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 42,611 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 sales jobs (13.15%), office and administrative support (10.95%), and food service (10.93%).

Also of interest is that DeKalb has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

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

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

The citizens of DeKalb are very well educated compared to the average community in the nation: 37.33% of adults in DeKalb have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree.

The per capita income in DeKalb in 2010 was $22,473, which is lower middle income relative to Illinois and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $89,892 for a family of four. However, DeKalb contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

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 13.46% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in DeKalb include German, Irish, English, Polish, and Italian.

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