If you are considering moving to Champaign County, Illinois, you’ll find it’s a great place to live, with a high quality of life yet very affordable. The cities and villages within Champaign County are safe and peaceful. Incorporated in 1833, the county is home to a major university, the University of Illinois and Parkland College. Two major healthcare facilities in the county are Carle Foundation Hospital and OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center. Champaign County offers excellent educational opportunities and is a leader in health care, high technology, and agriculture. The majority of the county is involved in agriculture. Check out this guide for the best places to live in Champaign County.
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About Champaign County Illinois
Champaign County, Illinois is situated in East Central Illinois, in a desirable location, about 2 hours south of Chicago, 3 hours north-northeast of St. Louis, Missouri, and 2 hours west of Indianapolis, Indiana. Champaign County is part of the Champaign–Urbana metropolitan area. Urbana and Champaign are the only cities in the county and are situated around the University of Illinois.
The county is best known for its high quality of life, exceptional city and county park systems, and its rich farmland. Champaign County is bordered by McLean County to the northwest, Ford County to the north, Vermilion County to the east, Edgar County to the southeast, Douglas County to the south, and Piatt County to the west.
- Champaign County IL area: 998 square miles
- Champaign County IL population: 205,865
- Champaign County population density: 210/square mile
- Champaign County median household income: $56,939
- Champaign County Illinois median home price: $200,000
Best Places to Live in Champaign County
The county of Champaign is made up of 2 cities, Champaign and Urbana, 21 villages, 30 townships, 3 census-designated places, and 29 unincorporated areas. Although a mostly rural county, Champaign has some very nice places to live with lots of family and recreational opportunities. Here are the best cities and towns to live in Champaign County:
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The village of Mahomet is located about 10 miles northwest of Champaign. The village is known for its exceptional library and its 2 spectacular parks: the Lake of the Woods Park, a 900-acre park that features the award-winning Hartwell C. Howard Golf Course, and the 275-acre River Bend Forest Preserve. The parks offer a variety of activities, including boating, fishing, golf, biking, lakes, cross country skiing, sledding, and more. The Lake at the Woods Park has a museum depicting life in the 19th and early 20th century in East-Central Illinois and a botanical garden. Those living in Mohamet have access to excellent schools, great restaurants, and safe, quiet, affordable neighborhoods.
Check out our Moving to Mahomet IL Tips & Guide for great advice on schools, neighborhoods, and things to do in Mohamet!
Savoy is a village in Champaign County, Illinois that borders the city of Champaign and is less than two miles from the University of Illinois campus. Savoy is best known for its diverse, multicultural, population, thriving business community, and scenic parks that feature facilities for tennis, baseball, volleyball, and soccer, as well as miles of walking paths and an 8-acre lake. With a low cost of living and low crime rate, Savoy is a safe, family-friendly village to live in. Those living in Savoy will find neighborhoods that offer affordable homes, walking trails, parks, and great schools.
For more information on living in Savoy, Take a look at our Moving to Savoy IL guide.
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Another village in Champaign County, Rantoul is about 20 minutes north of Champaign. Rantoul is home to the Rantoul Family Sports Complex, a premier amateur sports facility with 10 all-weather baseball and softball fields and 8 all-weather multi-purpose fields. It’s the home field for the University of Illinois “Fighting Illini” men’s lacrosse team.
Rantoul offers a wide range of recreational opportunities. The village maintains a total of 9 parks that offer many different activities for all ages, including fishing, playgrounds, picnic areas, baseball fields, and handicap-accessible facilities. At the 14,000-square-foot Hap Parker Aquatics Center, residents enjoy the zero-depth entry pool, two water slides, pavilion, and sand volleyball court. Those living in Rantoul experience low crime and very affordable homes.
For more information about living in Rantoul, Il, check out our living in Rantoul guide.
Champaign is by far the largest city in Champaign County, with a population of 88,418 per the 2020 census, more than double the size of Urbana, the next largest city. Champaign shares the main campus of the University of Illinois with the adjacent city of Urbana. The university is the 6th largest school in the county with an enrollment of 56,194 students in 2022. Champaign is known as the Silicon Prairie due to the university, as well as many well-known technology startup companies in the city. A number of Fortune 500 companies, such as Abbott, Archer Daniels Midland, Caterpillar, John Deere, Dow Chemical Company, IBM, and State Farm, have offices in Champaign.
Jimmy John’s and several other companies have their headquarters there. Champaign offers a wealth of entertainment opportunities and activities, including sports, arts, theater, music, and dozens of parks that feature walking and biking trails, splash pads, ball fields, a tennis center, and fishing opportunities. Education is a main focus in Champaign. The public schools are above average, and the higher education opportunities are first class.
Check out our guide to Living in & Moving to Champaign IL for more!
