Why Mt Vernon is poorer than other areas of Illinois

According to 2021 data, the City of Mount Vernon, Illinois, housed a population of approximately 37,400 individuals. The median age of residents stood at 41.2 years, and the median household income reached $54,692.

For comparison, the average annual salary across the state of Illinois in 2024 is reported to be $79,961, translating to an hourly rate of $38.44. Entry-level positions in the state typically start at $43,797 annually, while experienced workers can command salaries up to $143,434 per year.

There are several factors that may contribute to Mount Vernon’s relative poverty compared to the rest of Illinois. Some possible reasons include:

  • Economic factors: Mount Vernon’s economy has faced challenges in recent years, with some industries experiencing closures or layoffs. This has led to a decline in job opportunities and reduced economic activity in the area.
  • Education levels: Mount Vernon has a lower percentage of residents with college degrees compared to Illinois as a whole. This can lead to reduced economic mobility and lower wages for many workers.
  • Historical factors: Like many smaller cities in the Midwest, Mount Vernon has been impacted by broader economic and demographic trends that have led to population decline and economic stagnation.

However, the benefit of this is that house prices in Mt Vernon are significantly cheaper than those in other parts of Illinois. Ths shows that sometimes, statistics aren’t as damning as they may first appear.