Number of poor Chicagoans increases by more than 40,000

A smaller Chicago is seeing a greater percentage of its residents slip into poverty. That's one of the takeaways from new city- and state-level data the U.S. Census Bureau released last week.

The number of poor people in Chicago leaped by more than 40,000 between the 2000 Census and the 2010 American Community Survey, from 556,791 to 596,975. The increase came even as Chicago's overall population dropped from 2.8 million to around 2.6 million in the past 11 years.

In all, the census bureau reported last week, 22.5 percent of city residents were earning less than federal poverty thresholds in 2010, up nearly 3 percent points since 1999, when 19.6 percent of the city was found to be poor.

The share of people in poverty rose across all racial categories the census bureau tracks, save for a tiny decline among Asian groups.

In 2000, 29.4 percent of African-American Chicagoans were in poverty; last year that number was 33.6 percent. For Latinos the poverty rate jumped from 20 to 23.2 percent. Around 11 percent of white people living in the city were poor last year, up from 8.2 percent of the city 10 years back.

Here are the 2010 and 2000 census poverty data for the city of Chicago lined up next to each other:

Sources for the 2010 data can be seen by visiting the census's American Factfinder site. Poverty data broken down by race from the 2000 count is available here.

© Community Renewal Society 2011


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  • Asians are recession-proof.

  • In reply to gwill:

    There may be some truth to that. Also, much more entrepreneurial and not as much tending to rely on champions of poverty and race. Also, more willing to stay in the city than those of Caucasian background, although the Asians are moving into the north and northwest suburbs at an increasing rate.

    The main conclusions are that the state Democrats' "economic development" programs sure are really working, and if statistics mean anything, Blacks with money are moving out, leaving their poor brethren behind. In the meantime, any jobs created by Quinn are out by Roselle or the soybean farms.

    At some point, the Muckrakers will report that Chicago has become the doughnut hole that the Detroit area has. Then, who will be left to pay the city pensions?? Especially to guys like Gannon?????

    Investigate that.

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