2009 Illinois Self-Sufficiency Report: Getting By & Staying Ahead
The report illustrates that the struggles facing many Illinois families today did not begin with the current economic crisis. Economic security has been steadily eroding throughout the last few decades. Not only are more people than ever before without jobs, but over the long term the economy has shifted leaving fewer good-paying, family-supporting job opportunities available in the first place.
The Self-Sufficiency Standard is geographically specific, calculating real costs at each local level. In Illinois the Self-Sufficiency Standard is calculated for each county in the state as well as for East St. Louis, 3 regions in Chicago (North, West, and South Sides) and 3 regions in suburban Cook County (North, West, and South Suburban Cook).
The income needed for families to achieve self-sufficiency varies considerably throughout the state. Not surprisingly, the cost of meeting basic needs is higher in major metropolitan areas. A single parent with a preschooler and a school-age child living in DuPage County has an hourly Self-Sufficiency Wage of $29.31—$61,910 annually—the highest in the state. In contrast, Edgar County has the lowest Self-Sufficiency Wage in the state; the same family would need an hourly wage of $12.78—$26,986 annually—to get by there.
The Social IMPACT Research Center's Illinois Self-Sufficiency Project is made possible through the generous support of the Grand Victoria Foundation and the Chicago Foundation for Women.