‘Best of’ lists: Galesburg is friendly and has some of the most affordable housing in the US.

Taste of Galesburg
Taste of Galesburg, 2019. (Photo by Jay Redfern)

We have affordable real estate, the best pizza, and now we are really nice. Galesburg has been named to another “best of” list, this time landing as one of the 11 Friendliest Towns in Illinois.

The website World Atlas last week listed recognized 11 Illinois cities it considers friendly. WorldAtlas is one of the largest publishing resources in geography and other topics it covers, including sociology, demography, environment, economics, politics, and travel.

The story starts:

Illinois, known as the “Land of Lincoln,” has iconic landmarks, vibrant cities, and charming and welcoming towns. From friendly locals to warm community atmospheres, these towns offer genuine Midwestern hospitality that will make you feel right at home. Whether you’re exploring historic streets, towns like Galena and Springfield provide a glimpse into the state’s past, with well-preserved architecture and notable landmarks like the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, enjoying local festivals, or simply striking up conversations with locals, these 11 towns in Illinois are known for their friendliness and welcoming spirit.

Joining Galesburg on the list, in no particular order, are: Galena, Naperville, Geneva, Quincy, Springfield, Champaign-Urbana, Metropolis, Alton, Mount Vernon and St. Charles.

The entry on Galesburg starts:

Galesburg is a picturesque town nestled in western Illinois and is widely known for its warm and friendly atmosphere. Replete with small-town charm, welcoming locals, and a strong sense of community, Galesburg offers a delightful experience for visitors seeking a friendly destination. One of the defining characteristics of Galesburg is its tight-knit community. Residents take great pride in their town and are known for their hospitality and genuine friendliness towards visitors. Whether exploring the historic downtown district or attending local events, you’ll be greeted with smiles, engaging conversations, and a warm sense of belonging.

You can read more about Galesburg and 10 other “friendly” Illinois towns on the World Atlas website.

The story ends:

From the historic streets of Galena to the vibrant atmosphere of Champaign-Urbana, these 11 towns in Illinois embody the friendliness and welcoming spirit of the Midwest. Whether exploring local attractions, enjoying community events, or simply conversing with locals, you’ll experience the genuine hospitality that makes these towns unique.

World Atlas apparently really likes us. Earlier this year, it recognized Galesburg on 7 Coolest Small Towns in Illinois For a Summer Vacation.

Galesburg ranks nationally for affordable small towns

Galesburg also is really affordable. According to Realtor.com, Galesburg comes in at No. 5 on its 10 Most Affordable Small Towns Where You’d Actually Like To Live, 2023 Edition.

To find these desirable small towns, the Realtor.com data team looked at real estate in every U.S. “micropolitan area,” the collection of counties with a population between 10,000 and 50,000. They then we pulled together U.S. Census Bureau data detailing the dining, entertainment, recreation, and quality-of-life business establishments in the area, and calculated their rate per 100,000. Realtor.com ranked the towns using an equal combination of those categories, as well as home list prices.

The listing for Galesburg reads:

5. Galesburg

Median list price: $127,425

Of all of the places on our list, Galesburg is the cheapest, with prices 70% below the national average. That’s after about a 25% appreciation compared with before the pandemic, without any real slump in prices over the past year of mortgage interest rate hikes.

… Buyers can snag a three-bedroom, one-bathroom ranch for just under $80,000. Or they can “splurge” on a three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home on the market for $185,000.

Galesburg is the only Illinois city to make the realtor.com list. Ranking ahead of Galesburg are:

  1. Cortland, New York
  2. Kearney, Nebraska
  3. Branson, Missouri
  4. Sandusky, Ohio
  5. Galesburg, Illinois

And while we are being friendly in an affordable place to live, don’t forget the pizza! In January, Yelp released its Top 100 Pizza Places for 2023, and baked at 57 S. Seminary St. in Galesburg comes in at No. 40 overall and No. 1 in Illinois.