DeKalb, IL
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Living in DeKalb


DeKalb is a medium-sized city located in the state of Illinois. With a population of 43,211 people and eight constituent neighborhoods, DeKalb is the 34th largest community in Illinois.

Unlike some cities where white-collar or blue-collar occupations dominate the local economy, DeKalb is neither predominantly one nor the other. Instead, it has a mixed workforce of both white- and blue-collar jobs. Overall, DeKalb is a city of sales and office workers, professionals, and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in DeKalb who work in office and administrative support (14.53%), sales jobs (12.92%), and food service (11.10%).

Because DeKalb has a very large number of students who are 18 years or older and in college, it is thought of as a college town. This has a major influence on local DeKalb lifestyle, entertainment, and culture in general. Life in DeKalb is very much tied to the academic calendar: when students return from the summer break in the fall, one will notice them out and about, buying groceries, out with friends, and generally getting re-acquainted with each other. In DeKalb people study hard and play hard, and there is ample opportunity to do both.

DeKalb has a lot of people who ride the bus to and from work. In fact, for its size, DeKalb has quite a high level of public transit users. DeKalb’s need for inexpensive transportation options for its citizens is quite high.

The citizens of DeKalb are very well educated compared to the average community in the nation: 35.00% of adults in DeKalb have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree.

The per capita income in DeKalb in 2010 was $19,088, which is low income relative to Illinois, and lower middle income relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $76,352 for a family of four. However, DeKalb contains both very wealthy and poor people as well. DeKalb also has one of the higher rates of people living in poverty in the nation, with 32.29% of its population below the federal poverty line.

DeKalb is a very ethnically-diverse city. The people who call DeKalb home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of DeKalb residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. DeKalb also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 13.21% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in DeKalb include Irish, Italian, Polish, and English.

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