Champaign () is a city in Champaign County, Illinois, United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates the city was home to 88,909 people as of July 1, 2019. Champaign is the tenth-most populous city in Illinois, and the state’s fourth-most populous city outside the Chicago metropolitan area. It is included in the Champaign–Urbana metropolitan area. Champaign is notable for sharing the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign with its sister city of Urbana. Champaign is also home to Parkland College which serves about 18,000 students during the academic year. Due to the university and a number of well known technology startup companies, it is often referred to as the hub, or a significant landmark, of the Silicon Prairie.
Champaign houses offices for the Fortune 500 companies Abbott, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Caterpillar, John Deere, Dow Chemical Company, IBM, and State Farm. Champaign was founded in 1855, when the Illinois Central Railroad laid its rail track two miles (3 km) west of downtown Urbana. Originally called “West Urbana”, it was renamed Champaign when it acquired a city charter in 1860. Both the city and county name were derived from Champaign County, Ohio.During February 1969, Carl Perkins joined with Bob Dylan to write the song “Champaign, Illinois”, which Perkins released on his album On Top. The band Old 97’s took another Bob Dylan song, “Desolation Row“, and combined its melody with new lyrics to make a new song “Champaign, Illinois”, which they released with Dylan’s blessing on their 2010 album The Grand Theatre Volume One.
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