Report Details Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Chicago


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Across the country, Latinos suffer vast differences in health conditions than whites. These health disparities manifest themselves in several ways.

These inequities are rooted in social disadvantage and affect educational attainment, income and personal wealth, housing, and mental and physical health.

Chicago (29.09% Latino population), the third largest city in the U.S., has an unfortunately long history with racial inequities. A new report by the University of Illinois at Chicago sheds light on the current state of these inequities.

The report, entitled “A Tale of Three Cities: The State of Racial Justice in Chicago,” tells about the “divergent conditions” of blacks, Latinos, and whites in terms of housing, economics, education, justice, and health.

“On virtually every indicator of inequality available, black people in Chicago are doing worse than everyone else, with Latinos not far behind,” said report co-author Kasey Henricks.

Findings from the report include:

  • Black and Latino households are more likely to secure mortgages that have high interest rates, ballooning payment schedules, and numerous extra fees.
  • Latino neighborhoods were “hit hard” by the foreclosure crises and large portions of minority neighborhoods have as much as 10%-25% vacancy in their housing stock.
  • Nearly 25% of the Latino families in Chicago live below the poverty line.
  • The rate for Latino unemployment in the city is 10% compared to 20% for blacks and almost 5% for whites.
  • Nearly 90% of all Latino students attend school where 75% of the student body are eligible for free or reduced lunches.
  • Latino Chicagoans have lower mortality rates and incidence of certain cancers compared to whites and blacks.
  • However, Latinos are uninsured at twice the rate of their black and white counterparts.

“Advantages or disadvantages people have in one area often translate into parallel advantages or disadvantages in another,” the report said. “Chicagoans of all racial and ethnic groups want to live in safe and healthy communities where they don’t just subsist or survive but also thrive, but not all have equal access.”

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By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latinos remain without health insurance coverage

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