Fulton County is located in west central Illinois where the climate is humid continental, with cold, relatively dry winters and warm, wet summers. Three air masses affect the climate in Illinois. The coldest, driest air mass is from Canada and most frequently covers Illinois in the winter. The warmest, most humid air mass and source of most of the precipitation originates from the Gulf of Mexico and is most frequent in the summer. The third air mass originates over the Pacific Ocean and tends to bring mild, dry air to Illinois. Any of the three air masses can be found over Illinois during a given season; thus, accounting for large day-to-day temperature and humidity variations.
The mean annual temperature ranges from 50°F to 55°F. Variations in precipitation and temperature may occur in any year because the basin is far from large physical features, such as oceans or mountain ranges that modify regional weather patterns.
Precipitation is normally 35–38 in./yr. In 1993, many states in the Midwest set records for annual precipitation, which resulted in massive flooding. Heavy, sustained precipitation in early spring through October contributed to the wettest year on record for Illinois with 50 in. as the statewide average precipitation for the year. The previous record was 49.5 in., which was set in 1927. Precipitation ranged from 50 to 70 percent above the long-term average across the state.
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Lewistown have ranged from a low of 14 °F (−10 °C) in January to a high of 88 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −30 °F (−34 °C) was recorded in January 1999 and a record high of 106 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1983. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.85 inches (47 mm) in January to 4.43 inches (113 mm) in May.
During the early years of settlement, Fulton County residents concentrated in many __cpLocations around the county. Since that time, many of these places have faded away leaving little or no trace on the landscape, surviving only in the annals of our history. The following towns survive today.
According to the census of 2010, there were 37,069 people, which is a decrease of 3.1% from 38,250 in 2000. Its County seat is Lewistown. Canton is the largest city and the smallest is Marbletown which contains one house. Fulton County is southwest of Peoria, and is considered a part of the wider Peoria Consolidated Statistical Area.
According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 882.57 square miles (2,285.8 km2), of which 865.60 square miles (2,241.9 km2) (or 98.08%) are land and 16.98 square miles (44.0 km2) (or 1.92%) are water.
In the County, population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 28.9% from 45 to 64, and 28.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.9 years. Females age 18 and over were 38.2% of the total population and 40.9% were males.
There are 16,125 households, and 14,665 families residing in Fulton County. The population density was 42.8 people per square mile (17/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.5% White, 3.7% Black or African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. 2.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino.
There were 14,877 family households out of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female head of household with no husband present, and 33% were non-families. 28.1% of all households were made up of one person and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.86.
The median income for a household in the county was $43,363. The per capita income for the county was $21,396. 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line. Private wage or salary: 77% Government: 16% Self-employed, not incorporated: 7%