Overall 11%
Goods & Services 13%
Housing 17%
Date & Last Updated: This data reflects 2020 and was released from C2ER in January, 2021; this is the most current data available.
The cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. For example, if the cost of living is 90, then it is 10% lower than average. If the cost of living is 110, then it is 10% higher than average. The breakdown for each index is as follows: goods & services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). If the cost of living data was unavailable for this city, estimates based upon nearby cities were used.
Cost of living11197100
Goods & Services11396100
Health care9898100

Key findings

  • The cost of living in Chicago is 14% higher than the Illinois average
  • The cost of living in Chicago is 11% higher than the national average
  • Chicago housing is 17% higher than the national average
  • Illinois general sales tax is 23% higher than the national average
  • Illinois state income tax is 101% higher than the national average

Most Affordable Places to Live in and Around Chicago

See all the best places to live around Chicago

Compare Chicago, IL Cost of Living

      How would you rate the cost of living in Chicago?
      Write a review to give others more information about this area.
      Is the cost of living increasing or decreasing in Chicago?
      Write a review to give others more information about this area.
      See all Chicago poll results

      Salary Calculator

      This is how much you would need to earn in
      Price difference in compared to
      Cost of living index
      Goods & Services index
      Groceries index
      Health care index
      Housing index
      Transportation index
      Utilities index

      Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

      Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
      A good way to judge both the affordability of the housing and the cost of living in Chicago is by simply calculating the maximum that should be spent on housing, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). The plan is to avoid spending more than 28 percent of the gross income on costs that pertain to housing and no more than 36 percent on all expenses and debts. Chicago has a median income of about $76,476 for people who own homes. Based on that number, a maximum of $1,784 should be spent on expenses related to housing. Renters have a slightly different median income, which is $35,017. Based on this average, renters should spend no more than $817 on all rental costs if they want to maintain a non-impoverished standard of living.

      Illinois Sales Tax

      StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax

      Illinois Income Tax

      StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)

      Goods & Services

      ItemChicagoNational avg.Difference
      Haircut $34.95$20.2772.4%
      Beauty Salon $59.38$40.3947.0%
      Toothpaste $2.43$2.362.9%
      Shampoo $1.06$1.081.7%
      Movie $14.42$10.9931.3%
      Bowling $20.01$15.4929.2%


      ItemChicagoNational avg.Difference
      Ground Beef $5.23$4.3021.7%
      Fried Chicken $1.85$1.4031.9%
      Milk $2.26$2.202.6%
      Potatoes $2.75$3.2214.7%
      Pizza $13.02$10.7421.2%
      Beer $9.67$9.600.8%

      Health Care

      ItemChicagoNational avg.Difference
      Optometrist $97.30$109.7311.3%
      Doctor $105.52$118.3410.8%
      Dentist $102.17$100.941.2%
      Ibuprofen $9.99$9.930.6%
      Lipitor $494.12$469.535.2%


      ItemChicagoNational avg.Difference
      Home Price $225,200.00$184,700.0021.9%
      Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,777.54$1,229.6244.6%
      Apartment Rent $987.00$949.004.0%


      ItemChicagoNational avg.Difference
      Gasoline $3.39$2.7124.9%
      Tire Balancing $57.48$51.8610.8%


      ItemChicagoNational avg.Difference
      All Electricity$129.38$170.8424.3%
      Phone $206.73$187.1810.4%
      Although the cost of living data is updated regularly, this cost of living information is to be used as estimates only as prices can change on an ongoing basis.

      Nearby cities with low cost of living

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Hodgkins, IL1,96087-13%
      Hometown, IL4,34392-8%
      Whiting, IN4,87097-3%
      Calumet Park, IL8,32097-3%
      Merrionette Park, IL1,89698-2%
      Chicago, IL2,714,01711111%

      Cities with similar population

      City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
      Houston, TX2,240,58294-6%
      Philadelphia, PA1,559,9381022%
      Phoenix, AZ1,555,32497-3%
      Los Angeles, CA3,918,87214848%
      San Antonio, TX1,439,35890-10%
      Chicago, IL2,714,01711111%
      Source: The Chicago, IL cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for 2020.