Local News

The Highest and Lowest Income Areas in Illinois

Although Illinois’s population and economy are diversified, there are significant regional differences in income. This article explores the variables causing these differences, illuminating the state’s high- and low-income regions.

Factors Influencing Income Levels

Income levels are mostly determined by a number of factors, such as location, cost of living, industry, occupation, and household size. greater education and skill levels, as well as high-demand professions and industries, are generally correlated with greater salaries. Location is important; certain places have more amenities and opportunities than others, but they often have greater costs of living. Income is also influenced by the size and makeup of the home; larger households may have more earners but also higher expenses.

Illinois in Comparison to Other States

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Illinois’s median household income in 2020 was $83,386—higher than the $67,521 national median. In 2020, Illinois’s median household income ranked 13th out of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia. It also had a higher poverty rate (11.5%) than the national average (10.5%).

Areas with the Highest Incomes in Illinois

The wealthiest areas of Illinois are primarily located in the north and center, especially in the Chicago suburbs and larger cities such as Springfield and Champaign-Urbana. Among the notable ZIP codes in 2019 with the highest median household earnings are:

  • 60045 (Lake Forest): $176,108
  • 60093 (Winnetka): $173,919
  • 60521 (Hinsdale): $166,936
  • 60022 (Glencoe): $165,250
  • 60043 (Kenilworth): $164,583

Prosperous neighborhoods, first-rate educational institutions, and easy access to Chicago’s thriving business and cultural center define these districts. They struggle with high living expenses, real estate taxes, and house values, nevertheless.

Areas with the Lowest Incomes in Illinois

On the other hand, the most economically disadvantaged regions of Illinois are found in the state’s southwest and south, including both rural counties and large cities like Cairo, Rockford, and East St. Louis. Among the notable ZIP codes in 2019 with the lowest median household incomes are:

  • 62914 (Cairo): $16,667
  • 62201 (East St. Louis): $17,500
  • 62988 (Tamms): $18,750
  • 62995 (Vienna): $19,375
  • 62906 (Anna): $20,000

In addition to having poorer standards of infrastructure, health care, and education, these areas struggle with high rates of poverty, unemployment, crime, and social problems. Their problems are made worse by issues including population reduction, environmental degradation, and a lack of job possibilities.

Implications of Income Inequality

Uneven distribution of income within a population, or income inequality, can have a variety of effects on the political, social, and economic domains. Diminished economic development and efficiency, a rise in social issues and conflicts, and degraded democratic institutions and governance are some possible outcomes.

Addressing Income Inequality

Taking a holistic approach is necessary to address income disparity. Some possible strategies are as follows:

  • Promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
  • Investing in education and skills development.
  • Strengthening social protection and safety nets.
  • Enhancing fiscal and tax policies.
  • Fostering social dialogue and participation.


Illinois, a state with a thriving and varied economy, has notable income inequality. Numerous factors, such as education, industry, career, geography, cost of living, and household size, contribute to these disparities. Low-income areas are primarily found in the south and west, whilst high-income communities are concentrated in the north and central regions.

There are issues with income disparity in the political, social, and economic spheres that call for a holistic strategy for reducing it. Illinois may lower income disparity and improve the well-being of all citizens by placing a high priority on inclusive economic growth, education, social protection, fiscal policy, and community involvement.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *