Chicago Vs Boston Cost of Living - answering101 (2023)

There is no simple answer when comparing the cost of living in Chicago versus Boston. Both cities are large, metropolitan areas with a wide range of prices for housing, food, transportation, and other expenses. Generally speaking, Boston is considered to be a more expensive city than Chicago.

However, there are many factors that can affect the cost of living in either place, and it ultimately depends on an individual’s lifestyle and budget.

There’s no denying that the cost of living in Boston is high. But what about when you compare it to other major cities? According to a recent study, Boston ranks as the 3rd most expensive city in the United States, behind only New York City and San Francisco.

So what makes Boston so expensive? Housing costs are a big factor, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment coming in at over $3,000 per month. Transportation costs are also high, with a monthly MBTA pass setting you back nearly $200.

And let’s not forget about food costs – dining out in Boston can be pretty pricey.Of course, there are some cheaper options available if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of convenience. For example, you could live outside of the city and commute in, or look for an apartment with roommates to split the cost.

And there are plenty of affordable places to eat if you know where to look (hint: avoid those trendy restaurants in the Financial District).At the end of the day, it’s up to each individual to decide whether or not they can afford to live in Boston. But if you’re thinking about making the move here, just be aware that it will likely cost you more than living elsewhere.

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Chicago Vs Brooklyn Cost of Living

If you’re considering a move to either Chicago or Brooklyn, you may be wondering how the cost of living in each city compares. Here’s a detailed look at the costs of some key expenses in both cities.Housing: Chicago’s median rent price is $1,500, while Brooklyn’s is $2,700.

That means you’ll need to budget about 50% more for housing if you’re moving to Brooklyn.Transportation: Both cities have good public transportation options, but Chicago’s is slightly cheaper. A monthly transit pass in Chicago costs $105, while in Brooklyn it costs $116.

Food: You can expect to spend about the same on food in both cities. The average grocery bill in Chicago is $340 per month, while in Brooklyn it’s $351 per month.Utilities: Utilities will cost slightly more in Brooklyn than they will in Chicago.

The average monthly utility bill in Brooklyn is $155, while in Chicago it’s $145.Overall, the cost of living is higher in Brooklyn than it is in Chicago. However, keep in mind that these are just averages – your actual costs may be higher or lower depending on your specific circumstances (e.g., if you have a family or live alone).

Chicago Vs Boston Cost of Living - answering101 (1)


Is Boston Or Chicago Cheaper to Live?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, including the specific location within each city, the cost of living in that particular area, and the individual’s personal preferences. However, we can compare the overall cost of living in Boston and Chicago to get an idea of which city is more expensive to live in. According to, the cost of living in Boston is about 10% higher than the national average, while the cost of living in Chicago is about 5% lower than the national average.

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When looking at specific costs such as housing, food, transportation, and healthcare, Boston is generally more expensive than Chicago across the board. For example, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Boston is $2,200 per month while it’s only $1,700 per month in Chicago. So overall, it seems that Chicago is cheaper to live in than Boston.

However, again this will vary depending on individual circumstances and preferences. If you’re looking for a more affordable city to live in without sacrificing too much on the quality of life or amenities, then Chicago may be a better choice than Boston.

Is Chicago Expensive Than Boston?

There is no simple answer to this question as it depends on a variety of factors, but in general, Chicago is slightly less expensive than Boston. The cost of living in both cities is high, but Chicago’s housing costs are slightly lower than Boston’s. Additionally, while both cities have comparable transportation costs, Chicago’s food and entertainment options tend to be slightly cheaper than Boston’s.

Overall, you can expect to spend a similar amount of money in both cities, but you may find that your dollar goes a bit further in Chicago.

Is Boston Or Chicago Better to Live In?

There is no simple answer to the question of whether Boston or Chicago is the better place to live. Both cities have their own unique charms and attractions, and which one is better for you will depend on your own individual preferences and needs. Here, we’ll take a closer look at some of the key factors you might want to consider when making your decision so that you can choose the city that’s right for you.

Cost of living: One important consideration when deciding between Boston and Chicago is the cost of living in each city. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Boston is about 8% higher than in Chicago. This means that everything else being equal, it will cost you more to live in Boston than in Chicago.

