The 10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Illinois

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By Michael Yessis Updated June 13, 2024
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Edited by Ashley Simon

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The 61832 zip code in Danville tops our ranking of the most affordable places to live in Illinois.

We looked at 372 zip codes in the state, evaluating home values, rental costs, energy rates, property taxes, and five other affordability indicators. We used the data we gathered to calculate our proprietary Affordability Score for each zip code.  

Top 10 most affordable places to live in Illinois

RankCity Affordability Score Median home valueRental costs
1Danville 🥇100$59,907$766
2Rock Island🥈98.6$120,903$937
3Moline 🥉97.6$142,992$1,086
4Springfield97.3$100,346$1,009
5East Moline97.0$139,106$1,075
6Pekin96.6$124,498$961
7Rantoul96.2$121,396$734
8Alton96.2$106,925$979
9Belleville95.9$140,927$945
10Chillicothe95.9$157,652$888
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1. Danville

Here's why the 61832 zip code in Danville is Illinois's most affordable place to live.

🔎 Key data about Danville

Data pointValueRank (out of 372 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 100 No. 1N/A
Median home value $59,907[1]No. 4 -$241,869.07
Home affordability ratio 1.4No. 3-2.1
Home value five-year change 27.9%[2]No. 87-1.7%
Home value one-year forecast -3.8%[3]No. 7-1.4%
Rental costs $766[4]No. 5-$1,000
Rent affordability ratio 1.75%No. 65-0.3%
Median household income $43,660[5]No. 352-$42,052
Property taxes $1,557[6]No. 6-$4,164
Energy costs $0.11 kWh[7]No. 5$0.00
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Danville's 61832 zip code is the cheapest place to live in Illinois, leading the 372 markets we evaluated. 

The median home value is $59,907, making it the 4th-cheapest housing market in the state. Forecasts project a -3.8% change in home values in the next year. Rent in the zip code averages $766 per month, which is the 65th cheapest amount in Illinois.

The median property tax for homeowners in Danville is $1,557 per household, the No. 6 ranked market in Illinois. 

Residents pay $0.11 per kWh of electricity, which ranks No. 5 among Illinois markets.

2. Rock Island

The 61201 zip code is the 2nd-cheapest place to live in Illinois.

🔎 Key data about Rock Island

Data pointValueRank (out of 372 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 98.6No. 2N/A
Median home value $120,903[8]No. 43-$180,872.48
Home affordability ratio 2.2No. 42-1.3
Home value five-year change 23.4%[9]No. 46-6.1%
Home value one-year forecast -3.6%[10]No. 11-1.2%
Rental costs $937[11]No. 10-$829
Rent affordability ratio 1.69%No. 48-0.4%
Median household income $55,613[12]No. 304-$30,099
Property taxes $2,855[13]No. 65-$2,866
Energy costs $0.07 kWh[14]No. 1-$0.04
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Rock Island's 61201 zip code has a median home value of $120,903, which is the 11th-cheapest housing market in Illinois. You can rent for an average of $937 per month. That's the 10th-cheapest price in the state.

The average household income in the zip code is $55,613, which ranks 304th-highest in the state. 

Homeowners in Rock Island pay a median property tax of $2,855 per year, making it the 65th-most affordable market in Illinois.

Rock Island ranks No. 1 among Illinois energy markets. You'll pay $0.07 per kWh of electricity.

3. Moline

The 3rd-cheapest place to live in Illinois is Moline's 61265 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Moline

Data pointValueRank (out of 372 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 97.6No. 3N/A
Median home value $142,992[15]No. 63-$158,783.45
Home affordability ratio 2.2No. 52-1.3
Home value five-year change 19.1%[16]No. 31-10.4%
Home value one-year forecast -3.5%[17]No. 15-1.1%
Rental costs $1,086[18]No. 27-$680
Rent affordability ratio 1.70%No. 53-0.4%
Median household income $63,755[19]No. 262-$21,957
Property taxes $3,274[20]No. 86-$2,447
Energy costs $0.07 kWh[21]No. 1-$0.04
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The No. 63 cheapest housing in Illinois is Moline's 61265 zip code, with a median home value of $142,992. Rents in the market average $1,086 per month, making it the 27th-most affordable rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Moline is $3,274, which makes it the 86th-cheapest place in Illinois. Moline ranks No. 1 among Illinois markets by energy costs. Residents pay $0.07 per kWh of electricity.

4. Springfield

The 62702 zip code in Springfield comes in at No. 4 on our list of the cheapest places to live in Illinois.

