Carl Sandburg called Chicago the “city of the big shoulders.” Nowadays, those shoulders are very little.
According to new data from the 2011 American Community Survey, Chicago has a much higher percentage of poor people—including poor children—than the nation as a whole. For example, 23.7 percent of Chicago’s population falls below the poverty line, as against 15.9 percent for the United States. As for children under the age of 5, 34.6 percent of them live in poverty in Chicago compared to 25.8 percent for the country as a whole.
The national data on poverty, especially child poverty, are obscene. Clearly, the situation in Chicago is even worse.