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However, there can be significant variations in costs depending on your specific lifestyle and budget – so it’s always worth doing your own research to get a more accurate picture. Weather: Another important factor to consider is the weather in each city. If you’re looking for warmer weather year-round, then Chicago may be a better choice for you, as average temperatures there are generally several degrees higher than in Boston.

However, if you prefer cooler climates or enjoy experiencing all four seasons (with occasional snowfall), then Boston might be a more ideal location. Again, it’s really down to personal preference – so make sure you think about what kind of climate you’d feel most comfortable living in before making your decision. Job opportunities: If job prospects are an important factor in your decision-making process, then again there is no easy answer as to which city is better – both Boston and Chicago offer plenty of opportunities across a range of industries.

It’s worth bearing in mind though that competition for jobs can be fierce in both cities – so make sure your skills and qualifications are up to scratch before applying for anything! Quality of life: Finally, another key consideration when choosing betweenBostonandChicagoisthe overall quality of life in each city. In general terms, both locations offer residents access to public transportation systems, good schools and healthcare, plenty of things to do and see, and vibrant nightlife scenes.

However, as with many other aspects, there will be subtle differences between the two cities that could sway your decision. For instance, if you’re looking for a slower pace of life with fewer people around,then Chicago may not be the best fit for you.

Is Chicago Expensive to Live In?

There’s no denying that Chicago is one of the most expensive cities to live in the Midwest. The cost of living in Chicago is nearly 20% higher than the national average, and rent prices are some of the highest in the country. But it’s not all doom and gloom – there are ways to save money and still enjoy all that this great city has to offer.

Here are a few tips:

1. Get a roommate: Rent prices in Chicago are high, but you can save a lot of money by getting a roommate or two. Not only will you split the cost of rent, but you’ll also split other bills like utilities and groceries.

2. Cook at home: Eating out can be expensive, so cooking at home can help you save a lot of money. Make use of your apartment’s kitchen and cook meals from scratch – it’s cheaper and healthier!

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3. Take advantage of free activities: There are plenty of free things to do in Chicago, so take advantage! From exploring the city’s many museums to taking a walk along Lake Michigan, there’s no reason to spend money when there’s so much to see and do for free.

4. Use public transportation: Driving in Chicago can be costly – between gas, parking, and tolls, it adds up quickly! Save money by taking advantage of the city’s public transportation system instead.

The ‘L’ is an affordable and convenient way to get around town.

Boston VS Chicago I Where should you move?


The cost of living in Chicago is significantly cheaper than the cost of living in Boston. When compared side by side, the average monthly expenses in Chicago are nearly $1,000 less than the monthly expenses in Boston. Housing costs make up a large portion of this difference, as rent prices in Chicago are roughly half of what they are in Boston.

Transportation, food, and healthcare costs are also cheaper in Chicago. This makes sense given that Chicago is a larger city with more competition and options for residents.

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Is Boston or Chicago more expensive to live? ›

The cost of living in Boston, Massachusetts is 31.5% more expensive than the cost of living in Chicago, Illinois. You would need a comparable salary of $39,444 in Boston, Massachusetts to maintain the same standard of living you have in Chicago, Illinois.

Is it better to live in Boston or Chicago? ›

While neither city is ranked among the safest cities in their own states, Boston neighborhoods have a much lower crime rate than Chicago. Boston has noticeably lower rates in everything from violent crime to property crimes such as burglary and motor vehicle theft.

What is a comfortable salary to live in Chicago? ›

The recommended salary in Chicago is $4,256.66 per month or $51,080 annually. This total reflects a salary that would allow a renter to live comfortably and afford to cover the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment which sits at $1,277.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Boston? ›

What is a good salary in Boston? The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average salary for Boston residents is $71,115. However, to stick to the rule of spending only 30% on your monthly income on rent, you will need an income of $6,720 to live comfortably in a one-bedroom apartment.

Is it worth moving to Boston? ›

Not only is Boston rated as one of the best places to live in Massachusetts, but Boston is an excellent option for young professionals and families as long as they can afford it. If you are moving to Massachusetts and want to make Boston your new home, you have come to the right place.

Is Chicago the most affordable big city? ›

Chicago is the second-most affordable place to buy a house right now in the United States, and it's expected to remain buyer-friendly for the next few years. Of the 20 largest cities nationwide, only St. Louis is more affordable, according to data from consulting firm John Burns Real Estate.

