Get A Free Moving Quote

Cities in Central Illinois 🗺️ | Explore Central Illinois Cities & Towns to Visit + Live!

Last Updated on: 7th April 2024, 08:09 pm

Are you considering a move to Central Illinois? Located in the heartland of the United States, Central Illinois offers Midwest living at its finest, with a fantastic blend of small-town charm and bustling urban centers. Follow along as we take a look at some of the most notable cities in Central Illinois, providing insights into their culture, amenities, job opportunities, and more. All of the data comes directly from the United States Census.

Central Illinois

Central Illinois is a region of Illinois, consisting of the entire central third of the state. This section of Illinois is also known as the “Heart of Illinois,” and features several quaint towns and mid-sized cities. Central Illinois offers a great mix of urban and residential living, with vibrant city centers as well as abundant nature and green space. The region has a population of 1.87 million and consists of 45 different counties.

Many people move to Central Illinois for the incredible job opportunities, and some of the major employers in the area include:

Central Illinois is incredibly popular among families due to the amazing schooling options in the area. You’ll find top-rated school districts like Peoria Public Schools and Bloomington Public Schools, as well as famous higher education options like Illinois State University and University of Illinois Springfield.

Cities in Central Illinois

What cities are in Central Illinois? These are the 10 most populous Central Illinois cities.

#1 Springfield

When it comes to cities in Central Illinois, Springfield is at the top of the list. As the state capital, Springfield boasts a rich heritage, with landmarks like the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum drawing visitors from all over the country. Beyond its historical significance, Springfield is known for its great neighborhoods. Whether you prefer the leafy streets of Oak Ridge, the bustling vibe of Downtown, or the suburban paradise of Koke Mill East, there is a Springfield neighborhood for you. Throughout the years, Springfield has been home to several notable people, such as President Abraham Lincoln, actress Cecily Strong, and NFL player Malik Turner.

  • Springfield population: 114,394
  • Springfield population growth %: -1.5% since 2010
  • Springfield area: 61.2 square miles
  • Springfield median age: 41.3
  • Springfield median household income: $62,419
  • Springfield median house price: $141,000
  • Springfield crime rate: 2,026 crimes per 100,000 people (2.1% higher than state average and 13.6% lower than national average)
  • Springfield Map

#2 Peoria

Peoria is situated along the Illinois River and is one of the most urban areas of Central Illinois. Peoria offers a diverse array of amenities, from trendy restaurants like One World to lively entertainment venues like Peoria Civic Center. The city is known for its strong economy and is driven by the healthcare, manufacturing, and technology industries. According to PayScale, the average salary in Peoria is $68,000 per year. A few of the top employers in the city include Caterpillar, Bradley University, and the City of Peoria.

  • Peoria population: 113,150
  • Peoria population growth %: -1.6% since 2010
  • Peoria area: 48 square miles
  • Peoria median age: 35.4
  • Peoria median household income: $58,068
  • Peoria median house price: $30,000
  • Peoria crime rate: 2,039 crimes per 100,000 people (2.7% higher than state average and 13.1% lower than national average)
  • Peoria Map

#3 Champaign

If you are searching for Central Illinois cities as a college student, then you may want to consider Champaign. Champaign is best known for being home to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the city boasts a vibrant student-living atmosphere. When living in the area, you can enjoy an abundance of dining options, such as Merry Ann’s Diner and Seven Saints, as well as several outdoor activities at places like West Side Park and Hessel Park. Many people are drawn to this thriving city because of the low cost of living in Champaign. The Cost of Living Index in the area is 87.6, meaning that the city is 12.4% more affordable than the national average of 100. The median home price in the area is $195,000, which is well below the national average of $412,778.

  • Champaign population: 88,302
  • Champaign population growth %: 8.9% since 2010
  • Champaign area: 23 square miles
  • Champaign median age: 27.3
  • Champaign median household income: $58,273
  • Champaign median house price: $195,000
  • Champaign crime rate: 1,459 crimes per 100,000 people (26.5% lower than state average and 37.8% lower than national average)
  • Champaign Map

#4 Bloomington

With a population of just under 80,000, Bloomington is the county seat of McLean County and is only 2.3 miles away from the city of Normal. Bloomington is one of the safest cities in Central Illinois, with a crime rate that is 65.3% lower than the state average and 70.6% lower than the national average. Because of the low crime rates, Bloomington is a very popular place to live among families. In this area, you’ll find top-rated schools as well as fun, family-friendly attractions such as the Miller Park Zoo and the Children’s Discovery Museum.

  • Bloomington population: 78,680
  • Bloomington population growth %: 2.7% since 2010
  • Bloomington area: 27.1 square miles
  • Bloomington median age: 37.8
  • Bloomington median household income: $73,119
  • Bloomington median house price: $221,000
  • Bloomington crime rate: 689 crimes per 100,000 people (65.3% lower than state average and 70.6% lower than national average)
  • Bloomington Map

#5 Decatur

Decatur is situated in Macon County and is one of the best cities in Central Illinois. Known for being the first home of President Abraham Lincoln, Decatur offers a great blend of urban and rural living. Downtown Decatur has been revitalized in recent years and is a wonderful, walkable area with several apartment-living options, such as AMLI Decatur and 1133 on the Square. According to RentCafe, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Decatur ranges from $670 to $790 per month.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 1133 on the Square (@1133onthesquare)

  • Decatur population: 70,522
  • Decatur population growth %: -7.3% since 2010
  • Decatur area: 43.2 square miles
  • Decatur median age: 39.6
  • Decatur median household income: $49,039
  • Decatur median house price: $120,000
  • Decatur crime rate: 1,902 crimes per 100,000 people (4.2% lower than state average and 18.9% lower than national average)
  • Decatur Map

#6 Normal

With a population of just over 50,000, Normal is one of the most popular Central Illinois cities. Normal is one of the youngest cities in Central Illinois, with a median age of only 25.2. This young population is largely due to the city being home to Illinois State University, which has an enrollment of over 21,000 students. The area around the university, known as “Uptown Normal,” is bursting with life and home to several shopping, entertainment, and nightlife opportunities. Many people living in Normal commute to Bloomington to work, as there is only 2.7 miles between the two cities.

