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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Springfield, IL

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The state capital of Illinois, Springfield was the home of former President Abraham Lincoln and is located near the Sangamon River. Springfield is the second most populated city outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. Lake Springfield is an artificial man-made lake that provides drinking water and recreation for the residents of Springfield. The lake is owned by City Water, Light & Power Company, commonly referred to as CWLP.

The city lies mostly on a flat plain and includes a great number of popular tourist sites relating to Abraham Lincoln and the time he spent as a resident of Springfield between 1837 and 1861. The city was first settled by European immigrants around 1810, and since then has been growing and expanding at a rapid rate to become one of the biggest cities in the state of Illinois.

This guide will help to ease your transition to Springfield if you happen to be moving there and will provide you with a lot of helpful information on the school system, the employment opportunities and the recreational activities that the city offers its residents.

Springfield Climate

Although the name may lead you to believe such, it's not always spring in Springfield! In fact, it's location in Illinois can lead to some pretty brutal winter weather.

Cold winters and warm summers characterize the humid continental climate of Springfield. Minor fluctuations in temperature, humidity, cloudiness, and wind direction are observed habitually. The spring and fall seasons feature comfortably warm sunny days and a crisp breeze, and are considered a pleasant time to visit Springfield.

The weather in the city is highly influenced by Lake Michigan which moderates the temperature and boosts the snowfall for the city significantly during the winter months.

Springfield Neighborhoods

Springfield is a fairly large city, especially for the Midwest, and thus it contains a large number of diverse and distinct neighborhoods. There are at least 20 different separately designated neighborhoods in the city of Springfield. Some of these neighborhoods include Harvard Park, Hawthorne Place, Lincoln Park, East Side, Bunn Park, Twin Lakes, Oak Ridge, Northgate and Laketown, among many others.

The city of Springfield is organized on a grid street system, like many other big cities. Longitudinal streets are numbered and run from First Street all the way to 32nd street, while the latitudinal streets are named after former presidents, notable residents of both Springfield and the state of Illinois, and other important American landmarks and institutions.

Living Costs in the City

The city of Springfield has a moderate cost of living, which is much lower than the cost of a bigger city like Chicago, but slightly higher than average. The median family income of Springfield residents is $63,033 and the median home price is $107,500. The job growth in Springfield is virtually stagnant however, and according to CNN Money it's currently at a rate of -0.26%.

Compared to the national average job growth of24.63%, it would appear that Springfield has a bit of a problem with generating new jobs and employment opportunities, which can make things difficult if you are going to be moving to the city without a job. Because of this low figure, it might be a wise idea to procure employment before making your move to Springfield, or else it would be best to seek employment elsewhere in a neighboring town or city.

Registering Your Car

Upon your arrival in Illinois after moving to the state permanently, you have a total of 30 days to update your registration and have your vehicle registered in the state before you may be required to pay a penalty.

An Illinois Driver's License can be obtained at any Illinois DMV location. The state requires new Illinois residents to update their license from their previous state to an Illinois driver's license within 90 days of moving. If you fail to update your driver's license within this 90-day window, you may have to pay a fine. Also, there is a $10 fee to update your driver's license.

Springfield Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Springfield, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Illinois. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at Movers.com to get quotes for the following services:

Springfield Schools

The Springfield Public School District 186 operates 24 elementary schools in Springfield and also three high schools including Lanphier High School, Springfield High School and Springfield Southeast High School. Also, campuses of the University of Illinois at Springfield, Benedictine University at Springfield and Robert Morris University are located in Springfield, as well as the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. The Southern Illinois University School of Medicine also includes a cancer institute located in Springfield's Medical District.

There are also five private high schools located in the city, along with five middle schools. The private high schools in the city include Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, Calvary Academy and Lutheran High School.

Springfield Employment

According to the city's 2010 comprehensive annual financial report, the State of Illinois and the Memorial Medical Center are among the top employers in the city, along with St. John's Hospital, Springfield Public Schools, the University of Illinois at Springfield, the Springfield Clinic and the Illinois National Guard.

With an extremely slow job growth rate, the city is not the best place to come look for work. One explanation for this low job growth figure can be attributed to the fact that a majority of the city's biggest employers are the state and local government and politics are not typically known for their inflated job growth numbers. Many of the city's jobs are centered on the state government, with Springfield being the capital of Illinois, and thus government jobs account for over 30,000 of the city's non-agricultural jobs.

The largest private sector employer in the city is Memorial Health Systems, the organization that runs the Memorial Medical Center, which provides jobs for approximately 3,400 employees in Springfield. Overall, the healthcare industry employs anywhere from 17,000 to 18,000 people in the city.

Public Transportation

The nearest airport, the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, offers daily commuter and connecting flights to the Chicago metropolitan area and Chicago O'Hare International Airport. The city also lies in close proximity to Interstate 55 and Interstate 72, which provide commuters access to the surrounding areas. Springfield has an Amtrak station that offers daily services, as well as bus service on the Springfield Mass Transit District (SMTD).

The city of Springfield also happens to be very biker-friendly, which is great news for all of the health-conscious people moving to the city, or anyone who just likes to experience the outdoors with a nice bike ride every once in a while. Whether you're going for a leisurely ride or traveling to and from work, you'll find that the city has constructed bike lanes on a number of streets, as well as several main bike trails including two paved trails, the Interurban Trail, and the Lost Bridge Trail, which traverse the city of Springfield and surrounding areas.

Culture and Contemporary Life

Springfield is a city of rich and diverse culture, stemming from generations of influential Americans who helped to shape the culture of America in one way or another. Along with a long-standing literary tradition, Springfield is also the home to several performing arts centers, including the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Downtown Springfield. As one might expect, the city also features numerous historical sites that are associated with Abraham Lincoln including Lincoln's Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetary, which is where the former president was buried.

Springfield is also home to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site, the Lincoln Depot and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Although Lincoln was not born in Springfield, he lived in the city for 24 years and is, by far, the city's most famous resident.

If you're looking for something with a little more excitement to pass your time in Springfield, look no further than the area's largest amusement park, Knights Action Park and Caribbean Water Park, which is open during the summer season. You can also always catch a minor league baseball game, one of the favorite pastimes for the residents of Springfield.

Moving to Springfield

Whatever your reasons for moving to Springfield, whether it be for a change of scenery or for employment, the city beckons you with its charm. The first step in the process of moving to Springfield is choosing a moving company after first checking their BBB ratings, insurance and license. The moving rates are charged by the hour if you are moving within the state boundary, while for a long distance move the charges will depend on the total weight or volume in cubic feet of your belongings. In the latter case, you can ask about a flat rate or any special discounts that are available with the mover.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on May 15, 2013

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