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Madison County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinoismarker. Madison County is part of the St. Louis Metro Area. As of 2006, the population was 265,303. The county seat is Edwardsville, Illinoismarker. The largest town in the county is Alton.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,918 km² (740 mi²). 1,878 km² (725 mi²) of it is land and 40 km² (15 mi²) of it (2.07%) is water. Madison County is on the Mississippi River, while the other major body of water is Horseshoe Lakemarker.

Major expressways and highways

Adjacent Counties


Madison County was established on September 14, 1812. It was formed out of Randolphmarker and St. Clairmarker Counties and named for James Madison. At the time of its formation, Madison County included all of the modern State of Illinois north of St. Louismarker, about three-fourths of the Territory.

In the late 1800s, Madison County became an industrial powerhouse, and in the 20th century, was known for first, Graniteware, and later, its steel mills, oil refinerys, and other heavy industry. Because of this large working class population, the county and surrounding area was well-known as a powerhouse for the Democratic Party.

Today, the county forms part of the semi-rural, sparsely-populated eastern portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area (nicknamed "Metro East") along with neighboring St. Clair Countymarker.

An excessive heat warning was issued in June of 2009. The heat index was over 110 degres.

Later in 2009, the EPA issued an air pollution report that ranked Madison County as the county with the second-highest cancer risk in the country due to air pollution, second only to Los Angeles County, California.


As of the U.S. Census of 2000, there were 258,941 people, 101,953 households, and 70,041 families residing in the county. The population density was 357 people per square mile (138/km²). There were 108,942 housing units at an average density of 150 per square mile (58/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.23% White, 7.31% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 1.08% from two or more races. 1.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 30.2% were of German, 11.6% Americanmarker, 10.4% Irish and 9.2% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 101,953 households out of which 32.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 11.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.30% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.90% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 22.50% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,541, and the median income for a family was $50,862. Males had a median income of $39,857 versus $25,968 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,509. About 7.20% of families and 9.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.70% of those under age 18 and 7.30% of those age 65 or over.

Political subdivisions

Map of Madison County, Illinois.



Unincorporated communities


Madison County is divided into twenty-four townships:


Madison County Transit serves the county with 25 bus routes and 85 miles (137 km) of bike trails.


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