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Census Data Since 1920 for Southern Illinois
Age in Years 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
0-9 78,066 64,714 54,401 53,434 43,655 39,128 38,471 36,009 33,416
10-19 - 67,536 61,904 46,122 43,444 47,627 47,920 41,430 41,055
20-29 - 45,691 51,440 36,753 25,706 38,856 53,279 46,382 42,995
30-39 - 41,624 42,884 38,946 28,623 24,969 35,414 41,021 38,997
40-49 - 38,527 38,333 36,573 32,593 28,092 26,616 33,671 39,153
50-59 - 28,270 33,768 31,940 30,736 30,385 29,329 25,945 33,868
60-69 - 17,463 23,000 27,470 26,660 27,439 30,735 26,952 24,398
70-79 - 8,877 10,539 13,488 18,685 18,022 21,220 22,105 19,817
80-84 - 1,292 1,730 4,387 4,845 6,295 7,277 9,269 8,468
85+ - 1,288 1,721 1,327 1,056 1,478 2,022 2,636 6,514
Unknown - 172 - - - - - - -
TOTALS 78,066* 315,454 319,720 290,439 256,003 262,291 292,283 285,420 288,681
Population by County Since 1920 for Southern Illinois
County 1920* 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Alexander 4,668 22,542 25,496 20,316 16,061 12,015 12,264 10,626 9,590
Franklin 15,239 59,442 53,137 48,685 39,281 38,329 43,201 40,319 39,018
Gallatin 3,088 10,091 11,414 9,818 7,638 7,418 7,590 6,909 6,445
Hardin 1,873 6,955 7,759 7,530 5,879 4,914 5,383 5,189 4,800
Jackson 8,266 35,680 37,920 38,124 42,151 55,008 61,522 61,067 59,612
Johnson 2,798 10,203 10,727 8,729 6,928 7,550 9,624 11,347 12,878
Massac 3,009 14,081 14,937 13,594 14,341 13,889 14,990 14,752 15,161
Perry 5,126 22,767 23,438 21,684 19,184 19,757 21,714 21,412 23,094
Pope 2,157 7,996 7,999 5,779 4,061 3,857 4,404 4,373 4,413
Pulaski 3,342 14,834 15,875 13,639 10,490 8,741 8,840 7,523 7,348
Saline 9,473 37,100 38,066 33,420 26,227 25,721 28,448 26,551 26,733
Union 4,221 19,883 21,528 20,500 17,645 16,071 17,765 17,619 18,293
Williamson 14,806 53,880 51,424 48,621 46,117 49,021 56,538 57,733 61,296
TOTALS 78,066* 315,454 319,720 290,439 256,003 262,291 292,283 285,420 288,681

* Age 0-9 only.

How We Used this Census Data

For this study, Southern Illinois is limited to the southernmost thirteen counties in Illinois, which include Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, and Williamson counties.

The population was tracked by ten-year age groups, not accounting for deaths, migration patterns, etc. In order words, all the babies born in the 1920s would be grouped in the 0-9 age group when the 1930 Census was taken. This ten-year age group, or ten-year "generation", was tracked by each subsequent Census count, for example, in the 1940 Census the babies born in the 1920s would be represented by the 10-19 age group, in the 1950 Census by the 20-29 age group, etc.

Our Census data charts, therefore, group the population in age groups from age 0-9, 10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, etc. in order to easily track each generation of babies born every ten years and how their numbers changed as they reached the age groups we wished to study, disregarding deaths and migration patterns in or out of the region.

Unfortunately, the Census data we obtained does not always group data into the ten-year age groups we required for this study. Often the Census Bureau would indicate population age groups using mid-decade ages (i.e., age 45-54, age 55-64, etc.) When ages from the Census were ranged from mid-decade to mid-decade, that figure was divided in half and each half was redistributed between the age ranges we needed for this study. When the dividend resulted in a fraction, the younger age range was increased and the older age range was decreased in order to bring them each to a whole number. Therefore, some statistical error may have been introduced as a result of our methods, however, the overall trends we found probably were not affected.

The 1930 Census data was the first we found that grouped the Census count by county and age groups. The Census data that is available to us prior to 1930 require us to hand-count the number of individuals in each age group in every county. We decided not to pursue this labor-intensive count with the pre-1930 Census data.

We did, however, find a source for the 1920 Census that indicated age groups by county for ages 0-6 and ages 7-13. We used this data to determine the number of individuals in the 0-9 age group for each of our counties for the 1920 Census. In order to do this we added the number of individuals aged 0-6 to a percentage (3/7ths or 42.8571 percent) of those in the 7-13 age group. We did not try to determine the data for any other age group for the 1920 Census.

On the county census data sheets, formulas may actually vary somewhat from county to county and decade to decade based on how federal census reflected age brackets and whether or not there were fractions resulting from dividing age ranges.


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