Voices for Illinois Children — Powered by YWCA Metropolitan Chicago has released its 2021 Illinois KIDS COUNT Report. The report takes a closer look at some of the most prevalent factors associated with poverty and then reviews the landscape of Illinois poverty prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 report introduces an alternative measure of poverty, the multidimensional poverty index, which takes into account factors such as unemployment, housing costs, educational attainment, and disability, among other things. Using this index, the report estimates a higher proportion of Illinois adults in multidimensional poverty (15.3%) compared with the Official Poverty Measure (9.6%), Supplemental Poverty Measure (12.1%), American Community Survey (10.9%), and Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (10.9%). In addition, the report disaggregates these data by race and ethnicity, and by doing so, communicates significant disparities in how poverty affects different groups.

The report also includes policy recommendations to address the long-term effects of poverty on Illinois families.