Carbondale is a city in Jackson and Williamson Counties, Illinois, within the Southern Illinois region informally known as "Little Egypt." The City developed in 1853 because of the stimulation of railroad construction in 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).

As of the 2020 census, Carbondale had a population of 21,857, making it the most populous city in Southern Illinois outside the St. Louis Metro-East region.