Rantoul, Illinois

By | March 28, 2023

Rantoul, Illinois is located in the Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area of east-central Illinois. The city lies on the north side of the Embarras River and is easily accessible by road, with Interstate 57 and U.S. Route 45 both passing through the city limits. Rantoul has a humid continental climate with hot summers and cold winters, with snowfall typically occurring in December and January. Check insidewatch for information about Adams County, Indiana.

The history of Rantoul dates back to 1854 when it was founded by William P. Rantoul, a former Massachusetts Senator from Lowell, Massachusetts. Since its founding, Rantoul has grown to become an important center for education, industry and agriculture in the region. The economy of Rantoul is largely based on agriculture, manufacturing, technology and retail businesses. Major employers in the city include Kraft Foods Group Inc., Walgreens Co., Motion Industries Inc., and Syngenta Corp.

Education is highly valued in Rantoul; there are numerous public schools in the city that serve students from pre-kindergarten through high school graduation. These include Parkview Elementary School, Westview Elementary School, Northview Middle School and Rantoul Township High School among others. There are also several private schools located in or near Rantoul such as St John’s Lutheran School and First Baptist Academy that offer additional educational opportunities for students living within the community boundaries or nearby areas within Champaign County.

Rantoul has many landmarks that are important to both local residents as well as visitors who come to experience its unique history and culture. One of these landmarks is Chanute Air Force Base which was once home to a large military training facility during World War II; today it serves as a museum for visitors to learn about its past significance as well as explore its current role in aviation history preservation efforts within the region. Another notable landmark is the Ironwood Golf Course which offers golfers of all skill levels an enjoyable 18-hole course with scenic views across Lake Vermilion and surrounding countryside. Finally, there is The Depot Museum which houses multiple exhibits that tell stories about local history from early settlement days to modern times including displays related to railroads which were once an important part of life in this part of rural Illinois.

Population: 12,857. Estimated population in July 2020: 12,483 (-2.9% change)
Males: 6,125 (47.6%), Females: 6,732 (52.4%)

Champaign County

Zip code: 61866

Median resident age: 31.6 years
Median household income: $36,904
Median house value: $74,200

Races in Rantoul:

  • White Non-Hispanic (75.5%)
  • Black (16.9%)
  • Two or more races (3.3%)
  • Hispanic (2.7%)
  • American Indian (1.2%)
  • Other race (0.9%)

Ancestries: German (22.2%), Irish (11.4%), United States (9.5%), English (7.4%), French (2.7%), Italian (2.6%).

Elevation: 748 feet

Land area: 7.2 square miles

Rantoul, Illinois

Population

Rantoul, Illinois is located in Champaign County and has a population of 12,941 people. This small city is home to a diverse population with a variety of cultural backgrounds. The majority of the population is White (72%), followed by Black or African American (11%), Hispanic or Latino (10%), Asian (4%), and Other (3%). The median age in Rantoul is 33 years old, which is slightly younger than the national median age of 37.6 years old. Education levels are also higher than the national average, with 41% of the population having at least some college education and 19% having a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The median household income in Rantoul was $51,895 in 2018, which is lower than the national median income of $61,937. However, this figure has been steadily increasing over the past few years as Rantoul’s economy continues to grow. The unemployment rate in Rantoul was 4% as of 2019—lower than both the state and national average—which indicates that there are plenty of job opportunities available for those who live here. Additionally, the cost of living in Rantoul is slightly lower than other parts of Illinois; making it an attractive place for those looking for an affordable place to live without sacrificing quality of life.

For population 25 years and over in Rantoul

  • High school or higher: 88.5%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 15.9%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 5.4%
  • Unemployed: 4.7%
  • Mean travel time to work: 17.2 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Rantoul village

  • Never married: 24.9%
  • Now married: 50.6%
  • Separated: 2.4%
  • Widowed: 6.0%
  • Divorced: 16.1%

3.4% Foreign born (1.8% Asia, 1.0% Europe).

