Rural Poverty Highlighted In New Report

Jul 3, 2014

Credit New York Times

Poverty is prevalent in rural areas across the U.S. That’s according to a published report, which says it’s not just an urban issue. Some northern Illinois ranked near the middle, while others fared better in the rankings.

The report from the New York Times measured quality of life indicators in every U.S. county. Those indicators include education, median household income, unemployment, disability rates, life expectancy and obesity. Things like crime and environmental factors were left out because not all of the same information was available.

Times reporter Alan Flippen helped compile the data. He says the problems facing rural areas really stood out.

“When you looked at the data, every single county in the bottom 20-percent was in a rural or very small metropolitan area. You had to go surprisingly far up the list before you got to major American cities,” Flippen said.

Flippen says the information suggests that existing government programs aren’t reaching rural areas.

Here is a link to the map.

Local Counties

A total of 3,135 counties were measured. Here is how several northern Illinois counties ranked:

- McHenry #192

- Jo Daviess #359

- Kane #416

- DeKalb #512

- Boone # 870

- Ogle #925

- Lee # 1366

- Carroll # 1391

- Whiteside # 1544

- LaSalle # 1554

- Stephenson # 1647

- Winnebago # 1685