🔎 Key data about Springfield

Data pointValueRank (out of 372 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 97.3No. 4N/A
Median home value $100,346[22]No. 22-$201,429.17
Home affordability ratio 1.9No. 26-1.6
Home value five-year change 30.0%[23]No. 1220.5%
Home value one-year forecast -3.6%[24]No. 11-1.2%
Rental costs $1,009[25]No. 16-$757
Rent affordability ratio 1.95%No. 97-0.1%
Median household income $51,814[26]No. 329-$33,898
Property taxes $1,849[27]No. 19-$3,872
Energy costs $0.11 kWh[28]No. 5$0.00
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The No. 22 cheapest housing market in Illinois is Springfield's 62702 zip code, where the median home value is $100,346. Renters here pay an average of $1,009 per month. 

When it comes to energy costs, Springfield ranks 5th among Illinois markets. Residents pay $0.11 per kWh of electricity.

The median property tax for households in the zip code is $1,849, which makes it the 19th-cheapest market in Illinois.

5. East Moline

The 61244 zip code in East Moline ranks No. 5 among Illinois's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about East Moline

Data pointValueRank (out of 372 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 97.0No. 5N/A
Median home value $139,106[29]No. 57-$162,669.72
Home affordability ratio 2.2No. 50-1.3
Home value five-year change 24.0%[30]No. 53-5.5%
Home value one-year forecast -3.5%[31]No. 15-1.1%
Rental costs $1,075[32]No. 26-$691
Rent affordability ratio 1.73%No. 60-0.3%
Median household income $62,058[33]No. 272-$23,654
Property taxes $3,429[34]No. 98-$2,292
Energy costs $0.07 kWh[35]No. 1-$0.04
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East Moline's 61244 zip code has a median home value of $139,106, the 57th-cheapest market in the state. Forecasts project a -3.5% change in home values in the next year. 

The median property tax per household in East Moline is $3,429. It's the 98th-cheapest market by tax rate in Illinois.

6. Pekin

The No. 6 most affordable place to live in Illinois is the 61554 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Pekin

Data pointValueRank (out of 372 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 96.6No. 6N/A
Median home value $124,498[36]No. 48-$177,277.77
Home affordability ratio 2.1No. 37-1.4
Home value five-year change 33.2%[37]No. 1613.7%
Home value one-year forecast -1.7%[38]No. 3120.7%
Rental costs $961[39]No. 13-$805
Rent affordability ratio 1.63%No. 43-0.4%
Median household income $58,813[40]No. 290-$26,899
Property taxes $2,460[41]No. 43-$3,261
Energy costs $0.11 kWh[42]No. 5$0.00
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The back half of our top 10 kicks off with Pekin's 61554 zip code, which has the 48th-cheapest home values in Illinois. The median home value is $124,498. Rents average $961 per month, making it the 13th-most affordable rental market in the state.

Residents pay $0.11 per kWh of electricity. It's the 5th-cheapest energy market.

7. Rantoul

Rantoul's 61866 zip code is the 7th-cheapest place to live in Illinois.

🔎 Key data about Rantoul

Data pointValueRank (out of 372 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 96.2No. 7N/A
Median home value $121,396[43]No. 45-$180,379.25
Home affordability ratio 2.5No. 73-1.0
Home value five-year change 38.4%[44]No. 2308.9%
Home value one-year forecast -3.0%[45]No. 30-0.6%
Rental costs $734[46]No. 2-$1,032
Rent affordability ratio 1.54%No. 26-0.5%
Median household income $47,703[47]No. 343-$38,009
Property taxes $2,506[48]No. 47-$3,215
Energy costs $0.11 kWh[49]No. 5$0.00
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You'll find the 45th-cheapest home values in Illinois in Rantoul's 61866 zip code. The median value: $121,396. Renters in Rantoul pay an average of $734 per month.

Homeowners in Rantoul pay a median property tax of $2,506 per year, which is Illinois's 47th-most affordable market.

The average household income is $47,703, which ranks 343rd-highest in the state.

8. Alton

The 8th-cheapest place to live in Illinois is Alton's 62002 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Alton

Data pointValueRank (out of 372 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 96.2No. 8N/A
Median home value $106,925[50]No. 30-$194,851.08
Home affordability ratio 1.9No. 28-1.6
Home value five-year change 33.1%[51]No. 1603.6%
Home value one-year forecast -1.5%[52]No. 3320.9%
Rental costs $979[53]No. 14-$787
Rent affordability ratio 1.78%No. 70-0.3%
Median household income $55,041[54]No. 309-$30,671
Property taxes $2,122[55]No. 36-$3,599
Energy costs $0.11 kWh[56]No. 5$0.00
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The 30th-cheapest housing market in Illinois is Alton's 62002 zip code, with a median home value of $106,925. Renters pay an average of $979 per month, the No. 14 rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Alton is $2,122, which makes it the 36th-cheapest place in Illinois. The average household income of $55,041 ranks 309th.

