According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 numbers — the last year for which data is available, the poverty rate for Madison County is 18.9 percent — which is higher than every neighboring county with the exception of Delaware, and above the national average of fifteen percent. The percentage of children living in poverty is 29.4 percent (increasing each and every year) compared to 22.6 percent for Indiana and 22.5 percent for the U.S.
Lastly, just to add salt to the wound, even though the county is the 13th largest in the state in terms of population, according to the Indiana State Department of Health, it is eighth in number of suicides.
Next week, education and housing will be examined.
Emmett Dulaney’s column appears Tuesdays.