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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Jun 26, 2013

Illinois Citizens Ranked 16th In Overall Well-being, New National Data Shows

The overall well-being among Illinois residents has seen a slight improvement over the years, according to data from the American Human Development Index (HD Index) updated this month by Measure of America.

The HD Index factors in three issues Americans feel strongly about and also gauges human progress: health, education and income. The index tackles the question of how Americans are doing as opposed to how is the economy faring, which is something the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and other economic indicators seek to answer.

Illinois earned the 16th best HD Index score out of the 50 states, according to the “The Measure of America 2013-2014”. The report also includes an interactive map that lets users examine quality of life trends.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Jun 7, 2013

Half Of America’s Seniors Have Dangerously Low Incomes, New Report Shows

Nearly half of the country’s senior citizens are economically vulnerable, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute finds.

About 19.9 million, or 48 percent, of America’s seniors have incomes that are less than two times the supplemental poverty line, according to the report.

Jo Reed, director of the Elder Economic Security Initiative at Wider Opportunities for Women, said it is often poorly understood just how economically vulnerable older adults are, particularly women and people of color. Senior debt levels are also reaching record levels, she explained.

“We want to call attention to this reality, and based on this do everything we can to ensure that there are programs and policies in place that bolster the economic security for our elderly,” Reed said.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu May 2, 2013

New Study Challenges Prominent Business Climate Rankings (UPDATED)

Prominent studies that rank states’ business climates often contradict each other and should not be used to inform public policies, according to a new “Grading Places” report published by the Washington, D.C.-based Good Jobs First.

“There’s no such thing as a state business climate,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, on a conference call with reporters. “One size can’t fit all. Things vary much too much among different kinds of business facilities and among metro areas. There are no silver bullets. There [are] no magic variables.” <--break->

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Tue Mar 5, 2013

Illinois Among Nation's Worst In Affordable Housing For Extremely Low-Income Renters

Illinois’ extremely low-income renters are in dire need of affordable housing, according to a recent report issued by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Housing Action Illinois.

According to the report, for every 100 extremely low-income households in Illinois, there are only 28 available and affordable rental homes. In Illinois, a family of four is considered extremely low-income if their annual income is less than or at $21,650, which is 30 percent of the area median income.

Extremely low-income renters typically spend more than half their income on rent, according to researchers.

“When you are paying 60 or 70 percent of your income toward your housing costs, there’s not much money left for the other necessities of life, such as food, medical costs or investing in your education,” said Bob Palmer, policy director for the statewide housing coalition, Housing Action Illinois.

Quick Hit
by Jon Graef
Thu Nov 15, 2012

New Report Shows State-Level Income Inequality Gaps Worsening, Including In Illinois

According to a new report jointly issued by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute, Illinois experienced some of the worst gains in income inequality over a 10-year period between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s.

The report, titled Pulling Apart: A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends, which examines income inequality at the state level, was released Wednesday evening.

“We found that Illinois ranked ninth out of ten in terms of the level of inequality, and also that inequality grew faster in that state over the last decade than in other states because the bottom declined significantly,” report co-author Elizabeth McNichol, a senior fellow at the Center, said in a conference call.