Monday, February 19, 2007

Watch Out For Falling... Prosperity

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The 2007 Report on Illinois Poverty further contributes to the understanding of our regional poverty that I wrote about recently.

I’ll cite a few statistics from the report:

1) 12% of population lives in poverty.
2) One in four young Illinois adults lack health insurance.
3) Nearly 700,000 Illinoisans struggle in extreme poverty.
4) 85% of Illinois counties had increases in poverty in the last year.
5) 27 counties have no county-wide public transit service.
6) Illinois ranks as the worst state in the Midwest on:

  • Earnings and job quality performance.

  • Overall rate of uninsured people.

  • Rate of poverty of uninsured residents.

  • Most expensive rent for a 2-bedroom apartment.

  • Wage needed to afford a 2-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent.

  • Rate of children in households where the head did not finish high school.

  • Reading and math achievement between poor and non-poor 4th & 8th graders.

  • Per pupil spending gap between rich and poor districts. (The gap is the 2nd largest in the nation)

Gender Fact

  • Illinois women make only 70% of what their male counterparts make.
Regional Facts
  • 8 of the 10 poorest counties are in southern Illinois.

  • 18 of the state’s 25 counties on the Poverty Watch List are in southern Illinois.

Jackson County Facts

  • 10,723 people living in poverty.

  • Unemployment rate equals state average.

  • 10.8% teen birth rate vs. 9.9% statewide.

  • Poverty rate of 20.2% (and rising) vs. 11.9% statewide.

  • Average wage per job of $27,268 vs. $43,135 statewide.

  • 47% of households rent vs. 33% statewide.

  • 73.8% high school graduation rate vs. 76.5% statewide.

  • 48.4% of children eligible for free or reduced-price lunches vs. 45.5% statewide.
Read the Report for Policy recommendations or comment here with your ultimate answer to the problems.

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