Illinois poverty rate stagnant as it declined nationwide

Heartland Alliance
(https://www.heartlandalliance.org/get-informed/research-policy-landing)
September 14, 2018

Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that the poverty rate in Illinois stayed stagnant from 2016 to 2017, while poverty declined nationwide. And while the nation returned to pre-recession levels of poverty last year, poverty in Illinois remains stubbornly high—12.6% compared to 11.9% in 2007 before the recession. In addition to the flat poverty rate, the data found that health insurance coverage rates declined in Illinois for the first time since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Despite administrative attacks on the ACA, uninsured rates stayed constant nationwide.

“While many indicators of well-being are improving across the country, Illinois poverty still has not rebounded from the recession. Hundreds of thousands of working people live in poverty, and Illinoisans of color are still lagging behind white people on income growth and poverty rates,” said Katie Buitrago, director of the Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance. “There’s strong evidence that safety net programs play a critical role in moving people out of poverty, but they are under attack at both state and national levels.”

— Katie Buitrago, director of the Social IMPACT Research Center

Read Heartland Alliance’s fact sheet on Illinois and Chicago region poverty, income, and health insurance trends based on the newly released data.

This recent release also revealed:

  • Extreme poverty—having income below half the poverty line—was also stagnant from 2016 to 2017 in Illinois, and is now at 5.8%. 724,307 Illinoisans are extremely poor.
  • Illinois median household income grew from 2016 to 2017, and is now $62,992. Income is still 3% below its pre-recession 2007 level.
  • The rate of non-seniors in Illinois who are uninsured grew to 7.8%, a 0.4 percentage point increase from 2016. This is the first time since the implementation of the ACA that uninsurance rates grew. 841,151 non-seniors remain uninsured.
  • People of color are disproportionately impacted by poverty: 8.8% of white, non-Latino Illinoisan are poor compared to 26.2% of black Illinoisans and 15% of Latino Illinoisans.
  • Nearly one in four Illinois renter households pay more than half of their income in rent.
See the full fact sheet for more.

Census Bureau’s local demographic,
social, economic, and housing data

Access the Census Bureau’s local demographic, social, economic, and housing data that were released today for places with populations of 65,000 or more at http://action.heartlandalliance.org/site/R?i=IhyWux5corxUDzvkOzPJZA.
Contact Heartland Alliance for assistance accessing and interpreting the data.

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