Charleston, IL
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Living in Charleston


Charleston is a medium-sized city located in the state of Illinois. With a population of 21,196 people and four constituent neighborhoods, Charleston is the 116th largest community in Illinois.

Charleston is neither predominantly blue-collar nor white-collar, instead having a mixed workforce of both blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Overall, Charleston is a city of sales and office workers, service providers, and professionals. There are especially a lot of people living in Charleston who work in office and administrative support (17.12%), food service (12.74%), and sales jobs (11.45%).

Charleston 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 Charleston 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. Charleston’s economy is one such example of this.

One of the benefits of Charleston is that there is very little traffic. The average commute to work is 16.42 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.

In terms of college education, Charleston is substantially better educated than the typical community in the nation, which has 21.84% of the adults holding a bachelor's degree or graduate degree: 32.45% of adults in Charleston have a college degree.

The per capita income in Charleston in 2010 was $17,511, which is low income relative to Illinois and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $70,044 for a family of four. However, Charleston contains both very wealthy and poor people as well. Charleston also has one of the higher rates of people living in poverty in the nation, with 35.00% of its population below the federal poverty line.

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

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

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