Cost of Living in Chicago

Summary about cost of living in Chicago, IL, United States:

Restaurants
Edit Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 16.00 $ 12.00-30.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 75.00 $ 50.00-120.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 8.00 $ 7.50-10.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 5.00 $ 3.50-8.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 7.00 $ 5.00-10.00
Cappuccino (regular) 4.28 $ 3.00-6.00
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 2.05 $ 1.50-3.00
Water (12 oz small bottle) 1.66 $ 1.25-2.00
Markets
Edit
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 3.00 $ 2.00-4.00
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 2.55 $ 1.50-3.99
Rice (white), (1 lb) 1.74 $ 0.99-3.00
Eggs (regular) (12) 2.26 $ 1.29-3.29
Local Cheese (1 lb) 4.91 $ 2.99-7.00
Chicken Fillets (1 lb) 4.29 $ 1.99-6.00
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 5.46 $ 3.00-9.00
Apples (1 lb) 1.96 $ 0.99-3.50
Banana (1 lb) 0.72 $ 0.49-1.39
Oranges (1 lb) 1.37 $ 0.69-4.99
Tomato (1 lb) 1.76 $ 0.75-2.99
Potato (1 lb) 1.16 $ 0.35-2.99
Onion (1 lb) 1.00 $ 0.59-1.89
Lettuce (1 head) 1.73 $ 1.00-3.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.94 $ 0.99-3.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 12.00 $ 7.49-20.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 3.02 $ 1.41-5.71
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 3.02 $ 1.25-6.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 15.00 $ 11.75-17.00
Transportation
Edit
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 2.50 $ 2.25-3.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 105.00 $ 100.00-120.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.25 $ 3.00-4.50
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 2.74 $ 2.25-5.00
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 26.00 $ 20.00-40.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 3.21 $ 2.39-3.60
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 23,776.00 $ 23,000.00-26,000.00
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 23,239.58 $ 19,600.00-28,000.00
Utilities (Monthly)
Edit
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 158.27 $ 88.70-300.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.28 $ 0.10-0.50
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 57.02 $ 40.00-85.00
Sports And Leisure
Edit
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 57.29 $ 20.00-100.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 21.91 $ 0.00-40.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 14.00 $ 11.00-17.00
Childcare
Edit
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 1,465.10 $ 750.00-2,000.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 23,627.50 $ 16,800.00-36,000.00
Clothing And Shoes
Edit
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 51.87 $ 30.00-80.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 39.53 $ 25.00-69.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 83.76 $ 50.00-100.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 105.33 $ 60.00-180.00
Rent Per Month
Edit
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,829.39 $ 1,500.00-2,400.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 1,198.69 $ 1,000.00-1,500.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 3,572.46 $ 2,500.00-5,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 2,208.00 $ 1,450.00-3,000.00
Buy Apartment Price
Edit
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 460.40 $ 300.00-1,409.38
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 215.32 $ 130.00-300.00
Salaries And Financing
Edit
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 5,282.63 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 3.24 2.50-4.50

Prices in Chicago, Illinois

This city had 1926 entries in the past 12 months by 257 different contributors.
Last update: October 2021
Sources and References
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7 Comments so far
Anonymous on Apr 03, 2021:
Chicago is reasonable on everything except real estate taxes, state income tax, utility taxes, and sales taxes. Taxes in general are high in Illinois. Housing costs and wages are good however. World class city. Suburbs are better however. But, you have city amenities at your fingertips and the burbs are a little cheaper.
Anonymous on Dec 21, 2020:
The post by ECONOMICS January 11,2019 isn't correct.
Anonymous on Oct 24, 2020:
2.96 a gallon of milk?! Yeah. In Costco! But if you don't have Costco membership, regular price in store is around $5.96!
cplusplus_tio on Dec 07, 2019:
Chicago is a great place to live, I would recommend Chicago over the Bay area for those in IT sector.
The salaries are someone less but still quite competitive in Chicago for IT talent.
The avg salary in Chicago is at least 160K for a experienced IT (10+ year) professional in the private sector.
I would say U.S citizen entry level professionals starts out at 80K.
For those working in IT on a H1B visa, your salary is going to cap out at 80-90K, even after several years of exp.
I myself work in IT with 12 years of exp and have $9000 USD monthly take home pay after taxes and after 5% 401k retirement contribution,
and that also doesn't include yearly bonus.

The cost to buy a condo in the city is center is about $380 per sq feet in a nice area such as River North, which is where most young
educated professional live.
In South Loop you can find better deals, around $300 per sq feet.
Chicago has very high property taxes, $5000-9000 a year on a nice 1 bedroom condo, and about 500 a month
for HOA fees.
Renting in River North is about $2300 for a one bedroom apartment.

Most people I know without college degrees, do 2-3 side hustles such as bartending, and uber driving.
Economics on Jan 11, 2019:
@ Comment below:

Minimum wage in Chicago is 13$ not 8$. Also, average income of 3800$ monthly after tax is REAL. Because it's not MEDIAN income! People you need to make difference between average and median! Median income is income that most of workers have and for Chicago it's most likely 2500$/mo after tax. Average income is 3800$ because of billionares and those who make 100k+. Average income is calculated like this: totalize income of all Chicago citizens and divide with population number. Here's example: I make 50k, my sister makes 100k, average salary would be 75k, so she has more and lives rich while I'm living worse 25k than average salary! Median income is more likely representative for wealth. Median income would be this: Person A makes 50k, Person B 50k, Person C 50k, Person D 100k. Median income would be 50k because thats amount that most have, while average income would be 62k which would be a total lie for most of them except person D. I hope I've helped you understand the Average wage stated above. My suggestion to admins, add median salary too.
eva scharfe on Jul 18, 2018:
I had a hard time understanding your information regarding the costs of living and income. I live in Chicago and wonder if the figure you show as an average income after taxes is for an individual or for a household where more than one person contributing to the costs. I highly doubt that the average income for an individual in Chicago after taxes is even close to 3800.00 a month. That would mean that the average person in Chicago as a net income of $ 45,000 a year to spend after paying taxes, and earning about $22.00/hour. The minimum wage is only about $8.00/hour. My daughter is a CPA and she makes about $24.00 an hour and she is a CPA!!! You must be using household income which makes it seem much better than individual income.
Zac on Feb 27, 2018:
The cost of living in Chicago is very reasonable compared to other top tier cities like NYC, LA, London, etc.

Anyone saying Chicago is expensive is comparing it to small town Midwest.