For many reasons, the Midwest is among the best regions to live in the United States. It boasts diverse landscapes, experiences all four seasons in full swing, and it’s the least expensive region along with the South.
If the Midwest is on your radar, you’re probably considering Illinois, one of the most critical states in the region. It’s a major regional economy offering its residents a wide range of opportunities and experiences.
The Prairie State offers plenty and may be the best place for you to call home.
In this post, we bring out the beauty of Illinois by exploring the top benefits of living in the state.
1. Low Cost of Living
The cost of living in Illinois is one of the lowest in the country, and going by Midwestern standards, it’s one of the state’s selling points.
Food and utility costs are affordable, with slight disparity across the state. Housing costs, on the other hand, depend on where you live, with cities like Chicago being more expensive.
Still, Chicago’s housing costs are pretty affordable for a large US city.
If you make $50,000 a year, you will be okay in Illinois, as the average cost of living is below that.
2. Job Opportunities
Illinois is one of those places where you won’t struggle to find employment as it enjoys a strong and diverse economy. Its Gross State product is the fifth largest in the nation, having crossed the trillion dollar mark in 2022.
The state’s biggest city, Chicago, has the third largest economy in the US and serves as a global financial and business hub. Illinois generally boasts large industries, a flourishing tech sector, and a robust agricultural sector.
The diverse industries offer many career options and employment opportunities you can take advantage of. Besides, with a 4.2% unemployment rate, chances are you won’t look for work for long.
3. Large Metro Area
Illinois has lots of options when it comes to where to settle. If you’re a city person, you will love the Chicago metropolitan area, the fifth largest in the nation.
The urban area includes the city of Chicago and several satellite cities in Indiana and Wisconsin.
Living in Chicago or its suburbs ultimately provides you access to other cities in the metro area. You can benefit from the massive resources in such a vast urban area.
Besides Chicagoland, cities like Rockford and Peoria have been listed among the best places to live in the US.
4. Beautiful Outdoors
Living in Illinois means that you get to enjoy the state’s magical outdoors. The whole state sits in the Interior Plains — it wouldn’t be the Prairie State otherwise.
But besides the sweeping plains, the state features endless forests, breathtaking lakes and rivers, and imposing bluffs.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you will likely fall in love with the state’s picturesque countryside. You could settle in charming small towns like Fulton, Galena, and Geneseo and expose yourself to a full outdoor experience.
5. Vibrant Culture
One of the major draws for residents and tourists in Illinois is the rich cultural experience. The state is well established in the arts scene, with multiple music organizations and world-class events.
Chicago, in particular, is an art paradise with all forms of artistic expression. You’ll have access to high-end theaters, art galleries, and concerts. Across the state, numerous events and festivals occur year-round.
With a population of over 12 million, expect diverse traditions that influence the arts and culinary atmosphere. You will experience much of the vibrant and progressive culture in everyday life.
6. Relaxed Weed Laws
With the current positive atmosphere regarding cannabis, you may be considering a place with lenient laws. Illinois offers that, which is also a testament to the progressive culture.
Medical and recreational weed are legal in the state. Adult-use cannabis is accessible to residents 21 years and over, while medical cannabis is available with a medical marijuana card. For more info on that, this site can help.
Life in the zrairie State is excellent in many ways despite drawbacks generally present in any place you call home. But if you’re looking at the benefits, Illinois has many in its urban and rural areas.
The state has much to offer, depending on your preferences. Whether you settle in bustling Chicago or any of the quaint small towns, Illinois won’t disappoint.