About This Place
Champaign is a city in Champaign County, Illinois, in the United States. The city is located 135 miles (217 km) south of Chicago, 124 miles (200 km) west of Indianapolis, Indiana, and 178 miles (286 km) northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. Though surrounded by farm communities, Champaign is notable for sharing the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with its sister city of Urbana. Thanks to the university and a number of well known technology startup companies, it is often referred to as the hub, or at least a significant landmark, of the Silicon Prairie. Champaign is also the home of Parkland College. Champaign houses offices for seven Fortune 500 companies, and two more are planned to arrive soon.
As reported in the 2010 U.S. Census, the city was home to 81,055 people. Champaign is the 11th-most populous city in Illinois, and the fourth-most populous city in the state outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
Champaign was founded in 1855, when the Illinois Central Railroad laid its rail track two miles (3 km) west of downtown Urbana. Originally called "West Urbana", it was renamed Champaign when it acquired a city charter in 1860. Both the city and county name were derived from Champaign County, Ohio.