10 Things to Know Before you Move to Manhattan, IL

Moving to a new place is always a tough decision to make. You have to check different aspects of the place and see if it is the right fit.

Complete with its cultural diversity, energy, and security, Manhattan, Illinois, is one of the best places to live in the state of Illinois. It is part of one of the most important cities globally and lives up to all expectations one might have from an important state in America. To give you a detailed analysis of what life is like in Manhattan, we have compiled a list of essential features that will make you want to move to Manhattan right away. Here are the ten things you need to know about Manhattan before finalizing the decision to move there.

1. Location Matters

Location is the key feature of any city or town in the world. Manhattan is a village in Illinois and is situated in the northeastern part of Illinois state. Lying in the southwest of Chicago, Manhattan is barely 30 miles from there. It’s a simple 40-minute drive from Manhattan to Chicago. A METRA train service is also operational in Manhattan that serves as the perfect ride from Manhattan to Chicago. 

Besides Chicago, the village of Manhattan is bordered by other important cities, including New Lenox, Frankfort, and Joliet. 

Manhattan is the perfect combination of suburbs, rural areas, and downtown areas. Access to other cities of the state is effortless. Part of the 4th most populated county of Illinois, Manhattan’s village is located in Will county.

2. Demographics You Need to Know About

Manhattan is a place with a population count of around 9000 people. The population is steadily growing, and with roughly 1,400 households, Manhattan is a great choice for people who prefer suburbs over urban areas. Given the low population count, the neighborhoods are small and familiar. A hospitable environment welcomes everyone to the village of Manhattan. 

The neighbors are very close, and several festivals and events make the place an excellent choice for families. 

The median age of the Manhattan residents is in the mid-30s that makes it popular with young people who either move to start a family or have recently started a family. Given the village’s facilities and environment, Manhattan is the perfect choice for people starting a new family or with little kids. Among other resources, schooling is very easy and accessible in Manhattan, making it a plus point for young parents. 

3. Cost of Living Is Must-Know

The cost of living in Manhattan isn’t too much, unlike most cities. Manhattan has a median household income of $95k per year, beating the average national income of $63k. This signifies that Manhattan has an upper-middle-class population, with comfortable expenditure and cost of living. 

While not all homes in Manhattan may be affordable to everyone, different types of houses are available for different home-buyers. This diversity in the market allows almost everyone in Manhattan to afford a good house. 

The average cost of a regular single-family home is around $250k-$360k. The different subdivisions in the village allow for a place for everyone to fit in. Whether you’re someone looking for a nice home within a subdivision, a property with acres of land or right in downtown, Manhattan has something to offer for everyone. The diverse housing market provides numerous options for people from all wakes of life. It also helps in diversifying the kinds of homes available in Manhattan. 

4. Public Transportation

Transport is a very important feature for Manhattan and Chicago populations. Commute allows for multiple businesses to carry out between the two cities. The METRA train that runs between the two places is the perfect commute option for people working in Chicago. It makes another city easily accessible and makes up for any services that Manhattan may not provide. 

Midway International Airport is just a 45-minute drive from Manhattan and O’Hare is another 10 minutes. Different roads and highways also help make the commute safer and faster from Manhattan. Situated mere minutes away from 3 very important interstate highways, I-355, I-55, and I-80, Manhattan also serves as the perfect spot to drive through highways to your desired states. 

While Manhattan remains a small city, its networks and connections to other states and cities in the state make it the perfect spot for transport, delivery, communication, and business activity. 

5. Education Is the Key Factor!

Another very important factor, especially for families with children, is the education in an area. Access to good, affordable schools and colleges can make or break the deal for parents who’re looking to settle with their kids. Having said that, the education system in Manhattan is something that greatly appeals to parents. 

Manhattan schools are covered by School District 114, which is one of the more-recognized and developed districts in the state of Illinois. Presently, there are three schools in the district. These serve kids from elementary to junior high school. 

For kids in high school, the Lincoln-Way West High School in New Lenox is a great option. Still, given the recognition and success given to Lincoln-Way West High School, it is an excellent option for many parents. Manhattan also has St. Joseph’s private catholic school on North St at an affordable cost compared to most private schools in the southwest suburbs. 


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6. Local Amenities Matter

Manhattan has a very tight-knit community with all imaginable amenities and services provided for its residents. From several businesses, food chains, restaurants, churches, salons, and spas, you will find Manhattan equipped with all necessary amenities. Central park offers a fishing ponds, splash pad, baseball field, basketball court, pavilions and a NEOS 360! Which is a 360 degree head-spinning, body-twisting, heart-pounding activity that’s tons of fun. Its’ circular design builds peripheral vision, and auditory and spatial awareness skills. NEOS 360 features eight games, one and two player options as well as team play for athletes and learners alike. 

