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U of I Report Shows Middle Class Shrinking in Illinois

Any way you slice it, the middle class continues to shrink in Illinois. That’s the finding in a report finished by a University of Illinois expert in urban development and local economies. Robert Habans (hay-bins) says defining the middle class can be a moving target.

Habans research found that middle income households made up nearly 60-percent of Illinois in the 1970s to just under 50-percent in 2015.

And Habans says although there has been some growth in the percentage of upper income households, it hasn’t outpaced growth in the lower income demographic.

Habans says the complexion of the middle class is also changing because of the declining manufacturing base. Those jobs in middle income households are being replaced by service sector jobs—like health care, professional services and retail. 

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