Introduction to Rantoul, Illinois

Rantoul, Illinois is 14 miles N of Champaign, Illinois and 110 miles S of Chicago, Illinois. In Champaign county, Rantoul is part of the Champaign - Urbana metro area.

Rantoul History

The village was established in 1890, and was named after Robert Rantoul, director of the Illinois Central Railroad. In 1917, the village was chosen to be the site of the Chanute Field airbase, due to its close proximity to the Illinois Central railroad. The War Department’s ground school, housed at the University of Illinois, was also one of the reasons for this move. The base was finally closed in 1993, and the site is presently partially occupied by Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum and the Rantoul National Aviation Center.

Rantoul and nearby Attractions

  • Rantoul Public Library
  • Rantoul National Aviation Center
  • Maple Grove Plaza Shopping Center
  • Willow Pond Golf Course
  • American Lutheran Church
  • Winston Park

Things To Do In Rantoul

The Chanute Air Museum is a great place to visit if one wants to learn about the history of Rantoul. The Maple Grove Plaza Shopping Center is a good place to shop. The Willow Pond Golf Course provides recreation for golf enthusiasts. The Illinois Skydiving Center located nearby provides thrills for the enjoyment of its tourists.

Rantoul Transportation

University of Illinois-Willard Airport, located nearby, provides air transportation facilities.

Rantoul Higher Education

Higher education is provided by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Parkland College.


Total Population 13,256
Male Share of the Population 50.2%
Female Share of the Population 49.8%
Senior Citizens 11.5%
Employed Population 16+ 5,735
Age of the Population 32


% of people married 39.6%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 15.5%
Median Earnings25+ $27,884
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $19,972
Median Earnings With High School Degree $26,550


Median Family Income $45,833
% Above Poverty Level 74.9%
% Below Poverty Level 25.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 22 minutes
% Working from Home 2.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 4.9%
% Using Public Transportation 3.6%


People Living Alone 34.1%
Median Gross Rent $677
Median House Value $87,300


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 40.1%
US/American 0%
English 4.7%
Irish 8%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Rantoul Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 14 miles N of Champaign, Illinois (center to center)
Nearest Large City 110 miles S of Chicago, Illinois
County Champaign
Metro Area Champaign - Urbana
Standard Zip Codes 61866
Phone Area Codes 217
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 40.308
Longitude -88.155

Rantoul Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 0.8 miles
Jan Temp 14 to 33 F
Apr Temp 39 to 63 F
Jul Temp 64 to 87 F
Oct Temp 41 to 67 F
Annual Precip 38.7 inches
Distance 15.6 miles
Jan Temp 14 to 30 F
Apr Temp 38 to 61 F
Jul Temp 63 to 85 F
Oct Temp 40 to 65 F
Annual Precip 36.3 inches
Distance 29.3 miles
Jan Temp 17 to 34 F
Apr Temp 41 to 65 F
Jul Temp 64 to 86 F
Oct Temp 43 to 67 F
Annual Precip 40.9 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Elliott 239 $54,688
Fisher 1,860 $66,346
Gifford 861 $71,250

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Rantoul Public Libraries

Rantoul P.l.
Rantoul, Illinois
(217) 893-3955
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

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Rantoul High Schools

Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 767 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.3

Study Online in Rantoul

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