Blogging Forgottonia

Musings from the hinterlands

Forgottonia Population Falls

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In 2000, the fourteen West-Central Illinois counties that Neil Gamm once grouped under the aegis of Forgottonia had a total population of 334,800.  Based on recently released data from the U.S. Census bureau, that population has now fallen to 324,389, a 3.1% decrease.  Only two of the 14 counties had a population increase – Calhoun (a whopping +5, so essentially no change) & Schuyler (+ 355, a 4.9% increase).

We could cheer for Schuyler County, but I wouldn’t.  The population increase there can be accounted for entirely by the number of inmates housed at the Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility for Sexually Violent Persons (average inmate population 352 in 2009).

The local papers have published several articles on the local census figures: Monmouth & Warren County census figuresGalesburg & Knox County census figuresofficial reaction in Knox Countypopulation numbers for local school districtsBurlington’s population loss, and overall rural population decline in Iowa.  The hardest hit counties of Forgottonia are right here at its heart – Knox, Warren, Henderson & Hancock.  Henderson County saw the biggest percentage drop, down 10.7% to 7331.  The 2008 flooding that devastated Gulfport & other communities played a big roll in that precipitous drop.

All of the Illinois counties that saw population increases (except Schuyler) included &/or collared metropolitan areas – Peoria, Springfield, Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal, Carbondale, Rockford, Vincennes (IN), Dubuque (IA), Paducah (KY), St. Louis & Chicago.  It’s suburbanization at work.  The jobs are in the larger communities, and that’s where the people go.


Written by Matthew

February 18, 2011 at 5:06 am

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