A demographic profile of Kane, Lake and McHenry counties, Illinois
Henderson, David James
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This study is an analysis of the basic demographic features and trends in the population of Kane, Lake, and McHenry Counties, Illinois. The study involves detailed considerations of all the principal aspects of demography including the number and geographic distribution of the inhabitants, the composition or characteristics of the population, the vital processes (i.e., births and deaths), migration, and the growth of the population. Special attention is given to a comparison of the data for Kane, Lake, and McHenry by each county and with Illinois as a whole. This study is designed to determine and describe the essential features of the population of Kane, Lake and McHenry Counties to determine the nature of the changes it is undergoing, and to identify and describe some of the principal factors associated with the demographic situation and trends in KLM. The major topics which are covered in this analysis include: 1) the number and geographic distribution of KLM's inhabitants, 2) the characteristics of the population, i.e., age, sex, residence, race, educational status, and occupation, 3) the vital processes which are fertility and morality, and 4) the growth and redistribution of the population. A demographic study of Kane, Lake, and McHenry Counties is important for several reasons. First, the analysis of a population is a systematic way of organizing highly reliable data into a meaningful order so that references may be drawn to such things as industry, agriculture, health, education, employment, and unemployment. In the second place, Kane, Lake, and McHenry Counties are amenable to comparison with other geographic political units as reliable data is available. This enables valuable comparisons to be made not only for the present but in previous years. In this way trends in the population make themselves evident. Finally, an analysis of this kind, using tested and well-known techniques, makes it possible to contribute to the growing body of empirically verified knowledge in the general field of the population study. In the analysis, a number of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics were seen to be unique to the Kane, Lake, McHenry County area when compared to those of Illinois or U.S. populations. The three-county area comprises approximately 7.7 percent of the total Illinois population and is predominantly urban. The population tends to have a young age distribution and a male to female sex ratio that slightly favors males. The Kane, Lake and McHenry County area has a smaller proportion of minority population than is the case nationally or statewide. Its residents are better educated and the area's employment favors manufacturing industries to a substantially greater degree than at the state or national level. Kane, Lake and McHenry County residents tend to have higher income, lower levels of poverty, and are more likely to change residence than at either the state or national levels. The area has grown at a faster rate than the state or nation. The Kane, Lake and McHenry County crude death rate, fetal mortality rate and infant mortality rate are below either state or national levels, while the birth and fertility rates are above those statewide or nationally. The most important health concerns in the Kane, Lake and McHenry County area are the excess of area hospital beds, the spiralling cost of health care, and lack of adequate care for the poor, disabled and elderly.