Report: 1/3 of Illinoisans In or Near Poverty

A new report puts a spotlight on poverty in Illinois, claiming one-third of the people in the state are in or near poverty.


The study, published Wednesday by the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights’ Social IMPACT Research Center, defines “near poverty” as up to 199% of the poverty line.

The report says a family of four is considered poor if its annual income is below $23,021.  Nearly 1.9 million Illinoisans are in poverty, and almost half of those live with less than half the income of the poverty line.

IMPACT says 39 out of 102 counties are on either the Poverty Watch or Poverty Warning Lists. Six of the worst ten counties in terms of poverty are in southern Illinois.

Jackson County has the highest rate at 33.7%, more than twice the state poverty rate of 15%. Alexander County is second on the list at 31.3%. Pulaski County is 4th at 22.4%, Saline County is 6th at 20.8%, Hardin County 7th at 20.4% and Union County 10th at 19.4%.

You can find the report at