Population – 44,675
(2013 ACS 3 Year Estimate)
As the western anchor to the booming I-88 Corridor, DeKalb, Illinois is only a little more than an hour from both downtown Chicago and O’Hare International Airport.  In spite of its proximity to the Chicago region, DeKalb remains apart and maintains its own unique character as a thriving university community with both urban and rural roots.  Rich in history, DeKalb captures the spirit of days gone by in a variety of ways while embracing the future.  From historic landmarks to new and remodeled facilities, there is much to explore and enjoy in this vibrant northern Illinois destination boasting historical architectural gems, national and local entertainment, as well as abundant shopping, dining and award-winning recreation.

Originally known as the “Barb City’, where barbed wire was invented, the City of DeKalb has evolved from a primarily manufacturing & agribusiness town to a community which is recognized for its commitment to economic and environmental sustainability, its variety of cultural and entertainment opportunities, its regional leadership in educational and medical resources that welcomes the development of synergistic business enterprises.  These are the primary reasons why DeKalb has steadily grown to a full service community of 44,030.

As the home to Northern Illinois University, the second largest university in the State of Illinois with 22,000 students, the DeKalb/NIU area is a “Communiversity,” which is a unique environment that complements and enhances the lifestyle of DeKalb residents and visitors.

Whether you visit for business or pleasure, you will have plenty of options when you make DeKalb your destination.  We invite you to take a step back and surround yourself with the majestic beauty of an active university town that truly reflects the warmth and charm for which the Midwest is famous.

Local Site – City of DeKalb

The City of DeKalb is a participating municipality in the DeKalb County Enterprise Zone. Please visit our Enterprise Zone and Incentives pages for additional information.

City of DeKalb Enterprise Zone Map

DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport

DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

DeKalb Park District 

Proudly DeKalb



View available sites & buildings


IL DCEO brochure 2016

City of DeKalb Business Resource Guide

City of DeKalb Community Profile April 2016

Retail Sales Trends



DeKalb School District #428

ISBE Dist #428 Report Card

County Education Statistics

Higher Education Enrollment

Northern Illinois University