Kankakee is a city in and the county seat of Kankakee County, Illinois, United States. The city's name is probably derived from the Miami-Illinois word teeyaahkiki, meaning: "Open country/exposed land/land in open/land exposed to view", in reference to the area's prior status as a marsh. As of 2019, the city's population was 26,024. Kankakee is a principal city of the Kankakee-Bourbonnais-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area. It serves as an anchor city in the rural plains outside Chicago, similar to Aurora and Joliet.