Cross-Country Move Considerations: The Midwest


The Midwest: A Family-Friendly Region

Known for its friendly vibe and minimalist lifestyle, the Midwest is one of America’s favorite locations to settle down and have a family. To those who move there, the Midwest seems like a dream: big cities that are still drivable, small towns with a cozy family vibe, and family-owned businesses with a well-earned reputation. The cities and towns of the Midwest make California and other, more densely populated states look like the devil. But before you begin packing your bags for friendlier country, keep in mind this information about the Midwest: SEE ALSO: Cross-Country Move Considerations: The South

The Culture

If you’ve heard anything positive about that area between LAX and JFK airports, it probably has something to do with how people in this region are extremely friendly and polite. The most infamous example is the checkout clerk at the grocery store that greets you and treats you as one of their own family members. However, this friendliness can be deceptive. While you’re likely to strike up more than a few pleasant conversations with locals in public places, breaking through the polite barrier is more difficult than one might expect. Being invited to dinner parties or being told intimate life details takes years of asking and friendliness. Because of the way many people in this region were raised, forming lasting friendships can be difficult. Another difference between the Midwest and other regions is the lack of consumerism. Sure, you might look down upon people who throw their money away by spending weekends getting boatloads of new clothes, but you probably can’t hold a candle to the lack of interest people in the Midwest tend to have about the newest trends. It’s not uncommon to see people that look like 80s throwbacks because people there simply like to wear what’s comfortable. If it means jeans and a t-shirt, so be it. If it’s comfy clogs, that’s great too. No one will give you weird looks for wearing something just because it’s comfy.

The Costs

  • Average cost of gas for Chicago: $3.643 (US average: $3.38)
  • Average cost of bread for Chicago: $2.00 (US: $1.42)
  • Average cost of milk for Chicago: $1.97 (US: $3.86)
  • Average cost of energy for Chicago: $0.149 per KWH (US: $0.134)
As with virtually anywhere, living in a more populated city, like Chicago, will drive up housing prices and other costs of living. However, throughout the Midwest, there are affordable properties where you can raise a family and still have a little extra money to save. This is especially true if you are moving from an area like California, where average home prices can be in the millions in certain areas (Businessweek). In the Midwest, you can truly get your money’s worth.


Utilities also cost less in the Midwest. This might come as a surprise to those who have heard all too much about the chilly winters and hot summers of this region. However, don’t expect exceptionally fast internet in this area, especially if you decide to go with a smaller local provider. SEE ALSO: Cross-Country Move Considerations: The Northeast

What You’ll Need

Moving to the Midwest might be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make, especially if you’re looking for a close-knit community in which to raise a family. But don’t come empty-handed to this Promised Land. In order to thrive in the Midwest, you’ll need:
  • Warm jackets, especially if you hail from a warmer region, like Florida or Southern California.
  • Persistence to make long-lasting friendships instead of pleasant acquaintances.
  • Clogs because they’re just the most comfortable thing you can wear on your feet.
  • An air conditioning and heating system. Buying a home without having both of these up to date will cost you in more than one way.
For family oriented people and young professionals alike, the Midwest can be a land of opportunity. Just make sure you can take all of the silly questions and stereotypes your coastal friends will throw at you.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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