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Perry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 22,350. Its county seat is Pinckneyville. It is located in the southern portion of Illinois known locally as "Little Egypt".

History

Perry County was formed in 1827 out of Jackson and Randolph counties. It was named in honor of Oliver Hazard Perry who defeated the British fleet at the decisive Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. File:Perry County Illinois 1827.png|Perry County at the time of its creation in 1827 In its early history, Perry County was mainly an inland pioneer outpost. Early settlers, including some Revolutionary War veterans bearing land grants, moved here from the Eastern United States. These were primarily Protestant settlers. Growth boomed in the 1850s for two reasons: construction of the Illinois Central Railroad through the eastern portion of the county, and the discovery of large coal reserves. Immigrants from Ireland, Poland, Germany, Italy and elsewhere steadily increased the County's population from 1850 through the 1920s. African Americans also were established in the County during northward migration following the Civil War. Mining continued to be the dominant employment sector through the 1990s.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and (1.2%) is water. Perry County is located in Southern Illinois. Pinckneyville, at the center of the county, is approximately southeast of St. Louis, Missouri and southwest of Chicago. The Mississippi River lies about west and southwest of the County at its closest point. The County's topography is mainly flat with some rolling hills. The part of the County's eastern border, the part shared with Franklin County, is formed by the Little Muddy River. Beaucoup Creek runs north to south through the County and lies just east of Pinckneyville. The county's topography also features many "strip cut" lakes, lakes left behind following above-ground coal mining. Lakes at two of the county's chief recreation areas, the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds and Pyramid State Recreation Area, were formed this way.

Climate and weather

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Pinckneyville have ranged from a low of in January to a high of in July, although a record low of was recorded in January 1912 and a record high of was recorded in July 1934. Average monthly precipitation ranged from in February to in May.

Major highways

* U.S. Route 51 * Illinois Route 4 * Illinois Route 13 * Illinois Route 14 * Illinois Route 127 * Illinois Route 150 * Illinois Route 152 * 20px Illinois Route 154

Adjacent counties

* Washington County - north * Jefferson County - northeast * Franklin County - east * Jackson County - south * Randolph County - west

Demographics

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 22,350 people, 8,335 households, and 5,622 families residing in the county. The population density was . There were 9,426 housing units at an average density of . The racial makeup of the county was 87.9% white, 8.3% black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 1.6% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 32.8% were German, 14.3% were Irish, 10.6% were English, 8.1% were American, and 6.3% were Polish. Of the 8,335 households, 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.5% were non-families, and 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.90. The median age was 39.4 years. The median income for a household in the county was $40,696 and the median income for a family was $50,130. Males had a median income of $40,768 versus $28,377 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,926. About 11.5% of families and 14.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.6% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.

Communities



Cities

* Du Quoin * Pinckneyville

Villages

* Cutler * St. Johns * Tamaroa * Willisville

Unincorporated communities

* Conant * Swanwick * Winkle

Politics



See also

* National Register of Historic Places listings in Perry County

References

{{Coord|38.09|-89.37|display=title|type:adm2nd_region:US-IL_source:UScensus1990 Category:Illinois counties Perry County, Illinois Category:1827 establishments in Illinois Category:Populated places established in 1827