Urbana, IL
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Living in Urbana


Urbana is a medium-sized city located in the state of Illinois. With a population of 42,311 people and 11 constituent neighborhoods, Urbana is the 38th largest community in Illinois.

Urbana is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 90.32% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Urbana is a city of professionals, service providers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Urbana who work in teaching (21.73%), office and administrative support (10.39%), and food service (9.16%).

And if you like science, one thing you'll find is that Urbana has lots of scientists living in town - whether they be life scientists, physical scientists (like astronomers), or social scientists (like geographers!). So, if you're scientific-minded, you might like it here too.

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

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

One of the benefits of Urbana is that there is very little traffic. The average commute to work is 16.37 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.

Many people in Urbana 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 Urbana citizens for affordable transportation.

If knowledge is power, Urbana is a pretty powerful place. 54.55% of the adults in Urbana have earned a 4-year college degree, masters degree, MD, law degree, or even PhD. Compare that to the national average of 21.84% for all cities and towns.

The per capita income in Urbana in 2010 was $20,304, which is lower middle income relative to Illinois and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $81,216 for a family of four. However, Urbana contains both very wealthy and poor people as well. Urbana also has one of the higher rates of people living in poverty in the nation, with 34.53% of its population below the federal poverty line.

Urbana is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Urbana home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Urbana residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. Important ancestries of people in Urbana include Irish, English, Italian, and European.

Urbana also has a high percentage of its population that was born in another country: 19.39%.

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