DeKalb, IL
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DeKalb profile


Living in DeKalb


DeKalb is a medium-sized city located in the state of Illinois. With a population of 43,193 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, service providers, and professionals. There are especially a lot of people living in DeKalb who work in office and administrative support (13.45%), sales jobs (12.41%), and food service (11.42%).

In addition, DeKalb 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 DeKalb culture, lifestyle and entertainment options. DeKalb really pulses to the beat of the academic calendar. In DeKalb 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 DeKalb. 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. DeKalb benefits directly from this.

DeKalb, while not large, also appears to be attractive to some younger, educated professionals, who help shape the character of the city.

Many people in DeKalb take advantage of public transportation to get around. In fact, for the size of the city, the number of people who use the bus to commute to work is quite high. This helps to fill a need among DeKalb citizens for affordable transportation.

The education level of DeKalb citizens is very high relative to the national average among all cities (21.84%): 37.19% of adults in DeKalb have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree.

The per capita income in DeKalb in 2010 was $20,987, 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 $83,948 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 30.80% of its population below the federal poverty line.

DeKalb is an extremely 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 13.00% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in DeKalb include German, Irish, Polish, English, and Italian.

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