Illinois Poverty Report: Local and County Data on Poverty and Well-Being

Key Findings

Over half of Illinois counties are facing significant barriers to well-being, according to new data from the Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance. These new data shows that Illinois residents are faring worse on poverty, unemployment, teen birth, and high school graduation rates. The new analysis found that 52 out of 102 Illinois counties are on either the Poverty Watch or the Poverty Warning lists. This is an increase from last year, when 30 out of 102 Illinois counties were on the Poverty Watch or Poverty Warning lists.

The rise in the number of counties on the Poverty Watch and Warning lists only confirms what we at Heartland Alliance see every day: that Illinois communities need meaningful investments, economic opportunity, and policies that work to bring equity to all communities. Our hope is that this data can help people working to making change in their communities understand the conditions on-the-ground and make better decisions about how to move the needle on poverty.

This data is the second phase of Heartland Alliance’s annual poverty report release. Our narrative report will be released this fall.

For more information, contact Amber Crossen at