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Iowa to Illinois Moving Guide Unlike Any You've Ever Read

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Moving from the Hawkeye State to the Land of Lincoln is not just a relocation; it's an adventure into a new chapter of your life. While you might be trading Iowa’s expansive cornfields for Illinois' bustling cities and historic landmarks, the spirit of discovery adds excitement to the journey. Understanding the importance of this transition, we emphasize the necessity of selecting trusted and reliable professional movers to ensure a smooth move to your new beginning.

6 Best Movers for Moving from Iowa to Illinois


based on 738+ data points

Chicago, IL
Local moving, Long-distance moving, Cross-country moving See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/25/2024)

USDOT: 3893107 Verify

About Fresh Start Movers Chicago

Website Information: Fresh Start Movers Chicago is a professional moving company headquartered in Chicago, IL, serving both residential and ...Read More >>

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top 10 ranked movers in bethany 2023 fresh start movers chicago image
Happ Movers, Inc. Logo

based on 1,118+ data points

Glenview, IL
Professional Moving Services, Residential Moving, Commercial Moving See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 7/24/2023)

USDOT: 2970282 Verify

About Happ Movers, Inc.

Happ Movers, Inc. has provided residential and commercial moving services in Chicago’s North Shore area for more than half a century. Locate...Read More >>

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top 10 ranked movers in waukegan 2023 happ movers inc image
top 10 ranked movers in waukegan 2022 happ movers inc image
Adamantine Spine Moving Logo

based on 1,268+ data points

Iowa City, IA
Local Moving, Long Distance Moving, Apartment/Condo Moving See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/23/2024)

USDOT: 1471037 Verify

About Adamantine Spine Moving

Adamantine Spine Moving is an accomplished entity amongst the professional movers in Cedar Rapids, IA. This company can conveniently transp...Read More >>

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top ranked movers in cedar rapids 2023 adamantine spine moving image
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Best Move Inc Logo

based on 520+ data points

Burlington, IA
Material Packing, Local Moving, Long-Distance Moving See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/24/2024)

USDOT: 749231 Verify

About Best Move Inc

Best Move, Inc. prides itself on being one of the most preferred and recommended moving companies in Fort Madison, IA. Its BBB accreditation...Read More >>

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top 10 ranked movers in iowa city 2023 best move inc image
top 10 ranked movers in iowa city 2022 best move inc image
Hemmen Moving Logo

based on 621+ data points

Ames, IA
Local moving, Long distance moving, Small moving See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/23/2024)

USDOT: 608245 Verify

About Hemmen Moving

For over 25 years, Hemmen Moving has served the Ames area with full-service moving solutions. It provides services for residential and comme...Read More >>

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top 3 ranked movers in ames 2022 hemmen moving inc image
White Glove Movers Logo

based on 848+ data points

Marion, IA
Local Moving Services, Residential Moving Services, Commercial & Freight Moving Services See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 9/16/2021)

USDOT: 2991947 Verify

About White Glove Movers

White Glove Movers is a residential and commercial moving company serving its local community of Marion, the nearby areas of Cedar Rapids, I...Read More >>

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top 10 ranked movers in cedar rapids 2023 white glove movers image
top 3 ranked movers in cedar rapids 2022 white glove movers image

Pros and Cons of Moving from Iowa to Illinois

Moving between states is a significant decision. This comparison aims to paint a balanced picture of relocating from Iowa to Illinois, showcasing the detailed contrasts between the cons of Iowa and the pros of Illinois and vice versa. With these charts, gain insight into what each state offers to make an informed decision about your move.

Iowa iconIowa
  • Less urban diversity
  • Limited job markets
  • Lower nightlife variety
  • Smaller cultural attractions
Illinois iconIllinois
  • Greater Chicago area
  • Broader career opportunities
  • Vibrant city life
  • Richer cultural experiences
Illinois iconIllinois
  • Higher taxes
  • Urban congestion
  • More impersonal
  • Faster-paced lifestyle
Iowa iconIowa
  • Lower cost of living
  • More open spaces
  • Community-focused
  • Quiet, slower pace

Moving to Illinois, especially towards the Greater Chicago area, you'll find a plethora of vibrant cultural experiences and career opportunities unmatched in Iowa. Iconic sites like The Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium offer rich educational experiences in an urban setting. Neighborhoods such as Wicker Park and The Loop are brimming with an array of restaurants, from cozy cafes to high-end dining choices, like the Michelin-starred Alinea. Despite the charm and economic prospects Illinois offers, it's important to consider the trade-offs, including higher living costs and a faster pace of life, which may not align with everyone's lifestyle preferences. The transition from Iowa's community-focused and open environment to Illinois' bustling urban life marks a significant shift that requires careful consideration.

