Mt. Vernon Register-News

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December 16, 2011

Poverty rate in Jefferson County released

2010 rate is 17 percent with a 24.9 percent child poverty rate

MT. VERNON — The poverty rate in Jefferson County for 2010 has been released at 17 percent, with a 24.9 percent child poverty rate.

The findings are in a report by the Heartland Alliance, and the Social Impact Research Center, which is an independent research group which provides analysis on social issues, and is based in Chicago.

The 17 percent poverty rate is down 1.9 percent from 2009, and 24.9 percent is down 4.2 percent from the previous year. The median income reported in 2010 in Jefferson County is $40,527, up 4 percent. Unemployment was reported at 8.8 percent, up from 8.7 percent the previous year.

“Nearly one in three Illinoisans are now considered poor or low income,” information from the Social Impact Research Center states. “Continuing the disturbing trend of the past decade, median household income has steadily declined in Illinois; it is currently $52,972, down 3.4 percent from the recession and 6.9 percent from before the recession. For families at the bottom of the income spectrum, having limited resources results in families having to balance their budgets through short term trade-offs with long-term consequences, such as deferring needs for medical care or dipping into retirement savings.”

Of surrounding counties, Jefferson County’s poverty rate is not the highest. Franklin County, which has an unemployment rate of 11.6 percent, has a poverty rate of 20.3 percent and child poverty rate of 27.9 percent. Its median household income is $32,853.

Marion County came in third in the area, with a poverty rate of 16.5 percent and a 10.8 percent unemployment rate. Child poverty in Marion County was at 26.6 percent, and a median income of $28,183.

Wayne County came in with a 14.9 percent poverty rate, and 7.9 percent unemployment. The child poverty rate was at 22.6 percent, with a median household income of $40,630.

Hamilton County came in slightly lower, with a 14.6 percent poverty rate, and 8.1 percent unemployment. The child poverty rate is 22.5 percent, with a median household income of $40,670.

Washington County showed the best poverty rate, at 8.2 percent, and a 7 percent unemployment rate. Washington County’s child poverty rate was at 22.6 percent, and median household income at $40,630.

The report also highlights the percent of severely rent-burdened households from 20055 to 2009, the food insecurity rate, the health uninsured rate for non-seniors, and the average personal debt for residents in each county.

In Jefferson County, 20.9 percent of households were reported as severely rent-burdened. It was reported 13.9 percent of residents are without health insurance and 15.9 percent have food insecurity. The average personal debt in Jefferson County is at $6,810.

There are 19.2 percent of residents severely rent-burdened in Franklin County; 15.4 percent of residents are without health insurance; 18.5 percent have food insecurity. The average personal debt is $5,627.

Marion County has 18.5 percent of its residents severely rent-burdened; 13 percent are without health insurance and 15.8 have food insecurity. The average personal debt is $6,008.

Wayne County has 14.5 percent of its residents severely rent-burdened; 14.4 percent are without health insurance; and 15.1 percent have food insecurity. The average personal debt is $5,806.

Hamilton County has 10.3 percent of its residents rent-burdened; 15 percent are without health insurance; and 13.9 percent have food insecurity. The average personal debt is $5,997.

Washington County has 14.5 percent of residents severely rent-burdened; 14.4 percent of residents are without health insurance; and 15.1 percent have food insecurity. The average personal debt is $5,806.

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