Self-sufficiency Standard

The following is a listing and explanation of the self-sufficiency standard for Illinois, Chicago, and other Illinois communities.  The major source for much of this information is the Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance.  

Illinois and Chicago Self-Sufficiency Standards:

  • 2009 self-sufficiency standard in Illinois: $49,030 – for a single parent with a pre-schooler and school-age child.
  • 2009 self-sufficiency standard in Chicago: $52,387 – for a single parent with a pre-schooler and school-age child.1These figures come from larger reports on self-sufficiency in Illinois and Chicago from the Social IMPACT Research Center.
  • 2009 poverty threshold: $17,285 – for a single parent with two children.  This is $30,000 less than the self-sufficiency standard for this parent if he or she were living in Illinois.2From the U.S. Census Bureau. Additionally, see the full listing of poverty thresholds.

For self-sufficiency standard reports for communities throughout Illinois, including localized reports for regions of Chicago, visit the Social IMPACT Research Center page dedicated to these reports.

What is a Self-Sufficiency Standard? 

A self-sufficiency standard is a measure of what it costs a family to live in a specific geographic area.  They are calculated for a variety of different family types living in a wide range of cities, states, or regions. The goal is to illustrate the amount of income individuals or families need to make ends meet without public or private assistance.  There is general consensus that the poverty threshold does not accurately capture these costs for every family or individual.  A major reason for this is its failure to account for the variance in cost of living.

The Social IMPACT Research Center has created the above reports and tools in order to show what it really means to be self-sufficient in places throughout Illinois.

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