Food Scene Guide When Moving from Iowa to Illinois

This is a comparison of the local cuisine between Iowa & Illinois, emphasizing food as a vital aspect of local culture and living experience. This side-by-side look will help inform you about the distinct food scenes in each state as you plan your move.


Most iconic local food item

Pork Tenderloin SandwichChicago-style Deep Dish Pizza

Most popular meat dish

Iowa ChopsItalian Beef Sandwich

Most popular street food item

Walking TacosHot Dogs (Chicago-style)

Most popular vegan food

Sweet CornSeitan Wings

Top 3 iconic restaurants that summarize the state

  • The Iowa Barnstormers
  • Jethro’s BBQ
  • Ames Brewpub
  • Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
  • Au Cheval Diner
  • Portillo's

Fitness/Health Conscientiousness


Abundance of Food Trucks


Foodie Scene


Vegan Friendly


In Iowa, the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich reigns supreme as a local favorite, often found in establishments like The Iowa Barnstormers, which serves as a testament to Iowa's love for hearty meat dishes. Walking towards Illinois, the food scene shifts to a robust urban influence with Chicago at its heart. The Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza exemplifies this state's food identity, and with spots like Lou Malnati's Pizzeria, it's easy to indulge in what many consider the pinnacle of pizza perfection. Not only does Illinois offer a tantalizing array of street foods, especially the celebrated Chicago-style hot dogs found throughout the city but also boasts a more vibrant vegan scene, highlighting establishments like Au Cheval Diner for their inventive takes on classic dishes.

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Real Estate Facts to Know Before Moving from Iowa to Illinois

When planning a move, examining the real estate landscape is crucial. This comparison will offer insights into what to expect in terms of housing options, costs, and lifestyle in Iowa and Illinois, helping you make an informed decision.

While the median home price and monthly rent are both higher in Illinois than in Iowa, this often reflects the closer proximity to major cities and amenities in Illinois. For instance, Illinois boasts a more urban lifestyle with a higher walkability score, especially in areas near Chicago, compared to the more traditional and rural settings found in Iowa. The difference in architecture styles also highlights the urban-rural divide with Iowa favoring traditional and ranch-style homes, whereas Illinois showcases more prairie and modern designs, especially in new developments around urban centers. These distinctions play a significant role in defining the living experience in each state.

Weather Considerations for Moving from Iowa to Illinois

When planning a move from Iowa to Illinois, understanding how the weather differs between these two states is crucial for a smooth transition. This comparison will provide you with essential insights into what to expect in terms of climate adjustments, helping you prepare adequately for your new environment.

Summer icon




Average Summer High/Low (°F)

Winter icon




Average Winter High/Low (°F)

Rainfall icon




Annual Rainfall (Inches)

Snowfall icon




Annual Snowfall (Inches)

While both Iowa and Illinois experience four distinct seasons, you'll notice some variations in weather patterns that could affect your daily life. For instance, winters in Illinois are slightly milder than in Iowa, making it a bit easier to adjust if you're not a fan of extreme cold. On the other hand, Illinois tends to receive less sunshine and more rainfall annually, which might impact your outdoor activities. Both states share similar top seasonal allergies, so if you're prone to these, your experience may not change much. Understanding these differences can help you better prepare for the move, ensuring you're not caught off guard by new weather experiences.

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Money, Economy, and Job Market Considerations for Moving from Iowa to Illinois

When considering a move from Iowa to Illinois, it’s crucial to understand how financial aspects align with your current lifestyle. This comparison aims to highlight key financial differences and the impact on your wallet from moving between these states. Understanding these variations will ensure you are financially prepared for your new home.

