IL Cost of Living Project


IMPACT, in collaboration with Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), researches wage adequacy and economic security in Illinois with its Basic Economic Security TablesTM (BESTTM). The BESTTM Index is based on real local costs for different family compositions and makes clear how much families in over 100 geographies in Illinois can expect to pay for basic necessities such as housing, health care, transportation, food, and childcare—and what sort of an income they need to afford these things without additional supports.


Want to know what it really costs to live where you live? Pin down the cost of living by city, county, or state, and across family types:

To learn more about the BESTTM Index and talk to an IMPACT researcher about obtaining the most recent Illinois data, contact us.

Over the coming year, IMPACT will work to infuse the BESTTM Index throughout its poverty education and communication efforts in order to paint a more comprehensive picture of what it really takes for Illinois families to be economically secure. Through the development of user-friendly tools and resources IMPACT will facilitate use of the BESTTM Index by service providers helping clients with career and education planning, individuals and families considering re-locating to new communities, business and community leaders weighing workforce and labor market decisions, and advocates and policymakers working to expand economic security.

Previously, the Social IMPACT Research Center was home to a cost of living project called the Illinois Self-Sufficiency Standard. The Illinois Self-Sufficiency Standard was calculated for 108 areas in Illinois and for 152 different family types (varying by number of adults and children as well as by the ages of those children).

To access materials and resources from IMPACT’s 2009 Self-Sufficiency Standard, choose any of the options below: