Illinois Poverty Figures Show St. Clair County On Warning List

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) – The latest poverty figures are out for Illinois and they paint a bleak picture statewide, including some counties in the St. Louis area.

St. Clair County is one county with particularly disturbing numbers.

The report from the Social Impact Research Center in Chicago says that 33% of Illinoisans statewide either live in poverty or are close to it.

That’s a jump of more than three percent since 2007.

St. Clair County is one of 14 counties on what’s termed the “poverty warning list” in the report.

Here are their numbers:

  • Poverty rate was 19.1% in 2011
  • Child poverty rate was 30.5% in 2011
  • Unemployment rate as of September 2012 was 9.1%
  • Median household income was just under $50,000 in 2011

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Two other Illinois counties in our general area also made the “warning” list which is the most serious ranking in the study. Those counties are Montgomery and Fayette.

Randolph, Perry, Calhoun and Greene Counties made the “watch” list, which is not quite as serious as the warning classification.

The study’s authors say the statewide poverty figures are the highest in recent memory.

They say possible solutions include raising the state’s minimum wage and increasing access to the state’s 529 college savings programs.