however you have to worry about being robbed, or shot.....I swear to you I'm not lying, My place have been broken into twice....but they just encourage YOU to get renters insurance...another bill....South west is even worst do not go there.. Nothing is free in Chicago, city stickers are 100.00 every will be paying tickets because they ticket you for everything and they range from 100-400 dollars after 7 days they way on public transportation is 2.25 and they stopped providing passes with transfers that allowed 3 have to pay for parking at the lake or beaches... movies passes are 25.00 for 2 people...gas bill is 125.00 a month and light is 125.00 a month...Chicago just passed a law for a mandatory tax on all cell phones I think it's like 3% crazy...But I would suggest if you are almost rich to move here but if not move to the suburbs where are the fee's and stickers and emissions test are not so high or will not exist at all
#kat on Jul 31, 2014 :
Rents have more than doubled in just 4 years, they need to update these apartment averages, those are wayyyy to low. Of course, they won't have to update our salaries, we all know those haven't changed.
#chris on Jul 14, 2014 :
Chicago in city centre(downtown) the rent for one bedroom is more than $2000-$2200/month, not even close to what was written here. The prices presented are nice, but the real prices are higher.. Tolls on all the highways, pay for parking, nothing is free. And the crime(the media don`t exaggerate) Chicago has the worst murders rate from USA, more than NYC and DETROIT combined. On 4th of July 80 people were shot in 1 day. Mostly in south ghettos but it spreads sometimes to north too.
#pierre on Apr 17, 2014 :
North said foster and Lincoln is the best area
#Alexis on Apr 01, 2014 :
I'm looking into moving down to Chicago, I am gonna be a college student and moving to a new state alone I stress about money. How are the living conditions there? Is it a good place to start out?
#Betz on Mar 29, 2014 :
Looking to relocate from NYC to Chicago.. The prices seem similar what are good trendy neighborhoods hospitals to look at??
#sid on Mar 27, 2014 :
Hello every one.
I am planning to move to Chicago. got an offer from one of the US based company. my base will be at Chicago however, most of the time I will be travelling. if any one can help me on what should be the ideal package I should look for. how safe is the city, if I need to leave my wife and kids behind when I am travelling.
#Sigh on Mar 09, 2014 :
Currently living in LA. Based on what I'm seeing, I'm looking at lower rental rates and about equal utilities taxes and good costs. Transportation at least will be a reprieve. Has prices fluctuate 4-5 bucks a gal typically and public transit is not nearly as developed sadly so ends up being better for commuters to just drive. Looking forward to this move :))
#SI on Feb 25, 2014 :
I grew up in Chicago (city proper and not any of the surrounding suburbs) and I still live here. Like everyone on this forum said, taxes are outrageous. Prices with regards to food at an average grocery store is within the range reflected. Apartment rents vary a lot in which neighborhood you live in. Lincoln Park, Wicker Park and Lakeview tends to attract the younger folks and the prices are also relatively high. 1 bedroom apt in the city (not downtown) is 900-1300. Utilities = heat, cable, gas, electricity. Heat is usually covered by landlord but do check. Electricity comes out to be $60 but rises significantly to $90-100 during the winter seasons. Similarly, gas bills go up too during winter season. If you are planning on having a car, be ready to pay $100 for the city sticker (1 year fee). Street parking in commercial areas suck. Prices are outrageous. Petrol/Gas prices are high. Around $4 a gallon as of today. Public transportation is relatively cheap, run 24 hours a day. You do encounter interesting folks on the train and buses but I think of it as cultural aspect of Chicago ;)
#Vlad Hristov on Jan 31, 2014 :
Well, I see lots of haters and unbelievers. First of all heating is no concern if you rent a place where the heating is included. 2nd electricity just got lowered by %20 and I pay less than pretty much any country in the world 6 cents per kWh. Can you beat that? Internet is one of the cheapest on this planet compared to the standard of living. $20/m (three company to choose from) for 25Mb download and 2mb upload. Rents in the city are rising, but you can easily find a good cozy 1bdr apartment for $850 (around 600sqf). Food options are on every corner, lots of restaurants. It is very sad to say that quality of the food has been going down and everything you buy anywhere is tasting like a @#$A!!. But, they are some small local grocery stores which still have quality products. Driving in the city is expensive, city sticker is now $80 and the parking fees has been going up, but the train and busses has been stuck on $2 per ride with 25 cents transfer fee for about 3 years now. Subway, red and blue line run 24/7/365. Sales taxes are highest in the nation, but the city is super clean and has lots of museums and amenities, plus pretty much one of the lowest crime rate indexes in the nation. Media exaggerates sometime about shooting here and there, but overall Chicago is the cheapest of all metropolitan cities in this planet which have more then 2M metro area population.
#Josh Otto on Dec 30, 2013 :
I've lived in the Chicagoland area for 28 years and have considered moving a number of times due to cost. The numbers here are modest and do not factor in costs during the winter when (heating costs can double) and summer (when gas prices jump to $5.00/gal). Unfortunately these are really the only two seasons so you are CONSTANTLY being hit with high utility bills no matter where in IL you live.

