The 10 Best And Cheapest Place To Live In Illinois

Cheapest place to live in Illinois

To find you the greatest, cheapest place to live in Illinois, we conducted an independent study using data from the Census and Zillow, and AreaVibes Livability scores. 

Most of the places on this list have houses for under $100,000. Some are even close to large cities with a greater cost of living, like East St. Louis and Chicago! Continue reading to learn more about your best, cost-effective options if you consider moving to the Prairie State!

Cheapest place to live in Illinois

  • Hoopeston
  • Freeport
  • Wood River
  • Granite City
  • Charleston
  • Clinton
  • Mendota
  • Dixon
  • Springfield, IL
  • DeKalb, IL


One of the cheapest place to live in Illinois is Hoopeston. With a population of only 5,000 and an average home price of $50,000, you can anticipate a small-town atmosphere. 

The community was founded as a way to stop at the junction of two railroads, and starting in 1871, the bustling downtown became the focal point of the little community. 

Hoopeston has evolved recently to become more of a retirement town, yet it still has to change. 

The city’s hospitals, nursing homes, and educational systems are some of the biggest employers. 

If you’re looking for a quieter Chicago suburb, this might be the place for you because it’s one of those!


A bit larger at 24,000, Freeport has an average home price of $69,500. The county and the city routinely collaborate on numerous projects because the city is situated in it. 

German Pennsylvanian settlers built the town in 1827. The Great Baseball Tour is arguably one of Freeport’s most well-known attractions, even though the town has a vibrant nightlife and various retail options. 

Freeport is one of the best locations in the Midwest thanks to its thriving economy, largely driven by the construction, finance, and healthcare industries.

This is the second cheapest place to live in Illinois.

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Wood River

Wood River, a component of the River Bends area, has 10,000 residents. 

Wood River is one of the few cities on this list to offer house-buying programs, with an average home price of $84k. 

There is a lot to do in the neighborhood, even though downtown St. Louis is only 15 miles distant. 

Regular performances are held at the Wildey Theatre and the Haskell Playhouse, and for those who enjoy the great outdoors, there are numerous entertaining treks like the Nickle Plate Trail. 

Retail, manufacturing, and the healthcare sector are the main economic sectors in the Wood River region.

This is the third cheapest place to live in Illinois.

Granite City

Granite City is a small town with 30,000 residents, and the typical home there costs $71k. 

Granite City, established in 1896, grew quickly due to its favorable location in relation to the Mississippi River. Residents in the region have access to various outdoor pursuits, such as Dirt Racing and Horse Shoe Lake State Park. 

Living expenses are substantially lower than in Chicago, even though unemployment is higher than the national average.

This is the fourth cheapest place to live in Illinois.


Charleston, Illinois, which has a population of 20,000 and is home to Eastern Illinois University, has an average housing cost of $95k. 

Residents interested in history will find enough to do in the city, including a few historic sites spread out over the city. The Charleston Alley Theatre will offer some entertainment for art enthusiasts. 

There is something for everyone in this small college town. The fact that Charleston’s primary sectors are education, healthcare, and social services makes it an ideal area to start a family.

This is the fifth cheapest place to live in Illinois.

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Only 7,000 people live in Clinton, located nearly 30 minutes north of Decatur, one of Illinois’ larger cities. 

Being so close to Decatur and boasting a distinct charm, Clinton is the ideal choice for anyone seeking to escape the big city while occasionally taking in some nightlife. A house in Clinton typically costs $94k. 

Most jobs in Clinton are in manufacturing and healthcare. While Clinton offers some historical sites like the Dewitt County Museum, nearby Decatur offers access to pubs and clubs.

This is the sixth cheapest place to live in Illinois.


Mendota, a little town with 7,000 population, is only two hours outside of Chicago. 

The average price of homes in the area is $91k, and the small, reasonably priced city offers a wide range of amenities to its expanding population. 

While the regional Chamber of Commerce assists in funding activities annually, Mendota also boasts some year-round tourist destinations and museums. 

Mendota has some employment prospects in the fields of agriculture, construction, and education, but like other parts of Illinois, manufacturing and health care account for the majority of employment opportunities.

This is the seventh cheapest place to live in Illinois.

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Dixon is one of the safest communities close to Chicago, with one of the highest AreaVibes livability rankings on this list. 

Dixon can be the ideal city for you if you’re seeking a nearby town that allows you to enjoy the nightlife.

Dixon’s primary industries are manufacturing and retail, although since Chicago is only one hour away, some commuting is feasible. 

This is the eighth cheapest place to live in Illinois.

Dixon is the finest area to live near Chicago because it has about 15,000 residents and affordable housing under $80k.

Springfield, IL

The average home is $115k in Springfield, the hometown of Abraham Lincoln. Considering Springfield is the state capital of Illinois, 

It seems sensible that the cost of living is greater than that of other Chicago suburbs. 

This big city also has a lower unemployment rate than the rest of the state, thanks in large part to the employment opportunities provided by the nearby hospitals and colleges. Additionally, Springfield is the location of Knight’s Action Park and Caribbean Adventure, the biggest amusement park in Illinois.

This is the ninth cheapest place to live in Illinois.

DeKalb, IL

Another city that is close to Chicago is DeKalb. The average price of a home in the region that is home to Northern Illinois University is $160,000. 

43,000 people are living there, many of them students because of the institution. Distribution warehouses, such as those for 3M, Nestle, Panduit, and Target, are the backbone of the DeKalb economy, and the city promotes activities practically all year long. DeKalb’s walkability is one of its benefits, which is good for students.

This is the tenth and the last cheapest place to live in Illinois.

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In this blog, we have discussed the cheapest place to live in Illinois.

Illinois is known for various things, including its colorful past and distinctive cities. 

Near some of Illinois’ largest cities, like Chicago and East St. Louis, there are many undiscovered treasures with affordable cost of living. 

Contact one of our On Q Financial, Inc. mortgage consultants if you’re considering moving to the Prairie State and need more information on financing. 

You can get the Illinois home of your dreams with our assistance.

We hope we have cleared your queries about the cheapest place in Illinois.

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