New census survey figures show that median incomes in Evanston have fallen 18 percent in just over a decade while the poverty rate has increase by more than 50 percent.

In 1999, 11.1 percent of Evanstonians lived in poverty. The count last year was 17.3 percent.

Over the same period, the median household income of Evanstonians, expressed in 2010 dollars, declined from $73,717 to $60,424.

While sampling errors can introduce substantial year-to-year variation in the survey results, an analysis of the census figures by the Social Impact Research Center at the Heartland Alliance concludes both the poverty level and median income changes for Evanston are statistically significant at the 90th percentile level.

The Evanston poverty rate is now higher than the 16.7 percent rate for Cook County as a whole, and it has increased much more rapidly than the poverty rate in Chicago, which rose from 19.6 percent in 1999 to 22.5 percent in 2010.

The poverty rate in Evanston had decline for much of the past decade, falling to a low about about 7 percent in 2008, but it increased rapidly following the onset of the recession.

By comparison, the poverty rate in Arlington Heights, with roughly the same population as Evanston, was just 5.5 percent in 2010, up from 2.5 percent in 1999.

The median household income in Arlington Heights fell 22.7 percent during the period, from $88,728 in 1999 to $68,613 in 2010.

In Chicago median household income fell from $50,542 in 1999 to $44,776 in 2010. For all of Cook County, median household income fell from $60,091 to $51,466.

Figures for Evanston’s neighbors, Skokie and Wilmette, were not available because the data was only released for towns with at least 65,000 residents.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. I’m Confused

    Can someone explain how we are going to pay for a New 5th Ward school given the current environment?

    Median income in Evanston is DOWN 18% in the last decade.

    Evanston's poverty rate is UP 50%.

    Taxes at the Federal, State, and Local levels are going UP this year and for the forseeable future.

    (Library taxes up 6%, D202 & D65 are going up again, and again)

    Debt levels in Evanston, State of Illinois and at the US Government are very high. (we got downgraded)

    And we have a growing unfunded pension, healthcare, and entitlement liability.

    And District 65 is projected to have an $ 8.8 mm DEFICIT for the 2015-2016 School year

    And we are going to build a New 5th Ward school ? This will increase costs for D65 and increase the deficit.

    If the community decides a 5th Ward School is truly in the BEST INTERESTS of the KIDS, convert King Lab from a Magnet School to a Neighborhood School.

    Where is all this money going to come from? I'm confused.

  2. Hear Hear

    If indeed a neighborhood school would serve the kids in the 5th ward – make it happen – with resources we already have! 

    Convert King Lab or Kingsley.

    Create success with what we have – not failure with what we wish we did have.

    By the way – where is the City in all of this?   The City is  hunting for  pennies on the ground and  the the school boards are handing out raises and asking for money to build a new school.

    It's all taxpayer money – the same taxpayers.   

    Why such a disconnect?

  3. Dist. 65 furlough days for administrators

    If Cook County unions and administrators can take furlough days, then District 65 administrators can take furlough days.  Close your deficit.

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