Also, taxes taxes taxes-did I say taxes? Cook county (the county where Chicago is located) has some insane taxes-other counties are not as bad, but, still higher than many other places. From sales to bottled water to highway will be hit with every fee imaginable, every year the tollway fee will rise yet the quality of roads and will be the same...

Want to buy a home? Want to buy a 3 bedroom 2 bath house? Hope you want to live roughly a hour away unless you are pretty frugal or want to constantly float your life on credit because you wont find a DECENT home in a DECENT neighborhood for your 2.5 kids for less than $250K-$300K. Not only that property taxes.......well you get the point. Like the big city? Like Extreme swings in weather? Don't mind giving money away for not a whole lot in return? Chicagoland is your place.
#weam elbedewy on Dec 04, 2013 :
Hello ,, How are you all ,,
I am thinking to come to USA for master degree , i found university of Illinois in Chicago is good for me ,, but i am afraid of cost of living ,, i will come with my wife and baby and on my own budget ,,, so help me please to determine how much i will spent "" rent + life expenses including internet + heat ... etc " i will stay 24 month may be or more ,,, so i need to calculate it before i take the decision ... and if there is another place better for live and study.. help me ..
Thanks All
#Anonymous on Nov 14, 2013 :
I agree with most of the comments above - however, $3,500 a month (afte tax) is a tad too optimistic in my opinion.. that kind of paycheck I think is the average for NYC

Come on lads - salaries in the US are higher than in Europe on average but if the average salary was this high there wouldn't be so much poverty in the US.

I lived in Chicago and very few people I hung out with at the time made that kind of money.
#Anonymous on Nov 01, 2013 :
About how much annually does it cost to live in Chicago though? Like all together because I'm going to school for my associates degree and I will make about 57,000 a year and I don't want to have to worry if I will have heat the next month.
#Bob on Jul 27, 2013 :
The Actual cost of living in Chicago is far cheaper than most areas of the country. You can buy a 2-3 bedroom ALL BRICK house in the city in good neighborhoods for less than $300K. Where I live now in CT, the same house would easily go for at least 600-700K. Rent in Chicago is probably also 1/2 the price of other large metro areas. The food is cheap, the beer is cheap, everything is easy to get to and it isn't overcrowded. I wish I was back here instead of out east.
#Anonymous on Mar 30, 2013 :
how much is the weekly cost of living for 3 persons in Chicago, IL 2013 in US dollars
#travis on Nov 25, 2012 :
the prices here are very misleading . they are infact very much higher.
the taxes are outrageous no matter where you are cook county / chicago is way higher than other counties but not by much .Ill claims to be broke but what they havent figured out is if the state is what about the people in the state
#College Educated on Nov 20, 2012 :
a gallon of milk is close to $3.00, parking (almost $2 per hour) and public transportation (@ least $5 per day) costs money. There is also a tax on bottled water. Events and amenities that were once free are starting to come with aa price tag. Depending on your area, the grocery stores are high (either high in the "hood" because of convenience & they have no where else to shop, or high in a "nice" neighborhood because they want a certain "demographic" that is able to afford the price to live in that neighborhood). There are a lot of politics in this city, speak to someone who has been living here before making a move. However, I will say that this is not a boring city. The nightlife is vibrant in all neighborhoods.
#Kelsey on Sep 22, 2012 :
The cost of living is VERY cheap compared to other world-class cities. You have everything that you need here (public transit, some of the best restaurants in the world, amazing theater, tons of career options...) and you don't have to pay the NYC, Boston, DC, LA, or SF prices. The rent here is SIGNIFICANTLY less than comparable neighborhoods in any of those places an you get to live in the middle of everything. I've lived in places with a super low cost of living, like New Mexico, and you get what you pay for. I wouldn't trade the quality of life here for anywhere in the US even if it's not dirt cheap.
#Gretchin on Sep 17, 2012 :
I am looking at this because of the teacher strike. I have heard that the cost of living is very high in Chicago. It does not seem that high. Most of the prices listed here match rural NC. Cost of living is high in the US!

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