Alexander County, Illinois facts for kids

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Alexander County, Illinois
Map
Map of Illinois highlighting Alexander County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the USA highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1819
Seat Cairo
Largest City Cairo
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

253 sq mi (655 km²)
236 sq mi (611 km²)
17 sq mi (44 km²), 6.8%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

8,238
35/sq mi (14/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Alexander County is the southernmost county of the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,238. Its county seat is Cairo.

Alexander County is part of the Cape Girardeau, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Alexander County was organized out of Union County in 1819. It was named for William M. Alexander, a physician who practiced in the town of America (the first county seat). Alexander became Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1822. The county seat was moved to Unity in 1833, then to Thebes in 1843, and finally to Cairo in 1860. America, the first county seat, is now within Pulaski County, which was formed from Alexander and Johnson Counties in 1843.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 253 square miles (660 km2), of which 236 square miles (610 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (6.8%) is water. Its borders are partly defined by the Mississippi River and the Ohio River. The lowest point in the state of Illinois is located on the Mississippi River in Cairo in Alexander County, where it flows out of Illinois and into Kentucky.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge (part)
  • Shawnee National Forest (part)

Major highways

  • I-57.svg Interstate 57
  • US 51.svg U.S. Route 51
  • US 60.svg U.S. Route 60
  • US 62.svg U.S. Route 62
  • Illinois 3.svg Illinois Route 3
  • Illinois 37.svg Illinois Route 37
  • Illinois 127.svg Illinois Route 127
  • Illinois 146.svg Illinois Route 146

Climate and weather

Weather chart for Cairo, Illinois
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
3.2
 
41
26
 
 
3.6
 
48
30
 
 
4.4
 
58
39
 
 
4.7
 
69
50
 
 
4.8
 
78
59
 
 
4.2
 
86
67
 
 
4.4
 
90
71
 
 
3.6
 
87
69
 
 
3
 
81
61
 
 
3.4
 
71
49
 
 
4.4
 
57
39
 
 
4.2
 
46
30
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Cairo have ranged from a low of 26 °F (−3 °C) in January to a high of 90 °F (32 °C) in July, although a record low of −12 °F (−24 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in June 1954. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 3.04 inches (77 mm) in September to 4.76 inches (121 mm) in May.

Demographics

USA Alexander County, Illinois age pyramid
2000 census age pyramid for Alexander County.
Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 626
1830 1,390 122.0%
1840 3,313 138.3%
1850 2,484 −25.0%
1860 4,707 89.5%
1870 10,564 124.4%
1880 14,808 40.2%
1890 16,563 11.9%
1900 19,384 17.0%
1910 22,741 17.3%
1920 23,980 5.4%
1930 22,542 −6.0%
1940 25,496 13.1%
1950 20,316 −20.3%
1960 16,061 −20.9%
1970 12,015 −25.2%
1980 12,264 2.1%
1990 10,626 −13.4%
2000 9,590 −9.7%
2010 8,238 −14.1%
Est. 2015 6,780 −17.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 8,238 people, 3,329 households, and 2,093 families residing in the county. The population density was 35.0 inhabitants per square mile (13.5/km2). There were 4,006 housing units at an average density of 17.0 per square mile (6.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 60.9% white, 35.4% black or African American, 0.3% American Indian, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 1.4% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.9% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 13.9% were German, 6.8% were Irish, 5.3% were English, and 4.7% were American.

Of the 3,329 households, 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 18.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.1% were non-families, and 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.94. The median age was 41.1 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,833 and the median income for a family was $44,699. Males had a median income of $35,880 versus $25,743 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,858. About 11.8% of families and 20.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.1% of those under age 18 and 14.7% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

City

Villages

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities


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