Kankakee, IL


Kankakee is a city located in Kankakee County, Illinois. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 27,491. It is the county seat of Kankakee County.


Kankakee is located at 41°7'1" North, 87°51'50" West (41.116982, -87.863866).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 33.0 km2 (12.8 mi2). 31.8 km2 (12.3 mi2) of it is land and 1.2 km2 (0.5 mi2) of it is water. The total area is 3.76% water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 27,491 people, 10,020 households, and 6,272 families residing in the city. The population density was 865.1/km2 (2,239.8/mi2). There were 10,965 housing units at an average density of 345.0/km2 (893.4/mi2). The racial makeup of the city was 50.92% White, 41.07% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 5.50% from other races, and 1.90% from two or more races. 9.25% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 10,020 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 21.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.28.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.5% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,469, and the median income for a family was $36,428. Males had a median income of $30,894 versus $22,928 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,479. 21.4% of the population and 18.1% of families were below the poverty line. 29.3% of those under the age of 18 and 11.7% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Interesting Information

In 1999, Kankakee was rated the worst community to live (out of 354 rated communities) in the United States and Canada by the Places Rated Almanac. This was parodied by late night host David Letterman, who gave the city two identical gazebos, hoping the town could turn itself around as the "Home Of The Twin Gazebos". Since this time, city leaders have attempted to improve on this ranking by bringing in a waterpark, ice rink, revitalizing downtown, and other community improvement projects.

Retired Major League Baseball pitcher Terry Wells was born in Kankakee.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed two houses in the Riverview section of the city. They still stand today.

Kankakee has produced 3 Illinois Governors (Len Small, Samuel H. Shapiro, and George Ryan).

The first Dairy Queen was opened in Kankakee.