Vital Statistics Don't Tell Entire Population Story

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan McKernan Daily Herald Staff Writer

As sure as there will be taxes, there will be deaths, births, marriages and divorces.

As it does every year, the McHenry County Clerk and Circuit Clerk's offices released vital statistics for 1998.

On the surface, the numbers don't reflect McHenry County's status as the fastest growing county in the state. But those numbers only show a portion of a larger picture - a picture of a ballooning population, county officials said.

Since 1996, these statistics lurch slightly up and down.

For example, the county clerk's office reported 1,771 births in 1998, which is a rise from the 1,666 new babies that entered the world via McHenry County in 1997. Still, the number of births in 1996, at 1,858, exceeded those of the last two years.

There were 1,400 marriages reported in the county in 1996. They rose to 1,470 in 1997 before falling to 1,406 last year.

"Marriages were down from last year, which kind of surprises me. The county is growing. The population is higher than it has ever been. You would think the trend would go up," county clerk Katherine Schultz said Wednesday.

That's why these numbers come with a footnote. The figures only represent activity within McHenry's borders. …