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 percent of the poverty line.
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Using the federal government’s definition of poverty, the study was conducted by gathering statistics and using previous studies from a variety of sources. Jennifer Clary, a research associate for IMPACT, says “calculating poverty estimates involves tallying up a family’s annual income and then determining if that amount falls above or below the poverty threshold for the family’s size.”
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.