What are the disadvantages of living in Chicago? ›

Q: What are the negatives about living in Chicago? A: Chicago has a higher-than-average crime rate, it can be expensive to live in certain neighborhoods, and the weather can get very cold.

Is winter worse in Chicago or Boston? ›

Chicago is FAR colder than Boston in the winter. The average lows are already about 10 degrees lower, but don't let that fool you.

What are the cons of living in Boston? ›

Cons of Living in Boston
  • Boston's High Cost of Living. Living in a world-class city like Boston is expensive. ...
  • Cold, Gray Winters in Boston. Let's face it, the Northeast region has some cold winters with the potential for excessive snowfall. ...
  • Traffic Congestion in Boston. ...
  • Competitive Housing Market with High Housing Costs.
Nov 1, 2021

What is considered upper class in Chicago? ›

According to the report, here is how much does it take to be considered "rich" in Chicago: Lowest Income to be Considered "Rich" (Top 20%): $129,772. Average Income of the Top 20%: $253,077. Average Income of the Top 5%: $482,166.

What is middle class income Chicago? ›

In Chicago, where the cost of living is substantially higher than the national average, incomes of $52,000 to $156,000 are classified as being in the middle class, according to a CNBC analysis.

What is a good monthly salary in Chicago? ›

Average Annual Salary in Chicago, IL
PercentileAnnual SalaryMonthly Pay
1 more row
Nov 4, 2021

What is considered middle class in Boston? ›

Boston has the sixth-highest median income in the nation, though its median is noticeably less than that of D.C. The median income puts its middle-class range at between $52,850 and $158,566.

What is middle income in Boston? ›

Income & Poverty
Median household income (in 2021 dollars), 2017-2021$81,744
Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2021 dollars), 2017-2021$50,344
Persons in poverty, percent 17.6%
57 more rows

Why do people love Boston? ›

Living in Boston offers residents rich history, excellent food, world-class education, and grand entertainment. Commonly known as “Beantown” because of its famous baked beans, Boston is home to countless events and landmarks, like the Boston Marathon and Fenway Park.

Why do people move away from Boston? ›

"Key factors like retirement, wanting to be closer to family and lifestyle changes influenced by the pandemic along with current housing prices drove moving patterns in 2022," economist Michael A.

Why is Boston so unaffordable? ›

Low supply was listed as one of the key reasons for the city's high rents. The fact that Boston rents are sky high isn't news to anyone who's searched for a place to live lately. In fact, a report on the most expensive places to rent in the U.S. released last month by Apartment Guide also had Boston at #2.

Is Boston Republican or Democrat? ›

More recently, it has shifted to the Democratic Party further, voting for the Democratic presidential candidate in every election since 1988. Republicans have not carried any county since that election.

What is the wealthiest part of Chicago? ›

Lake Forest

Lake Forest is a favorite suburb among Chicago's elite. This wealthy city sits along the northern shores of Lake Michigan and is about 27 miles north of the Chicago Loop.

What is the nicest city in Chicago? ›

What is the nicest area to live in Chicago? The Loop, River North, Gold Coast, and Streeterville are safe and vibrant areas with easy access to downtown. If you're looking for something further from the center of town, check out West Ridge, North Park, and Forest Glen.

What is the most unaffordable city in the US? ›

The study, released on Tuesday, found seven other U.S. cities that are even less affordable than New York City to live and work. Those cities include Los Angeles, which ranks at the top as the least affordable, while other cities like Hartford, Connecticut and Corpus Christi, Texas also outrank New York.

Why would people want to move to Chicago? ›

The third-largest city in the U.S., Chicago, is the ideal city for people who want to live in a world-class city with Midwest values. The Windy City offers more than its fair share of culture, Michelin-starred restaurants, world-class business districts, and neighborhoods that are its true character.

What is the best suburb of Chicago? ›

Best Suburbs of Chicago
  • Buffalo Grove.
  • Evanston.
  • Naperville.
  • Oak Park.
  • Wheaton.
Dec 19, 2022

Which US city has the worst winters? ›

1. Fairbanks, Alaska. With a minimum average temperature of about minus 17 degrees Fahrenheit, Fairbanks takes the cake as the coldest city in the U.S. The northernmost major city in Alaska, Fairbanks has seen record cold temperatures reaching minus 66 degrees in the past.

