Chicago vs Palm Springs: Why Swapping Chicago's Skyscrapers for Palm Springs' Palm Trees Is a Smart Move

Chicago vs Palm Springs: Why Swapping Chicago's Skyscrapers for Palm Springs' Palm Trees Is a Smart Move

Fed up with the Windy City's unpredictable weather and longing for a more relaxed lifestyle? Look no further than sunny Palm Springs, California. This desert oasis is the perfect change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Chicago, offering year-round social and cultural benefits. It’s easy to make new friends and forge lasting connections in this welcoming community, and with Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas just a short drive away, you'll never run out of exciting cultural offerings.

Today, I’m answering the Top 6 Most Common Questions About Relocating To Palm Springs, California from Chicago, Illinois.

1. Is Palm Springs a Safe Place to Live?

Palm Springs enjoys a lower crime rate than Chicago, making it a safe and family-friendly environment. According to NeighborhoodScout, Palm Springs' crime rate is significantly lower than the national average, while Chicago's crime rate is higher than the national average. The Palm Springs police department is extremely active in ensuring the safety of residents and visitors – especially on behalf of our vibrant LGBT+ community. See City-Data for more crime rate comparisons between Palm Springs and Chicago.

2. What is the LGBTQIA+ Community Like in Palm Springs?

Palm Springs has a vibrant and thriving LGBTQIA+ community, with an estimated 40% of the city's population identifying as LGBTQIA+ The city is known for its inclusivity, with numerous LGBTQIA+-friendly businesses, events, and nightlife. The city is also home to many LGBTQIA+ events, such as the annual Palm Springs Pride Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors every year. The LGBTQIA+ community is deeply integrated into the city's culture, making it a welcoming and safe space for all. For more info about our community, visit the LGBT Community Center of The Desert.

3. What is the Job Market Like in Palm Springs?

The job market in Palm Springs offers diverse opportunities, with the primary industries being tourism, hospitality, healthcare, education, and technology. In comparison, Chicago boasts a more extensive job market, with significant sectors including finance, manufacturing, and technology. That said, the increasing popularity of remote work has made Palm Springs an attractive option for professionals seeking a better work-life balance and a more relaxed environment. Overall, while Chicago may provide a wider range of job opportunities, Palm Springs offers a unique mix of industries and a more laid-back lifestyle that can be highly appealing to those looking to escape the fast-paced city life. Check out the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for more comparisons.

4. Is Palm Springs an Expensive Place to Live?

While Palm Springs has a higher cost of living than the national average, it still presents an appealing option for those looking to relocate from Chicago. Other living expenses such as utilities and healthcare are generally lower in Palm Springs, somewhat offsetting the higher housing costs. Despite some higher costs, Palm Springs offers a more relaxed and comfortable lifestyle, with a lower cost of living than many other major cities in California. Therefore, if you're looking for a change of pace, Palm Springs is an attractive choice that can still provide excellent value for your investment. See Numbeo and Expatistan for a more detailed cost of living comparison.

5. How Bad is the Heat in Palm Springs?

Palm Springs is known for its hot summers, with average high temperatures reaching 107°F in July. However, the city's low humidity and cool desert nights make the heat more bearable than the sticky, humid summers experienced in Chicago. Plus, with year-round sunshine, outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of the pleasant weather throughout the year. Check out NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information for more historical weather comparisons.

6. How Secure is the Water Supply in Palm Springs?

Despite its desert location, Palm Springs has a reliable water supply thanks to the Coachella Valley Water District. The city utilizes a mix of imported water, groundwater, and recycled water to meet the needs of residents and businesses. Palm Springs' water supply comes primarily from the local groundwater aquifer, which is replenished by the Colorado River through the Coachella Canal. The city's water supply is considered secure, but as with any desert region, water conservation is essential. Palm Springs and the surrounding areas have implemented various water conservation measures to help ensure a sustainable water supply for the long term. Visit the Coachella Valley Water District for more detailed information.

