Austin vs. Chicago

Downtown Chicago compared to Austin, Texas.

Austin vs. Chicago

Austin and Chicago are both vibrant metropolises, each with their own unique charms. Chicago offers Midwest friendliness and deep-dish pizza, while Austin has southern hospitality and mouthwatering TexMex. If you need help deciding which city to call home, we’re here to help. Let’s explore Austin vs. Chicago to help you understand which city is best for you.

Austin vs. Chicago Quick Stats

Austin Stats

  • Population Density: 3,006 people per square mile
  • Median Household Income: $75,000
  • Unemployment Rate: 3%
  • Median Age: 35 years old
  • Average Commute: 25 minutes
  • Median Home Value: $572,000

Chicago Quick Stats

  • Population Density: 11,472 people per square mile
  • Median Household Income: $65,000
  • Unemployment Rate: 3%
  • Median Age: 34 years old
  • Average Commute: 35 minutes
  • Median Home Value: $360,000

Austin vs. Chicago Cost of Living

Cost of Living In Chicago

Compared to other major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the cost of living in Chicago is relatively more affordable, particularly regarding rent prices. According to Apartment List’s data from March 2022, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,285, and for a two-bedroom apartment, it was $1,416, which is close to the national average but lower than other metropolitan areas. Additionally, buying a home in Chicago is relatively budget-friendly, with the median price for a home in the Chicago area in the fourth quarter of 2021 being $318,100, making it an attractive option for potential homeowners compared to more expensive markets like New York City and San Francisco.

Cost of Living in Austin

In recent years, the rising number of renters in Austin has led to a slight increase in rent prices, but as of March 2021, the average rent in the city remains relatively affordable at $1,431, just below the nationwide average of $1,463. However, there is a significant rent disparity between downtown neighborhoods with luxury high-rise apartments, where rents can surpass $2,500, and the northern outskirts of the city, where rents can drop to around $1,000. 

Homes in Austin are most expensive than in Chicago. However, housing costs become more affordable in the suburbs such as Cedar Park, Pflugerville, and Round Rock.

Things to Do in Austin vs. Chicago

Things to Do in Chicago

Chicago has everything you could want from a major tourist destination: plenty of sports teams, an expansive collection of museums, and historic architecture. Grant Park, often referred to as “Chicago’s Front Yard ” spans over 300 acres and is located in the Loop. Within the park, visitors can visit some of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks such as Millennium Park and Buckingham Memorial Fountain. For those looking to cheer on a Chicago sports team, they have plenty of choices between the Cubs, the White Sox, the Bears, the Bulls, and the Blackhawks. Chicago also offers a diverse array of beloved museums such as The Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum, and The Museum of Science and History which is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere.  

Home of deep-dish pizza, world-famous hotdogs, and beef sandwiches, Chicago’s food culture is part of its overall history. If you are looking for a genuine Chicago food experience, don’t miss legendary restaurants such as Lou Malnati’s where they have been serving deep dish pizzas since the 1940s. And no trip to Chicago is complete without visiting Al’s Italian Beef, thought to be the original retailer of Italian beef since 1938.

Things to Do in Austin

Like Chicago, Austin has plenty to keep folks entertained. Austin is located in the Texas Hill Country, with beautiful hills to hike and holes to swim in. On sunny days, residents and visitors can head to the Barton Creek Greenbelt, one of Texas’ top-rated trails spanning over 12 miles throughout the city. Parks such as St. Edwards Park, Zilker Park, and McKinney Falls State Park offer residents the opportunity to hike, swim, canoe, and rock climb. 

While Austin is famous for Texmex and BBQ, mom-and-pop restaurants throughout the city have put Austin on the food map. Head to Matt’s El Rancho serving Austin residents Texmex since the 1950s. Or try Ramen Tatsu-ya, which is so popular that even with three locations around Austin there is usually still a line to get in. 

History buffs can enjoy the Bullock State History Museum, where visitors can learn about everything from Texas’ role in the Civil War to Austin City Limits. Or head to the LBJ Library to learn about America’s 36th president.

Industries in Chicago vs. Industries in Austin

Chicago and Austin both benefit from varied industries. In both cities healthcare, education, government, and tourism contribute to a low unemployment rate. Chicago is also home to business & finance corporations such as JP Morgan Chase and Deloitte. Airline titans such as Boeing and United Airlines are headquartered in Chicago as well, providing more jobs for residents.

Austin has a huge tech presence, being dubbed “Silicon Hills”. Major players such as Oracle, Facebook, Tesla, and Amazon have opened up a wide array of career opportunities for those working in tech, manufacturing, or warehousing, and more companies are looking to make the move every day. 

Events such as South by Southwest and Austin City Limits are responsible for a large portion of jobs as well, as these events bring in millions of tourists each year. Plus, they’re fun for the locals, too!

Moving to Austin vs. Moving to Chicago

Both cities are fabulous! You can’t go wrong with a move to either; it will just depend on what you are looking for and your phase of life.

Life at Lakeside at Tessera

Lakeside at Tessera in Lago Vista, located on the banks of Lake Travis, is just 30 miles northwest of Austin. If looking to relocate to the Austin area, claim your little slice of the Texas Hill Country within Lakeside at Tessera. Contact us today to schedule your tour.


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