Wayne County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 16,760. Its county seat is Fairfield. It is located in the southern portion of Illinois known locally as “Little Egypt”.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 715 square miles (1,850 km), of which 714 square miles (1,850 km) is land and 1.7 square miles (4.4 km) (0.2%) is water.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 16,760 people, 7,102 households, and 4,853 families residing in the county. The population density was 23.5 inhabitants per square mile (9.1/km). There were 7,975 housing units at an average density of 11.2 per square mile (4.3/km). The racial makeup of the county was 98.0% white, 0.4% Asian, 0.3% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 0.3% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 17.0% were German, 14.1% were English, 12.7% were American, and 9.8% were Irish.
Of the 7,102 households, 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.1% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.7% were non-families, and 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.86. The median age was 42.9 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $39,207 and the median income for a family was $47,879. Males had a median income of $34,800 versus $27,192 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,493. About 9.9% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.0% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.