Population change in the 1990s: -4,455 (-25.7%).

Hospitals

Hospitals/medical centers near Rantoul:

  • CARLE FOUNDATION HOSPITAL (about 15 miles; URBANA, IL)
  • COVENANT MEDICAL CTR CHAMPAIGN-URBANA (about 15 miles; URBANA, IL)
  • PAVILION FOUNDATION,THE (about 15 miles; CHAMPAIGN, IL)

Airports

Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Rantoul:

  • UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-WILLARD (about 21 miles; CHAMPAIGN/URBANA, IL; Abbreviation: CMI)
  • CENTRAL IL REGL ARPT AT BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL (about 53 miles; BLOOMINGTON/NORMAL, IL; Abbreviation: BMI)
  • COLES COUNTY MEMORIAL (about 59 miles; MATTOON/CHARLESTON, IL; Abbreviation: MTO)

Other public-use airports nearest to Rantoul:

  • RANTOUL NATL AVN CNTR-FRANK ELLIOTT FLD (about 2 miles; RANTOUL, IL; Abbreviation: TIP)
  • PAXTON (about 10 miles; PAXTON, IL; Abbreviation: 1C1)
  • FRASCA FIELD (about 12 miles; URBANA, IL; Abbreviation: C16)

Amtrak stations near Rantoul:

  • 1 miles: RANTOUL (RNATOUL, N. KENTUCKY ST.). Services: partially wheelchair accessible, enclosed waiting area, public restrooms, public payphones, free short-term parking, free long-term parking, call for taxi service.
  • 15 miles: CHAMPAIGN-URBANA (CHAMPAIGN, 116 N. CHESTNUT ST.). Services: ticket office, partially wheelchair accessible, enclosed waiting area, public restrooms, public payphones, vending machines, call for car rental service, call for taxi service, intercity bus service, public transit connection.

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Rantoul:

  • UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN (about 15 miles; Champaign, IL; Full-time enrollment: 36,284)
  • PARKLAND COLLEGE (about 16 miles; CHAMPAIGN, IL; Full-time enrollment: 5,186)
  • ILLINOIS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY (about 52 miles; BLOOMINGTON, IL; Full-time enrollment: 2,019)
  • EASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY (about 56 miles; CHARLESTON, IL; Full-time enrollment: 9,582)
  • LAKE LAND COLLEGE (about 60 miles; MATTOON, IL; Full-time enrollment: 3,666)
  • HEARTLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 60 miles; Normal, IL; Full-time enrollment: 2,390)
  • ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY (about 61 miles; NORMAL, IL; Full-time enrollment: 18,785)

Public high school in Rantoul:

  • RANTOUL TWP HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 767; Location: 200 S SHELDON ST; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Rantoul:

  • J W EATER JR HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 509; Location: 400 E WABASH AVE; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • EASTLAWN ELEM SCHOOL (Students: 351; Location: 650 N MAPLEWOOD DR; Grades: KG – 05)
  • PLEASANT ACRES ELEM SCHOOL (Students: 330; Location: 1649 HARPER DR; Grades: PK – 05)
  • NORTHVIEW ELEM SCHOOL (Students: 291; Location: 400 N SHELDON ST; Grades: KG – 05)
  • BROADMEADOW ELEM SCHOOL (Students: 209; Location: 500 SUNVIEW DR; Grades: KG – 05)
  • EDUC FOR EMPLOYMENT SYS 330 (Location: 400 E WABASH AVE; Grades: 00 – 00)

Private primary/middle school in Rantoul:

  • ST MALACHY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 198; Location: 340 EAST BELLE STREET; Grades: KG – 8)

Libraries

Library in Rantoul:

  • RANTOUL P.L. (Operating income: $272,677; Location: 225 S. CENTURY BLVD.; 49,734 books; 1,637 audio materials; 1,633 video materials; 159 serial subscriptions)