Are you wondering whether or not moving to Champaign, IL is right for you? Champaign is a city in Central Illinois and is part of the Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area. Champaign has a population of 88,302, making it the tenth most populous municipality in Illinois. Champaign is known for its colleges, wonderful job opportunities, and amazing early education options.
If you are thinking about calling Champaign home, then you may want to know about the cost of living in the area. Here’s everything you need to know about the Champaign cost of living, real estate, taxes, and more.
Champaign Cost of Living Index
How much does it cost to live in Champaign, Illinois? The cost of living in Champaign can be measured in many different ways. One way is to understand the Cost of Living Index or COLI. The Cost of Living Index compares the cost of goods and services in a particular area to the national average.
The Cost of Living Index in Champaign is 87.6, which means that Champaign is 12.4% more affordable than the national average of 100. The Cost of Living Index in Illinois is 93.7, making Champaign 6.1% more affordable than the state average. Housing expenses are 26.3% below the national average, transportation is 8.3% below the national average, and groceries are 6.2% below the national average. Some of the biggest expenses in Champaign are utilities and healthcare, which are only 2.6% and 3.1% more affordable than the national average, respectively.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a monthly report that is published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This report states the average changes in prices that consumers pay for goods and services in an area. Champaign is a part of the Midwest region.
Over the past two months, the Consumer Price Index has increased by 0.5% and has risen 5.6% over the past year. Over the past year, food prices have risen 10.1%, electricity has risen 7.2%, housing has risen 6.8%, and medical care has risen 2.6%.
Consumer Expenditure Survey
Another way to measure the cost of living in Champaign, IL, is through the BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey. This survey is also conducted by the Census Bureau and is used to calculate the CPI in a given area. The most recent survey reports that households in Champaign spent an average of $62,118 during the 2020-2021 calendar year; this is a bit lower than the national average of $64,187. Households in the Midwest spent more than households in the South but less than households in the Northeast and West.
Check out this breakdown of a typical Champaign household budget.
- Housing: 32.3% ($20,055), compared to the U.S. average of 34.3%
- Transportation: 16.5% ($10,223), compared to the U.S. average of 16.2%
- Food: 11.9% ($7,407), compared to the U.S. average of 12.2%
- Health care: 9.2% ($5,787), compared to the U.S. average of 8.3%
- Entertainment: 5.7% ($3,523), compared to the U.S. average of 5.1%
- Education: 1.7% ($1,049), compared to the U.S. average of 1.9%
As you can see from the numbers above, most of the costs in Champaign, Illinois are around or below the national average. The transportation costs are higher as most households need one or more personal vehicles. In fact, there are over 103,000 registered vehicles in Champaign County as of April 2023. You can get an annual bus pass with MTD, but it is more convenient to own a vehicle.
Family Budget in Champaign
Are you moving to Champaign with a family? According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, the average household with two adults and two kids would have an average Champaign, IL cost of living of $85,040 per year. This comes out to $7,087 per month. Here’s a breakdown of this budget.
- Health care: $1,517
- Child care: $1,340
- Transportation: $1,128
- Taxes: $875
- Housing: $868
- Food: $766
- Other necessities: $592
Of course, these numbers can be larger or smaller depending on your family size, lifestyle, and neighborhood. In a household with two adults and no children, the average cost of living drops to $51,902 per year, or $4,325 per month.
Cost of Household Items, Utilities, Gas & Groceries in Champaign
Is Champaign, IL affordable? Before making the move to Champaign, you will want to make sure that you can afford the cost of living. Check out this breakdown of expenses in Champaign and compare these prices to your current expenses.
- Beef (1 pound): $6.38
- Milk (1 gallon): $3.71
- Eggs (1 dozen): $4.17
- Potatoes (5 pound bag): $5.95
- Bread (1 loaf): $2.73
- Beer (1 bottle): $6.00
- Movie ticket: $12.00
- McDonald’s meal: $8.00
- Average cost of gas (1 gallon): $3.56
- Average Champaign utilities per month: $111.23
When living in Champaign, you can expect to pay an average monthly car insurance premium of $37. The average commute to work in Champaign is 17.1 minutes. If you do not have a car, then you can ride on the MTD bus line for $1 per ride. You can also opt for an annual pass for $60. The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District was recently honored with the award for the “most innovative” transit agency in the United States.
Champaign IL Real Estate Market
Looking for houses for sale in Champaign, IL? The real estate market in Champaign is somewhat competitive but also extremely affordable. The average home price in Champaign, Illinois is $175,000 ($127 per square foot). This is well below the national average of $386,797. Home prices are down 5.4% compared to last year, and homes are on the market for an average of 83 days.
Condos in Champaign, IL sell for an average of $130,000, and townhomes sell for an average of $238,000. Of course, these numbers can fluctuate based on the size of your home and the neighborhood you are located in. Some of the most popular neighborhoods in Champaign include Campustown, Downtown Champaign, and Hessel Park.
