Which State Is Better to Move In: Illinois Or Maryland?

9 minutes read

Choosing between moving to Illinois or Maryland ultimately depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Here's some general information about both states to help you make an informed decision:


  1. Location and Size: Located in the Midwest, Illinois is the 6th most populous state in the US and offers a wide range of urban, suburban, and rural areas.
  2. Economy: Illinois has a diverse economy, with industries such as finance, technology, manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare. Chicago, the state's largest city, is a major economic hub.
  3. Cost of Living: The cost of living in Illinois is relatively moderate. However, the city of Chicago can be more expensive compared to other parts of the state.
  4. Education: Illinois has many reputable higher education institutions, including the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago.
  5. Climate: The climate in Illinois is characterized by hot summers and cold winters, especially in the northern parts of the state.


  1. Location and Size: Maryland is located on the East Coast, neighboring Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Despite being a small state, it offers a diverse range of landscapes from busy cities to coastal areas and rural regions.
  2. Economy: Maryland's economy is diverse, with a focus on sectors such as biotechnology, defense, healthcare, finance, and tourism. The state has a relatively high average income.
  3. Cost of Living: The cost of living in Maryland can be higher compared to the national average, especially in the cities. However, it varies across different areas within the state.
  4. Education: Maryland is known for having highly ranked education systems from K-12 schools to prestigious universities like Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland.
  5. Climate: Maryland experiences hot summers and cool winters, with some coastal areas being influenced by a milder maritime climate.

Both states offer a variety of cultural amenities, recreational opportunities, and quality of life factors. Consider factors such as job opportunities, climate preferences, proximity to family and friends, and other lifestyle factors when making the decision to move.

What is the tax situation in Illinois and Maryland?

The tax situations in Illinois and Maryland differ in terms of income tax rates, sales tax rates, and property tax rates.

In Illinois, the state levies a flat-rate income tax system. As of 2021, the income tax rate is 4.95% for individuals and corporations. There are no local income taxes imposed by cities or counties in Illinois. However, other taxes, such as sales tax and property tax, vary across different municipalities within the state. The sales tax rate in Illinois is generally 6.25%, but it can be higher in certain areas due to additional local taxes. The average property tax rate in Illinois is among the highest in the country, with rates varying by county.

In Maryland, the state uses a progressive income tax system with several tax brackets. As of 2021, the income tax rates range from 2% to 5.75% for individuals and corporations. Additionally, some counties in Maryland impose a local income tax in addition to the state income tax. The local income tax rates vary by county, with the highest rate being 3.2%. The state sales tax rate in Maryland is 6%, and there is an additional sales tax of up to 2.5% in some areas for designated purposes. The property tax rates in Maryland also vary by county, but they are generally higher than the national average.

It's important to note that tax laws and rates are subject to change, so it's advisable to consult with a tax professional or refer to the respective state revenue agencies for the most up-to-date information.

How to determine if Illinois or Maryland is more family-friendly?

Determining if Illinois or Maryland is more family-friendly depends on various factors such as education, safety, healthcare, cost of living, and available family-oriented activities. Here are some steps to help you evaluate which state might be more suitable for your family:

  1. Research education: Look into the quality of schools, standardized test scores, graduation rates, and opportunities for extracurricular activities in both Illinois and Maryland. Consider factors like class sizes, teacher-student ratios, and availability of special education programs if applicable.
  2. Explore safety statistics: Look at crime rates, both overall and specific to family-friendly neighborhoods, in both states. Research if the areas you are considering have low incidents of crime and a safe environment for children.
  3. Analyze healthcare options: Evaluate the availability and quality of healthcare facilities, pediatricians, specialists, and family-friendly hospitals in each state. Consider the accessibility and affordability of healthcare services and health insurance options.
  4. Consider the cost of living: Compare the cost of living in both Illinois and Maryland, including factors like housing, utilities, transportation, groceries, and taxes. Determine which state offers a better overall affordability for your family's needs.
  5. Research family activities: Look into the availability of parks, playgrounds, recreational centers, libraries, museums, and family-friendly attractions in both states. Consider the variety and proximity of these activities and if they align with your family's interests.
  6. Seek out opinions and experiences: Ask friends, family, or online communities that reside in Illinois or Maryland about their experiences and impressions of living in each state. Consider their feedback regarding family-friendly amenities, services, and quality of life.
  7. Visit or explore online: If possible, visit both states to get a firsthand perspective on their family-friendly attributes. Alternatively, utilize online resources such as official state websites, local community forums, and social media groups to learn more about each state's family-oriented features.

