Here & There – Chicago, IL
Chicago Illinois –
Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the “Windy City” attracts thousands of new residents and millions of visitors every year with its abundant supply of employment, attractions and entertainment options.
Chicago is a collection of 200 unique neighborhoods with popular regional specialties that reflect the city’s ethnic roots – the city is famous for deep dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs.
And, Chicagoans love their sports teams. The Chicago Cubs are the oldest Major League Baseball team still based in their founding city. The Cubs have played more games, had more wins and scored more runs than any other team since 1876. But, they also haven’t won a title since 1908 or played in a World Series since 1945. And, even though the Chicago Bears are in the midst of management changes, the team has won more games than any other team in NFL history.
The cultural arts in Chicago are popular, too, with art galleries, museums, theatres and parks playing host to hundreds of exhibits, festivals, concerts and special events year round.
But, there are challenges associated with living in the 3rd largest city in the country.
Chicago is the county seat of Cook County with a population of 2.7 million, which translates into 11,953 people packed into each square mile. Almost 200,000 people travel into the city for work every day resulting in 40-minute average commutes, compounded by traffic congestion that is one of the worst in the country.
“Chicago has the second longest average commute time behind New York, a reality which has begun to impact quality of life and economic well-being of the region and the state,” says US Senator Dick Durbin.
But, the congestion is not just limited to the roadways. Chicago is also the largest freight hub in the railroad industry – a third of all US freight trains pass through the city. Known as the “bottleneck of the nation’s rail system,” infrastructure improvements over the past 12 years have reduced delays by just 30%, with only 22 of 70 projects completed due to the lack of funding.
“Congestion in Chicago’s rail freight network is bad and getting worse,” says Senator Durbin. The long delays force trucks back on the road to transport loads contributing even more to traffic congestion.
The median household income in Chicago is $45,214 and the median home value is $310,870, but with a cost of living index of 107.1, housing costs can be as much as four times higher than a home with the same amenities found in Decatur, benefiting from a cost of living index of 89.
2665 South Lake Parkway
Square Feet: 3735
Garage: 2-car attached
Year Built: 2006
Chef’s kitchen, vaulted ceilings, fireplace, hardwood floors, master suite, views overlooking pond.
174 N. Ridgeland Avenue, Oak Park, IL
Square Feet: 3978
Garage: 2-car detached
Year Built: 1894
Chef’s kitchen, vaulted ceilings, fireplace, hardwood floors, patio, fenced yard.
For the purposes of this comparison, all data is from Cook County IL. Here & There is sponsored by the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon County. Chicago information provided by City Data, CREATE and Durbin websites. Housing information provided by Realtor.com.
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2015 issue of Decatur Magazine.
It may not be reproduced or redistributed in whole or in part without the publisher’s consent.
© Copyright 2015 Decatur Magazine – First String Productions. All rights reserved.