  • Normal population: 52,736
  • Normal population growth %: 0.4% since 2010
  • Normal area: 18.4 square miles
  • Normal median age: 25.2
  • Normal median household income: $63,965
  • Normal median house price: $255,000
  • Normal crime rate: 404 crimes per 100,000 people (79.6% lower than national average and 82.8% lower than national average)
  • Normal Map

#7 Quincy


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Wayne Wienke (@usmcwayne)

Once a thriving transportation center, the riverfront city of Quincy is one of the best places to live in Central Illinois. Situated along the gorgeous Mississippi River, Quincy is home to several historic districts, including the Downtown Quincy Historic District and South Side German Historic District. Residents living in the area enjoy a laid-back lifestyle, with plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, including parks, trails, and boating along the river. The city hosts several cultural events and festivals throughout the year, including The Dogwood Parade and Festival and the Quincy Freedom Fest.

  • Quincy population: 39,463
  • Quincy population growth %: -2.8% since 2010
  • Quincy area: 15.8 square miles
  • Quincy median age: 40.5
  • Quincy median household income: $54,199
  • Quincy median house price: $132,000
  • Quincy crime rate: 963 crimes per 100,000 people (51.5% lower than state average and 59.0% lower than national average)
  • Quincy Map

#8 Urbana

Located just 2.5 miles east of Downtown Champaign, Urbana is one of the best cities in Central Illinois. Urbana is home to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is therefore, very popular among college students. In addition to the amazing higher education opportunities, the city is also known for its top-rated public school system. Urbana School District #116 is ranked by Niche as one of the most diverse school districts in Illinois and provides a student-to-teacher ratio of 12 to 1. The family-friendly neighborhoods in Urbana are full of beautiful single-family homes with spacious yards and safe, sidewalk-lined streets.

  • Urbana population: 38,336
  • Urbana population growth %: -7.0% since 2010
  • Urbana area: 11.8 square miles
  • Urbana median age: 25.5
  • Urbana median household income: $41,115
  • Urbana median house price: $198,000
  • Urbana crime rate: 628 crimes per 100,000 people (68.4% lower than state average and 73.2% lower than national average)
  • Urbana Map

#9 Galesburg

Located just east of Peoria sits the charming city of Galesburg. Galesburg is mostly a residential area that provides those living in the area with a close-knit community atmosphere. When living in the area, you can check out historical landmarks like the Seminary Street District and the Galesburg Railroad Museum. Galesburg is also home to Knox College, which is a private, four-year liberal arts college. In this area, you’ll find several cozy restaurants and cafes, such as Inkeeper’s Fresh Roasted Coffee and Landmark Cafe & Creperie.

  • Galesburg population: 30,052
  • Galesburg population growth %: -6.6% since 2010
  • Galesburg area: 17.8 square miles
  • Galesburg median age: 41.6
  • Galesburg median household income: $42,346
  • Galesburg median house price: $113,000
  • Galesburg crime rate: 1,407 crimes per 100,000 people (29.1% lower than state average and 40.0% lower than national average)
  • Galesburg Map

#10 Danville

When it comes to Central Illinois towns and cities, you can’t skip out on Danville. Danville is the county seat of Vermilion County and is located along the Vermilion River. The city is a popular place to live among retirees, with popular attractions like Harrison Park Golf Course and Ellsworth Park offering a serene atmosphere to residents. The city is also home to the OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center, which is one of the best healthcare facilities in Central Illinois. US Highway 136 runs through the center of the city and is lined with family-owned businesses such as Cahill’s Family Pancake House and Charlotte’s.

  • Danville population: 29,204
  • Danville population growth %: -11.5% since 2010
  • Danville area: 17.9 square miles
  • Danville median age: 38.6
  • Danville median household income: $42,424
  • Danville median house price: $82,200
  • Danville crime rate: 3,251 crimes per 100,000 people (63.8% higher than state average and 38.6% higher than national average)
  • Danville Map

Cities in Central Illinois Map

FAQ Section

How Many Cities Are There in Central Illinois?

Central Illinois is made up of 45 counties and hundreds of cities and towns.

What Is the Most Populous City in Central Illinois?

Out of all of the cities in Central Illinois, Springfield is the most populous, with a population of 114,394.

What Is the Wealthiest City in Central Illinois?

Out of the list of cities in Central Illinois above, Bloomington is the wealthiest, with a median household income of $73,119.

Which City Is the Largest in Land Size?

Springfield is the largest city in land size, with an area of 61.2 square miles.

What Is the Most Crowded City Instate?

Champaign is the most crowded city instate, with a population density of 3,881.9 people per square mile.

Which of these Central Illinois Cities Is Right for You?

Now that you know all of the best cities in Central Illinois, which one will you choose to settle down in? Any one of these Central Illinois cities is perfect for raising a family, finding a new job, or building your dream home. Once you’ve found the perfect city for your needs, let the team at Federal Companies help you. Give our reliable Central Illinois movers a call today at 800-747-4100 to get started with a free quote.


Search by Category

Search For more helpful Resources

Check Out Our Related posts