Remember that family-friendliness can vary depending on personal preferences, lifestyle, and specific needs. It is essential to consider these factors within the context of your family's unique requirements and priorities.

What is the political landscape in Illinois and Maryland?

The political landscapes in Illinois and Maryland differ in terms of party dominance, demographics, and policy priorities. Here is a brief overview of each state's political landscape:


  • Party Dominance: Historically, Illinois has been a swing state with a relatively diverse political landscape. Currently, the Democratic Party holds significant control in Illinois, with Democrats holding the governorship, both chambers of the state legislature, and both U.S. Senate seats.
  • Demographics: Illinois is a diverse state, with significant populations of both urban and rural areas. Chicago, the largest city, has a strong Democratic voter base, while downstate areas tend to be more conservative-leaning.
  • Issues/Priorities: Some key political issues in Illinois include fiscal management, education funding, criminal justice reform, healthcare, and infrastructure development. Chicago's crime rate is often a focus of discussions, as well as the state's pension crisis.


  • Party Dominance: Maryland is generally considered a solidly Democratic state, with Democrats traditionally dominating the political landscape. Currently, Democrats hold the governorship and supermajorities in both chambers of the state legislature.
  • Demographics: Maryland is a relatively diverse state in terms of race, ethnicity, and income levels. It has both urban areas, such as Baltimore and the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and rural areas. The suburban counties surrounding Washington, D.C., have a significant impact on elections in the state.
  • Issues/Priorities: Key political issues in Maryland include education, healthcare access and affordability, transportation and infrastructure, environmental protection, and criminal justice reform. The state also has a strong focus on social issues such as LGBTQ rights, gun control, and immigration.

It is important to note that these descriptions provide a general overview, and the political landscape may vary between different regions within each state. Additionally, political dynamics may evolve over time due to various factors such as elections and shifts in public opinion.

How to research job opportunities in Illinois and Maryland?

Here are some steps to research job opportunities in Illinois and Maryland:

  1. Define Your Job Search Goals: Determine the type of job or industry you are interested in, your preferred location within Illinois or Maryland, and any other important factors such as your desired salary range or specific companies you are interested in.
  2. Utilize Online Job Search Platforms: Use popular job search websites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, or Monster to search for job openings in Illinois and Maryland. These websites allow you to filter your search by location, industry, job title, and other criteria.
  3. Visit State-specific Job Portals: Check out state government websites for job postings in Illinois (https://illinoisjoblink.illinois.gov/) and Maryland (https://mwejobs.maryland.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx). These portals often provide a wide range of opportunities, including both public and private sector jobs.
  4. Explore Company Websites: Identify specific companies in Illinois and Maryland that you are interested in working for, and visit their official websites. Many companies have dedicated careers sections where they list current job openings. You can also check their "About" or "Contact Us" pages to find information on how to apply or inquire about potential job openings.
  5. Network: Reach out to your professional network, including friends, family, former colleagues, college alumni, or industry-specific groups, and let them know you are looking for job opportunities in Illinois and Maryland. Networking can often lead to discovering hidden job openings or getting referrals from people you know.
  6. Connect with Recruiting Agencies or Staffing Firms: Research and connect with recruiting agencies or staffing firms that specialize in your industry or the Illinois and Maryland job markets. These agencies may have exclusive job opportunities or insider knowledge on the local job market.
  7. Attend Job Fairs and Networking Events: Check local event listings for job fairs or networking events happening in Illinois and Maryland. These events allow you to meet potential employers face-to-face, learn more about available job opportunities, and make valuable connections.
  8. Join Online Professional Groups and Forums: Find and join online professional groups or forums related to your industry or job interests. Engage in discussions, ask questions, and keep an eye out for any job postings or opportunities shared within these communities.

Remember to tailor your applications for each job you apply to, and always follow the specific instructions provided by each employer. Good luck with your job search in Illinois and Maryland!

What is the availability of colleges and universities in Illinois and Maryland?

Illinois: Illinois is home to many colleges and universities, offering a wide range of educational opportunities. Some of the prominent institutions in Illinois include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Illinois State University, Loyola University Chicago, and DePaul University, among others. These institutions, along with community colleges and smaller universities, provide a diverse range of programs and degrees to cater to different academic interests.

Maryland: Maryland also has a strong presence of colleges and universities. Some notable institutions in Maryland include Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, College Park, Towson University, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and University of Maryland Global Campus. These institutions, along with community colleges and smaller private and public universities, offer various academic programs and degrees to students.

Overall, both Illinois and Maryland have a good availability of colleges and universities, offering numerous educational opportunities for students in different fields of study.

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