Getting By & Getting Ahead: The 2009 Illinois Self-Sufficiency Standard

Publication Date: September 2009

Publisher: Social IMPACT Research Group

Author(s): Heartland Alliance Social IMPACT Research Group

Research Area: Social conditions

Keywords: Illinois; Poverty; Workforce; Homelessness

Type: Report


In Illinois it takes an annual income of $49,030 for a single parent with a preschooler and a school-age child to meet their basic needs without assistance. An estimated 1 million Illinois households (non-senior headed) fall below the Self-Sufficiency Standard, with 652,000 households falling between the poverty line and the Self- Sufficiency Standard.
This report illustrates that the struggles facing many Illinois families did not begin with the current economic crisis. Over the last few decades wages have stagnated and incomes have declined, while the cost of basic goods has skyrocketed. Consequently, Illinoisans are under tremendous pressure to provide for their families - they have fewer resources available to pay for more. The report concludes by discussing strategies to help families get by and get ahead and also discusses how advocates, business leaders, policymakers, and service providers can use the Standard as they educate, advocate, and plan in their communities.