Charleston is a medium-sized city located in the state of Illinois. With a population of 20,186 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 professionals, service providers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Charleston who work in teaching (11.02%), office and administrative support (10.93%), and sales jobs (10.16%).
In addition, Charleston is a major college town that has a very high percentage of its residents over 18 years old who are college students. Naturally, collegiate life has a major influence on local Charleston culture, lifestyle and entertainment options. Charleston really pulses to the beat of the academic calendar. In Charleston every fall, returning students reinvigorate the community, who you will notice are all over town, buying groceries, out with friends, and getting acquainted or re-acquainted with each other and Charleston. One of the beneficial effects that colleges provide is that they tend to be lasting institutions that deliver direct economic benefits to the local economy in the form of such things as jobs for faculty and staff, and spending by students. Charleston benefits directly from this.
Charleston, while not large, also appears to be attractive to some younger, educated professionals, who help shape the character of the city.
Residents of the city have the good fortune of having one of the shortest daily commutes compared to the rest of the country. On average, they spend only 16.11 minutes getting to work every day.
The citizens of Charleston are very well educated compared to the average community in the nation: 35.48% of adults in Charleston have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree.
The per capita income in Charleston in 2010 was $23,631, which is lower middle income relative to Illinois and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $94,524 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 32.11% 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 German, Irish, English, Italian, and European.
The most common language spoken in Charleston is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Chinese.