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WJBD - Local News - Marion County Poverty Rate High, County on Poverty Watch

Map of Illinois' Poverty Rates. Submitted Photo.

Marion County Poverty Rate High, County on Poverty Watch

By Will Doolin, WJBD News

Marion County has a poverty rate above average for Illinois, but it's not in the top ten.  The Chicago-based Social IMPACT Research Center's report on Illinois poverty has been released, showing the counties with some of the highest poverty rates in the state.  The state poverty rate is 15-percent.  A family of four is in poverty if it has an annual income below $23,021. Information is based on the U.S. Census Department's 2011 American Community Survey. 

The Marion County poverty rate is 16.5-percent, 1.5-percent above the state rate.  According to the report, 3,350 people were considered in poverty in the county.  The child poverty rate is 26.6-percent, compared to the state average of 19.4-percent.  Median household income in the county is $38,182, lower than the state average of $52,967.  The county is ranked 9th in the state for unemployment, with jobless claims at 3,464.  

Marion County is on a poverty watch, meaning the county received a score of a four or five on the well-being index and will be monitored closely.  36-counties out of Illinois' 102 counties are on the watch or warning list.  The warning means the county received a score of six or above on the well-being index and needs to take corrective action.  

Illinois counties with the highest poverty rate include Jackson County at 33.7-percent, Alexander County at 31.3-percent, and Champaign County at 23.4-percent.  Jefferson County and Wayne County are also on poverty watch, with Clay County on a poverty warning.

For more information on Illinois' poverty rates, visit www.ilpovertyreport.org.  

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