Entertainment and sports don’t end at the park. Manhattan provides excellent opportunities for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. 

Proving its hospitality and friendliness, Manhattan has the loveliest collection of bakeries, pubs, malls, and a wine bar. A shopping day out with your family or a night out with your friends can be the perfect outing in a small town. Major stores like Target and Walmart are also at a distance of just 15 minutes. You can easily make a trip to one without any hassle. 

Safety is also a significant factor, and Manhattan is one of the safest cities in the state. It is ranked at number 3 as the safest city in Illinois. The Manhattan police & fire departments aptly do their job and even go around engaging with the common public on holidays, especially the kids. 

7. Safety is of Utmost Importance

As previously mentioned, Manhattan is the 3rd safest city in Illinois, resulting from the police and firefighting department doing a great job at keeping the city safe. The city’s crime rates are astonishingly low, and as of March 2021, the reported number of sexual offenders in the city is 7. That is about a 1 to 1064 ratio of sexual offenders to the common public. 

The City-Data crime index measures crimes in society and weighs each crime according to the offense. A higher score represents a higher crime rate. The national average for the U.S. is 270.6, whereas the index for Manhattan is 20.8. This is a tenfold decrease in crime rates which truly depicts how safe and secure the village of Manhattan is. 

Besides the police force, the residents play an active role in keeping their community safe. They do this by looking out for one another and having each other’s backs. 

8. Neighboring Towns

Unlike many other small towns and cities, Manhattan is not cut off from the outside world. Being only a few miles away from a number of important cities and towns, Manhattan provides its residents the opportunity to indulge in services provided outside the borders of Manhattan through a quick drive through town. 

A 15 minute drive can access many big fast-food chains and shopping centers without the hassle of getting stuck in traffic. You can shop to your heart’s content and head back to the serene and quiet environment of your home. You get all the perks of big cities plus the peace and quality of suburbs, all-in-one, in Manhattan. 

Even heading out on trips and meeting friends and family in adjoint towns is not a hassle, and you won’t have to preplan week-long trips just to see your loved ones. You can quickly head out any time you want. 

9. Thriving Businesses

Given that Manhattan is a small suburban town, the businesses prevailing in the city are also small-scale. These businesses thrive in Manhattan because they can easily cater to Manhattan’s population without there being much competition. Different brands have been established for different services. 

A local bakery that goes by the name Kirby’s Corner offers a wide range of treats for the residents to indulge in. From freshly baked bread, cookies, and cakes to pies and donuts, they serve everything you could ask for from a bakery. Whether you’re looking for a simple breakfast or a birthday celebration, you can head to Kirby’s Corner. 

For a night out, there are multiple pubs in town that are located near one another. Getting to the bars and having a few drinks has never been easier. A posh wine bar is located in downtown Manhattan and is a perfect place for parties and celebrations. 

Along with these, a creamery, animal hospital, fitness center, grocery store, and spa are all within walking distance from the heart of the city. 

10. Cultural Diversity and Feel

While there is not much cultural diversity in Manhattan and most of the population consists of white Americans, the feel of the city makes it a lovely place to settle in. The safe and secure community is a result of the friendly and protective residents that not only have each other’s backs but always try to improve their community and society through their actions. The residents take an active part in making newcomers feel welcome and at home. 

Local businesses cater to most of your needs and provide a superb experience. However, even if there is something that you can’t find in Manhattan, you can simply take a short drive to any nearby town and get what you need without any problems. You can even take a trip through the METRA to Chicago and come back within the day. 

Overall, Manhattan checks all the boxes one might look out for when trying to settle in a place. With the right amenities, social values, safety and security, and infrastructure facilities, Manhattan provides everything you need in a small city. 

The safety and crime rate index is just one of the fantastic features of this place, unmirrored by most other cities. That, coupled with the friendliness and hospitality of the people of Manhattan, provides a perfect environment for growth and prosperity.

Manhattan is the right fit, no matter what kind of house you’re looking for or if you have a specific neighborhood in mind. A wide range of housing options are available to anyone who wishes to settle here. From condos, duplexes, to single-family homes, Manhattan has a wie variety of options. 


With a beautiful community, fully functional amenities, police protective forces, and education possibilities, Manhattan scores

 a 10/10 based on all reviewed aspects and features. We have yet to come across a feature that Manhattan doesn’t provide. Away from the noisy, rickety life of the city and the completely blanketed rural life, Manhattan provides just the right balance.

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