Cost of Living and Education

Cost of Living

There are many things to look at when choosing a community to live.  Cost of living is obviously an important one.  In Springfield, necessities like groceries, housing and utilities can be as much as 50 percent less than in other Midwestern cities. 

Like the national economy, Springfield is still bouncing back from the recent recession. The good news is that unemployment is down and wages are up. This is supported by the most recent economic summary of Springfield by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the past year, Springfield’s unemployment has stayed consistently below the average for the state of Illinois. As of March 2016 it was among the lowest in the state, significantly below similar-sized cities in the state. According to the same report, Springfield had an overall slightly higher than national average wages for select non-farm occupations.

As of April 2016, real estate website reported the median home listing price in Springfield was around $103,000. A typical mortgage was $672 per month and rent $900 per month. Meanwhile, reports an average home value of $100,000 and predicts a 3.3% increase in home values over the next year. This growth forecast appears to be supported by a February 2016 report from the Illinois Association of Realtors, which shows a statewide increase of 5.7% in closed sales and a 7.8% increase in median sales price from February 2015.


Springfield also offers a strong public school system, as well as a wide array of private schooling options from pre-K through grade 12. SPS 186, the public school district for the city of Springfield, offers a variety of learning programs, before and after-school programs, the state-supported Early Start pre-kindergarten program, volunteering and mentorship programs.

Something unique to our area is the Physician Pipeline Preparatory Program (P4). It is a joint effort with SIU School of Medicine that places 9th grade students who are interested in a medical career alongside medical students and professionals for a rigorous medical-school style curriculum, introducing them to the field of medicine and exposing them to dozens of physician career possibilities.

For adults, there are several choices for continuing education and pursuing advance degrees or trade certifications. Here are some links to help you learn more about education and the institutions in our area.

Area Schools


Colleges and Universities