If you ever wondered what is the cheapest place to live in Illinois, you're about to find out, plus some cool stuff you should know before you move there.

Illinois is One of the Most Expensive Places to Live

That fact alone is enough to chase people right out of the state. The truth is that thousands of people have already moved away and the reason for their exodus is most often that they can no longer afford to live here.

If you're thinking of moving to Illinois or you live here already but staying in Illinois is your goal but you just need to find a city that isn't constantly attacking your budget, you have some great options.

What is the Cheapest Place to Live in Illinois?

Zumper.com asked that question and they found some pretty good candidates for your new mailing address.

RELATED: Popular Illinois Town Became One of the Midwest's Best Places to Live

I checked out the list and found that there is one city worth considering that isn't too far from Rockford, a city that was just recently placed high on the list of Least Affordable Cities in America.

Zumper's study found Hoopeston, Charleston, Granite City, Decatur, and Clinton to be good budget-friendly places to live in Illinois, but they're not close to Rockford.

Also, there aren't as many fun facts about those places that you'd want to share with your friends when you tell them where you're moving.

On the list of cheapest places to live in Illinois is a city just 28 miles west of Rockford.

City of Freeport via Facebook
City of Freeport via Facebook

Freeport, Illinois

Located in Stephenson County, Freeport has a population of just over 25,000. Freeport has a growing economy supplemented by finance, health care, and construction, according to Zumper. Plus, Freeport has some of the most affordable rent prices in the state compared to other cities the same size.

Now for the good stuff.

6 Fun Facts About Freeport, Illinois One of Illinois' Cheapest Places to Live


Freeport, Illinois is also known as, Pretzel City, USA, due to the popular local German Billerbeck Bakery in the 1850s known for their pretzels. Freeport High School's mascot is the Pretzel to honor that heritage.

5 Fun Facts About One of Illinois' Cheapest Places to Live


Robert L. Johnson, the co-founder of BET (Black Entertainment Television) and the first African-American billionaire lived in Freeport for most of his childhood before attending the University of Illinois.

Ronald McDonald House Gala
Getty Images


Songwriter Ted Snyder was born in Freeport. The most notable song written by Ted was "Who's Sorry Now?" The song was originally written in 1923 it became a big hit for Connie Francis in 1958. In 2000, it was named one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America.


The father of John D. Rockefeller,

John D Rockefeller
Getty Images

William Avery "Devil Bill" Rockefeller Sr. was born in Freeport. Unlike his son John who is considered the wealthiest American of all time and the richest person in modern history, William was a con artist who went by the alias of Dr. William Levingston.

At one point, John D. Rockefeller controlled 90% of all oil in the United States.


For much of his childhood, Freeport was home to multi-instrumentalist, record producer, composer, singer, songwriter, vocal coach, and arranger, Manuel L. Seal, Jr. His credits include artists such as Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Usher, TLC, Aretha Franklin, Xscape, Alicia Keys, Ashanti, Monica, Lionel Richie, Mary J Blige, and Destiny's Child. He has won one Grammy Award from 13 nominations.

48th Annual Grammy Awards - Arrivals
Getty Images


Freeport is home to one of the coolest Little League baseball fields ever, Little Cubs Field. A replica of Wrigley Field.

City of Freeport via Facebook
City of Freeport via Facebook

The Facebook video below tells the story of the little ballfield.

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Illinois

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Illinois using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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