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Madison ranks as No. 2 county in state

The Center for Leadership and Public Policy released a 90-page report called “Counties in Crisis.” The report provided data regarding the quality of life in Alabama. The executive director, Thomas Vocino, noted that the quality of life varies greatly from one area in Alabama to another.

Madison was ranked as the second highest-ranked county in the state. Madison County scored 3 out of 40 in the public safety ranking. However, it scored 37 for economy, 37 for health and 32 for education, creating a total score of 109 out of a possible 140 points. Madison was second to Shelby County.

Public Safety

Madison ranked as the No. 2 county with high incidences of rapes reported. There were 112 rapes in 2009 alone. In 2009, there were 1,255 juvenile arrests and the high school dropout rate was 39.1 percent, according to the report. In 2009 in Madison County, there were 10,677 arrests.

Economy

According to the report, the poverty level is 11.3 percent. Madison County’s unemployment rate is 2 percent lower than the state average. Madison County residents make an average of $48,040 annually, while the statewide average is $38,055. About 34 percent of Madison County residents have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. The national average for the United States is only about 24 percent. 

Health

Madison ranked as the No. 10 county in health care throughout the state, tying with five other counties. According to the report, Madison County has an obesity rate of 30.8 percent. Deaths related to diabetes are 29.7 per 1,000.

In Madison County there are 186.5 deaths relating to heart disease, 172.5 relating to cancer and 34.4 relating to strokes, according to the report.

Education

Madison ranked as the top second county in the state as far as education is concerned. The report says Madison has a teacher for every 15.5 students. About 85 percent of residents age 25 and older have a high school diploma.

“As host to the NASA center and numerous other companies and institutions that require a highly skilled workforce, this should serve as no surprise either, as the driving force of Madison’s economy requires a highly skilled, well-educated workforce,” the report reads.

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