Benton is a city in Franklin County, Illinois, United States. The population was 7,087 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Franklin County.
According to the 2010 census, Benton has a total area of 5.66 square miles (14.66 km), of which 5.48 square miles (14.19 km) (or 96.82%) is land and 0.18 square miles (0.47 km) (or 3.18%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,880 people, 2,938 households, and 1,824 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,286.2 people per square mile (496.5/km²). There were 3,270 housing units at an average density of 611.3 per square mile (236.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.72% White, 0.29% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.06% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.51% of the population.
There were 2,938 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.7% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the city, the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 22.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,177, and the median income for a family was $35,339. Males had a median income of $27,323 versus $19,403 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,787. About 15.6% of families and 17.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.6% of those under age 18 and 11.4% of those age 65 or over.