Thinking of moving to the Midwest? Fortunately, this region of the country welcomes newcomers with open arms and friendly smiles. Located north of the Ohio River between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, the Midwest is made up of 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
You’ll often hear these states referred to as “America’s Heartland” and for good reason. From the area’s small town communities and sprawling farmlands to its large, urban metropolises and cultural diversity, the Midwest is a microcosm of America.
If you’re moving to this area, considered by many to be the backbone of the country, then count yourself lucky. Here are 10 reasons to move to the Midwest this year.
You can actually afford to live here
Unlike the expensive cities along the East and West Coasts, you can actually afford to live in a Midwest city or town. In fact, according to U.S. News, Ohio is the least expensive state in the country, based on cost of living and housing affordability. Other Midwest states to make the top 10 most affordable list included Nebraska, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas and Missouri. We’d venture to say that the top reason why people move to the Midwest in the first place is its affordability. With a median listing price of just $310,000, even the iconic city of Chicago is plenty affordable compared to many of America’s other major cities (think: New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco).
Residents experience the best of lake life
If you live in the Midwest, it’s highly likely that you’ll spend your summers swimming, boating and fishing at the lake. In fact, chances are good that your summers will practically revolve around lake life. Home to America’s Great Lakes, including Lake Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior, the region offers an excellent alternative to coastal living. In addition to the Great Lakes, the State of Minnesota is home to thousands of smaller lakes, which residents enjoy all summer long.
The schools are excellent
Whether you’re a family with school-age children or a college student seeking higher education, the Midwest is jam-packed with top-notch schools and educational institutions. Several of the best public school systems in the region include Community High School District No. 128 in Vernon Hills, IL, School District of Clayton in Clayton, MO and New Trier Township High School District No. 203 in Northfield, IL – just to name a few. Other cities where you’re sure to find excellent public schools include Bowling Green, OH, Carmel, IN and Minnetonka, MN.
Several of the best colleges and universities in the Midwest include the University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan and Northwestern University – among others.
The people are exceptionally friendly
Down-to-earth, warm and genuine are just a few words to describe typical Midwesterners. The region has a reputation for being home to a population of exceptionally friendly people. The reason? It could have something to do with the fact that Midwesterners are much less stressed than the rest of the country – at least, according to multiple studies. Strong family values and community ties are two other reasons why Midwesterners are nothing but smiles.
The region is home to some of the country’s most iconic cities
There’s no denying that the Midwest is home to some of America’s most beloved and iconic cities – each of which has its own unique history and charm. If you live in the region, you’ll have access to all that these incredible places have to offer. Several iconic cities in the region include Chicago, IL, Minneapolis, MN, Kansas City, MO, Indianapolis, IN, Omaha, NE, Detroit, MI, St. Louis, MO, and Milwaukee, WI. Whether it’s a world-class museum or a Michigan-star restaurant, these cities have something for just about anyone.
Residents get to experience the best state fairs in the country
No doubt about it – the Midwest is home to the best and most iconic state fairs in the country. Residents travel from all over to attend these celebrations, which oftentimes highlight the region’s agricultural roots and unique foods. Several of the most popular state fairs include the Ohio State Fair, the Minnesota State Fair, the Iowa State Fair, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Indiana State Fair. Residents flock to these summertime events for the music, carnival rides and quintessential Midwest delicacies.
You can chow down on the region’s specialty foods
Forget your diet. Deep dish pizza, cheese curds and puppy chow are just a few delicacies you’re sure to spot on menus throughout the Midwest. Famous for its quirky food, the region offers an assortment of unique grub at annual state fairs as well. According to the Chicago Tribune, popular (and wacky) state fair treats include deep fried ribs, meat parfaits, deep fried buckeyes, s’mores milkshakes, deep fried corn on the cob and spaghetti on a stick.
The summers are glorious
It’s no secret that the winters in the Midwest are downright freezing. If you plan to move to this part of the country, you’re going to need to invest in a serious winter coat. Fortunately, once temperatures begin to climb and winter fades, residents are able to enjoy a number of activities outdoors.
- During the summertime, you’re sure to spot locals basking in the sun at one of Michigan’s lakeside beaches, kayaking through the Chicago River, swimming in Minnesota’s many lakes, splashing around at a Wisconsin waterpark and hiking through one of the area’s many state parks.
The geography is beautiful and diverse
The geography and topography of the Midwest is truly stunning. The majority of the area is considered flat, with grassy plains and prairies as well as sprawling farmland making up much of the region. Of course, locals also get to explore an abundance of wildlife in South Dakota’s Badlands National Park.
The park includes many unique rock formations, fossils, hiking trails and canyons. In addition to the stunning parks and plains, the Midwest’s massive Great Lakes are a sight to behold (and experience). Thanks to the region’s many geographical wonders, locals are never without something to see or do outdoors.
The sports culture is intense
Not a sports fan? You will be once you move to the Midwest. The region is home to some of the best and most famous professional sports teams in the country, including the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Chiefs – and that’s just scratching the surface. The college sports culture is no less exciting. Big name teams such as the Ohio State Buckeyes, Kansas Jayhawks and Michigan Wolverines dominate in a number of sports.