Chicago Ranks Third In The Number Of Families Living Under Extreme Poverty

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 29, 2013 2:00PM

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Photo credit: C McSheridan

Among the top 10 largest cities in America, Chicago ranks third in the number of residents living under half of the poverty line. Megan Cottrell of The Chicago Reporter writes about the number of Chicagoans living in extreme poverty over at the Reporter’s Chicago Muckrakers blog. The numbers are alarming.

For a family of three, Cottrell writes, that means having to make do with around $9,500 a year. Kimberly Drew, a policy associate at the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, told Cottrell that means these families are making tough decisions like choosing whether to pay for medicine or food or utilities over rent.

According to this list Cottrell made of the 10 most populous American cities (gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey), only Philadelphia and Phoenix have a higher rate of residents living under extreme poverty than Chicago’s 10.40 percent. People living this far under the poverty line makes it harder for them to climb out of it as they rely on dead-end jobs with little opportunity for full-time work, let alone advancement. Cuts to public programs aimed at assisting low-income families have also contributed to the sad state of affairs.