Illinois incomes were slightly higher than the rest of the nation in 2016, but those in Madison and St. Clair Counties were thousands of dollars below both figures, according to new data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
New population numbers also showed that populations have declined slightly in both counties in the past five years.
The data come from the American Community Survey, a continuous survey that provides information that helps “determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year,” according to the Census Bureau. Freely available, it also helps inform decisions for everyone from business leaders to emergency responders.
The Census Bureau released information only for places larger than 65,000, so in the metro-east only data for Madison and St. Clair counties were made available. Municipality-level information is scheduled to be released in December.
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Nationwide, incomes rose 3.2 percent, increasing to $59,039 from $57,230, according to the Census Bureau. It was the second increase in two years.
In Illinois, median incomes were 3.25 percent higher than the national average, at $60,960, but in the metro-east, incomes were lower.
The median, or middle, income for Madison County was $56,035, and the median income for St. Clair County was $50,267.
Chicagoland also has pretty large counties, in terms of population, so they have higher median incomes.
Tim Sullivan, economics professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
St. Clair and Madison county incomes were smaller than the Illinois average because the incomes in Chicago bring up the average a lot, explained Tim Sullivan, an economics professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
“Chicagoland also has pretty large counties, in terms of population,” he said, so “they have higher median incomes.”
Still, St. Clair and Madison counties have relatively high incomes compared with the rest of the counties in the state overall.
Meanwhile, the new population estimates show that 262,759 people lived in St. Clair County in 2016, a loss of 2.3 percent since 2012.
Madison County’s population also declined by 0.8 percent, to 265,759 people in 2016, from 267,883 in 2012.
Other census data released included information on the number of births in the metro-east, higher education levels and health-care insurance coverage:
▪ Last year, approximately 4,700 women between the ages of 15-50 gave birth in St. Clair County, and about 3,400 women gave birth in Madison County.
Nearly 50 percent of women in both counties were unmarried at the time of birth; however, the margin of errors in that measurement was nearly 15 percent, which means the measurement could actually be as low as 35 percent, the survey said.
Census estimates also showed that about 18 in every 1,000 women ages 15-19 in St. Clair County had a child in 2016. That rate was higher than in Cook County, which had 15 teen births out of every 1,000 young women, but lower than Vermilion County east of Champaign, which had 52 out of every 1,000.
For St. Clair County, the rate was a slight increase from 15 in 1,000, which was set in 2012. About 24 women in Madison County between the ages of 15 and 19 were estimated to have had a child in 2012. Four years later, an estimated 0 women in 1,000 were estimated to have had a child, with a margin of error of 17.
▪ Both Madison and St. Clair counties were home to about 50,000 people over the age of 25 who have bachelor’s degrees.
About 14,750 of them in Madison County got their B.A. in engineering, while 12,600 did so in St. Clair County. By contrast, only 9,800 people with degrees in Madison County studied business, compared with 10,800 in St. Clair County. Lastly, 9,600 people in Madison County got a degree in the humanities, compared to 11,800 residents in St. Clair County.
Data also show that 18,400 people in Madison County had a graduate or professional degree in 2016, whereas 20,700 St. Clair County residents had one.
▪ In St. Clair County, approximately 9.2 percent of people between the ages of 18-64 had no health insurance in 2016, compared with 6 percent of the same group in Madison County.
Additionally, in St. Clair County, approximately 3.4 percent of people under the age of 18 were uninsured last year, compared with 3.7 percent in Madison County.