Having played an extensive role in the development of American culture, the city of Chicago since its founding has also built an economic and political history. Since the 1850s, it has also served among the primary Midwestern metropolis areas.

Living in ChicagoEven though French explorers reached the area in the late 17th century, the modern city was involved in 1837. It made rapid growth because of the real estate speculation and the city serving a place in the transcontinental transportation networks.

Despite the destruction of the central business district of the city caused by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, it still made its way towards growth through a blend of commerce, schooling, production, and broadcasting at the end.

Between the 1890s and World War I, European immigrants made their way to the city, all became a part of what happened to be an atmosphere where aggressive labor unions demanded high pays and offered sometimes violent strikes to get what they wanted.

Even if Chicago had great suffering when the steel industries and stockyards restructured, attention on better housing, public programs, and administrative work aided in promoting recovery. When you live here, you’ll also get to know that the independence and confidence helping this city become a leader on the global stage, still has its presence. 

Undoubtedly Chicago is a great city to call home with every feature it provides, and if you’re wondering to go and settle then here are some pros and cons listed out for you. 

Pros of Living in Chicago

1. Good Transport

The well-known locations of Chicago are commonly minimal walks away from each other. Every eight blocks equal a mile and walking around helps you uncover the actual gem and architecture of the incredible city.

Chicago also houses the second-largest train system in the US, and buses, and trains of the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) are a quick and affordable way to commute around the city.

2. Rich in History and Architecture

Ever since its founding in 1837, Chicago has been known as a trade hub. This city has a truly rich history in the sense that it has been a donor of American culture, economics, and politics.

Here, you’ll come across a skyline that leaves you awestruck. Taking hold of its reputation for being a “laboratory” for architectural experimentation and innovation. You’ll probably be making your way towards an extraordinary blend of cultural and up-to-date architecture.

3. Diverse Food

Chicago is without any doubt among the best cities in the world when it comes to food culture. Including its deep-dish pizza to the infamous Chicago hot dogs, the food here is definitely iconic. Getting to visit amazing places while munching on delicious food, stays as the cherry on top. Make sure you don’t miss out on Chicago’s signature dishes.

4. Trade and Commerce Center

For most of its history, the city of Chicago has stayed the business center of the US. In addition, several Fortune 500 companies have picked out Chicago as their headquarters. According to the data released by UBS, a financial services company, this city is in fact the ninth richest in the world.

5. Fun Traditions

When you’re in Chicago, you wouldn’t want to miss out on St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The Chicago River gets dyed green on that day. This tradition when the river flows green began in 1962. Today over 400,000 people are drawn to experience it.

Also, most dance music festivals in all of the US are offered by this city. Chicago proudly hosts the largest free outdoor food festival along with world-class blues festivals, and many more.

Cons of Living in Chicago

1. Crime

With several well-known criminals marking its history, crime is among the first things that come to mind when thinking of Chicago. Even if crime rates have noticeably lowered over the past years, it is also comparatively higher than the national median.

As per the official reports formed by the Chicago Police Department, more than 550 murders were recorded in 2018 and there are more than 60 street gangs with thousands of agile members. This is why crime can be noted among the major cons of living in Chicago.

2. High Living Cost

Similar to most other big cities, the high cost of living is also an issue in Chicago. The cost of living here ranks 20 percent greater compared to the national medium. This is formed on rental costs, typical monthly energy bills, food, and other costs including grocery and utility bills.

The transportation costs are also quite high in comparison to other cosmopolitan cities in the US. Healthcare costs happen to be the same. To sum it up, Chicago is among the priciest cities in the world and you’ll have to prepare yourself for high living costs if you plan to settle here.

3. Traffic

When it comes to traffic scenes, Chicago does not differ from other major cities. Instead, it falls among the most crowded cities in the world.

Also, as noted by a new report recorded by a transport analytics firm, Chicago at present has the third-ranking in the US when it comes to the matter of heavy traffic. Hefty traffic issues have affected the lives of many Chicagoans in a negative way so it’s a good idea to be ready for all the hustle.

4. Weather

Winter happens to be longer in comparison to other seasons even though there are four seasons. At times brutal winds make an appearance, giving Chicago the name of “The Windy City”. When living here, you’ll also get to experience the average Midwestern seasons, meaning that the summers can be hot and humid, whereas the winters will be cold and snowy.

Costs of Living in Chicago 

1. Housing

The average price for a single-family home in Chicago will cost you $243,30 as noted in 2018 by a report from the National Association of Realtors. But compared to New York and Los Angeles, even though Chicago is reviewed among the biggest and heavily influential cities in the US, the housing market here is still fairly affordable.

2. Utilities

Regardless of where you’re renting or buying, utility costs have to be considered. As noted by Numbeo.com in May 2019, one basic package for utilities, including electricity, heating, water, and garbage costs $130.97 in Chicago. Adding on the internet, your total bill will be about $191. That’s lower than the national average of $214.52.

3. Food

A three-course meal for two in an averagely ranged restaurant in Chicago will cost you $65, as noted by Numbeo.com. A meal at an affordable Chicago restaurant is priced at just $15.  You will be paying a 1.25% added meals tax in downtown Chicago and a 0.25% meals tax outside of downtown, no matter if you go fancy or no-frills. That’s over the state and local sales taxes.