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AUM data chart gives snapshot of county

Look around you in the grocery store sometime and see the diverse types of people of which our community consists. It's amazing how different we are.

Auburn University Montgomery's Center for Demographic Research recently released its &uot;Alabama Population Data Sheet,&uot; a comprehensive chart on the demographic makeup of our state, broken down by county.

&uot;Each year we try to throw in some new variables and emphasize the more interesting ones that have become available since the last sheet,&uot; said Dr. Don Bogie, director of the research center.

The information is compiled from the Census Bureau, and presented in an easy-to-use chart.

Some of the categories found on the chart are Rate of Natural Increase, Percent Under 20/Over 65, Median Family Income, and Percent Enrolled in Private Schools.

The chart shows that Butler County's population decreased 2.3 percent from 2000 to 2002, the same percentage decrease as was noted from 1990 to 2000.

The county's population decrease is partially attributable to the difference in the number of births vs. the number of deaths. In 2001, the number of births per 1,000 people was 13.5 vs. 13.9 deaths.

The chart shows the population decrease was a factor for 39 Alabama counties, all of which lost population from 2000 to 2002: Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Calhoun, Chambers, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Colbert, Conecuh, Coosa, Covington, Dallas, Escambia, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Geneva, Hale, Henry, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Macon, Marengo, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tallapoosa, Walker, Washington, Wilcox and Winston.

The lack of industry in our county is evident through the number of people who are living below the poverty threshold for a family of four, which is an income of $16,895 per year. In 1999, the number of people in Butler County living below the poverty level was 24.6 percent. The percentage of children below that level was 31.6.

Eight counties ranked higher than 40 percent in number of children below the state's poverty threshold. Perry County has the highest percentage of children below poverty level with 49.2 percent. The other seven counties are Bullock, Dallas, Greene, Lowndes, Macon, Sumter and Wilcox.

Another couple of interesting facts are the county's racial makeup in 2000 was 40.8 percent black and 58.4 percent white.

The percentage of the county that were married in 2000 was 54.7 vs. 9.7 percent that were divorced.

We also had 27.6 percent of the population working outside of the county.