Champaign County, Illinois

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Not to be confused with Champaign, Illinois.
Champaign County, Illinois
Champaign County Courthouse Urbana Illinois from north.jpg
Champaign County Courthouse
Seal of Champaign County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Champaign County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the United States highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Founded 1833
Named for Champaign County, Ohio
Seat Urbana
Largest city Champaign
 • Total 998 sq mi (2,585 km2)
 • Land 996 sq mi (2,580 km2)
 • Water 2.1 sq mi (5 km2), 0.2%
 • Total 201,081
 • Density 202/sq mi (78/km²)
Congressional districts 13th, 15th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Champaign County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 201,081.[1] It is the 10th-most populous county in Illinois. Its county seat is Urbana.[2]

Champaign County is part of the Champaign–Urbana, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area. The twin cities of Urbana and Champaign are the only cities in the county and they nearly surround the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Champaign County was organized in 1833, having been previously a part of Vermilion County. The county and county seat were named for Champaign County, Ohio and Urbana, Ohio respectively, the homeplace of the Illinois legislator who sponsored the bill to create the county. The development of the county was greatly furthered by the arrival of the Chicago Branch of the Illinois Central Railroad, and even more by the establishment of the land-grant university. Later, the county also got an airport and a mass transit district. The northern part of the county experienced an economic and demographic setback with the closing of Chanute Air Training Center in the 1990s. In the 2004 Presidential election, it was one of only 15 of the 102 Illinois counties where John Kerry received a majority of the vote (50.98%).[3]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 998 square miles (2,580 km2), of which 996 square miles (2,580 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (0.2%) is water.[4] It is the fifth-largest county in Illinois by land area.

Because Champaign County is situated on a large and very flat plateau, it had virtually no natural drainage, so that much of the County consisted of wetlands until drainage ditches were built, beginning in the 1870s. This was an example of an upland marsh, which resulted in a high incidence of malaria before the late nineteenth century.

The topography of Champaign County was formed by the Wisconsin Glacier about 20,000 years before the present. Lobes of ice from what is now Lake Michigan crossed the county, creating a deep pile of glacial soil, up to 300 feet thick, topped by numerous moraines forming small, flat watersheds with no outlets.

Champaign County is situated on the divide between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Rivers flow out of Champaign County to the east, west, and south. The Kaskaskia River has its origin to the northwest of Champaign, draining the western side of that City. The Kaskaskia flows toward the southwest, joining the Mississippi south of St. Louis, Missouri.

The Embarras River, on the other hand, drains the south-central portion of the Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Area, originating in southeastern Champaign and flowing through the experimental fields on the southern part of the campus of the University of Illinois. The Embarras is a tributary to the Wabash River and Ohio River systems. The northeast corner of Champaign, the central portion of the University campus, and the northern part of Urbana are drained by the Boneyard Creek, which flows into the Saline Ditch, a tributary of the Vermilion and Wabash Rivers.

Champaign County Courthouse in Urbana

Adjacent counties[edit]


Corn and soybean fields dominate the rural parts of Champaign County

Major highways[edit]


The following public-use airports are located in the county:[5]

Climate and weather[edit]

Urbana, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[6]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Urbana have ranged from a low of 16 °F (−9 °C) in January to a high of 85 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −25 °F (−32 °C) was recorded in January 1999 and a record high of 109 °F (43 °C) was recorded in July 1954. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.90 inches (48 mm) in January to 4.80 inches (122 mm) in May.[6]


2000 census age pyramid for Champaign County with a marked mode for college-aged individuals due to the presence of the University of Illinois.
Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,475
1850 2,649 79.6%
1860 14,629 452.2%
1870 32,737 123.8%
1880 40,863 24.8%
1890 42,159 3.2%
1900 47,622 13.0%
1910 51,829 8.8%
1920 56,959 9.9%
1930 64,273 12.8%
1940 70,578 9.8%
1950 106,100 50.3%
1960 132,436 24.8%
1970 163,281 23.3%
1980 168,392 3.1%
1990 173,025 2.8%
2000 179,669 3.8%
2010 201,081 11.9%
Est. 2013 204,897 1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 179,669 people, 70,597 households, and 39,322 families residing in the county. The population density was 180 people per square mile (70/km²). There were 75,280 housing units at an average density of 76 per square mile (29/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 78.78% White, 11.16% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 6.45% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.34% from other races, and 1.99% from two or more races. 2.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 23.9% were of German, 9.6% Irish, 8.9% English and 7.4% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 88.7% spoke only English, 2.9% Spanish at home, while 1.7% spoke Chinese or Mandarin and 1.3% Korean.

There were 70,597 households out of which 27.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.60% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.30% were non-families. 31.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county the population was spread out with 21.00% under the age of 18, 23.10% from 18 to 24, 28.20% from 25 to 44, 18.00% from 45 to 64, and 9.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 101.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,780, and the median income for a family was $52,591. Males had a median income of $36,844 versus $26,421 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,708. About 6.90% of families and 16.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.80% of those under age 18 and 4.90% of those age 65 or over.

The Champaign County Economic Development Corporation (CHCEDC) produced a 2009 County Demographic Profile which includes information on the population, labor, housing, cost of living, education, taxes, retail sales, transportation, quality of life, utilities.[12] CHCEDC also conducts labor force studies every two years and labor shed studies every few years.[13]


Supported by the University of Illinois, through such backings like Research Park, and Champaign County leaders, the area has shown even more growth in Information Technology, Micro/Nanotechnology, Bio-Imaging, Healthcare, Logistics, Distribution and Agribusiness in recent years.[14]

The Top 2009 Employers of the county are the University of Illinois, Carle Clinic Association, Carle Foundation Hospital, Champaign Schools Unit 4, Kraft Foods, Provena Covenant Medical, Parkland College, Kirby Foods, Christie Clinic Association, Urbana Schools District and Hobbico.[15]


Map of Champaign County Illinois.




Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Presidential vote by county - Illinois". USA Today. 2004-10-27. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ Public and Private Airports, Champaign County, Illinois
  6. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Urbana, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ [3][dead link]
  15. ^ [4][dead link]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°08′N 88°12′W / 40.14°N 88.20°W / 40.14; -88.20