Income Gap

Peter Breen
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois House dealt a series of rebukes to Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday, as Republicans joined Democrats to override nearly a dozen of the governor’s vetoes.

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Amid the debate about the nation’s widening gap between rich and poor — a reality amplified in the State of the Union address — the numbers in Illinois paint a particularly striking picture.

It’s not your imagination. Multiple studies and census figures point to the rich getting richer and the poor and middle class treading water or losing ground all across the nation, but Illinois is among the states with the most pronounced divide. 

Dana Heupel
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Much has been written — and chanted and shouted — about the growing disparity between those whose incomes rise to the top 1 percent and the rest of us. Also often-chronicled during this economic downturn is the increasing number whose incomes fall below the federal poverty level. Two recent studies provide some striking insights into those opposite ends of the economic ladder.