A staggering one out of three Illinoisans today lives in or near poverty — the peak of a continued climb over three decades, a new study finds.
“Illinois’ 33%: Report on Illinois Poverty,” is based on 2011 U.S. Census Bureau data. It declares a crisis sparing no community in Illinois, and only worsening under budget cuts to government programs and policies that alleviate poverty.
“I work maybe 25 hours a week, and manage my money the best way I can,” he said. “Rent comes first, then lights and cellphone. But now that my CTA bus card just went up, I’m really going to have to budget my money to make it through.”
The 33 percent figure is up from 25 percent of Illinoisans who lived in or near poverty in 2000. In 1990, it was 27 percent; in 1980, 26 percent.
“We wanted to get a handle on how people are recovering post-recession and to understand how things like our state’s budget crisis are filtering down into communities,” said report author Amy Rynell, director of the research center. [Wait! Are you suggesting that things were better when George W. Bush was President? – Aggie]
“What we learned was extraordinarily disturbing,” Rynell said.
The study found that almost half of Chicago’s population is living in or near poverty.
Statewide, 31 percent of the African-American population lives in poverty, along with 22.6 percent of Latinos; 12 percent of Asians, and 11 percent of whites.
Of the state’s households headed by single women, 34.3 percent live in poverty; as do 8.2 percent of senior citizens, and 20.7 percent of disabled people.
The pervasiveness makes poverty one of the most pressing social issues facing Illinois and the nation, according to the study. It offers recommendations from increasing minimum wage and the affordable housing stock to addressing issues of education, health and nutrition and financial traps intrinsic to poverty.
Okay, all you Progressives. Can you please explain to me why African Americans, women, and other vulnerable groups did much better under George W Bush than in the glory age of Obama? Just once, use the data, not pre-conceived notions.