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Chicago Poverty Report 2009

Chicago Poverty Report 2009

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2009 Report on Chicago Region Poverty
Heartland Alliance Mid-America Institute on Poverty4411 N. RavenswoodChicago, IL 60640research@heartlandalliance.orgwww.heartlandalliance.org/research/
oday, in the midst o a recession, our apprehension and insecurity grow as we watch people close to uslose jobs, health insurance, homes, and with it pieces o dignity and sel-respect. We begin to understandhow orces, including those beyond our control, can negatively impact our well-being despite our best eortsto make things turn out otherwise. And concepts like “poverty” and “hardship” are no longer abstract—theyare tangible realities.In a 1964 speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “There is nothing new about poverty.”
It has been truethat poverty and hardship are not just concepts or millions o our neighbors in Illinois.
Even beorethis recession, 2.2 million Chicago area residents were struggling in or near poverty, havingdiculty nding jobs ater getting laid o, experiencing homelessness ater losing their house,being held back by low education levels, and nding it next to impossible to save or a brighteruture.
The traditional stepping stones to a better lie—gainul employment, quality education, stable anddecent housing, access to health care and proper nutrition, and opportunities to build assets—have
been out o reach or some, not just in these difcult economic times.As President Obama stated in his inaugural speech, “The nation cannot prosper long when it avors onlythe prosperous. The success o our economy has always depended not just on the size o our gross domesticproduct, but on the reach o our prosperity, on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart—not outo charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.”
As discussions continue on the best wayto help the nation weather and emerge rom the recession, the ocus must be on meaningul policy changesthat truly lit all boats and make us collectively a much stronger nation.
I solutions do not specicallyaddress the needs o those whose lives and hardships are refected in this report, millions will be let behind, and we will
be let weaker and more vulnerable.
The quest or peace and justice 
, Nobel Lecture delivered on December 11, 1964. Retrieved January 28, 2009, rom http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-lecture.html
Inaugural address 
, delivered on January 20, 2009. Retrieved January 29, 2009, rom http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/inaugural-address/ 
In 2009, a amily o our that is poor by theederal government’s denition has an annualincome below $22,050. A amily that isextremely poor has an income less than halthe poverty line or their amily size—under$11,025 or a amily o our. A downloadable Data and DenitionsSupplement is available atwww.heartlandalliance.org/research/,containing: the County Well-Being Index; localdata related to income, poverty, employment,housing, health, and education; and moredetailed explanations o poverty denitions, datasources, and terms used throughout the report.
Chicago Region Poverty Profle & Projections
2009 Report on Chicago Region Poverty2
Chicago Region Poverty by County, 2007
Recessions have a disproportionate impact on lower-income amilies because they cause rising unemployment,a reduction in work hours, and the stagnation o amilyincomes—all o which have the greatest impact orthose with the least income.
Year-to-year changes inthe poverty rate are correlated (rise and all) with theunemployment rate.
In short,
a bad economymeans more people fall into poverty.
Unless otherwise noted, data on the Chicago region/area include Cook, DuPage,Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties. When data are presented or all counties,Cook County data are broken out into Chicago and Suburban Cook, i possible.
The most current poverty data refect the year 2007 andthereore do not capture current economic realities. Estimatessuggest that i the national unemployment rate reaches itsexpected level o 9.0% by the end o 2009, the ranks o the poorwill swell. Already in early 2009, local unemployment topped9.0%, meaning that since 2007 as many as:
more Chicago area residentsmay have become poor—
o them children.
more Chicago area residentsmay have become extremely poor—
