Racism’s Toll: 2016 Report on Illinois Poverty

Resource Overview

Our long history of racist public policies and institutional practices have left people of color in Illinois with limited resources to build financial security for themselves and their families.

The Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance unpacked these policies and practices in their Annual Poverty Report – Racism’s Toll: Report on Illinois Poverty. The report finds that poverty rates are 2 to 3 times higher for Illinoisans of color. In fact, people of color fare far worse on nearly every measure of well-being:

  • Child Poverty: Black children in Illinois are nearly 4 times more likely to live below the poverty line than white children.
  • Quality Education: The Illinois school districts with the most students of color receive 16% less in funding per student than districts serving the fewest students of color.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment rates are far higher for black Illinois workers than whites at every educational level.
  • Healthcare: Illinoisans of color are 2 to 3 times more likely to not have health insurance.
  • Life Expectancy: Black Illinoisans on average live 6 years less than whites.
  • Environment: Poor black (16%) and Latino (22%) Illinoisans are more likely to live within a mile of a hazardous chemical facility than poor whites (13%).

We also see great disparities in financial security and wealth. As the report highlights, people of color in Illinois have consistently been denied opportunities to build wealth over their lifetime and across generations.

Download the report to learn more.

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