How Does the Chicago Cost of Living Rank Against Other Top U.S. Cities?

chicago cost of living rank

No matter where you’re moving from (even if it’s within Chicago!), it’s easy to harbor the assumption that a bigger city implies higher expenses. As the third-biggest city in the US by population, you’d think that Chicago follows this line of thinking – but according to a study by Move.org, the cost of living here ranks lower than other top U.S. cities.

The study, completed in 2021, used the average cost of rent, food, transportation and utilities as compared to U.S. Census population data. Interestingly, the data showed that 7 of the top 10 most expensive cities were in California; Honolulu also topped the list.

Read on for a ranking of Chicago’s expenses versus comparable U.S. cities, which together round out the top four most populous in the country.

Chicago Cost of Living Rank: #37

Despite being the third-largest city in the country by population, Chicago ranks lower than its coastal counterparts. Part of this is because cost varies so greatly by neighborhood.

Average costs in Chicago are indicative of this trend:

  • 1-Bedroom Rent: $2,400
  • Food: $358 per person
  • Utilities: $156, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage
  • Transportation: $75 for a monthly CTA ventra pass

New York Cost of Living Rank: #12

When weighing the cost of living in New York vs. Chicago, it’s no surprise that the biggest city in the U.S. also happens to be one of the most expensive. Even as the city’s population declined last year, rent still managed to hover around $4,000 per month on average in Manhattan.

Average costs in New York overall slightly lower than the premiums paid in Manhattan:

  • 1-Bedroom Rent: $3,986
  • Food: $521
  • Utilities: $162
  • Transportation: $129 for a monthly MetroCard

Los Angeles Cost of Living Rank: #13

Known for its laid-back lifestyle and urban sprawl, Los Angeles mirrors Chicago in that it can be very expensive or more affordable depending on neighborhood and area. See how LA compares to Chicago in terms of the average cost of living.

Average costs in Los Angeles are just below those of their east coast counterparts:

  • 1-Bedroom Rent: $2,642
  • Food: $398
  • Utilities: $138
  • Gas: $200

Houston Cost of Living Rank: #51

Boasting 640 square miles, Houston has the largest land area of the country’s top-populated cities, – and therefore, more room to grow (and the ability to keep rent lower). H-Town also saw the smallest rate of population decline last year.

Average costs for Houston rank the lowest among their counterparts:

  • 1-Bedroom Rent: $1,941
  • Food: $328
  • Utilities: $158
  • Gas: $122

If you’re considering moving to Chicago, our LLCR brokerage team is here to share insights into cost of living while finding the right apartment for you.

Interested in learning more about the costs associated with living in Chicago? Follow the link below!

Is It Expensive to Live in Chicago?

Properties You May Like

Add A Note

River North

$2,700
bedrooms Convertible
bathrooms1 Bathroom

Sublease convertible in River North with the most incredible river and city views! Available now!

Add A Note

River North

$24,984 - $25,000
bedrooms Penthouse
bathrooms4.5 Bathrooms

Oversized top floor four-bedroom four-bathroom residences in downtown River North with expansive terraces and luxurious interiors.

Add A Note

Downtown

$5,068
bedrooms Penthouse
bathrooms2 Bathrooms

Brand new luxurious two-bedroom penthouse in the heart of River North, just steps from Chicago's best dining, shopping, and nightlife.

Add A Note

West Loop

$2,463 - $2,600
bedrooms Convertible
bathrooms1 Bathroom

West Loop one bedroom apartment with upgraded cabinets and appliances, chestnut wood-like flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning city views.

Add A Note

Fulton Market

$5,013 - $5,500
bedrooms 3 Bedrooms
bathrooms2 Bathrooms

These Fulton Market apartments offer designer finishes including white quartz countertops, artistic custom backsplash, soft close cabinetry, wood plank flooring, stainless steel GE appliances, Latch keyless entry system, and Nest smart home thermostat.

Add A Note

Old Town

$5,740 - $6,300
bedrooms 3 Bedrooms
bathrooms2 Bathrooms

Sophisticated  two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Old Town. Features include gourmet kitchens with stunning European flat panel cabinetry throughout, integrated Blomberg and Fulgor Milano appliances, granite slab waterfall countertops, and a stainless steel hood range. Spa-inspired bathrooms [...]

Add A Note

Lakeshore East

$2,346 - $2,700
bedrooms Convertible
bathrooms1 Bathroom

An oasis in the heart of Lakeshore East with stunning finishes, including 9′ ceilings, wide plank flooring, quartz countertops, integrated appliances, walk-in closets, in-unit laundry, Nest thermostats, keyless entry, expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, private outdoor balconies, and more.

Add A Note

Old Town

$2,405 - $3,000
bedrooms 1 Bedrooms
bathrooms1 Bathroom

Sophisticated one-bedroom apartment in the heart of Old Town. Features include gourmet kitchens with stunning European flat panel cabinetry throughout, integrated Blomberg and Fulgor Milano appliances, granite slab waterfall countertops, and a stainless steel hood range. Spa-inspired bathrooms [...]

Add A Note

Old Town

$3,591 - $3,900
bedrooms 2 Bedrooms
bathrooms2 Bathrooms

Sophisticated  two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Old Town. Features include gourmet kitchens with stunning European flat panel cabinetry throughout, integrated Blomberg and Fulgor Milano appliances, granite slab waterfall countertops, and a stainless steel hood range. Spa-inspired bathrooms [...]

Add A Note

River North

$2,511 - $2,900
bedrooms 1 Bedrooms
bathrooms1 Bathroom

These refined apartments feature chef's kitchens with integrated appliances, stainless steel cooktops with a slide-out hood fan and convection oven, granite countertops, Italian cabinetry, wide plank flooring throughout, convenient storage, glass-encased showers with wall-mounted hand [...]

Add A Note

River North

$3,930 - $4,500
bedrooms 2 Bedrooms
bathrooms2 Bathrooms

These refined apartments feature chef's kitchens with integrated appliances, stainless steel cooktops with a slide-out hood fan and convection oven, granite countertops, Italian cabinetry, wide plank flooring throughout, convenient storage, glass-encased showers with wall-mounted hand [...]

Add A Note

River North

$9,621 - $9,700
bedrooms Penthouse
bathrooms3 Bathrooms

Brand new Penthouse in River North with the most incredible river and city views! Features include expansive layouts with 10' ceilings, a custom chef's kitchen featuring Thermador appliances, custom cabinetry with built-ins, including wine fridge, motorized solar shades with bedroom blackout [...]

Want further guidance in your search?

Our complimentary and tailored approach has helped thousands of renters find their dream home.

Menu Close