o them children.
or 5.0% o Chicago area residentslive in extreme poverty, below 50%o the ederal poverty threshold
or 7.4% o Chicago area residentslive between 100% and 150% o theederal poverty threshold
or 6.3% o Chicago area residentslive between 50% and 100% o theederal poverty threshold
or 8.0% o Illinoisans live between150% and 200% o the ederalpoverty threshold
936,259 (11.3%)
o the region’s population living in poverty
1,277,860 (15.4%)
o the region’s population at risk o alling into poverty
Author’s analysis o U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 American Community Survey.
Iceland, J., Kenworthy, L., & Scopilliti, M. (2005, May).
Macroeconomic perormance and poverty in the 1980s and 1990s: A state-level analysis 
. (Discussion Paper, 1299-05). Madison, WI: Universityo Wisconsin-Madison, Institute or Research on Poverty.
Hoynes, H.W., Page, M.E., & Stevens, A.H. (2005). Poverty in America: Trends and explanations.
Journal o Economic Perspectives, 20 
(1), 47-68.
 Author’s analysis o Parrott, S. (2008, November).
Recession could cause large increases in poverty and push millions into deep poverty: Stimulus package should include policies to ameliorate harshest eects o downturn 
. Washington, DC: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 American Community Survey.
(under 100% FPL)
Extreme poverty
(under 50% FPL)
Low income
(100%-199% FPL)
Chicago20.5%9.1%20.6%Suburban Cook8.3%3.7%14.2%DuPage4.5%2.2%11.3%Kane7.6%2.9%15.0%Lake6.1%2.6%11.9%McHenry5.7%2.6%9.6%Will5.8%2.8%11.5%
2009 Report on Chicago Region Poverty3
Economic security is essential to human dignity and is the backbone o a strong community and economy. The current economic realityunderscores the need or a strong and responsive saety net that helps jobless workers, low-wage workers, and those unable to work support their amilies and or development o quality jobs that allow individuals to work and not live in poverty.
In 2008, initialunemployment claimsin the Chicago region
by 29.3%
 exceeding 2007claims by 107,329.
Illinois Department o Employment Security, Local Area Unemployment Statistics: LAUS. (n.d.).
Current monthly data 
. Retrieved March 31, 2009, rom http://lmi.ides.state.il.us/laus/currentMonthly.htm. Not seasonally adjusted.
Author’s analysis o U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates.
Author’s analysis o Northern Illinois University Center or Governmental Studies. (2008).
Northern Illinois market act sheets 
. DeKalb, IL: Author.
Author’s analysis o U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 American Community Survey. Refects all non-government employed workers.
U.S. Department o Labor, Bureau o Labor Statistics. (2008, June).
Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN-WI: National Compensation Survey, October 2008 
. Washington, DC: Author. Refects privateindustry workers.
Author’s analysis o U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 American Community Survey and 2000 Decennial Census.
Author’s analysis o Illinois Department o Employment Security, Local Employment Dynamics. (n.d.).
Unemployment Insurance (UI) program data 
. Retrieved February 20, 2009, rom http://lmi.ides.state.il.us/insurance/insure.htm. Also includes Grundy and Kendall Counties.
State PolicyOpportunity
Leverage ederal resources provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to address the unique employment and training needs o people in poverty and those with barriers to employment—including the Temporary  Assistance or Needy Families and Workorce Investment Act programs—to help get amilies and our economy back on track.
Unemployment Rates, February 2009
Kane 9.8%,
Chicago 9.7%
Lake 9.6%,
Will 9.6%,
McHenry 9.2%, 
Suburban Cook 8.6%
, DuPage 7.4%
Chicago area seniors age 65 and overincreasingly must work past retirementage to make ends meet.In the Chicago region, over
half a million people
work in service occupations
 with an average wage o
 an hour.
Median household incomes have declined dramaticallyacross the region, leaving amilies with less money tomake ends meet.
Growth in overall senior population,2000 to 2007 
Growth o seniors in labor orce,2000 to 2007 
(in 2007 dollars)
2007Dollar change
Cook$57,144 $52,564-$4,580DuPage$84,477 $73,472-$11,005Kane$73,855 $68,484-$5,371Lake$83,340 $77,834-$5,506McHenry$80,668 $73,286-$7,382Will$77,448 $71,384-$6,064

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