Just-Published Abstract Answers Thousands Of Questions About Illinois

March 02, 1998

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Which Illinois county produces the most corn? How many people work at firms owned by women in Illinois? What city has the highest death rate from cancer? The answers to these and thousands of other questions can be found in the 1997 Illinois Statistical Abstract.

Published by the University of Illinois, the 856-page book is crammed with tables, charts and graphs that portray the state in all its quirks and heterogeneity.

The book updates the 1996 edition and is the 12th of a series that began in 1977. It was produced under the direction of the College of Commerce and Business Administration and was edited by Susan Hartter, Carole Amidon and W. Thomas Whalen.

The abstract is compiled from more than 50 sources. Unlike in some reference books, the information is arranged "in a sensible way," Hartter said. "You don't have to be a statistician to use the book."

Whenever possible, the information is arranged by county and by metropolitan statistical areas such as Chicago, East St. Louis and Peoria. Included are figures on crime, courts and law enforcement; parks and recreation; transportation and energy; government transfer payments; education; health and vital statistics; and the value of goods and services produced, broken down by industry.

A sampler:

-- McLean County was the biggest corn producer in 1996; its per-acre yield, however, was slightly lower than the yields in Logan, Sangamon and Putnam counties.

-- There were 35,809 firms owned by women in the state. They employed 315,615 people and had a total annual payroll of $5.89 billion.

-- Nearly 38 million people boarded planes at Illinois airports in 1996, with 85 percent departing from O'Hare International in Chicago. Meigs Field, on the Chicago lakefront, had 16,542 enplanements, while Romeoville Airport had only 27.

-- Cass County recorded the highest death rate from cancer in 1994, while Calhoun and Henderson counties tied for the highest death rate from heart diseases. Springfield had the highest percentage of cancer deaths among Illinois cities, and the Quad Cities had the highest heart disease rate.

-- Per-capita personal income in Illinois is 9 percent greater than in the nation as a whole, but varies widely by locale with the highest ($35,927) in Lake County north of Chicago and the lowest ($11,976) in downstate Johnson County.

The abstract may be purchased for $50 from the Office of Research, 430 Commerce West, 1206 S. Sixth St., Champaign, IL 61820; 217-333-2331. It's also available in CD-ROM and disk formats. Together, the book, disks and CD-ROM can be purchased for $125. The CD-ROM also includes data from the 1990 to 1996 abstracts.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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