Is It Still Worth Moving to Chicago in 2024?

Aerial view of Chicago at night

There’s no denying that Chicago has a powerful allure with its massive skyscrapers, rich culture, and magnificent Lake Michigan shoreline. Indeed, the Windy City has always been a magnet for folks seeking new opportunities and big-city dreams. If you’re considering moving to Chicago, the information below will be invaluable. It’s a deep dive into the city and whether or not it’s still worth moving to in 2024, brought to you by the storage experts at iStorage. If Chi-town is on your radar, but you need to decide if it should be, read on.

What’s the Cost of Living Like in Chicago?

Like most massive American cities, Chicago’s cost of living is higher than you’ll find in suburban areas. That said, Chicago’s overall cost of living is still surprisingly affordable at 105.7/100. That’s only 5.7% higher than the United States average, although it is about 13% higher than the Illinois average.

Two of Chicago’s most expensive cost indices are transportation and miscellaneous costs, both 139/100 (give or take a couple of points). Those are undeniably high, although 88/100 healthcare is quite affordable. Groceries and utilities are both under the U.S. average, as is housing. However, housing has an index of 99.8/100, making it average compared to the rest of the United States.

The Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Historical Chicago house

Lincoln Park: Known for its lush parks, including the eponymous Lincoln Park, this neighborhood offers natural beauty, history, and exciting nightlife.

The Loop: The heartbeat of Chicago’s downtown, the Loop is where you’ll find the city’s financial district, world-renowned art installations, and many architectural marvels.

Lakeview: Lakeview is a dynamic neighborhood known for its lively atmosphere, diversity, and historic Wrigley Field. It offers a wide array of dining, entertainment, and shopping options.

Wicker Park: This trendy area is a hub for artists and musicians, characterized by its eclectic mix of cafes, boutiques, and a strong sense of community.

Gold Coast: One of Chicago’s most affluent neighborhoods, the Gold Coast features historic mansions, luxury high-rises, and designer shopping.

Andersonville: This neighborhood is known for its Swedish heritage, quaint shopping districts, and welcoming atmosphere. It’s a family favorite, thanks to a strong sense of community.

Hyde Park: Home to the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry, Hyde Park is a culturally rich neighborhood with a mix of students, professionals, and families.

West Loop: Once an industrial area, the West Loop has transformed into a hotspot for foodies and tech startups. It’s famous for its cutting-edge restaurants, chic lofts, and dynamic urban energy.

Chicago’s Weather and Climate

Unless you’re moving to Chicago from another part of the world, you probably know that it’s called “The Windy City” and for good reason; winter can bring brutal cold and extremely windy weather. That said, Chicago does see about 190 sunny days a year, which is a bit shy of the U.S. average.

Chicago also gets about 38 inches of rain annually, the same as the rest of the country. When it comes to snow, however, Chicago gets more than the rest of the U.S. at about 35 inches compared to 28 inches. Overall, Chicago sees one type of precipitation or another approximately 125 days out of the year.

The School System in Chicago is Good

Chicago has a whopping 731 public schools, many of which receive an A+. 5 of the Top 10 best public high schools in Illinois are located in Chicago! Overall, however, Chicago gets a C grade from Niche. If you have children still in school, that means that you should do your due diligence when searching for a new neighborhood. That way, you can be sure to choose one that’s connected to one of the city’s better schools.

The Best Things to Do in Chicago

Chicago River with boat on it

There’s no denying Chicago is brimming with fun and exciting activities that cater to everyone in the family. Whether art, sports, nature, or architecture, below is a list of the best things to do in Chicago.

Visit the Art Institute of Chicago: This world-class museum is a haven for art lovers.

Explore Millennium Park: Famous for “The Cloud Gate”, this urban park is a center for public art in the heart of downtown.

Take an architecture river cruise: Learn about Chicago’s pioneering skyscrapers and architectural marvels from the unique perspective of the city’s waterways.

Check out the Skydeck at Willis Tower: Offering breathtaking views from the 103rd floor, it’s a thrilling way to see Chicago!

Stroll the Chicago Lakefront Trail: This scenic path offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline. It’s perfect for biking, jogging, or a stroll.

Visit the Museum of Science and Industry: Witness the marvels of science and technology at one of the largest science museums in the world.

See a show in the Theater District: Chicago’s vibrant theater scene offers everything from Broadway productions to cutting-edge plays in intimate venues.

Relax at the Garfield Park Conservatory: A green oasis filled with exotic plants and flowers, it’s one of the largest conservatories in the country.

Chicago is a Superb Sports Town

As if there wasn’t enough to do, Chicago is one of the hottest sports towns in the country. Many championship teams reside here, including the Bears of the NFL, the Cubs of the MLB, the NBA’s Bulls, and the Blackhawks of the NHL!

Last Words About Whether it’s Still Worth Moving to Chicago in 2024

Cloud gate in black and grey

As we’ve seen, Chicago offers a lot to anyone who wants to move to the Windy City. Yes, the city has some well-known problems, but we hope the information provided will allow you to make your decision.

We’re iStorage, the Chicago self storage leaders. If you’ve just arrived and need to store your household goods in Chicago while you search for a new home, we’re your best choice! Our storage units are clean, safe, secure, and affordable! If you’re ready, you can reserve a Chicago storage unit online today! Until next time, we hope your move to Chicago is successful and that you find the city as delightful, exciting, and refreshing as we do!