Illinois’s Highest and Lowest Income Areas

Illinois's Highest and Lowest Income Areas

Although Illinois’s population and economy are diversified, there are significant regional differences in income. This article explores the variables causing these differences, illuminating the state’s high- and low-income regions.

Factors Affecting Income Distribution

Income levels are mostly determined by a number of factors, such as location, cost of living, industry, occupation, and household size. greater education and skill levels, as well as high-demand professions and industries, are generally correlated with greater salaries. Location is important; certain places have more amenities and opportunities than others, but they often have greater costs of living. Income is also influenced by the size and makeup of the home; larger households may have more earners but also higher expenses.

Illinois Compared to Other States

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2023, Illinois’s median household income was $83,386—more than the national median of $67,521. In terms of median household income, Illinois ranked 13th out of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia in 2023. It also had a higher poverty rate (11.5%) than the national average (10.5%).

Illinois Areas with the Highest Incomes

The wealthiest areas of Illinois are primarily located in the north and center, especially in the Chicago suburbs and larger cities such as Springfield and Champaign-Urbana. Famous ZIP codes that in 2022 had the highest median household earnings include:
60045: $176,108; 60093: Winnetka; $173,919; 60521: Hinsdale; $166,936; 60022: Glencoe; $165,250; 60043: Kenilworth; $164,583; each
Prosperous neighborhoods, first-rate educational institutions, and easy access to Chicago’s thriving business and cultural center define these districts. They struggle with high living expenses, real estate taxes, and house values, nevertheless.

Illinois Areas with the Lowest Incomes

On the other hand, the most economically disadvantaged regions of Illinois are found in the state’s southwest and south, including both rural counties and large cities like Cairo, Rockford, and East St. Louis. Among the notable ZIP codes in 2019 with the lowest median household incomes are:

62988 (Tamms): $18,750 62995 (Vienna): $19,375 62906 (Anna): $20,000 62914 (Cairo): $16,667 62201 (East St. Louis): $17,500
In addition to having poorer standards of infrastructure, health care, and education, these areas struggle with high rates of poverty, unemployment, crime, and social problems. Their problems are made worse by issues including population reduction, environmental degradation, and a lack of job possibilities.

Consequences of Income Disparities

Uneven distribution of income within a population, or income inequality, can have a variety of effects on the political, social, and economic domains. Diminished economic development and efficiency, a rise in social issues and conflicts, and degraded democratic institutions and governance are some possible outcomes.

Taking Care of Income Inequality

Taking a holistic approach is necessary to address income disparity. Some possible strategies are as follows:

  • encouraging sustainable and equitable economic growth.
  • putting money into training and skill improvement.
  • bolstering safety nets and social protection.
  • improving tax and economic policy.
  • encouraging social interaction and discourse.

In summary

Illinois, a state with a thriving and varied economy, has notable income inequality. Numerous factors, such as education, industry, career, geography, cost of living, and household size, contribute to these disparities. Low-income areas are primarily found in the south and west, whilst high-income communities are concentrated in the north and central regions.

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