Carbondale is a city in Jackson County, Illinois, United States, within the Southern Illinois region informally known as “Little Egypt.” The city developed from 1853 because of the stimulation of railroad construction into the area. Today the major roadways of Illinois Route 13 and U.S. Route 51 intersect in the city. The city is 96 miles (154 km) southeast of St. Louis, Missouri, on the northern edge of the Shawnee National Forest. Carbondale is the home of the main campus of Southern Illinois University (SIU).
Carbondale is located at 37°44′N 89°13′W / 37.733°N 89.217°W / 37.733; -89.217 (37.726, −89.220). It is in the watershed of the Big Muddy River, at 415 feet (126 m) above sea level. Carbondale has been in totality path of one previous solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 and hosted the longest duration of totality with 2 minutes 41.6 seconds just to its south in Makanda Township, and additionally will be in the path of another April 8, 2024.
According to the 2010 census, Carbondale has a total area of 17.519 square miles (45.37 km), of which 17.09 square miles (44.26 km) (or 97.55%) is land and 0.429 square miles (1.11 km) (or 2.45%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 25,597 people, 10,018 households, and 3,493 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,152.0 people per square mile (830.9/km²). There were 11,005 housing units at an average density of 925.2 per square mile (357.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.08% White, 23.14% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 6.67% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.42% from other races, and 2.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.05% of the population.
There were 9,981 households out of which 17.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 22.1% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.5% were non-families. 43.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.78.
In the city, the population was spread out with 15.8% under the age of 18, 35.4% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 12.5% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,882, and the median income for a family was $34,601. Males had a median income of $30,217 versus $24,114 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,346. About 13.5% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.1% of those under the age of 18 and 13.2% of those 65 and older. However, traditional measures of income and poverty can be misleading when applied to cities with high student populations, such as Carbondale.