Report: Racial disparities persist with Illinois poverty

CHICAGO (AP) — A nonprofit research group says poverty rates in Illinois are up to three times higher for racial minorities.

The Chicago-based Heartland Alliance’s research arm released a report Wednesday outlining significant racial disparities for income, unemployment, birth rates and housing, among other things. The 44-page document is called “Racism’s Toll: Report on

(Credit: wgmbh)
(Credit: wgmbh)

Illinois Poverty,” and looks at institutional racism in the state.

The disparities are remarkably persistent on nearly all quality of life domains:

  • Black children in Illinois are nearly 4 times more likely to live below the poverty line than white children.
  • The Illinois school districts with the most students of color receive 16% less in funding per student than districts serving the fewest students of color.
  • Unemployment rates are far higher for black Illinois workers than whites at every educational level.
  • Illinoisans of color are 2 to 3 times more likely to not have health insurance.
  • Black Illinoisans on average live 6 years less than whites.
  • Poor black (16%) and Latino (22%) Illinoisans are more likely to live within a mile of a hazardous chemical facility than poor whites (13%).

Nationally, the median net worth for a white household is $110,500 versus $6,314 for a black household.

Also, across the state the number of Illinois counties out of 102 total that are vulnerable to poverty is up to 57 from 46 identified last year. Those are counties that have negative conditions when it comes to poverty, unemployment, teen births and high school.

The report cites Census data, among other sources.