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Working Poor Families in Chicago and the Chicago Metropolitan Area: A Statistical Profile Based on the 1990 and 2000 Censuses

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Abstract:

This report describes working poor families in the Chicago area. It finds, in part:

• In metropolitan Chicago, 10.7 percent of the working
families had incomes less than 150 percent of poverty, up
from 8.1 percent 10 years earlier.

• In the city of Chicago, 16.5 percent of the working families
had incomes less than 150 percent of poverty, up from 13.6
percent ten years earlier.

• While the number of working poor families in Chicago
increased, the rate of increase in the suburbs was so much
sharper that the city’s share of the region’s working poor fell
to 54.5 percent, down from 60.7 percent 10 years earlier.

It found the principal reason that so many working families are poor is because a large number of them have only one earner.