The Pros and Cons of Living in Chicago

If you’re moving to Chicago, you might wish to know all about the Pros and Cons of living there. What the weather is like, for example, or if the traffic will cause you stress. If that’s the information you need today, read on! We’ve got the biggest pros and cons of living in Chicago listed for you below.

The third-largest city in the U.S., Chicago is home to nearly 3 million people. Known lovingly as the Windy City, Chicago offers culture, history, fantastic food, and so much more. Chicago also has its fair share of problems, as any big city in America does. So let’s dig into the details!

pros and cons of living in Chicago

Pro: Chicago has Great Public Transportation

One of the biggest Pros of living in Chicago is that you can get around the city quickly. That’s because Chicago is home to one of the best train systems in the country! We also have one of the top transit structures in the CTA, the venerable Chicago Transit Authority. With a wide variety of bus routes and train lines, getting around Chicago is fast and relatively easy.

Chicago also has Metra, the excellent railway system we mentioned above. Using Metra, you can connect to many of Chicago’s suburbs and bypass the often crazy traffic found here. By the way, because much of the track is elevated, the train system is often referred to as the El.

Con: Transportation in Chicago is Expensive

Does Chicago have an excellent public transport system? As we talked about above, yes, it does. The problem, however, is that overall transportation costs in the city are pretty high compared to other cities. Niche reports that the transportation cost index in Chicago is 139/100, nearly 40% higher than the national average. That means you’ll spend almost 40% more on your transportation costs, including:

  • Auto Taxes and Fees.
  • Gasoline and Diesel fuel
  • Repairs
  • Maintenence
  • Tolls
pros and cons of living in Chicago

Pro: Chicago is a Sports-Fan’s Paradise

When you think about Chicago, it’s not unusual to think about Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, and Cubs. No, we’re not talking about wild animals, but instead Chicago’s professional sports teams! There are six pro teams here, and between them, they’ve won 23 major championships! Their names and titles include:

  • The Chicago Bears of the NFL. – 1986 Super Bowl winners. (The Bears, though, won 8 Championships before the Super Bowl era.)
  • The Chicago Bulls of the NBA. – 6 NBA Championships (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998)
  • The Chicago Cubs of the MLB. – 3 World Series Championships. (1907, 1908, 2016)
  • The Chicago White Sox of the MLB. – 3 World Series Championships. (1906, 1917, 2005)
  • The Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL. – 6 Stanley Cup Championships. (1933, 1937, 1961, 2010, 2013, 2015)
  • The Chicago Fire of the MLS. – 4 MLS Cup Championships. (1998, 2000, 2003, 2006)

As you can see, Chicago has a winning record for pro sports of all kinds! Some will even argue that Chicago is the best city for sports in the country. However, we’re sure sports fans in New York, and Boston would dispute that claim fiercely. Whatever the case, when you live in the Windy City, you’ll find that winning championships comes naturally!

Con: The Chicago Winter Weather

As we’ve mentioned (and you’ve likely heard before), Chicago is known affectionately as the Windy City. That’s because, frankly, it’s incredibly windy here, especially in winter. That wind can send a chill through your bones like no other American city. The winters here are longer than most due to our proximity to Canada and the Great Lakes. In other words, when you live in Chicago, preparing for winter’s cold and snow is a must!

Many people rent storage units near Chicago to store their winter gear, like clothes, snowblowers, and sports equipment. It’s an easy, safe, and affordable way to store winter stuff without filling up their house.

Pro: Gorgeous Beach on Lake Michigan

No, Chicago doesn’t sit on the coast like New York, Boston, Miami, or LA. However, we sit right on magnificent Lake Michigan, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. (It’s number 6!) With that size comes a plethora of beaches and dunes that span more than 275,000 acres! Indeed, Michigan offers the most extensive freshwater dune system on the planet. It’s so large that people often refer to the region as the “Third Coast.”

Chicago skyline during a sunrise

Con: Crime in Chicago is Problematic

So you may have heard that the crime problem in Chicago is pretty bad. The thing is, though, it’s more or less average for a city of our size. We get a C grade for crime, like Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, and several other cities. One of the biggest problems in Chicago is street gangs, of which there are over 60. Most Chicago suburbs, though, like other American cities of our size, are safe and (mostly) tranquil.

Additional Pros and Cons of Chicago

Here are a few of the other living in Chicago pros and cons that you should know about before moving here.

Pros of Living in Chicago

  • Many fun traditions and plenty of festivals.
  • A rich history, culture, and diversity.
  • A diverse and flavorful food scene.

Cons of Living in Chicago

  • Heavy traffic and long commuting times.
  • Parking is problematic and expensive.
  • There are no mountains or oceans close by.

Final Thoughts

Chicago has a lot going for it, no doubt. Is it perfect? No, but then again, no American city can lay claim to perfection. However, one thing is sure; Chicago offers history, sports, culture, diversity, food, and art. For us at iStorage, that’s more than enough reasons to call the Windy City home.

At iStorage, we help folks like yourself to store their things safely and affordably. Our storage units near Chicago are safe and clean, with on-site managers keeping a watchful eye. If you have questions, you can chat with us online anytime.

Better still, visit your local iStorage facility and say hello to the in-site manager. They’re happy to answer questions, show you around and help get the rental process started. Until then, we hope you find living in Chicago to be an excellent, exciting, and life-changing experience!