Now, Let's Dive Into a Detailed Comparison Between Both Cities:

Population: Palm Springs (48,518) vs. Chicago (2,693,976)
Median Income (Household): Palm Springs ($58,000) vs. Chicago ($62,000)
Median Home Cost: Palm Springs ($665,000) vs. Chicago ($335,000)
Median Age: Palm Springs (54.1) vs. Chicago (34.6)
Food & Groceries Index: Palm Springs (103) vs. Chicago (94.2)
Housing Index: Palm Springs (231) vs. Chicago (92.9)
Utilities Index: Palm Springs (109) vs. Chicago (92.8)
Transportation Index: Palm Springs (114) vs. Chicago (138.2)
Health Index: Palm Springs (97) vs. Chicago (100.8)
Comfort Index Score: Palm Springs (8.7/10) vs. Chicago (6.7/10)
Elevation: Palm Springs (479 ft) vs. Chicago (597 ft)
Sperling Drought Index: Palm Springs (469) vs. Chicago (413)
Average High Temperature in July: Palm Springs (107°F) vs. Chicago (84°F)
Average Low Temperature in January: Palm Springs (44°F) vs. Chicago (22°F)
Air Quality Index: Palm Springs (45.4 AQI) vs. Chicago (62.5 AQI)
Water Quality Index: Palm Springs (75/100) vs. Chicago (56/100)
*All data was gathered from Please note that the cost of living indices are based on a US average of 100. An amount below 100 means the city is cheaper than the US average, while an amount above 100 means it is more expensive.

Here Are Some Other Things You Might Consider if You’re Contemplating Relocating From Chicago to Palm Springs.


When comparing housing between Chicago and Palm Springs, you'll find that the median home cost in Palm Springs is higher at $665,000, while in Chicago, it stands at $335,000. However, this difference is offset by the unique desert charm and relaxed atmosphere that Palm Springs offers, making it an attractive option for home buyers seeking a change of pace from the bustling city life while still providing excellent value for your investment.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in both Palm Springs and Chicago is approximately 20% higher than the national average. While housing costs in Palm Springs are higher than those in Chicago, Palm Springs offers lower utilities and healthcare expenses, providing a more balanced cost of living experience. Furthermore, Palm Springs is more affordable than many other major cities in California, presenting a unique opportunity to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle with a comparable cost of living, while also benefiting from the exceptional quality of life the low desert provides.

Cultural Scene

Palm Springs is a thriving cultural hub, offering year-round arts and cultural events, including the Palm Springs International Film Festival and Modernism Week. While Chicago boasts a more extensive cultural scene with renowned institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Palm Springs provides a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere for art enthusiasts. Additionally, Palm Springs' close proximity to Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas ensures that world-class cultural offerings are just a short drive away.

Food and Dining

Both Palm Springs and Chicago are known for their diverse culinary scenes. While Chicago is famous for its deep-dish pizza and hot dogs, Palm Springs offers a range of dining experiences, from trendy farm-to-table eateries to classic American diners. Outdoor dining is a common feature in Palm Springs, allowing residents to enjoy the pleasant climate while savoring a delicious meal. While the food and grocery index is slightly higher in Palm Springs compared to Chicago, the variety and quality of dining options make it an exciting destination for food lovers.

Overall, swapping Chicago's skyscrapers for Palm Springs' palm trees is a smart move for those seeking a safer, more inclusive, and relaxed environment. The city's climate provides plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures for outdoor enthusiasts, and its strategic location near major cultural hubs like Los Angeles and San Diego ensures that you'll never run out of things to do.
What Other Questions Do You Have?
Consider an experienced and knowledgeable local real estate agent (like me) to help you make sense of things.
If you’re ready to buy and/or sell yourself, I look forward to assisting you. I promise to give you a much more targeted answer than Google or the news will ever be able to.
Please feel free to give me a call, text, email me – or let’s schedule a Zoom meeting.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
Your Palm Springs Insider,
Glen Nadeau
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PS- Are you a part of the LGBTQ+ community and looking to relocate to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley? Check out our FREE “Palm Springs Enthusiasts LGBTQ+ Relocation Guide” and find out why Palm Springs is such an oasis of Pride and inclusivity – brought to you by The Palm Springs Guys and Glen Nadeau Real Estate 🏳️‍🌈

*We cannot guarantee any of the above statements or third-party links. Before you enter any transaction, you should read and review all contracts, leases, and information as they are unique and subject to changes. We recommend you consult with your accountant, attorney, tax advisor, and local real estate professionals prior to any real estate transactions.

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