There are 41,755 housing units in Champaign. 54% of them are renter occupied and 46% of them are owner occupied.
Champaign Rental Market – Average Rent in Champaign IL
Searching for apartments for rent in Champaign? The average rent in Champaign is $1,453 per month for an 886 square foot apartment. This is much lower than other Illinois cities such as Chicago, where the average rent is $2,215 per month, and Oak Park, where the average rent is $2,113 per month.
Some of the most popular apartment complexes in Champaign Illinois are Windsor West Apartments, The Legends Apartments, and Stonegate Village Apartments.
According to the 2022 Rental Affordability Report, it is more affordable to buy than to rent in Champaign. One of the best ways to compare renting and buying in Champaign is to calculate the price-to-rent ratio. The higher this ratio is, the better the market is for renters. The lower the ratio is, the better the market is for buyers. In order to calculate the price-to-rent ratio, you need to divide the median home price by the median annual rent.
Now that we know the equation, we can plug Champaign’s numbers in. The median home price in Champaign is $175,000. The median yearly rent is $17,436. When you plug these numbers into the equation, you get a price-to-rent ratio of 10. Ten is a low price-to-rent ratio and confirms that Champaign is a better place to buy rather than rent.
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach Report, an average full-time worker in Champaign would have to earn $18.79 per hour ($39,080 per year) to afford a basic two-bedroom apartment in the city without spending over 30% of their income on housing. This is lower than the Illinois average of $22.30 per hour ($47,434 per year).
Average Salary & Household Income in Champaign Illinois
The average household income in Champaign is $55,573. This is lower than the median Illinois household income of $72,205. According to PayScale, the average salary in Champaign Illinois is $64,000, or $18.46 per hour. As of 2023, the minimum wage in Illinois is $13.00. This number is set to increase by $1.00 each year for the next three years.
Here are some of the most common jobs in Champaign, Illinois as well as their average salaries.
- Waiter/Waitress: $24,400
- Preschool Teacher: $32,930
- Veterinary Technologist: $43,980
- Event Planner: $51,260
- Web Developer: $68,380
- Electrician: $76,470
- Occupational Therapist: $84,150
- Lawyer: $115,310
- Pediatrician: $243,990
There are many amazing job opportunities in Champaign. Some of the top industries in Champaign include healthcare, education, and manufacturing. Champaign is home to the Kraft-Heinz plant, which employs nearly 1,000 people in the area. There are also thousands of jobs available at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Carle Hospital.
Income, Sales & Property Taxes in Champaign
Here is an overview of income, sales, and property tax in Champaign, Illinois.
Illinois Income Tax
Income tax is money that comes directly from your individual or business-related income. The state of Illinois has a flat individual state income tax rate of 4.95%. Illinois also has a 9.50% corporate income tax rate.
Sales Tax in Champaign
A sales tax is a consumption tax on the sale of goods and services. The Champaign sales tax rate is 9.000%. This is how that number is established. Illinois has the 7th highest sales tax rate in the country.
- Illinois State: 6.250%
- Champaign County: 1.250%
- Champaign: 1.500%
- Total: 9.000%
Champaign Property Tax
The exact property tax rate in Champaign is set by the tax assessor on a property-by-property basis. They are managed on a county level by the local tax assessor’s office. Champaign County has one of the highest median property taxes in the United States, ranking 174th of 3,143 in order of median property taxes.
On average, the Champaign property tax rate is 2% of a property’s assessed fair market value. For example, you would owe $2,905 per year in property taxes with a home worth $145,200.
Champaign vs. Springfield Cost of Living
If you are moving to Illinois, then there might be a few different cities that you could be considering. Many people also have Springfield as a potential option. The Cost of Living Index in Springfield is 99.6, making it 0.04% more affordable than the national average and 25.9% more expensive than Champaign.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the cost of living in Champaign vs. Springfield.
- Average home price: $175,000 in Champaign vs. $137,000 in Springfield
- Average salary: $64,000 in Champaign vs. $61,000 in Springfield
- Average utilities: $111.23 in Champaign vs. $213.33 in Springfield
- Average monthly expenses: $7,087 in Champaign vs. $7,073 in Springfield
- Average cost of transportation: $1,128 in Champaign vs. $1,155 in Springfield
Based on the numbers above, the cost of living in both cities are fairly similar. The average home price in Springfield is lower, although the market is much more competitive. Homes only sit on the market for an average of 9 days in Springfield compared to 83 days in Champaign. Utilities and transportation are more expensive in Springfield, and it is important to take into consideration that the average salary is lower.
Overall, Champaign, Illinois is a very affordable place to live. The real estate prices cannot be beaten and the high quality of living is unmatched. If you are ready to call Champaign home, then you need the best Champaign movers to help you out. Give us a call today at (800) 747-4100 to discuss your move and get a free quote.