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2009 Poverty Study Released

By Kevin Robinson in News on May 1, 2009 2:40PM

If Illinois' unemployment rate goes up to nine percent this year, the number of poor people living in Chicago could jump to nearly a quarter million. The number of Illinoisans living in poverty likewise could reach 400,000. That's according to a new report released this week by the Heartland Alliance. In fact, as many as 405,000 more Illinoisans, 132,000 of them children, are likely to have been pushed into poverty as a result of the recession, and if these data are accurate, it represents almost a 30 percent jump in the number of people living in poverty state-wide over the last two years, as defined by the federal poverty level, which is $22,050 for a family of four. Heartland based their figures on existing data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other findings from the report worth noting include

  • There was 1 job opening for every 5 Midwesterners seeking a job in February 09;
  • 936,259, or 11.3 percent of Chicago area residents live at or below the poverty level;
  • The growth of the overall senior population in the Chicago area has increased 3.4 percent, but the growth of seniors in the labor force in the Chicago area has grown by 14.6 percent since 2000;
  • In Chicago, there is 1 payday lending license for every 463 poor Chicago families - 1 McDonald’s in Chicago for every 780 poor Chicago families;
  • Visits to food pantries in Cook County jumped 32.6% in the last year;

You can read the reports - for Chicago and for the state - at the Heartland Alliance's website.