Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Obama country: A staggering one out of three Illinoisans lives in or near poverty — the peak of a continued climb over three decades

It means that one in five Illinois children are living in poverty, according to the study released by the Social IMPACT Research Center of Chicago's Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights. The forces behind this rising poverty in a post-recession economy go beyond unemployment, according to the study, which traces it also to an inadequate living wage and lack of access to education, housing, health care and assets. "Illinois' 33%: Report on Illinois Poverty," is based on 2011 U.S. Census Bureau data. It declares a crisis sparing no community in Illinois, and only worsening under budget cuts to government programs and policies that alleviate poverty. The 33% figure is up from 25% of Illinoisans who lived in or near poverty in 2000. In 1990, it was 27%; in 1980, 26%. The study found that almost half of Chicago's population is living in or near poverty. In suburban Cook and Kane counties, it's nearly a third; in DuPage, McHenry and Will counties, one out of five people, and in Lake County, one out of four. Statewide, 31% of the African-American population lives in poverty, along with 22.6% of Latinos; 12% of Asians, and 11% of whites.

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