17 Reasons Not to Move to Chicago, Illinois (Voted by the Locals!)

Chicago certainly has its ups and downs, but as many know, there are a lot of things that happen in Chicago that make it far less desirable. Some are a bit funky, but there are more serious reasons to consider when moving to the Midwest.

Here are some of the more noticeable reasons as to why one should not want to move to Chicago, Illinois, especially with a family.

17. Slight Tourist Attraction

Chicago is a bustling town of over two million people, and many come and go because of the attraction of the big city, as well as the sights people go looking for.

There is, of course, the infamous “Bean,” located in Lakefront Park. A giant, silver bean that reflects everything and everyone around it. Not entirely sure the reason for so many to love it, but it definitely gains a lot of attention.

There are several museums, including the Museum of Surgery, which is incredibly popular and holds some of the world’s ever-evolving technology regarding the health of mankind.

Between Broadway shows and theatre, there are plenty of things to do when visiting Chicago, it certainly never settles down or goes to sleep. If you like to be in a town that is always bustling, it can be great but in reality, the town can feel even more crowded.

Tourism means that food joints, activities, roads, and sidewalks are always packed tight, leaving little room for the people who actually live there.

16. You Have to Be a Cubs Fan Now

Whether visiting or moving to Chicago, anywhere in Illinois really, you are officially a Cubbies fan.

Don’t even think about rooting for another side when it comes to football, baseball, whatever the case may be, you are now loyal to the state’s teams.

Anyone will be the butt-end of a joke if they choose to root for someone else. Living in Illinois means you support your local teams, no matter who you once rooted for. It’s certainly not up for debate.

15. A Town of “Once Was”

Chicago used to be known as the town that was the first of many things, such as having had the tallest buildings. But the thing is, Chicago isn’t necessarily growing, but rather declining in growth and development.

The problem is simple, Chicago isn’t necessarily competitive, it’s simply receding and becoming more and more violent, in which case most people don’t want to live in a city full of faults.

Chicago has plenty of shortcomings; once having been a bustling city with the first modern commodities exchange, the largest hog butchering company, and so forth. A town of “once was” isn’t a desirable place to be.

14. Absolutely Terrible Airport

Chicago is a relatively enormous town, which makes it a busy city, and that is everything to do with the airport as well. O’Hare airport is just as busy as DIA in Denver, Colorado, if not worse.

It is an absolute mess of runways and terminals, making it miserable for an easy in-and-out getaway. Of course, the traffic to get to the airport is almost constant, which makes it just a bit more annoying.

13. Long and Brutal Winters

The Midwest has a bit more humidity than the west, which adds to the brutality of the winters. Humidity only makes the air frostier, making the winters more brutal than most can bear.

For nearly eight to nine months out of the year, the weathers are well below freezing, and it snows practically every day. Schools are constantly closed, it’s difficult to drive anywhere in safety, the weather is sometimes too much to bear.

You most definitely can’t walk outside of your house without gloves because you’ll get frostbite instantly, seriously. The roads become an absolute mess and are constantly covered in black ice which causes dozens of accidents and deaths every year.

The summers are hot, but the winters make the summers desirable.

12. You’ll Eat Outrageously Delicious Food

This may seem like a positive, but quite the contrary. The food is so delicious you’ll look to be spending plenty of money on food that you won’t be able to get enough of. There’s plenty of amazing deep-dish pizza places, fine Italian restaurants, and so much more that you’ll be spending half of your paycheck on and gaining a bit of weight in the meantime.

Lots of holes in the wall that provide the true, authentic Chicago atmosphere, along with the midwestern rudeness. That doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it while you spend a pretty penny.

It can also make it a bit tricky to live a healthy lifestyle.

11. Big City Hustle and Rudeness

You’ll sometimes hear of the amicable “Midwestern Kindness,” but that certainly isn’t always the case. Within the big city, there certainly comes a certain level of rudeness and intolerance.

With a city as large as Chicago, there are certainly people who don’t live a slow and steady life, rather preferring that level of instant gratification.

There are just so many people, most don’t bother remembering anyone’s names; in fact, you may not even get to know your neighbor, and they might not want to get to know you.

10. Horrendous Traffic

People in Chicago spend the vast majority of their time driving than enjoying their vacation or getting from one destination to another easily because the traffic is so bad.

What’s rush hour? Rush hour lasts all day in Chicago, there’s just so many people and not enough road. There is the train, which helps to alleviate some of the pressure on the roads, but you better be able to navigate that from the start and not move there without already knowing.

With lots of people comes lots of accidents, so being stuck in traffic isn’t really anything new to the people there, but it is also why they tend to have some attitude.

