Like many of the cities on this list, Champaign is a college town – we have twice named it a Top 10 Best College Town – home to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. What does this mean for entrepreneurs? Access to high quality, diverse talent. For a smaller city (pop. 84,906), Champaign is on the rise. It ranks in the top 15 for high wage job growth, while still retaining its small town affordability (top 10 on this list for per capita food spending) and low commute time (it ranks in the top 5 for this).