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Chicago Press Release

Chicago Press Release

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September 22, 2011
Amy RynellSocial IMPACT Research Center at Heartland AlliancePhone: 312.870.4943
The Recession’s Toll: Significant Poverty Growth and Income Declinesthroughout Chicago Region and the Midwest
 Immediate, Expert Analysis Available
The U.S. Census Bureau released new local information on income, poverty rates, and health insurancecoverage from the American Community Survey on Thursday, September 22.
Thursday, September 22
Friday, September 23
experts on poverty issues from the Social IMPACTResearch Center will be available to provide analysis of the new data and discuss their context andimplications.IMPACT is also summarizing the new information in customized fact sheets based on local data for all Illinoiscounties and places with populations over 65,000 and Midwest states, including a 2010 snapshot and trendover time analysis. These fact sheets will be available on request and will also be made available throughoutthe day on Thursday, September 22 and Friday, September 23 athttp://www.heartlandalliance.org/research/current-and-local-data/local-fact-sheets.html. While the recession technically ended in 2009, these new data show declining incomes, stubbornly highunemployment, and record numbers experiencing poverty persists across Michigan and throughout theMidwest, leading to increasing hardship and need in local communities.
The number of peopleexperiencing poverty in the Chicago Region has increased by 60,141 people from 1999 to 2010.
It isclear that economic troubles are far from over for working individuals and families throughout theMidwest, with data highlighting further the human consequences of the recession. Some notablefindings from today’s release include:
1,114,530 people living in the Chicago Region experienced poverty in 2010, a rate of 13.6%,up from 12.6% in 2009 and 10.6% in 1999.
From 1999 to 2010 household median incomes dropped dramatically across the region, withthe largest decline happening in Lake County ($16,362) and the smallest in Chicago ($5,766)
Overall 14.6% of Midwesterners are living in poverty. The number of people in poverty inthe Midwest dramatically grew by 3,127,842 people from 1999 to 2010.
Poverty in the ChicagoRegion2010Number 2010 RatePercentChangefrom 2009to 2010PercentChange from1999 to 2010
Cook County 856,360 16.7% 0.8 3.2Cook no Chicago 259,385 10.5% 1.2* 4.1DuPage County 59,730 6.6% 0.1* 3.0Kane County 56,707 11.1% 1.8* 4.4Lake County 60,440 8.7% 1.5* 3.0McHenry County 23,649 7.7% 0.7* 4.0Will County 57,644 8.6% 1.7 3.76 county region 1,114,530 13.6% 1.0 3.0Chicago only 596,975 22.5% 0.9* 2.9Suburban counties only 517,555 9.3% 1.2 3.7
* means change not statistically significant
Chicago Region MedianHousehold Income2010AmountChangefrom 2009Changefrom 1999
Cook County $51,466 -$1,940 -$8,625DuPage County $72,471 -2263* -$16,362Kane County $65,712 -1991* -$11,951Lake County $74,705 -2931* -$12,932McHenry County $68,867 -$6,861 -$15,960Will County $71,016 -2362* -$10,425Chicago $44,776 -$1,713 -$5,766
* means change not statistically significant
On the verge of a double-dip recession, the effects of the Great Recession on unemployment, poverty,and income generation are still being felt by millions of individuals and families, and the eroding safetynet means that while there are more people in need, there are fewer resources to help them.Preserving, extending, and strengthening these solutions can help keep more people from falling intopoverty and help those struggling to meet their basic needs:
Fund safety net and benefit programs
such as SNAP (food stamps), TANF, Medicaid, and theEarned Income Tax Credit, which help poor and near-poor individuals and families bridge thegap between low incomes and meeting their most basic needs. These programs not only helpreduce poverty, but also generate additional economic activity in local communities.
Continue Unemployment Insurance
for those seeking employment, which will help protectpeople who are out of work and keep families out of poverty.
Invest in subsidized and transitional employment programs
to help disadvantaged workers andstruggling businesses weather the stalled economy and create jobs that will put people back towork and that pay living wages.

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