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Sociology and Culture - Essay Example

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Many of them are single parents, in particular, mothers. Many of them already receive assistance, but as they improve their status with hard work (and more pay), they are likely to lose benefits such as food stamps and medical and housing assistance. And Illinois ranks 24th among states in the percentage of children live under the poverty level. (Children) Statistics vary depending on which survey one view, but at a national level between one fourth and one fifth of our children live in poverty. About 85 % of low-income children have parents who work, and most have at least one parent working full-time, year-round. (Dinan) Chicago falls within those ranges.
Federal guidelines consider a family of four at poverty level if their income is $18, 400 or less. The United States Census Bureau listed 130,600 families, and 697,800 individuals in Cook County under that level. (food)
In statistics taken from 1990 and 2000 Censuses as reported by the Chicago Urban League, increases exist in the number of individuals living in poverty in all areas of the community. The increase is largest in the suburbs, nearly 50%. (Executive),
"In Metro Chicago 81.6 % of poverty-level families only one adult works. This figure is 50.6 % for non-poverty level families. In 43.1 % of these families a single parent supports at least one dependent. 55.2 % of these families have dependents. 66.2 % of Latino and African-American families living in poverty have dependents. 24.2 % of these families are single mothers with children, and among African-American families 55.2 % are single mothers with dependents. Of the children 32.4 % of the families have children younger than six years of age, and 36.3 % of the children are between the ages of six and thirteen.
In Metropolitan Chicago 37 % of these families are Latino and 34.5 % are African-American. In the city of Chicago proper, 39.4 % are Latino and 34.5 % are African-American." (Executive)
Only about 4.3 % of the population of Chicago is Asian. About 33 % of those live in the city itself. In the suburban area 4 % of those live in poverty, but in the city itself the percentage climbs to 18 %. (Little) Breaking it down still further, nearly one-third of Koreans in the city were living in poverty, a rate higher than that for blacks or Latinos.The Asian population also includes Indian, and other smaller ethnic groups.
Native Americans currently comprise 1% of the total population of Cook and Lake Counties. They have a higher proportion of people in poverty compared to Asians (10%) and whites (5%), and a lower proportion compared to African Americans (25%), with theirs being 15 %. (Anawin) Additional notes of interest include that in Metropolitan Chicago, 10.7 percent of working families had incomes less than 150 % of poverty in 2000, up from 8.1 percent in 1990. In 2000, 36.1 % of working poor families that rented paid at least half of their ...Show more
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Summary

Poverty has taken on a new meaning, not just in Chicago but across the country. Many of the people living under the poverty level at the current time are members of the working poor. One or two members of the family work, but at minimum wage jobs which are not enough to provide adequate food, housing or medical treatment for their family members…
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