Is Chicago or Boston bigger? ›

Size. While both cities are thriving with large populations, Chicago is a much bigger city than Boston. As the third largest city in the United States, Chicago has a city population of 2.7 million people. Boston ranks 24th on the list with a population of just under 700,000.

Which state has the best weather? ›

What state has the best weather? Many cities in southern and central California like San Diego and Santa Barbara have year-round temperatures typically between 60 and 85 degrees and see little rainfall, making California the state with the best weather!

Is it easy to live in Boston without a car? ›

Whether you're visiting Boston or planning to move there long-term, you probably don't need a car. Between city driving and the high costs of parking, having a car in the city can be a huge headache. That said, there are some circumstances where a car would be extremely useful.

Is Boston stressful? ›

BOSTON (WHDH) - Massachusetts has been crowned the third most stressed state in the country, according to a new study by The Diamond Rehab. The study analyzed Google Trends data for stress-related terms to find these results.

Is Boston a declining city? ›

The Boston metro area lost nearly 37,000 residents from 2020 to 2021, a decline of less than 1%, Census data shows. In addition, most Census counties suffered a natural decline in population from 2020 to 2021, with deaths outpacing births, as COVID-19 spread through the country.

What salary is rich in Chicago? ›

According to the financial website called, if you live in Chicago and you want to be considered "rich" you have to make a salary of $132,040 a year.

What is the 1% income in Chicago? ›

In Illinois, for example, you'd need an income of at least $627,000.

Where do middle class people live in Chicago? ›

Perhaps even more importantly, the vast majority of Chicagoans who are both black and middle-class live on the South Side, and to a lesser extent, the West Side. 3. The concentration of middle-class households varies dramatically from one black neighborhood to another.

How much does the average person make in Chicago? ›

We found at least 10 types of jobs in Chicago area that pay more than the local average of $73,577 per year. The top examples of these jobs are Gastroenterologist, Intensivist, and Cardiac Anesthesiologist.

How much do I need to make in Chicago? ›

What salary is needed to live in Chicago? According to ZipRecruiter, the average full-time salary in Chicago is $46,144 per year; the 90th percentile of earners in the city earn $68,371.

What is the poverty line in Chicago? ›

The poverty rate is determined by a household's income. If a family or individual's income is below the Federal poverty threshold, they are considered poor. For 2021, the official poverty threshold was $27,479 for a family of four.

What is the highest paying job in Chicago? ›


Can you live on 60k in Chicago? ›

Is 60k a good salary in Chicago? Yes! The median income for a family of TWO is $60,000 in Chicago. That means if a single person has a $60,000 salary they make more than the median for a one person household.

What is a good hourly wage in Chicago? ›

Hourly Rate Salary in Chicago, IL
Annual SalaryHourly Wage
Top Earners$97,509$47
75th Percentile$64,151$31
25th Percentile$31,819$15

What is considered a living wage in Boston? ›

Living Wage Calculation for Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA
0 Children3 Children
Living Wage$22.59$50.93
Poverty Wage$6.53$15.61
Minimum Wage$15.00$15.00

Is Boston a working class? ›

Other neighborhoods with a significant creative class presence are the North End, Boston's Little Italy. Across the water to the north is Charlestown, traditionally a working class area, which now has a large population of professionals.
In this article.
Top 10 Service Class Locations in Boston Metro
Metro Average43.4%
11 more rows
Mar 26, 2013

What is upper class income in Boston? ›

Upper Class Salary in Boston, MA
Annual SalaryWeekly Pay
Top Earners$92,063$1,770
75th Percentile$72,794$1,399
25th Percentile$41,749$802

What is the top 1% in Boston? ›

To earn your spot among the top 1% in the state, you'll need to make at least $896,490. Massachusetts. These Bay State residents need to earn $810,256 annually.

Is it hard to get a job in Boston? ›

Finding a job in Boston is not going to be easy since there is highly skilled competition in the area. Unsolicited applications might be a good idea, especially because there is a large hidden job market in the US.

