The poverty rate in the state of Illinois and across the country has seen a 0.8 percent decline from 2014 to 2015, according to a 2016 report by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Illinois Hunger Coalition, Heartland Alliance, Chicago Jobs Council, Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies and the Coalition on Human Needs.
Currently, poverty affects 13.6 percent of Illinoisans compared to 11.9 percent before the recession, according to the same report.
Poverty is one of the factors that contributes to hungers, and less than 20 percent of Hispanic households receive SNAP benefits, according to The High Cost of Being Poor in Illinois October 2016 report.
A 2014 report by the Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends shows that in Illinois, 27 percent of Hispanics 17 and younger live in poverty, compared to 11 percent of Non-Hispanic whites 17 and younger. And when you break the number even further, you see that 45 percent of Non-Hispanic blacks 17 and younger live in poverty.
Additionally, 16 percent of Hispanics between the ages of 18-64, live in poverty, compared to 10 percent Non-Hispanic whites between 18-64. And 28 percent percent of Non-Hispanic blacks 18-64, also according to Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends.
In total, in Illinois 43 percent of Hispanics live in poverty, versus 23 percent of non-white Hispanics who live in poverty.
There are 2.1 million Hispanics living in Illinois, and they represent 17 percent of the state’s total population. They have a median age of 27, and for those that are 16 and older, they have a median annual personal earnings of $23,900. Lastly, among five years of age and older, 23 percent speak only English at home versus 77 percent who speak another language at home other than English, according to Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends.
In the The High Cost of Being Poor in Illinois October 2016 report, “The new Census Bureau data also show that effective anti-poverty programs, like housing assistance, child care subsidies, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) lift millions out of poverty and reduce the cost of poverty for millions more. But more needs to be done to reduce the burden of poverty even further, and for more Illinoisans living in and near poverty.”
According to the same report, in the City of Chicago there are 198,362 of households or 19.3 percent, who receive SNAP. Households with SNAP (below 100% FPL) are 107,583, and 54.2 percent of SNAP recipients are considered below poverty.
In Cook County alone from 2010 - 2014; 604,568 individuals live with incomes below 100% (FPL) Poverty, 277,184 individuals live with incomes below 50% (FPL) Poverty, and 573,527 individuals live in households with incomes from 100 - 199 FLP (low income), according to a 2016 Heartland Alliance report. And for these people to pay their rent in the city of Chicago, 50 percent of renter households are paying over 30% of income on housing costs, 27.2 percent of renter households are paying over 50% of income on housing costs, and 4 percent of households are receiving public assistance.