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Danville, Illinois
Vermilion County Courthouse, downtown
Vermilion County Courthouse, downtown
Official seal of Danville, Illinois
Location of Danville in Vermilion County, Illinois.
Location of Danville in Vermilion County, Illinois.
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Country  United States
State  Illinois
County Vermilion
Township Blount, Danville, Newell
Founded April 10, 1827
 • City 17.99 sq mi (46.59 km2)
 • Land 17.86 sq mi (46.25 km2)
 • Water 0.13 sq mi (0.34 km2)
597 ft (182 m)
 • City 29,204
 • Density 1,635.53/sq mi (631.49/km2)
 • Metro
ZIP code
61832 and 61834
Area codes 217, 447
FIPS code 17-18563

Danville is a city in and the county seat of Vermilion County, Illinois. As of the 2010 census, its population was 33,027. As of 2019, the population was an estimated 30,479.


Postcard showing East Main Street in Danville, Illinois, USA circa 1910
East Main Street circa 1910
Postcard showing the Elks Club, Carnegie library and YMCA buildings in Danville, Illinois, USA circa 1920
Elks' Club, YMCA, Carnegie Library (now museum) circa 1920

Danville was founded in 1827 on 60 acres (240,000 m2) of land donated by Guy W. Smith and 20 acres (81,000 m2) donated by Dan W. Beckwith. The sale of lots was set for April 10, 1827 and advertised in newspapers in Indianapolis, Indiana and the state capital of Vandalia. The first post office was established in May of the same year in the house of Amos Williams, organizer of Vermilion and Edgar Counties and a prominent Danville citizen. Williams and Beckwith drew up the first plat map; the city was named after Dan Beckwith at Williams' suggestion, although Beckwith suggested the names "Williamsburg" and "Williamstown". Beckwith was born in Pennsylvania in 1795 and moved to Indiana as a young man; in 1819 he accompanied the first white explorers to the area where Danville later existed because of his interest in the salt springs of the Vermilion River. He died in 1835 of pneumonia contracted on a horseback ride back from Washington; he was 40 years old. Danville became a major industrial city in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries. From the 1850s to the 1940s, Danville was an important coal mining area; some of the first open pit mining techniques were practiced here. The coal formation underlying eastern Illinois and western Indiana is named the "Danville Member," after the area where it was first discovered. With the closure of the mines and many factories, Danville's economic base suffered in the latter half of the 20th century. The former mines were converted into lakes, creating fishing and recreation opportunities at parks such as Kickapoo State Recreation Area and Kennekuk Cove County Park.


Danville is located approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Chicago, 35 miles (56 km) east of Champaign-Urbana, and 90 miles (140 km) west of Indianapolis, Indiana. Illinois Route 1, U.S. Route 136, and U.S. Route 150 intersect in Danville; Interstate 74 passes through the south end of town. Lake Vermilion is located on the northwest side of town.

According to the 2010 census, Danville has a total area of 17.967 square miles (46.53 km2), of which 17.89 square miles (46.33 km2) (or 99.57%) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.20 km2) (or 0.43%) is water.


Weather chart for Danville, Illinois
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In recent years, average temperatures in Danville have ranged from a low of 17 °F (−8 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −26 °F (−32 °C) was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 112 °F (44 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.99 inches (51 mm) inches in February to 4.70 inches (119 mm) inches in June.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 503
1850 736 46.3%
1860 1,632 121.7%
1870 4,751 191.1%
1880 7,733 62.8%
1890 11,491 48.6%
1900 16,354 42.3%
1910 27,871 70.4%
1920 33,776 21.2%
1930 36,765 8.8%
1940 36,919 0.4%
1950 37,864 2.6%
1960 41,856 10.5%
1970 42,570 1.7%
1980 38,985 −8.4%
1990 33,828 −13.2%
2000 33,904 0.2%
2010 33,027 −2.6%
2020 29,204 −11.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

Danville is the principal city of the Danville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Danville and Vermilion County.

