More Than 75% Of Illinois Counties Facing Threats To Social And Economic Well-Being

Share Article

79 out of 102 Illinois counties are on Heartland Alliance’s Poverty Watch or Warning lists in Most Recent Well-Being Index

The rise in the number of counties on the Poverty Watch and Warning lists only confirms what we at Heartland Alliance see every day: that Illinois communities need meaningful investments, economic opportunity, and policies that work to bring equity to all communities.

New data from the Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance show that Illinois residents are faring worse on poverty, unemployment, teen birth, and high school graduation rates. The new analysis found that 79 out of 102 Illinois counties are on either the Poverty Watch or the Poverty Warning lists, which are created using Heartland Alliance’s County Well-Being Index. This is an increase from last year, when 67 out of 102 Illinois counties were on the Poverty Watch or Poverty Warning lists.

“The rise in the number of counties on the Poverty Watch and Warning lists only confirms what we at Heartland Alliance see every day: that Illinois communities need meaningful investments, economic opportunity, and policies that work to bring equity to all communities,” said Heartland Alliance’s Director of Research, Katie Buitrago. “The data we released today can help people working to making change in their communities understand the conditions on-the-ground and make better decisions about how to move the needle on poverty.”

This newly released county and local data about poverty and well-being in Illinois are available in an interactive map at the Social IMPACT Research Center’s website.

The County Well-Being Index, created by the Social IMPACT Research Center, highlights counties that are experiencing particularly negative conditions and trends on four key indicators: poverty, unemployment, teen births, and high school graduation. The counties are evaluated using a point system, with a higher number of points indicating a worse score. A county receives a point if its rate is worse than the state average and/or if it has worsened since the previous year, for a total of 8 possible points.

Counties on the Poverty Watch list have a score of 4 or 5 and need to be monitored by local leadership, while counties on the Poverty Warning list have a score of 6, 7, or 8 and need to initiate corrective action (such as adequately funding education, quality job creation, and human services).
In addition to the County Well-Being Index, the Social IMPACT Research Center released county, Chicago metro area, and Chicago community area-level data on a broad range of indicators related to poverty and well-being.

These indicators on poverty, rent burden, employment, vacancy, and more, are displayed through interactive maps or dashboards. To demonstrate how the public, media, government entities, and non-profit service providers can use the data to understand local needs and help combat poverty.

Counties on the Poverty Warning list include:

  • Bond County
  • Brown County
  • Cass County
  • Champaign County
  • Clay County
  • Fayette County
  • Ford County
  • Franklin County
  • Fulton County
  • Gallatin County
  • Greene County
  • Hardin County
  • Jefferson County
  • Johnson County
  • Knox County
  • Lawrence County
  • Livingston County
  • Macon County
  • Macoupin County
  • Marion County
  • Mason County
  • Massac County
  • McDonough County
  • Montgomery County
  • Morgan County
  • Peoria County
  • Perry County
  • Pike County
  • Pope County
  • Pulaski County
  • Randolph County
  • Richland County
  • Saline County
  • St. Clair County
  • Stark County
  • Stephenson County
  • Union County
  • Vermilion County
  • Warren County
  • Winnebago County

Counties on the Poverty Watch list include:

  • Adams County
  • Alexander County
  • Boone County
  • Bureau County
  • Carroll County
  • Christian County
  • Clark County
  • Coles County
  • Cook County
  • Crawford County
  • De Witt County
  • DeKalb County
  • Edgar County
  • Edwards County
  • Effingham County
  • Hancock County
  • Henderson County
  • Henry County
  • Iroquois County
  • Jackson County
  • Kankakee County
  • Lake County
  • LaSalle County
  • Logan County
  • Madison County
  • Marshall County
  • McLean County
  • Moultrie County
  • Ogle County
  • Rock Island County
  • Sangamon County
  • Schuyler County
  • Shelby County
  • Tazewell County
  • Wabash County
  • Wayne County
  • White County
  • Williamson County
  • Woodford County

###
Heartland Alliance, one of the world’s leading antipoverty organizations, works in communities in the U.S. and abroad to serve those who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety. It provides a comprehensive array of services in the areas of health, housing, jobs and justice – and leads state and national policy efforts, which target lasting change for individuals and society.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Joe Dutra
Visit website