Carbondale, IL
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Living in Carbondale


Carbondale is a medium-sized city located in the state of Illinois. With a population of 26,379 people and seven constituent neighborhoods, Carbondale is the 84th largest community in Illinois.

Carbondale is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 91.37% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Carbondale is a city of professionals, sales and office workers, and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in Carbondale who work in teaching (18.68%), office and administrative support (16.81%), and food service (10.08%).

Carbondale is also a major college town with a large number of people who are 18 years or older and attending college. As is often the case in college towns, the many students that live in Carbondale have a strong influence on the local culture and entertainment scene, which may seem dormant by comparison in the summer months when much of the student population is away. In the fall, the return of students has a reinvigorating effect on the community. Because colleges are lasting institutions, they have a stabilizing effect on the economy by providing direct local benefits such as jobs for faculty and staff and spending by students. Carbondale’s economy is one such example of this.

One of the benefits of Carbondale is that there is very little traffic. The average commute to work is 13.58 minutes, which is substantially less than the national average. Not only does this mean that the drive to work is less aggravating, but noise and pollution levels are lower as a result.

The citizens of Carbondale are among the most well-educated in the nation: 45.97% of adults in Carbondale have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree, whereas the average US city has 21.84% holding at least a bachelor's degree.

The per capita income in Carbondale in 2010 was $14,302, which is low income relative to Illinois and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $57,208 for a family of four. However, Carbondale contains both very wealthy and poor people as well. Carbondale also has one of the higher rates of people living in poverty in the nation, with 50.68% of its population below the federal poverty line.

Carbondale is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Carbondale home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Carbondale residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Important ancestries of people in Carbondale include Irish, English, Italian, and Polish.

The most common language spoken in Carbondale is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Arabic.