Department of Numbers

Chicago Illinois Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Chicago, IL (the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metro area) was $1,050 in 2016 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Chicago was $1,105 in 2016. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2017 Chicago median and average rent data will be released in September of 2018.

Data is also available below for Chicago rental vacancy rates, Chicago rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Chicago.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Chicago Illinois (2016 dollars)2

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $981 +0.93% +7.80%
Illinois Median Gross Rent $950 +0.21% +6.74%
Chicago, IL Median Gross Rent $1,050 +2.44% +8.92%

Chicago, IL Real Gross Rent Trends

At $1,050, real median gross rent in Chicago was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005. At $1,105, real average gross rent in Chicago was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent in Chicago: Chicago IL Median, Chicago IL Average, Illinois Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Chicago

Date US
Median
Illinois
Median
Chicago, IL
Median
Chicago, IL
Average
2016 $981 $950 $1,050 $1,105
2015 $972 $948 $1,025 $1,092
2014 $942 $912 $998 $1,066
2013 $910 $890 $964 $1,023
2012 $898 $882 $956 $1,010
2011 $898 $886 $957 $1,017
2010 $912 $905 $974 $1,032
2009 $916 $901 $980 $1,035
2008 $932 $917 $999 $1,050
2007 $885 $879 $953 $1,000
2006 $895 $892 $973 $1,006
2005 $869 $876 $956 $977

Chicago Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2016 the rental vacancy rate for Chicago Illinois was 5.46% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Chicago Illinois

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.89% +0.04% -0.60%
Illinois 6.01% -0.20% -0.15%
Chicago, IL 5.46% +0.24% -0.12%

Trends in Chicago, IL Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Chicago peaked in 2005 at 9.26%. Since then it has fallen by 3.80% to 5.46%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2015 post peak low of 5.22%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.24%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Chicago IL, Illinois, US

Rental vacancy rate in Illinois

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Chicago

Date US Illinois Chicago, IL
2016 5.89% 6.01% 5.46%
2015 5.85% 6.21% 5.22%
2014 6.32% 6.53% 6.26%
2013 6.49% 6.16% 5.58%
2012 6.77% 6.39% 6.58%
2011 7.40% 7.35% 7.62%
2010 8.17% 7.66% 8.14%
2009 8.43% 7.84% 8.73%
2008 7.86% 6.87% 7.43%
2007 7.87% 7.69% 8.01%
2006 7.70% 8.69% 8.95%
2005 7.74% 9.45% 9.26%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Chicago, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Chicago, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 19.09% in 2016 according to the ACS.

Chicago Illinois Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.43% -0.20% -0.35%
Illinois 18.70% -0.15% -0.19%
Chicago, IL 19.09% -0.14% +0.08%

Trends in Chicago, IL Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Chicago household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2011 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 19.45%. Since then it has fallen by 0.36% to 19.09%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Chicago IL, Illinois, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Chicago Illinois

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Chicago Illinois

Date US Illinois Chicago, IL
2016 20.43% 18.70% 19.09%
2015 20.63% 18.85% 19.23%
2014 20.89% 18.91% 19.29%
2013 20.78% 18.89% 19.00%
2012 20.65% 18.89% 19.05%
2011 20.70% 19.36% 19.45%
2010 20.50% 19.21% 19.19%
2009 20.12% 18.41% 18.39%
2008 19.00% 17.31% 17.29%
2007 18.66% 17.36% 17.19%
2006 18.90% 17.56% 17.47%
2005 18.89% 17.52% 17.57%

Renter Fraction in Chicago Illinois

You can calculate the renter fraction in Chicago in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Chicago as a fraction of total Chicago households. In 2016 36.59% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Chicago Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.88% -0.09% +0.38%
Illinois 34.74% +0.02% +0.68%
Chicago, IL 36.59% -0.17% +0.69%

Trends in the Chicago, IL Renter Fraction

The Chicago household renter fraction peaked in in 2015 at 36.76% and is now 0.17% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Chicago IL, Illinois, US

Fraction of renters in Chicago

History of Chicago Renter Fraction

Date US Illinois Chicago, IL
2016 36.88% 34.74% 36.59%
2015 36.97% 34.72% 36.76%
2014 36.90% 34.51% 36.00%
2013 36.50% 34.06% 35.90%
2012 36.09% 33.40% 35.17%
2011 35.42% 32.65% 34.46%
2010 34.65% 32.27% 33.82%
2009 34.13% 32.00% 33.03%
2008 33.36% 30.73% 31.79%
2007 32.80% 29.94% 30.93%
2006 32.73% 30.12% 31.23%
2005 33.10% 30.13% 31.59%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.