* Heartland Alliance…
The poverty rate for the United States was 11.8% in 2018, a decline of 0.5 percentage points from 2017. There were 38.1 million people in poverty nationwide.
In 2018, 1.5 million Illinoisans were in poverty—a rate of 12.1%. Additionally, 2.0 million Illinoisans are near poor and economically insecure with incomes between 100% and 199% of the federal poverty threshold.
This year marks the first time that the U.S.poverty rate is below pre-recession levels; Illinois lags behind this trend, with its poverty rate just returning to pre-recession levels.
…Adding… One Illinois…
But the Census Bureau also reported that a key measure of income inequality rose to the highest level ever recorded in the United States. The Gini index measures income inequality on a scale from 0 to 1, with 0 being a totally equitable society where everyone has the same and 1 being a society where all wealth is concentrated in one household. The U.S. Gini index rose “significantly higher” from 0.482 in 2017 to 0.485 last year, according to a U.S. Census Bureau news release. When the bureau began compiling the Gini index in 1967 it stood at 0.397. Last year, no European nation had an index higher than 0.38.
The bureau didn’t give a state-by-state breakdown on the Gini index, but reported that most states, including Illinois, saw little or no increase last year. It worsened in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Texas, and Virginia. Overall, income inequality tended to be worst on the coasts, including California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, New York, the District of Columbia, and in Puerto Rico.
* Former Alexander County Housing Authority Director James Wilson still hasn’t made any payments on $500K he owes the feds
* ADDED: Jobs report shows unemployment rate down in all 14 metro areas