Publication Date: January 2004
Publisher: Northern Illinois University; Roosevelt University; The Chicago Urban League
Author(s): James H. Lewis ; Anthony Clark; Paul Street; Jason Akst; Paul Kleppner; Ruth Anne Tobias; Desheng Xu
Research Area: Economics; Social conditions
Keywords: working class families ; low-income families ; poverty
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.
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