Illinois or Wisconsin: Which is the better place to live?

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Growing up in Illinois, I ought to be loyal to the Land of Lincoln. However, I’m not. While Illinois definitely has some charms, our neighbor, Wisconsin, also seems to have a great deal of appeal. My husband and I recently have been thinking about relocating from Illinois to Wisconsin and I thought I’d write a blog post on the pros and cons of living in each state. Before we make use of a loan calculator and begin pricing the cost of setting up a new nest, it would be wise for us to make an educated decision about where to move.

Things to do:

Ok, so Illinois has Chicago. Chicago definitely has its allure during the warmer summer months. Popular summertime activities include shopping, dining outdoors, perusing Navy Pier, climbing aboard one of Chicago’s popular cruises, hanging out at one of several beaches along Lake Michigan, and attending the Taste of Chicago and a variety of other festivals and concerts, just to name a few.

For people wanting to escape the congestion of the city, places such as Galena, Starved Rock, and Shawnee National Forest provide welcome retreats. These are all lovely getaway ideas and visiting such places provide people with a reprieve from urban living.

With that being said, I for one, do not care for the Windy City or many areas of Illinois in the wintertime. There may be some variety of winter activities to participate in but the sleeting rain/snow and wind do not make for fun outdoor adventures, in my opinion.

Despite the fact that I’m more attracted the warmer climates, Wisconsin is my choice for wintertime activities. While it may be much more frigid up in Northern Wisconsin, places such as Boulder Junction embody my vision of a perfect winter wonderland. Plenty of opportunities abound for cross-country skiing, sledding, ice fishing and more. With its glorious array of pine trees, gorgeous scenery and fresh open air, northern Wisconsin offers by far much better winter activities than many places in Illinois.

In the summertime, cities throughout Wisconsin also provide visitors with plenty to see and do. Lake Geneva is a popular tourist spot, as are many places throughout the state, including Madison and Wisconsin Dells. And I can’t forget Bristol, home of the Bristol Renaissance Faire!

So now we know that both Illinois and Wisconsin offer a bunch of things to keep people occupied in the summertime, and some activities in the wintertime.

But which state has the lower cost of living?

Studies show that living in Wisconsin costs less than the U.S. average, though in some vicinities, utilities may cost more. Taxes also may cost more.

Another thing about Wisconsin is the lack of jobs, especially up north. I also don’t understand the road system in Wisconsin – why are roads labeled with letters?

But Illinois roads aren’t off the hook – our roads are always annoyingly under construction and motorists are constantly subjected to highway robbery within the state tollway system.


Illinois is known for Chicago, and Chicago is known for Chicago-style pizza. Wisconsin is known for its cheese. :)


The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. Coming from a family of Bears lovers, I have to say our football team is better.

The most important fact of all:

Wisconsin features a large quantity of lakes, Illinois features a large quantity of fruited plains. As I’m a nature lover and water girl at heart. My husband also enjoys the outdoors and being on the water. For this reason alone, I think Wisconsin would make a more suitable place for my husband and I to live.

What do you readers think? Illinois or Wisconsin? Why or why not? Please feel free to share your thoughts below.

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2 thoughts on “Illinois or Wisconsin: Which is the better place to live?

  1. As a foreign student who lived in the Midwest for 7 years (and left in 2002, never to return), I think it is hard to compare states.

    Illinois has the premier city in the Midwest (what is the distant runner-up to Chicago….Pittsburgh?) but Wisconsin has the better outdoors scene. If I had stayed on in the US, I would probably try to keep an apartment in Chicago and a weekend cabin somewhere like Door County or the Upper Peninsula.

    BTW, this blog isnt as popular as your Taiwan blog but kudos for keeping up the effort

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