Welcome to Illinois, the state where Abraham Lincoln and John Deere molded their future careers. Besides turning out famous people, Illinois also produces more pumpkins than any other state. Whether you’re looking to move to Illinois for the first time or relocate within the state, NewHomeSource has compiled a list of the 10 most affordable cities to help inform your choice.
1. East St. Louis
Home Price to Income Ratio: 2.24
Average Property Tax: $1,204
Median Household Income: $24,343
The most affordable city in Illinois is East St. Louis. As its name implies, the city is located just east of St. Louis, on the other side of the Mississippi River. For a spectacular view of the Gateway Arch and Gateway Geyser, visit Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park. Enjoy citywide events at the park, including a fireworks display that lights up the sky every Fourth of July!
Home Price to Income Ratio: 2.08
Average Property Tax: $1,518
Median Household Income: $36,547
Galesburg is the county seat of Knox County and home to over 32,000 residents. For entertainment and recreation, visit the city’s Community Art Center, Railroad Museum, or one of its many parks. If you are in a shopping or browsing mood, check out the downtown district, where you will find plenty of boutiques and restaurants.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 1.94
Average Property Tax: $1,843
Median Household Income: $42,701
Life’s delightful down in Decatur! With more than 70,000 residents, Decatur is one of the most populated cities on our list. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, visit Fairview Park, or go ziplining at Overlook Adventure Park. For indoor entertainment, visit Lincoln Square Theater or the Chevrolet Hall of Fame Museum.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 1.80
Average Property Tax: $1,968
Median Household Income: $39,975
Freeport is the county seat of Stephenson County. The lively little city has no shortage of charm. Take a creek-side stroll through Krape Park or visit one of the multiple parks in the central Freeport Park District. For a taste of the city’s history and culture, visit Freeport Art Museum or Stephenson County Historical Society.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 2.52
Average Property Tax: $1,965
Median Household Income: $46,189
Quincy is located along the Mississippi River and the Missouri-Illinois border. This riverside city has a thriving arts, culture, and history scene. Brush up on historical knowledge at the All Wars Museum and the Quincy Museum, or catch a live theater performance at the Quincy Community Theater. Enjoy the fresh air and a break from city life at Log Cabin Village on Quinsippi Island.
6. Granite City
Home Price to Income Ratio: 1.62
Average Property Tax: $1,695
Median Household Income: $51,469
Granite City is another city located along the Missouri-Illinois border. If you’re a fan of car races, be sure to drop by the Tri-City Speedway, featuring an oval, dirt track. On warm, sunny days, drive down to Horseshoe Lake State Park and enjoy a day of fishing, boating, and picnicking.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 1.99
Average Property Tax: $1,622
Median Household Income: $40,211
Another charming Mississippi River city, Alton has something to offer everyone. While enjoying the riverside views, check out the many restaurants or the National Great Rivers Museum. You can also explore shopping districts, golf courses, and the Alton Museum of History & Art.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 1.84
Average Property Tax: $1,201
Median Household Income: $36,172
Located along the Illinois-Indiana border, Danville is a history time capsule. Folks can learn more about the community at sites such as Vermilion County Museum and Vermillion County War Museum. Go jogging along the Vermilion River at Ellsworth Park or play a round of golf at one of the many country clubs and golf courses.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 2.07
Average Property Tax: $2,739
Median Household Income: $44,252
With over 146,000 residents calling it home, Rockford is the most populous city on our list. This northern Illinois city is a cornucopia of natural beauty; visit the flowers and greenery of Klehm Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Sinnissippi Gardens, and Anderson Japanese Gardens. Gather the family for an outing at Volcano Falls Adventure Park, explore museums dedicated to natural history and art, and enjoy citywide events like the Rockford Festival of Lights.
Home Price to Income Ratio: 1.95
Average Property Tax: $2,071
Median Household Income: $48,099
Belleville is located just southwest of St. Louis, Missouri. From the Chicago Postcard Museum, Bicentennial Park, and the Labor & Industrial Museum, you’ll always find something exciting to do here! Downtown Belleville has a thriving restaurant scene, diverse activities, and a historic district. Pop in at the Belle-Clair Fairgrounds & Expo Center that hosts antique shows, car shows, and many other exhibits and events.
Cities with the Best Home-Price-to-Income Ratio
While the list above is sorted by the lowest overall cost of living index, the following cities have the lowest home-price-to-income ratio, meaning you can get more home for your money.
- Granite City
Other Illinois Resources
Sarah graduated from Trinity University in 2012 with a degree in International Relations and Political Science. She writes blogs on new homes, decor, communities, and more for NewHomeSource. When she’s not writing, you can find her spending time with her three cats.