10 months, 2 weeks ago David Cross, Movoto
Illinois’ Gem City is the second largest city in the ranking
From David Cross, Movoto :
As a Midwestern state, it might be easy to assume that Illinois is among the most affordable places in the country. Yet Illinois is comprised of almost 58,000 square miles, so it would be risky to make the assumption that all of Illinois is affordable. In short, some places in The Prairie State are going to be more affordable than others. But which places?
As part of an on-going series, Movoto Real Estate is going state to state to find not only the best places, but also the most affordable. Today we take a look at Illinois, home to more than 12,8802,000 people. After analyzing more than 200 places in the state across a number of criteria, Chatham was crowned the most affordable, or the place you’re most likely to keep cash in your wallet. Of course, Chatham wasn’t the only place where folks can stretch their bucks.
Here are the 10 most affordable places in Illinois:
- Village of Chatham
- City of Washington
- Village of Morton
- City of Springfield
- City of East Peoria
- City of Quincy
- City of Kewanee
- City of Pontiac
- City of Pekin
- City of Moline
How did Chatham make it to the No. 1 spot? What made Kewanee just the 7th most affordable place on our list? Keep reading for a virtual tour of our top 10 ranking. Before this, however, here’s a breakdown of how we created our list, because we didn’t just pick these places out of thin air.
How We Found The Most Affordable Places In Illinois
To create our ranking, we used Census data to find the each place in Illinois with a population of more than 10,000. This came to 219 places, including villages, cities, and Census-Designated Places. Once we had these locales, we ranked each one across six criteria, with the lowest number being the best. We then took the average of all these ranks to create our Big Deal Score. The place with the lowest average rank across our criteria–Chatham–was crowned the most affordable. Here are the criteria we used:
- Food costs
- Utility costs
- Miscellaneous costs
- Median home price
- Unemployment rank
- Adjusted median income
Data for our criteria came from a number of sources, including Sperling’s Best Places, AreaVibes, and the U.S. Census (2010). The adjusted median income takes a locations’ median household income and divides it by its cost of living. We then multiplied this number by 100 to create an adjusted income we believe reflects a household’s actual earnings. Our miscellaneous rank included an area’s the cost of clothing, restaurants, repairs, and entertainment.