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Moving to & Living in Urbana, IL

Urbana, IL [2024] | 💞 ULTIMATE Living in & Moving to Urbana Guide

Last Updated on: 2nd November 2023, 11:43 am

The growing city of Urbana, IL is located approximately 2.5 miles directly east of downtown Champaign. It is bordered by Somer, Lake of the Woods, Champaign, Seymour, Bondville, Mahomet, Philo, Savoy, Sidney, St. Joseph, Thomasboro, and Tolono.

Urbana was first established by European settlers in 1822. It was organized and incorporated as a city in 1833 by its founder, Col. M. W. Busey 

While the community was originally called “Big Grove”, State Senator Joseph Vance collaborated with Busey and decided the name should be changed. They chose to call the area Urbana after Senator Vance’s Ohio hometown with the same name.

Over the years, local officials have tried to merge the cities of Urbana and Champaign on numerous occasions, but the efforts have failed at the polls each time.

Urbana is best known for its top-rated school system and its youth sports programs.

A handful of notable people have lived or grown up in Urbana such as Olympic speed skater Jonathan Kuck, actress Jennie Garth, and MLB pitcher Spencer Patton.

People moving to Urbana love what the city has to offer as they discover the area’s many amenities, local attractions, and affordable living costs.

1. People Living in Urbana, IL – Population & Demographics

How many people live in Urbana? The city grows steadily as it has doubled in size since the 1950s with more newcomers relocating to Urbana each year. The Urbana population is 42,718 people with a median age of 25 years old.

Local Urbana demographics show how diverse the area has become as its made up of 54% Caucasian, 19% Asian, 16% Black or African American, and 7% Hispanic or Latino. There is nearly a perfect split in the gender ratio with about 50-50 between male and female. The median household income in Urbana is $37,102 per year.

Local home in Urbana, IL

Is Urbana a safe place to live? The crime rate in Urbana is about 23% higher than the national average and 45% higher than the Illinois average. While anyone relocating to the area will want to be mindful of the community they choose, overall Urbana is a safe place to live.

There are 58 brave men and women serving as active-duty police officers on the force with the local Urbana Police Department.

2. Cost of Living in Urbana, IL

How much does it cost to live in Urbana, IL? The average cost of living in Urbana is 22% lower than the national average and about 15% lower than the Illinois state average. Some of the lower costs new residents can expect include the Urbana real estate market, utilities, and transportation. Local groceries and healthcare costs can be a bit higher at times.

The homeownership rate in Urbana is 35.6% with just over one in three residents buying their properties in the area. As you search for Urbana, IL homes for sale you’ll find the housing market is still somewhat competitive. The average price of a home in Urbana is $178,000, which adds up to a median sale price of $110 per square foot.

The Urbana property tax rate of 2.210% means that a $178,000 home will have around $3,934 per year in property taxes.

Right around 64% of people residing in Urbana rent their homes or apartments instead of buying. The average price of rent in Urbana is $700 per month, which is a 12% increase over the past 12 months.

3. Urbana Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Urbana

Where should you live in Urbana? For anyone thinking about relocating to the area, some of the top-rated neighborhoods in Urbana include:

The city of Urbana operates 21 local parks and other amenities, all of which are managed and maintained by the trusted Urbana Park District.

There is a great supply of convenient shopping in Urbana at local stores like Walgreens, Target, Walmart, Aldi, and the Lincoln Square Mall. The Urbana Market at the Square is a community favorite.

Urbana is 135 miles from Chicago. If you’re going to drive from Urbana to Chicago, the trip is just over two hours long.

4. Urbana, IL Weather & Climate

The weather in Urbana has a humid continental climate, which brings a fair amount of rain but also offers sunny skies for the most part. When it comes to precipitation, the area gets about 41 inches of rain and 20 inches of snow per year so you’ll want to keep an umbrella and other warm gear close by.

The average temperature in Urbana during the winter varies between the mid-teens at night and the mid-30s in the daytime. Summers in the city warm up to comfortable temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the mid-80s.