9. Belleville

Belleville's 62220 zip code sneaks into the top ten of Illinois's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Belleville

Data pointValueRank (out of 372 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 95.9No. 9N/A
Median home value $140,927[57]No. 62-$160,848.74
Home affordability ratio 2.2No. 45-1.3
Home value five-year change 33.3%[58]No. 1643.8%
Home value one-year forecast -1.5%[59]No. 3320.9%
Rental costs $945[60]No. 11-$821
Rent affordability ratio 1.47%No. 20-0.6%
Median household income $64,277[61]No. 258-$21,435
Property taxes $2,880[62]No. 68-$2,841
Energy costs $0.11 kWh[63]No. 5$0.00
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The 62nd-cheapest housing market in Illinois is Belleville's 62220 zip code, where the median home value is $140,927. Renters pay an average of $945 per month. It's the state's 11th-cheapest rental market.

The median property tax for households within the zip code is $2,880, which makes it the 68th-cheapest property tax rate in Illinois. 

10. Chillicothe

The final spot on our list of the most affordable places to live in Illinois goes to the 61523 zip code in Chillicothe.

🔎 Key data about Chillicothe

Data pointValueRank (out of 372 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 95.9No. 10N/A
Median home value $157,652[64]No. 69-$144,123.56
Home affordability ratio 2.2No. 51-1.3
Home value five-year change 31.7%[65]No. 1472.1%
Home value one-year forecast -1.6%[66]No. 3170.8%
Rental costs $888[67]No. 8-$879
Rent affordability ratio 1.26%No. 6-0.8%
Median household income $70,304[68]No. 235-$15,408
Property taxes $3,362[69]No. 91-$2,359
Energy costs $0.11 kWh[70]No. 5$0.00
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The 69th-most affordable market in Illinois is Chillicothe's 61523 zip code. The median home value is $157,652. Rent in the market costs $888 per month on average, making it the 8th-most affordable rental market in Illinois.

The median property tax for households in Chillicothe is $3,362, which is the 91st-cheapest property tax rate in the state.

Chillicothe ranks No. 5 among Illinois markets by energy costs, with households paying $0.11 per kWh of electricity.

How we ranked the most affordable places in Illinois

We evaluated 372 zip codes in Illinois with a population over 10,000 on nine metrics. We then assigned each market an Affordability Score based on its weighted and combined rankings. 

✍️ Editor’s note: Our Affordability Score identifies the most affordable places in a state by zip code.

Often the zip code we identify will represent an entire city or portion of a city. 

Occasionally the zip code we identify will encompass an area that includes one or more small towns. In these cases, the data we’ve gathered applies to the entire zip code, not just the single town we’re using to help identify the zip code's location. 

If you’re looking to move to one of these affordable places, we recommend doing additional research to make sure the costs in the area — and the quality of life it offers — meet your specific needs.

Methodology: What is an Affordability Score?

Our proprietary Affordability Score is a score on a scale of 0 (worst in state) to 100 (best in state) that estimates the affordability of a particular zip code. It takes into account these key data points for each zip code.

  • Median home value: The median home value for each zip code comes from the Zillow Home Value Index. The lower the median home value relative to the median value in Illinois, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 23.8% to median home value.
  • Home affordability ratio. The home affordability ratio is the typical median home value divided by the median household income in the zip code, which reveals the number of years of household income needed to afford a home in that zip code. A lower ratio is better because it means more households can afford a home. The data comes from the Zillow Observed Rent Index and the U.S. Census American Community Survey. We assign a weight of 23.8% to the home affordability ratio.
  • Home value five-year change: The home value five-year change is the amount that the median home value in the zip code has risen or fallen during the last five years. Our data comes from the Zillow Home Value Index. We assign a weight of 4.8% to the home value five-year change.
  • Home value one-year forecast: The home value one-year forecast comes from Zillow Forecast data. It projects how much home values in the zip code are forecasted to change in the next year. We assign a weight of 4.8% to the home value one-year forecast.
  • Rental costs. The rental costs are the observed rents in the zip code, sourced from the Zillow Observed Rent Index. The index includes "listed rents that fall into the 40th to 60th percentile range for all homes and apartments in a given region." We assign a weight of 11.9% to rental costs. 
  • Median household income: The inflation-adjusted median household income figures for the zip code comes from the U.S. Census American Community Survey. We assign a weight of 4.8% to median household income.
  • Rent affordability ratio. The rent affordability ratio is the ratio of rental costs divided by median household income, which provides the percentage of household income needed to pay a typical month’s rent in the zip code. The data comes from the Zillow Observed Rent Index and the U.S. Census American Community Survey. We assign a weight of 11.9% to the rent affordability ratio.
  • Property taxes: The property tax figures are the median real estate taxes paid in the zip code, sourced from the U.S. Census American Community Survey. The lower the property tax rate relative to the Illinois average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to property taxes. 
  • Energy costs: The energy costs are the costs of a kilowatt hour (kWh) of residential electricity in the zip code, sourced from the U.S. Department of Energy. The lower the cost of electricity relative to the Illinois average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to energy costs.  

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Authors & Editorial History

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