As of the census of 2000, there were 33,904 people, 13,327 households, and 8,156 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,994.0 people per square mile (770.0/km2). There were 14,886 housing units at an average density of 875.5 per square mile (338.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.19% White, 24.37% African American, 0.21% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.09% from other races, and 1.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.57% of the population.

There were 13,327 households, out of which 28% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.9% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,431, and the median income for a family was $39,308. Males had a median income of $31,027 versus $22,303 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,476. 18.1% of the population and 13.4% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 26.8% were under the age of 18 and 10.5% were 65 or older.

In 2014, according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis, Danville was the cheapest place to live in the United States.

2019 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey estimates

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Racial Makeup of Danville (2019)      White alone (62.08%)     Black alone (32.71%)     Native American alone (0.22%)     Asian alone (1.37%)     Pacific Islander alone (0.03%)     Some other race alone (0.85%)     Multi-racial (2.74%)

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Racial Makeup of Danville excluding Hispanics from Racial Categories (2019)
NH=Non-Hispanic      White NH (56.26%)     Black NH (32.50%)     Native American NH (0.22%)     Asian NH (1.37%)     Pacific Islander NH (0.03%)     Other race NH (0.04%)     Multi-racial NH (2.51%)     Hispanic Any Race (7.07%)

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Racial Makeup of Hispanics in Danville (2019)      White alone (82.17%)     Black alone (3.08%)     Native American alone (0.00%)     Asian alone (0.00%)     Pacific Islander alone (0.00%)     Other race alone (11.54%)     Multi-racial (3.21%)

Parks and recreation

The City of Danville maintains 17 parks, including Harrison Park Golf Course and FETCH Dog Park in Espenschied Park.


The general aviation community is served by the Vermilion Regional Airport.

Danville is known as a major railroad intersection with at least four different tracks entering town from different directions, resulting in many crossings throughout the town. CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, and Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad all operate rail lines that pass through Danville.

Danville Mass Transit (DMT) operates 14 fixed route buses in Danville and surrounding areas.


Danville's main shopping center is the Village Mall, opened in 1975. Additional retail has spread north on Route 1/Vermilion Street since the early 90s, ranging from traditional big-box stores to retail infill and redevelopment of abandoned shopping centers. Retail in the community has increased after a large influx of redevelopment and green development, beginning in 2013 with the addition of Meijer and the Kohl's Plaza.

Portions of Danville are covered under the Illinois Enterprise Zone Program tax incentive program. Additionally, the City of Danville has created five Tax Increment Financing districts, including downtown, campus corridor, midtown, east Voorhees, and western gateway. Other available programs include a small business revolving loan fund and a downtown special service area (SSA). Economic development initiatives in the county, including in Danville, are covered by the organization Vermilion Advantage as well as Downtown Danville Inc, the City of Danville, and other partners.

The largest employment sectors in the Danville MSA are government (22.5%), manufacturing (17.8%), and retail (13.1%).



  • Danville Area Community College
  • Lakeview College of Nursing

Primary and secondary education

High schools
  • Danville High School
  • Schlarman Academy
  • First Baptist Christian School
  • Danville Christian Academy
  • Kenneth D. Bailey Academy
Middle schools
  • Danville Lutheran School
  • Schlarman Academy
  • North Ridge Middle School
  • First Baptist Christian School
Elementary schools
  • Cannon (closed in January 2016 due to severe flooding, did not reopen due to health and safety issues)
  • Schlarman Academy
  • Danville Lutheran School
  • First Baptist Christian School
  • Edison
  • Garfield
  • Liberty
  • Mark Denman (formerly known as East Park)
  • Meade Park
  • Northeast
  • South View Upper Elementary (5th and 6th Grade, formerly known as South View Middle School)
  • Southwest

Notable people

Images for kids

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Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
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