Meet Our Town

Welcome to Carbondale, Illinois! A city of more than 26,305 residents, Carbondale is home to a thriving business community strongly boosted by Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, recognized nationally for outstanding education, research, and athletics. Located in the heart of beautiful Southern Illinois, Carbondale and the surrounding region offer scenic lakes, a national forest, and abundant recreational opportunities, including two stops along the Southern Illinois Golf Trail. Carbondale is also the front door of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, the home of fabulous restaurants serving international cuisine, the retail center for multiple counties, and the region's cultural center, with many stages filled with music, dance, and live theater.

Carbondale is a bustling community of unusual shops, diverse commerce, cultural activities, and many other luxuries that would be expected in a large city - yet it maintains the comforts and charm of a small town. Although the title is unofficial, many residents consider Carbondale to be the “Capital of Southern Illinois.”

Woman Walking on a Trail

Facts About Carbondale

  • The Carbondale area is referred to as “Little Egypt.” Theories about the nickname's origins range from the region’s supplying grain to northern and central Illinois during an 1800's famine, to comparing Illinois' southern tip to Egypt’s Nile delta region. SIUC's nickname, the Salukis, references this association, as the saluki was the royal dog of Egypt.
  • Carbondale is home to various ethnic groups and cultures, and approximately 10 percent of the population is foreign-born.
  • Since 1903 the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, composed of faculty and students of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, talented community members and area professionals, has brought outstanding music to Southern Illinois.
  • Carbondale has excellent Amtrak service with three trains daily to and from Chicago with one train daily to and from Memphis and New Orleans.

Awards & Accreditations

  • Applied for and secured $13.986 million USDOT BUILD grant to fund design and construction of a new regional multimodal station
  • Secured $2.5 million in funding from IDOT’s Transit division to help fund design and construction of a new regional multimodal station
  • The Northwest Wastewater Treatment plant was recognized as the Illinois Association of Water Pollution Control Operators (IAWPCO) “2019 Plant of the Year”
  • IDHR Human Rights Day Award, 2018
  • Named "Tree City USA," since 1981; Received Tree City USA Growth Award for the 5th consecutive year
  • Winner, "GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award," since 1986 
  • Winner, Bronze level for Bicycle Friendly Business, 2017, 2018
  • Winner, Bronze level for Bicycle Friendly Community, 2016-2020
  • Ranked #4, “40 Best Commuter Cities in Illinois”, 2015
  • Transparency in Government Award, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Ameren Progressive City Award, 2012
  • Winner, "Governor's Hometown Award," 1991, 1992, 2009