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Illinois poverty rate finally returned to pre-recession levels last year

Friday, Sep 27, 2019

* 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.

More here.

…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.

* Related…

* 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

- Posted by Rich Miller        

8 Comments
  1. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    The long, slow climb out of a terrible recession. Hopefully this upcoming election will be about health insurance (we pay more for healthcare other economic leaders) and very bad income disparity, worse than leading economic countries.


  2. - SOIL M - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    One thing I have been trying to figure out, and havent found any data on, how much of the out migration been people below poverty line, and is that why the percentage is lower?
    Actually have only been looking at my County, but it would be interesting to know on a Statewide basis also. Are we losing more lower income people than higher income and does that have any bearing on the percentage change?


  3. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 10:57 am:

    ==The poverty rate for the United States was 11.8% in 2018==

    The national poverty rate has never been below 11%.


  4. - Honeybear - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    Soil, impoverished folk have a LOT of transportation issues. It’s super hard for them to move. When I worked the frontline customer service at the “aid office” as a caseworker. I would regularly be regaled by stories of how many busses or how far they walked to get to our office. Most of the time, they even carpool or have someone take them who has a car.
    Now imagine the expense of moving on top of that.
    That’s also why many jobs programs don’t work well here. They have trouble getting to jobs outside a certain radius. Many of the warehouses have a shuttle bus to the nearest bus stop.


  5. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    ==There were 38.1 million people in poverty nationwide.==

    ==The national poverty rate has never been below 11%.==

    That’s a sad commentary on one of the richest countries on the face of the Earth.


  6. - Anotheretiree - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    Soil.. I keep hearing a lot are mainly college students who don’t come back.I know 4 retirees who moved to Florida. A family of three who moved to Iowa for a job.A retiree and two adult children who moved to Oklahoma (LOL??). What worries me is that we just recovered to pre recession levels.Just in time for the next recession.At federal and State level,we aren’t ready for it.I see it as a continuation of 2002 and 2008. We’re stuck.


  7. - SOIL M - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 2:28 pm:

    Honeybear— In a county that has given out housing vouchers to move anywhere in the country, yes a lot have moved. We have also lost a lot who relocated for other reasons also, but closing Public Housing is a factor in population drop.

    Anotheretiree— We have suffered from losses such as those for a few decades now. The reasons people leave are many. And it also means that at a Local level we are even less prepared than the State of Federal levels for the next recession.


  8. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 27, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    ==no European nation had an index higher than 0.38.==

    Amazing what you can accomplish when the USA subsidizes your NATO contributions.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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