Stimulus money may explain Champaign, Vermilion stability on poverty

By Julie Wurth/The News-Gazette — A new report from the U.S. Census shows Champaign and Vermilion counties holding their own economically in 2010, with overall poverty not worsening and median incomes actually rising.

However, that may reflect an influx of federal stimulus money that has since dried up, according to one local official.

The U.S. Census released the findings of its 2010 American Community Survey, which collects socioeconomic information about communities across the country each year, from poverty to education to demographics. The data are taken from surveys of about 3 million U.S. addresses, but given the small sample sizes in each community, margins of error vary greatly.

The survey showed real median household income fell 2.2 percent nationally to $50,046 in 2010, from $51,190 in 2009, and dropped 3.6 percent in Illinois, from $54,992 to $52,972. No state showed an increase and 35 states saw declines.

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