9. Corrupt Local Government

It’s fairly well known that many cities’ local municipalities don’t really care about the local’s affairs, but it may be even worse for those living in Chicago.

Chicago is called the “Windy City” not because of the weather but actually because of the “windy politics.” You know, politicians you are so easily swayed with the right motivation.

Many of the governors of Chicago have gone to prison because of illegal corruption and/or fraud, it seems that Chicago is doomed to have a series of bad people who aren’t interested in the affairs of the locals.

The list of things wrong with the local government, such as bribery, trying to sell senate seats, theft, and so forth, doesn’t make the local government trustworthy in the slightest.

Even the police have their own corrupt system and can’t always be trusted to be just when making decisions. Chicago isn’t the greatest place to live, at all, and no one should really want to move there.

8. Expensive Housing

The average cost of a regular two-bedroom, one-bath home is a little over $300,000, but the average income doesn’t normally afford such a home as this.

Even the suburbs of Chicago have expensive housing that isn’t available to the average person or family. The homes there aren’t always super nice, and the suburbs are far more expensive and out of reach of anyone working a 9-5 job with minimum wage.

Most of the neighborhoods that do have nice homes and school districts are out of reach for most. Before moving here, it is important to look into the housing and what school districts are available nearby with their ratings.

7. Segregated Neighborhoods

The richer parts of Chicago don’t normally associate themselves with the less fortunate sides of Chicago. This has been this way for quite a few decades now, unfortunately. The south side of Chicago certainly has its reputation, and many people try to avoid it as much as possible.

There’s not a lot of integration amongst both neighborhoods as well as people of color. There’s a lot of spite in people, unfortunately, which doesn’t make being a newcomer any easier.

There’s either some form of hospitality or everyone avoids you. It depends on which side of Chicago, as well as what neighborhood, but more often than not many people find it hard to make friends among everyone.

6. College is Expensive for Most

Unfortunately, college is out of reach for most. Many of the families are low-income families, which doesn’t allow for a lot of opportunities. Not only that, but many families and schools don’t teach children about the options of college and the loans or help they can receive to get there.

Some kids try to leave the lower-income areas, but to them, it seems daunting, so more often than not they stay and work two jobs. This happens more often in poorer areas with schools that don’t think to prepare their students for the future.

It’s not the best, and there doesn’t seem to be anything that might fix it soon.

5. Disappearing Jobs

Even though Chicago continues to grow, there seem to be fewer and fewer jobs available to the middle and lower class. Many of the industrial jobs keep disappearing, but the urban areas appear to be flourishing if anything.

The unemployment rate is around 4.1%, which is above the nation’s average; one in ten people don’t have a job.

Minimum wage jobs, such as construction, can barely help people stay afloat in this day and age. It’s difficult for many to get jobs, even with a college degree, so it certainly takes consideration before wanting to move here.

4. Outrageous Taxes

Working a minimum wage job doesn’t have many perks, but the taxes will practically deplete you of any funds you’ve earned. Taxes in Illinois are the second-highest in the nation.

The sales tax is around 11%, which is absolutely ridiculous when it comes to purchasing anything. Most people are on the lower end of the middle class, and find it difficult to even live in the suburbs.

It’s definitely incredibly expensive to live here, which makes it less desirable for most, especially on minimum wage.

3. High Crime Rate

The South Side of Chicago is certainly known for its vicious side. Having visited Chicago many times, even my family wouldn’t go near the south side, as it holds some of the worst of the worst.

The death rate is pretty high, and the schools are entirely unsafe for anyone. Many school districts have lots of patrols, metal detectors, and so forth. Everywhere has bars across the doors and windows, even the homes, and that puts a pit in anyone’s stomach.

It certainly doesn’t make many families feel comfortable raising a family there.

2. Unsafe Schools

With the growing crime rate comes the probability of unsafe schools. As stated earlier, many of them have to have safety precautions put in place to keep the children safe.

This goes for young children as well as high schoolers, which means round-the-clock supervision by local law enforcement as well as cameras.

The schools closer to the Lakefront don’t have as much trouble as those on the outskirts; those who are located more towards the south side will find it more dangerous than most other school districts.

1. Expensive Cost of Living

Though it may not rank in the Top Ten of most expensive cities to live in in the nation, it is still number fifteen in the whole nation, which doesn’t make it much better or more appealing.

The average cost of goods and expenses per month is around $3,000, and that doesn’t usually include rent/mortgage for most people. The average cost of a small home is outrageous, and the added taxes, it doesn’t make it much easier to eat and live comfortably.

Most often the income is just around $50,000, which most definitely isn’t enough for a small family when everything is so expensive.

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