Urbana is the county seat of Champaign County and the twin city to Champaign. A designated Tree City due to its more than 100,000 trees, Urbana has many recreational opportunities with 20 parks that feature tennis, cricket, fishing, archery, an aquatic center, sledding, disc golf, playgrounds, ball fields, basketball courts, trails, and more. This bike-friendly city has a vibrant dining scene and was named the Greatest Midwest Food Town by Midwest Living magazine. With museums that feature history, art, nature, science, and other topics, Urbana is also a culturally rich city.
Our guide to Moving to & Living in Urbana IL is full of tips on great neighborhoods, restaurants, schools, and more.
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The Village of St. Joseph is well known for its small-town charm and high quality of life. Only a short 10-15 drive east of Champaign-Urbana. Many college students are moving to St. Joseph to attend the University of Illinois.
Almost half of the people living in St. Joseph have children under the age of 18 living with them, making it a very family-friendly town. The median household income is $96,042, well above the average for Champaign County, which is $56,939. St. Joseph is a safe community, with a crime rate 42% below the national average. It’s also an affordable place to live. The cost of living is 8% below the national average. Housing is also affordable in St. Joseph. The cost of housing is 13% below the national average. The median price for a home is $220,000.
The village has a number of chain restaurants, such as Monical’s Pizza, Dairy Queen, Subway, and Casey’s Pizza, as well as excellent locally-owned eateries, including Padano’s Pizza, Roch’s Place, The Ribcage, The Wheelhouse, Scratch, and El Toro to choose from.
Tolono is a village of about 3,604 people, located less than 10 miles south of Champaign-Urbana. Of those living in Tolono, the racial demographic is predominately White (91.12%), and the median household income is $62,788. Tolono is very safe, with a crime rate 51% lower than the national average. The cost of living is also low, 13% below the national average, and housing is 27% lower, making it a great place to buy a home. The average price of a home in Tolono is $300,000. Thankfully, for those moving to Tolono, the schools are very good in Tolono, ranking in the top 30% of public schools in Illinois. The neighborhoods of Tolono are quaint, safe, and close-knit.
If you’re moving to Fisher, you should know it’s a charming village of just over 2,000 residents about 15 miles north of Champaign-Urbana. For a small town, it offers lots of things to do. The village hosts the annual Fisher Community Fair & Horse Show that attracts thousands of people every July. For recreation, Fisher has baseball fields, soccer fields, playgrounds, pavilions, and 3 horse stables. You’ll feel very safe living in Fisher as the crime rate is 57% below the national average. The village is also very affordable. The cost of living is 13% below the national average and housing is 30% lower. The median home price is $265,000.
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The village of Philo is located about 9 miles south of Urbana. At only 0.83 square miles, Philo is small, with a population of about 1,400 residents living in Philo. The median household income in the village is $91,156, making it an affluent community. Philo calls itself “The Center of the Universe.” This peaceful community offers a safe, rural atmosphere. The crime rate is 63% lower than the national average. Philo is also a great place to buy a home. The median price for a home is $165,000, which is a 33.3% decrease from last year! The affordaibility is one reason so many are moving to Philo. The cost of living in Philo is 7% lower than the Illinois average. The Philo Tavern offers great food, a wide drink selection, and a family-friendly atmosphere.
About 15 miles southeast of Urbana is the village of Sidney. Covering only 0.63 square miles, with a population of 1,208, Sidney has plenty of small town charm to offer. Those living in Sidney love the Dairy Barn, where residents enjoy the “World’s Best Ice Cream” made only from the freshest ingredients. Sidney residents also enjoy a low cost of living and affordable homes. The cost of living is 11% lower than the national average. Housing costs are 23% lower. The median price for a home in Sidney is $245,000. Those moving to Sidney will be glad to know the cost of living is affordable, even when it comes to housing! Witt Park offers recreational activities with baseball fields and lots of green space.
Homer is a small, rural, extremely safe village about 20 miles southeast of Champaign-Urbana. This peaceful town of just over 1,000 people living in Homer has a strong sense of community and gives lots of support to local businesses, schools, and residents. The village of Homer organizes various events throughout the year, including town-wide garage sales, Kraze Daze, and Christmas in Homer. The village is home to several parks, including the Village of Homer Park, Memorial Park, and Homer Lake Forest Preserve.
The parks include pavilions, picnic tables, playgrounds, sledding, fishing, boating, miles of trails, and shelters. If you’re looking to buy a home, the median price in Homer is only $165,000, which is why so many people are moving to Homer. And if you’re looking for a safe place to live and raise a family, crime is almost non-existent in Homer. The crime rate is 93% below the national average.
Map of Cities & Villages in Champaign County IL
Relocating to Champaign County doesn’t have to be stressful! Call the best Champaign County movers at Federal Companies at 800-747-4100 for a free quote! We can’t wait to help!