How much is 75k after taxes in Boston? ›

If you make $75,000 a year living in the region of Massachusetts, USA, you will be taxed $18,914. That means that your net pay will be $56,087 per year, or $4,674 per month.

Are people in Boston attractive? ›

When it comes to attractive women, Boston ranks at #3. Noted. Massachusetts overall ranks as the fourth most attractive state when it comes to da ladies. Top honors goes to Connecticut in that category.

What makes Boston so special? ›

Boston is best known for its famous baked beans, Fenway Park, The Boston Marathon, and of course for the bar from Cheers, but dig a little deeper below the surface and you'll find a surprising wealth of things that make Boston one of the best cities in America—and the world.

Is Boston a happy city? ›

Therefore, it's vital for people to boost their happiness however they can, whether through family, friends, activities, entertainment or work.
Happiest Cities in the U.S.
Overall Rank36
CityBoston, MA
Total Score61.07
Emotional & Physical Well-Being43
Income & Employment15
64 more columns
Mar 1, 2022

Is Chicago the most expensive city in the US? ›

The most expensive city in the U.S. in terms of housing costs is San Jose, California.

Is Boston the most expensive city? ›

Move over San Francisco — Boston is now the second most expensive city for a one-bedroom rental, behind only New York City, according to Zumper's latest national rent report.
Most expensive U.S. cities for a one-bedroom rental.
New York City$3,860 $3,860 $3,860
Santa Ana, Calif.$2,150 $2,150 $2,150
8 more rows
Nov 10, 2022

Is Chicago the most expensive city to live in? ›

Is it expensive to live in Chicago? Not it you compare it to other major U.S. cities like New York and San Francisco. Home prices are also lower than the nation's average. The median sales price of homes in Chicago is $273,949, that's less than the national median sale price for a home, which is $295,300.

Is Boston one of the most expensive states to live in? ›

By Marc Fortier • Published October 26, 2022 • Updated on October 26, 2022 at 12:10 pm. A new report shows that Boston is now the second most expensive city in the U.S. for renters. Zumper's report, released this week, has Boston's 1-bedroom median rent price at $3,060, behind only New York at $3,860.

What is a good salary Chicago? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $148,500 and as low as $22,000, the majority of Chicago salaries currently range between $37,500 (25th percentile) to $80,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $121,000 annually across the United States.

What are the top 3 most expensive states to live in? ›

The Most Expensive States in 2023
  • Hawaii. Tops on the list lands Hawaii, with a COL index of 193.3. ...
  • New York. Considering high COL areas tend to be states with dense population centers, New York's entry on this list shouldn't be too much of a surprise. ...
  • California. ...
  • Massachusetts. ...
  • Oregon.
Jan 24, 2023

What is the rich part of Boston? ›

Located just 15 miles west of downtown Boston, Weston is not only one of the richest towns in Massachusetts but also in the nation, with a median household income of $206,250.

What are the top 3 most expensive cities to live in? ›

The 15 Most Expensive US Cities In 2023
  • Manhattan, New York. Overall cost of living: 127.7% above U.S. average. ...
  • Honolulu, Hawaii. Overall cost of living: 84% above U.S. average. ...
  • San Francisco, California. ...
  • Brooklyn, New York. ...
  • Washington, D.C. ...
  • Orange County, California. ...
  • Los Angeles, California. ...
  • Seattle, Washington.
Feb 3, 2023

Is 50k a good salary in Chicago? ›

A good salary in Chicago, IL is anything over $50,000. That's because the median income in Chicago is $50,000, which means if you earn more than that you're earning more than 50% of the people living in Chicago.

What is the most affordable place to live in Boston? ›

Here are five safe, affordable neighborhoods in Boston to consider!
  • Allston-Brighton.
  • East Boston.
  • Fenway-Kenmore.
  • Hyde Park.
  • Roslindale.
Feb 1, 2023

What part of Boston is the cheapest to live in? ›

What are the Most Affordable Neighborhoods in Boston?
  • Allston-Brighton.
  • Dorchester.
  • East Boston.
  • Roslindale.
  • Hyde Park.

What is the most expensive state to live in USA? ›

Missouri had the 6th lowest cost of living in the United States for 2022. In general, the most expensive areas to live were Hawaii, Alaska, the Northeast, and the West Coast. The least expensive areas were the Midwest and Southern states.


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