5. Things to Do in Urbana

People moving to Urbana will love all of the area’s fun outdoor activities, local places to visit, and popular points of interest.

Crystal Lake

A can’t miss thing to do in Urbana is to visit the beautiful area around Crystal Lake. This gorgeous outdoor attraction features a waterside park with boat rentals, a fishing pier, picnic tables, and sports facilities.

Crystal Lake Park, 206 W Park St, Urbana, IL 61801  (217) 367-1544

Meadowbrook Park

Among the top Urbana attractions, the local Meadowbrook Park is a great place for both kids and adults. It has a children’s playground, green gardens, walking trails, and a farm spread across acres of restored prairie land.

Meadowbrook Park, 2808 S Race St, Urbana, IL 61802  (217) 367-1544

Additional Urbana Attractions

6. Urbana Restaurants

Residents living in Urbana never go hungry with all of the fantastic places to eat that can be found around the city.

Urbana Garden Family Restaurant


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One of Urbana’s top-rated places to eat is the popular Urbana Garden Family Restaurant. This great destination offers meals all day and lets you choose between omelets, skillets, pancakes, and french toast for breakfast or burgers, salads, and sandwiches for lunch and dinner.

Urbana Garden Family Restaurant, 810 W Killarney St, Urbana, IL 61801  (217) 328-1514

Huaraches Moroleon

Ranked as one of the top restaurants in Urbana, Huaraches Moroleon is a must-visit if you’re a fan of Mexican food. Their mouthwatering menu features delicious dishes like burritos, quesadillas, chimichangas, soups, fajitas, enchiladas, tamales, and tacos.

Huaraches Moroleon, 805 Philo Rd, Urbana, IL 61801  (217) 344-6772

7. Jobs in Urbana

The average salary in Urbana is $57,000 per year. There is a 5.0% state income tax rate in the city. The current Urbana unemployment rate is 5.6%.

Anyone on the hunt for Urbana jobs will find the area is home to many reputable employers. Some of the best places to work in Urbana are:

8. Urbana Schools

Making up about 26% of the population, there are more than 11,105 kids between the ages of 0 and 18 years old. The highly respectable Urbana School District 116 and child-friendly activities around town are part of the reason why Urbana is an excellent place for families to live.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign UIUC

If you’re a parent searching for the top schools in Urbana, the best programs are found at:

  • M L King Jr Elementary School
  • University of Illinois High School
  • Urbana Middle School
  • University of Illinois High School
  • Urbana High School

Located on the city boundaries, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign serves residents living in both parts of town.

Urbana schools have produced nine Nobel Prize winners over the years including Robert W. Holley, Edwin G. Krebs, and Sir Anthony James Leggett.

The Urbana Free Library was established in 1874 and has been ranked in the top 1% of public libraries in the United States.

9. Urbana Statistics & Information

The city of Urbana spans a geographical area of about 11.58 square miles and represents the county seat of Champaign County in Illinois. Local zip codes are 61801, 61802, and 61820. The city’s main area code is 217.

The time zone in Urbana is Central Standard Time (CST), shifting to Central Daylight Time (CDT) during daylight savings time.

The elevation in Urbana is 728 feet above sea level.

Map of Urbana, IL

If you want to find more activities, local attractions, and other things to do in the area, make sure you check out this Urbana map.

Tips for Living in Urbana

  • The cost of living in Urbana is lower than both the state and the national average.
  • Make sure you’re prepared for Urbana’s wet winter weather with scarves, boots, hats, coats, and other warm clothing.
  • Although the crime rate is higher than average, there are still safe communities where you can live in Urbana.

Moving to Urbana, IL

As soon as you find enough reasons to move to Urbana, it’ll be time to start planning and preparing for your relocation. At Federal Companies, we have the top Urbana movers who are well-trained to assist with transitions of all kinds. Give us a call today at (800) 747-4100 or fill out the Request a Quote form on this page for a free moving estimate!


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