Transitioning from Iowa to Illinois will introduce several financial adjustments. The average household income in Illinois is notably higher than in Iowa, which may counterbalance its slightly higher cost of living and significantly higher property taxes. While Illinois offers a flat state income tax rate, it’s important to note that this doesn't necessarily mean lower taxes overall due to higher sales and property taxes compared to Iowa. Illinois’ economy, while more affluent on average, also has higher rates of homelessness and poverty in some areas compared to Iowa, highlighting the complex financial landscape you’ll need to navigate.

Political & Religious Comparison between Iowa and Illinois

Considering a move from Iowa to Illinois? It's essential to understand how the two states differ, not just in scenery and job opportunities but also in the politics and religion that shape the community . This quick comparison aims to give you a glimpse into the political and religious makeup of both states to help you feel right at home.


Political Make-up

Mixed; leans slightly RepublicanLeans Democratic, especially in urban areas

Local Politics

Community-focused, with strong local involvementHighly influenced by Chicago's political landscape


Christianity dominates, with a mix of protestant and Catholic communitiesDiverse religious landscape, strong presence of Catholicism in urban areas

When moving from Iowa to Illinois, you'll notice the political landscape shift notably, especially if you're relocating from a rural Iowa area to an urban center in Illinois like Chicago. Illinois tends to have a more Democratic lean, largely due to the influence of Chicago, whereas Iowa's political climate is more mixed, offering a slightly Republican tilt. Local politics in Illinois might seem more intense or divided, driven by the complexities of Chicago's political scene, contrasted with Iowa's community-centric approach. Religiously, both states offer a diverse range of beliefs and communities, but Illinois boasts a more varied religious landscape, reflecting its urban diversity. Understanding these differences can help you acclimate more quickly to your new surroundings.

Education Guide When Moving from Iowa to Illinois

When considering a move from Iowa to Illinois, it's essential to understand how educational opportunities differ between the two states. This guide provides a comparative overview to better understand the comparisons between school options in Iowa and Illinois. Whether you're focused on public or private education, elementary or higher education, this comparison will help you make an informed decision about your family's educational future.


Where most Seniors go to college (top 3)

University of Iowa
Iowa State University
University of Northern Iowa
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Northwestern University
University of Chicago

Top 3 Elementary Schools

Wickham Elementary (Coralville)
Grant Ragan Elementary (Waukee)
Shimek Elementary School (Iowa City)
Lincoln Elementary School (River Forest)
South Park Elementary School (Deerfield)
Meadow Glens Elementary School (Naperville)

Top 3 Middle Schools

North Central Junior High (North Liberty)
Ames Middle School (Ames)
South East Junior High (Iowa City)
Maple School (Northbrook)
Daniel Wright Junior High School (Lincolnshire)
Clarendon Hills Middle School (Clarendon Hills)

Top 3 High School Schools

West High School (Iowa City)
Ames High School (Ames)
Decorah High School (Decorah)
Adlai E. Stevenson High School (Lincolnshire)
New Trier Township High School (Winnetka)
Northside College Preparatory High School (Chicago)

Top 3 private high schools

Scattergood Friends School (West Branch)
Maharishi School (Fairfield)
Dowling Catholic High School (West Des Moines)
University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Chicago)
Francis W. Parker School (Chicago)
Lake Forest Academy (Lake Forest)

Top 3 private K-12 schools

Maharishi School (Fairfield)
Rivermont Collegiate (Bettendorf)
Scattergood Friends School (West Branch)
University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Chicago)
Francis W. Parker School (Chicago)
Lake Forest Country Day School (Lake Forest)

Top 3 School Districts

Iowa City Community School District
Waukee Community School District
Ames Community School District
New Trier Township High School District 203 (Northfield)
Naperville Community Unit School District 203
Barrington Community Unit School District 220

In examining the top educational institutions, it's clear that both Iowa and Illinois offer robust opportunities for student success at all levels. For instance, while the University of Iowa and Iowa State University are highly regarded for their research and academic programs, Illinois boasts prestigious institutions like Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, known globally for their academic excellence. On the K-12 level, Iowa's strong community support in districts like Iowa City and Ames contrasts with Illinois's well-funded districts such as New Trier and Naperville, which offer extensive resources and programs. The difference in top private education options is also notable, with Illinois home to historic and well-endowed schools like the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. These distinctions underline the importance of considering educational opportunities as part of your relocation decision.

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